Air filters remove impurities from the air that passes through your HVAC system, and choosing the right filters can dramatically improve your home’s indoor air quality. In this blog, residential and commercial air conditioning contractor Cool Zone Air Conditioning & Heating discusses the different types of air filters.
Flat-Paneled Fiberglass Filters — This low-cost air filter is what most people are familiar with. It features layered fiberglass as the filtering media, reinforced by a metal grate. As an entry-level type of air filter, flat-paneled fiberglass filters typically have low MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) ratings, and can only filter large particles such as carpet fibers and pet hair.
Pleated Media Filters — Pleated media filters typically have higher MERV ratings, and usually meet the recommended ratings of most HVAC manufacturers. Instead of a flat sheet, it features pleated filter media, which means better filtration. Pleated media filters strike a good balance between cost and efficiency, and are recommended by air conditioning repair contractors as the ideal upgrade from flat-paneled air filters.
HEPA Filters — High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters carry the highest MERV ratings. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), HEPA filters can trap particles as small as 0.3 microns. This includes bacteria and tobacco smoke. It should be noted that HEPA filters can impede airflow, and are recommended for use in hospitals and other types of structures where air quality is important. On a related note, you should never choose a filter with a higher MERV rating than the one recommended by the HVAC manufacturer.
Reusable Air Filters — Reusable air filters typically cost more than most other types of air filters, but are usually in the same MERV rating category as flat-paneled fiberglass filters. While they’re fairly effective at filtering hairs and carpet fibers, they’re not as effective at stopping pet dander and fine dust. You also have to make sure that reusable air filters are thoroughly dried after washing to avoid the chance of mold and mildew growth.
Cool Zone Air Conditioning & Heating is your leading provider of residential and commercial air conditioner installation services. Give us a call at (623) 552-7800 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.