Which Type of Filter is Best for Air Conditioning?

The use of the HEPA filter in air conditioning is becoming increasingly important as consumers, especially those with airway-related conditions, demand better air quality. This type of filter electronically cleans the air by using an electric field to trap particles. However, this type of filter generally does not fit residential HVAC systems that have size and airflow restrictions to consider. If you want to get HEPA filters for your home, modifications will need to be made by an HVAC contractor.

Reusable filters are washable filters that can simply be cleaned and reused. This type of filter is usually more expensive than the disposable type and has a low MERV rating of between one and four, making it prone to mold and mildew. Fiberglass air filters are disposable and are the most economical type of filter. They cause less strain on HVAC systems when they draw in air and keep large particles out of the system.

However, they don't do a great job of keeping out dust and other smaller contaminating particles. If you or your family members suffer from allergies or have respiratory problems, this type of filter may not be powerful enough to help alleviate or prevent respiratory problems. It will generally have a MERV 4 rating. The most affordable but with the lowest effort capacity disposable air filters of all types are fiberglass air filters. They work better to protect your air conditioning system than to filter dust and contaminants in the air.

If you use this type of air filter, you may still be prone to respiratory problems. Polyester filters, although more expensive, offer improved ability to stop dust and allergens. Pleated designs tend to have higher MERV ratings. Made of polyester fabrics or cotton pleats, pleated air filters are effective at filtering dust and other contaminants. Some people need HVAC system filters that keep the air free of allergens and other contaminants, while others just need a basic filter to get the job done. No filter is universal, so it's important to make sure the filter you buy is the right size to fit your HVAC system.

In general, high-efficiency filters that are also cost-effective are best for homes, but other considerations should include whether there are pets in the house, if mold is a threat, and how often filters need to be changed. Filters with more pleats will provide better filtration than those with fewer folds, trapping even the toughest allergens and contaminants, such as pet dander and mold spores. While certain types of air filters come with reusable and disposable options, washable filters are an eco-friendly way to save money. We measure how well an air filter removes dust, pollen, and smoke from the air, and see how freely air flows through the filter at any fan speed. The pleats of these filters give them an advantage over the pleat-free options because they increase the filter surface area for better filtering.

Media filters are very easy to maintain and ideal for filtering bacteria and other small airborne contaminants. Not all filters are built the same way, so choosing the right filter depends on what you need to purify from the air. For this reason, these filters are not recommended for people who have respiratory problems and need a filter that improves indoor air quality. It's one of the best types of AC filters because it's cost-effective, disposable, and protects air conditioners and ovens from dirt.