Different Types of Air Filters: Pros & Cons

types of air filter

There are many types of air filters, and the many choices can overwhelm homeowners, making it challenging to select what’s best for them. This part of your heating and cooling system is essential because it ensures the proper functioning of the HVAC.

An easier way to identify the best air filters is by checking the features and pros and cons of each. You can buy HEPA filters, electrostatic, media, pleated, or UV light filters. However, that will depend on your budget and needs.

No matter the type of air filters you buy, you must maintain them to ensure proper functioning. Clean and change your system’s air filters every time there is dust and dirt blockage to ensure the proper functioning of your machine.

Benefits Of Functioning Air Filters

If you are debating whether to get air filters for your HVAC, the quick and short answer is you should get them. The benefits of having functioning air filters for your HVAC are;

     1. The Overall Quality Of Air In Your Home

Air filters arrest any dirt in the air, including dust, hair, pollen grains, and other allergens. Therefore, clean air is blown into the rooms, making the home comfortable for family members with respiratory problems and asthma.

Also, since the air filters remove dust from the air blown into the rooms, you will worry less about dusting your carpets and vacuuming the seats. Ensure you change or clean the filters regularly to maintain the air quality.

     2. Lengthen The Lifespan Of The Air Conditioner

A significant reason air conditioners wear fast is because of poorly functioning air filters. When the filters are dirty, it is harder for the system to take in air. Overworking the machine causes high heat consumption and overheating.

Too much heat harms your HVAC and can lead to mechanical breakage. Therefore, changing and maintaining the cleanliness of your system’s filters is essential to keep the machine longer.

     3. More Energy Efficiency

Increasing energy bills are primarily due to malfunctioning or dirty air filters. Replacing the current with better ones ensures your heating system is functioning well and uses the right amounts of energy.

Different Types Of Air Filters To Buy

If you just bought an HVAC system and want new air filters, you have many to choose from. However, a better way of knowing the best air filters is by comparing the features, pros, and cons. Here is a list of different HVAC filter types, with their pros and cons.

     1. UV Light Filters

UV light filters have a bright short-wave light that destroys bacteria and other microorganisms. It benefits family members with allergies and asthma because the filters remove organisms that trigger these reactions.

These filters, therefore, ensure clean and uncontaminated air in the house. However, they have a downside; UV light filters can change oxygen into ozone, which is risky to the family members. In addition, ozone causes respiratory illnesses like asthma.

     2. HEPA Filters

High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) is a common type of filter and the most recommended. These filters can remove up to 99.97 percent of allergens and prevent dust and mold spores from entering the system.

The health department recommends these filters because they have a MERV value of 16. They ensure your home’s air quality is high by eliminating the smallest tobacco and germs particles.

The pros of the HEPA filters are their efficiency and ability to decontaminate the air. However, they cannot trap all the pollutants, especially gases and chemical odors. They are also more expensive than other types of filters.

     3. Electrostatic Filters

The electrostatic filters have electrostatic channels that trap dust and other airborne particles, preventing them from getting into the home. This is beneficial to families with allergies and asthma attacks.

You will enjoy having electrostatic filters because they are reusable, making them cost-effective. Therefore, homeowners save because they don’t need to buy new channels when it is time for a change.

However, although these filters have a static effect of attracting dust and other tiny contaminants, they are unable to catch large particles.

    4. Media Filters

Media filters are another common type of air filter. They catch bacteria and other harmful particles to ensure the home’s air is clean and free from contaminants. The dirt is then sealed inside the filter to prevent returning to the rooms.

Media filters are easy to maintain. They require a once or twice per year change and are also easy to use. The cons of having these air filters are they must be installed by a professional. Poor installation leads to ineffectiveness, and they may fail to filter odors.

     5. Pleated Filters

Also called wrinkled or creased channels, the pleated filters are made with polyester or cotton folds to trap dust and dirt. The filters are also creased, increasing the channel’s surface area, which makes separating air contaminants with clean air easier.

Consider getting channels with more creases when buying because these can capture more particles and toxins. In addition, the filters are reusable, making them cost-effective. They also provide good air quality by trapping dust particles and other debris.

The disadvantage of having these filters is their cost. They are expensive to buy but worth the cost.

     6. Washable Filters

Washable filters are cost-effective because you don’t spend more money replacing them. In addition, they can be cleaned and reused, unlike other types. However, they come with cleaning instructions that homeowners must adhere to.

These filters trap dust and other tiny contaminants to ensure your indoor air is clean. Once they get dirty and are washed, the homeowner should completely dry them because dampness causes mold growth.

The pros of having washable filters are their cost-effectiveness. You won’t worry about buying replacements for these because you only need to remove, wash and dry them.

However, they come with maintenance instructions. When you wash the washable filters, you must ensure they are completely dry before installing them in your air conditioner. They attract mold fast when wet, which can cause respiratory problems.

Final Words

Once you know the different types of air filters, you can easily choose one. You must compare the characteristics, pros, and cons to choose the best. Also, check the prices to buy air filters that fit your budget. Most importantly, consult an expert to help determine the best air filter for your home.