Are Return Air Filters and Furnace Filters the Same?

The key difference between return air filters and furnace filters lies in their purpose. While both components clean the air as it circulates around the house, removing contaminants before the air passes through the HVAC equipment to the rest of the house, they are not entirely the same. Return air filters and furnace filters can be described according to the current season, with the former being referred to as an oven filter in winter and an air conditioning filter in summer. Multimedia filters offer additional advantages over normal filters with high MERV ratings when it comes to air filters in the HVAC system.

These filters have a limited lifespan and must be cleaned or replaced according to the manufacturer's instructions. The oven filter serves the same purpose as the air filter, since it removes dust, allergens, bacteria and even germs from the air that enters the oven from the house. Return vent filters act as the first layer of protection to prevent air pollutants and other harmful particles from entering the air you breathe. When a blower circulates the air in your home, it also circulates particles suspended in the air, which then end up in the oven.

Although both filters serve the same purpose, which is to clean the air in your home, there are several important distinctions between them. Return vent filters do the opposite: they help filter out contaminants so they don't enter the system in the first place. In older homes, especially in northern states and sections of the U. S., many homes don't have a central heating and air conditioning system, but instead have individual wall-mounted air conditioning units (or don't have air conditioning) and a separate oven.

When filters become clogged with germs and dust, the operating performance of both the central air system and the furnace is affected. To help you choose the best solutions for your home air conditioner, below we describe the main distinctions between return air filters and furnace filters in your central air system. They offer less resistance to air flow and modest air filtration, but can effectively filter dust and other contaminants.

Archie Walizer
Archie Walizer

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