Longer-lasting air filters not advisable
quality and furnace performance, it is also important for a less obvious reason. Without this simple maintenance chore, most homeowners would never think to look at their furnace, which is often hidden in a separate room in the basement. Especially with newer high-efficiency, sealed combustion furnaces, we normally only see the outside of a metal box. Without the regular filter changes, how would we know if the furnace had a problem, until it shut down? There are numerous things that can break down or go wrong with a typical natural gas furnace, and some would be noticeable with a quick visual inspection, even by an unsophisticated homeowner. These would include natural gas odours, water leaks from condensate drains, excessive rust on ducting or cabinets, frost on the plenum where the A/C coil is installed or excessively noisy operation. The other possible reason I can see to use an expensive air filter that only requires yearly replacement is to ensure HVAC contractors have an excuse to visit the home once a year. While this can be a definite benefit in properly maintaining the furnace, it also adds a nice additional revenue source for the contractor. They not only get appropriately paid for the annual furnace service, but extra for the overpriced filter. Many components of home systems designed for lower maintenance are a good idea and beneficial for several reasons, but larger furnace air filters are not in that category. The only advantages these have over standard filters is they ensure the homeowners calls the original installer for pricey replacement and furnace service.