How To Tell The Difference Between Air Filters
If your home is more dusty than usual or you feel the air quality isn’t as good as it used to be, you may need to replace the air filter on your HVAC system. But how do you know whether you had a good quality air filter in the first place, or what you should replace it with?
Let’s take a look at some terms surrounding air filters so we can all understand the product better, and then we’ll look at the three main types of filters and how they help you.
Types Of Air Filters
A High-Efficiency Particulate-Arresting (HEPA) filter uses an electrical charge to help trap particles. With some of the highest MERVs available, HEPA filters remove up to 85% of pollutants, including dust and pollen. These filters are especially helpful for those with asthma, allergies or chronic lung diseases. HEPA filters can be changed about once per year.
Pleated filters are made from a polyester-blend fabric or folded sheets of cotton. They typically trap about 45% of air pollutants in your home. Pleated filters do tend to clog more often than other filters, which can break the limit switch on your HVAC system, preventing it from turning on. That means they need to be replaced more often, probably every 2-3 months depending on your household.
Fiberglass air filters use thin, flat panels to trap particles. Fiberglass filters trap about 10% of pollutants. Fiberglass air filters are traditionally made to protect your HVAC system, not reduce trap dirt and other contaminants. Fiberglass filters should also be replaced every 2-3 months depending on your household.