LESLIE: Sandra in North Carolina is on the line. How can we help you today?
SANDRA: We’re trying to decide which quality of filter to use for our furnace filter ¬- switch out? Should we use the ones that are cheaper, like the 4-for-$2 or should we use the HEPA-filter quality ones that are like $20 for your furnace filters, when you change them out?
LESLIE: Well, with filters, you’re definitely getting what you pay for. And it really depends on what the situations are with everybody in your house.
Now, the less expensive a filter, the thinner that membrane is going to be and of course, the wider that webbing is, if you will, so it’s really not going to stop very much. You know, Tom and I always joke that they’re called “pebble stoppers,” because that’s really the only thing that’s not getting through there.
LESLIE: So it really depends. The less money you spend, the less things that are getting trapped. If you’ve got somebody with allergens in the house, you want to spend a little bit more money, because you’re definitely going to get what you pay for.
SANDRA: OK. So I need to go to a quality filter, because I have a lot of allergies. And the people that built the house say to go with a cheaper filter so you can let air circulate.
TOM: Yeah, well, look, a good-quality filter does not block the air, whether it’s one that’s designed for better filtration or one that’s designed for lesser filtration. None of these things block the air. So if you have allergy issues, you have asthma issues, you definitely want to use a good-quality filter.
And if you want the ultimate in filtration, what you might want to think about doing at some point is installing an electronic air cleaner. This is a device that’s built into the HVAC system right near the furnace, generally. And these are incredibly efficient at taking out 95-percent plus of the contaminants that are in the air. I mean these electronic air cleaners today can take out microscopic-size particles.
SANDRA: OK. Well, I really appreciate your information. You’ve been very helpful.
TOM: You’re very welcome, Sandra. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.