More costly air filters, such as pleated residential filters, can be worth the extra money, particularly for those with severe allergies. These filters can filter out dust mites, pollen, pet dander, mold, and even bacteria. You'll pay more for a washable air filter because it should last for years instead of months. However, it has multiple drawbacks, such as lower MERV ratings, frequent maintenance requirements, and the potential to attract mold to your air unit.
In general, air conditioning filters are not cheap and can range in price from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. It may be worth investing in an expensive air conditioning filter if you have a serious allergy or asthma problem. These inexpensive filters will continue to accumulate a lot of dust particles and allergens, but they will need to be changed more frequently than other filters. When searching for filters in the store, consider the manufacturer's recommendations for each specific filter.
If all dimensions are the same, a filter with a higher MERV rating and more folds per inch will have the same or better airflow than the same filter with a lower MERV rating and fewer folds. In addition, pleated filters do not have to be changed as often as just one every 3 months compared to the once-a-month frequency of non-pleated filters. HEPA filters are the most expensive filters you can buy, but they will last twice as long as standard filters and have higher performance. An electrostatic filter is a washable air filter that uses static electricity to capture particles and is also reusable.
Ultimately, deciding whether to buy an AC filter is up to you and should be based on your specific needs and circumstances. Clean air filters mean less wear and tear on the air conditioning unit, which means longer system life and fewer repairs in the future. A dirty or clogged air filter is never good for your HVAC system, and these filters should be replaced regularly.