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We've provided the following to answer your questions about Filtrete™ Filters. Click here for general information on air filtration.

What is the difference between fiberglass filters and Filtrete filters?
How do washable/reusable filters compare to Filtrete filters?
What does electrostatic really mean?
Do Filtrete filters remove odors?
Are Filtrete filters antimicrobial?
How often do I need to change Filtrete filters?
Do I have to worry about restricted airflow with Filtrete filters?
Will the Filtrete filter eliminate the need for dusting?
How does the Filtrete filter compare with electronic air cleaners?

What is the difference between fiberglass filters and Filtrete filters?
Fiberglass filters were originally developed to protect your furnace and/or air conditioning system. They were not intended to significantly improve your indoor air quality. Filtrete filters do both. They improve your indoor air quality by attracting and capturing allergy-aggravating microparticles, and help keep your furnace equipment clean. Air in your home is continually re-circulated through the filter, and is cleaned with each pass through the filter.

How do washable/reusable filters compare to Filtrete filters?
Surprisingly, expensive washable/reusable filters are similar to fiberglass filters in their inability to capture microparticles.

What does electrostatic really mean?
3M's electrostatically charged media contains both positively-charged and negatively-charged fibers. The particulates in the air passing through the filter will be either positively or negatively charged; therefore, the charged particles will stick to the filter.

Do Filtrete filters remove odors?
No, but in the case of tobacco and wood smoke, removing the smoke particles can help reduce the odor.

Are Filtrete filters antimicrobial?
Filtrete filtering material will not support the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew or fungi in normal use. No unnecessary chemicals have been added to the filters.

How often do I need to change Filtrete filters?
The recommended change interval is three months. However, the effectiveness and life of the filter can vary and will depend on the individual conditions in your home. Unusually dirty duct work, construction work, furniture or drywall sanding, pets, the presence of smokers and running the fan continously are some of the things that can shorten the life of your filter. In these cases, change the filter more frequently.

Do I have to worry about restricted airflow with Filtrete filters?
Filtrete filters are designed to operate in most residential furnaces and air conditioning systems. If a Filtrete filter remains in use longer than three months, it may begin to restrict airflow or cause the system to malfunction. It also could restrict airflow in some higher efficiency/air conditioning systems. In this case, change the filter more frequently.

Will the Filtrete filter eliminate the need for dusting?
No, Filtrete filters will reduce the need for dusting but it won't eliminate it. Atmospheric dust consists of a wide variety of particulates ranging in size from 0.001 micron to a relatively large 100 microns. Because of the weight of the large particles, they will settle out on your furniture long before they reach your filter.

How does the Filtrete filter compare with electronic air cleaners?
The efficiency of 3M filters approaches that of the top-of-the-line electronic air cleaners. The best electronic air cleaners are effective in capturing particles down to 0.1 microns while the Filtrete Ultra Allergen Reduction Filter is effective down to 0.3 microns. Some tests indicate that in the large particle size (range 1.0-10 microns) the Filtrete Filter is more effective. Top electronic units cost $500 - $800 and require monthly maintenance.

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Tips for improving air quality in and around your home at The Lung Association - Your Healthy Home.