HVAC Filters Come in Many Variants
Your Easton, PA HVAC Specialists Explain the Different Types
As a critical component of the HVAC system, an air filter directly influences the performance of your heating or cooling systems. A clean filter not only keeps the indoor air cool, fresh and healthy, but ensures that your HVAC system functions at optimum capacity. In fact, proper care and maintenance of the air filter could potentially reduce your energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent.
While air filters come in many types, they differ in terms of cost, materials used, maintenance requirements, efficiency levels, and health benefits. The specialists at Comfort Solutions HVAC provide a complete rundown on each type of air filter, to help you select the one that best meets your requirements and budget.
Types of HVAC Filters
- Fiberglass Air Filters: The most commonly available HVAC filters, flat-paneled fiberglass air filters are disposable and affordable. However, with low Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), their ability to strain and trap dirt and debris is not as effective as some of the other filters available in the market. Useful for both, air-conditioning and furnace units, fiberglass filters work better for protecting your HVAC systems than clearing the pollutants in the air.
- Pleated Filter: Comprising polyester fabrics or cotton folds, pleated air filters offer a MERV rating between 5 and 13. They are effective in trapping allergens and airborne particles, including spores, mold, dust mites, and pet dander. While their air filtration efficiency is still quite low, they do suppress the fan noise, and provide less airflow resistance. As a general rule of thumb, more the pleats, better the filter’s performance.
- HEPA Filter: Recommended by most HVAC companies, as well as the U.S. Department of Energy, High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters offer a MERV rating between 17 and 20. Essentially, they are capable of capturing small microns, including tobacco smoke and bacteria, and are effective in screening up to 99.97% contaminants. This makes HEPA filters highly suitable in homes where people have respiratory difficulties or chronic allergies. Although HEPA filters provide the highest level of protection against airborne particles, installing them requires system modifications by a qualified HVAC technician.
- Washable/ Reusable Air Filters: Since you can remove, wash and clean these filters, reusable filters cost slightly more than the disposable ones. However, you do not need to replace them as frequently as the disposable filters, making them a convenient, time-saving and cost-saving option in the long-run. With a low MERV rating between 1 and 4, reusable filters may attract mold and mildew, if you do not allow them to dry completely before reinstalling them.
- Electrostatic Filters: Available in both, disposable and washable variants, electrostatic filters trap the smallest airborne particles, making them an ideal choice for homes where allergen removal is a priority.
- UV Filters: These filters use ultraviolet lights to kill the viruses and bacteria in your home. Although they perform exceedingly well in combating microorganisms, UV filters are less efficient in screening dust particles and other pollutants.
Besides choosing a suitable HVAC filter, you may also want to look at adding an air purifier to your home’s HVAC system. Some of the devices can capture 95 percent of particles, from as little as 0.3 microns up to 1 micron in size. Most air purifiers offer a complete home purification system, and are effective in getting rid of several common pathogens.
At Comfort Solutions HVAC, we offer a range of dependable air quality services to maintain and enhance the comfort of your home. Our licensed, bonded, and fully-insured technicians assess the indoor air quality, and suggest an appropriate HVAC filter, in keeping with your preferences, priorities, and budget. We also provide year-round climate control maintenance, and other installations, repairs and replacements related to your HVAC system.
For air cleaner installation or maintenance services, rely on the experts at Comfort Solutions HVAC. Call 610-438-9300 to schedule an appointment or contact us online.