What a Furnace Filter can do for You
Traditionally, furnace filters were designed to protect the furnace and fans. With increased air quality awareness, some filters are now being installed to reduce exposure to particles which can affect your health.
There is a wide variety of furnace filters available. However, you may find it confusing to select one which is suitable. This purpose of this document is to provide you with guidance when selecting your furnace filter.
What Airborne Particles are Found in Your Home?
The particles you breathe in your home come from a variety of sources including:
- dust on floors or other surfaces that is disturbed by activity in the house
- dust generated by smoking, burning candles, cooking, doing laundry, etc.
- hair and skin flakes from humans or pets
- particles from the outside air which come into your home with infiltrating air
Some particles are so small that they are inhaled and then exhaled without being trapped in your lungs. Some larger particles are trapped in your nose and throat and never reach your lungs. Still other particles are too large to be inhaled. The particles most dangerous to you are those that enter your lungs and lodge there.
You can see the particles of dust which accumulate on your television screen, shelves, and furniture. But you can’t see the respirable particles. Respirable particles can be easily inhaled into your lungs and provoke respiratory illness. Although you would probably like to keep visible dust out of your home, the main health risk comes from respirable particles, which include tobacco smoke, spores, bacteria, and viruses.
The activity levels of the people in your home can affect the air you breathe. Activity such as vacuuming and cooking can create or stir up particles. On the other hand, during periods of inactivity such as the middle of the night, particle concentrations tend to be much lower.
~ Article from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation fact sheet ‘ About Your House – Your Furnace Filter’