HVAC filters keep the air in your home healthy to breathe. They also help an HVAC system run smoothly, as particles that can get trapped in sensitive components are captured (these also don’t get re-circulated through your ducts and rooms). The type of filter you have can dramatically impact air quality. Here is an overview of the different air filters to help you weigh the options and determine what is best for your home.
FIBERGLASS AIR FILTERS
These disposable filters are the most affordable. People tend to be most familiar with these, yet they typically have lower Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings, so therefore they have a low straining ability. They are essentially entry-level air filters. Strands of fiberglass are spun together and formed into layers, which are reinforced with a metal grate. Also called flat-paneled fiberglass filters, these will help protect your home HVAC system but are not as good at capturing air pollutants.
Pleated air filters are constructed of polyester fabrics or cotton folds, or pleats, rather than flat sheets. Compared to fiberglass filters, they more effectively capture dust and pollutants and are the best in terms of cost vs. efficiency. The more pleats the filter has, the greater its filtering performance.
High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters have the highest MERV ratings of all HVAC filter types. They can screen contaminants and airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. Able to capture tobacco smoke and bacteria, these filters can help people who have allergies and asthma or other respiratory difficulties. One downside to HEPA filters is they can restrict airflow. Always go with the manufacturer's recommendation; installing a filter with a higher MERV rating than recommended can affect HVAC performance.
WASHABLE AIR FILTERS
More costly than disposable filters, washable types can help with long-term savings. There’s no need to throw them away. You can easily remove and clean the filter, then use it again. However, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper care. And make sure the filter is completely dry before re-installing it; dampness can support the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria.
ELECTROSTATIC AIR FILTERS
Unlike other HVAC filters, electrostatic types use an electric charge to attract dust and airborne particles. This charge is created by a mix of small cotton and paper fibers. These capture the particles and prevent them from circulating in your home and HVAC system. Electrostatic air filters are more effective than pleated filters at removing allergens; while some are washable, others are disposable. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine whether your filter is reusable or not.
CONTACT THE AC HERO
In addition to HVAC repair, installation, and replacement services, The AC Hero specializes in different types of AC filters to provide just what your home needs. Our residential air conditioning technicians can assist in choosing a product that will improve indoor air quality. We’re serving clients in the Dallas/Fort Worth area during the coronavirus pandemic, protecting our customers, technicians, and office staff via social distancing and no contact service. We’re also open 24/7 to help with emergencies.