One of the most critical parts of your HVAC system is the air filter. The air filter is responsible for keeping the air that enters your home clean of contaminants. Bad air quality can also clog your HVAC system. Understanding the different types of HVAC air filters will help you to determine which is best for your home.
Fiberglass or Synthetic Filters
If you are looking to spend the least amount of money, what you are looking for are fiberglass and synthetic filters. These are both affordable and disposable. Particles 50 microns or larger are filtered out up to 80% by these filters. Particles between the size of 3 and 10 microns are filtered at 25%. BY using these filters, you can filter out dust and dirt but not all harmful contaminants from your home or office.
Polyester Based Filters
Filters made from polyester are one of the highest quality that you can get. Particles at or above 5 microns are filtered between 80 and 95%. You will get extreme filtration but at approximately four times the cost of the fiberglass or synthetic filters mentioned above.
The fibers in these filters are self-charged to create electrostatic attraction. Both standard versions of electrostatic filters and washable versions are available. Between the two there will be a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of 4 to 10 depending on the specific filter. Washable filters will last longer than disposable filters.
For those that desire to catch the smallest particles floating around, the pleated filter is the right option. They can catch particulates that are down to .3 microns in size. That includes most contaminants and allergens. At the same time that pleated air filters give you the best filtration, they allow decent airflow.
HEPA Air Filters
Out of all of the HVAC air filters, a HEPA filter is the most effective. It will capture up to 99% of particles that are .3 microns or above. HEPA filters provide fantastic filtration at the cost of some airflow. Your system will have to work slightly harder when using these filters, costing more money.
Now you know the major types of HVAC air filters out there you can make an informed decision about which one is best for your system. Are you okay with minimum filtration with the benefit of cost saving or do you need something more robust? If you already have an HVAC system in place, make sure that the filter you decide to use is compatible with your system.