Choosing the Right Air Filter for your HVAC System

Air filter

Regardless of whether you have a brand new heater or one that is a decade old, the type of air filter you purchase matters. But once you get to the store, you realize there are several filters to choose from. So which one is right for you?

Types of Air Filters

  • Fiberglass
  • Pleated polyester
  • HEPA
  • Reusable electrostatic filter

Below we give you a breakdown on some key features of each filter type. The next time you have one of our Irish Heating and Air technicians at your home, make sure to ask them about which filter they recommend, too!

Fiberglass

Fiberglass filters are by far the most common filter type. They are affordable, readily available, and easy to replace. However, you have to replace these filters monthly, meaning that your annual costs build up quickly. These filters are also not good at catching fine-grained, allergy-causing particles in the air.

Pleated Polyester

Pleated polyester filters are a step above fiberglass ones, since the pleats provide a larger surface area that allows them to catch more air particles. Additionally, these filters need to be changed less often than their fiberglass counterparts. While pleated filters are readily available, they are a bit more expensive than the fiberglass filters.

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance)

HEPA filters are by far the best at catching microscopic particles that worsen allergies and colds, catching up to 99.97% of harmful particles in the air. They filter out mold, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, and more, leaving your air cleaner than polyester or fiberglass filters. HEPA filters are definitely the best choice for those individuals who suffer from year-round allergies. However, these filters also must be replaced more often (once per month) because they quickly become clogged with all the tiny particles they pick up.

If you have an allergy sufferer in your home, we suggest reading up on the best HVAC filters for allergies.

Reusable Electrostatic Filter

Electrostatic filters are less common, but they can be quite handy (and cost effective). These filters can be cut to fit the size of your HVAC filter, and can catch up to 94% of particles in the air. Because these filters are washable, they can last for up to five years if properly cared for – which usually means you must clean the filter heavily at least once a month. Some drawbacks are that these filters don’t’ stand up to HEPA air filters in terms of particle catching ability, and they can quickly become clogged and restrict airflow to your HVAC system, making it work much harder.

So What is Best for Me?

At Irish Heating and Air, we recommend HEPA filters for those with allergies. However, if you want good air filtration at an affordable price, we recommend pleated polyester air filters. You won’t have to change them as often, and they get the job done. Call us today to schedule routine HVAC maintenance and we’ll replace your air filter for you!

2016-04-15T20:49:22+00:00September 7th, 2015|Cooling and AC, Heating and Cooling Tips & Tricks, Heating and Furnaces|