Ultimate Guide to Air Filters

The Ultimate Guide to Air Filters & How They Work

Without air filters in our homes, we would all be constantly exposed to dust, allergens, and smoke. Because of this, they’re a vital part of home maintenance that needs to be dealt with if you care about your health.

Unfortunately, many people are unfamiliar with the details of choosing the right air filter for their home. Learning what type of product works best for your needs is an important part of any homeowner’s to-do list.

Luckily, we’ve made this article to teach you everything you need about the different types of air filters. Let’s get started!

What Are Air Filters Used For?

Air filters are responsible for removing hazardous particles in the air that could damage your HVAC equipment or even cause harm to your wellbeing. It’s helpful to think of these types of filters as a face mask for your home.

They clean the air you breathe by passing it through filtered material called media. But exactly what types of particles does it filter? Things like dirt, pet hair, and dust are naturally sucked into your HVAC systems.

The filter works kind of like a kitchen sieve. It catches these particles and allows clean air to flow through. However, this only works when the filter is clean. The more particles that flow through, the dirtier the filter will become.

Eventually, the filter will become so dirty that it will impede all airflow that travels through it. At this point, you will need to either change your filter or clean it, depending on what type you use.

If you don’t, then not only will you damage your HVAC system, but you’ll also get higher energy bills. Why? Because your air conditioning system needs to work harder to pull any air through the filter. Dirty air filters can also trigger allergy responses in many people.

What Is a MERV Rating?

A MERV rating stands for minimum efficiency reporting values. It helps people measure the performance of the different HVAC air filters they purchase. It measures this by determining the filter’s ability to stop large particles.

The sizes of these particles measure between 0.3 and 10 microns. A higher MERV rating isn’t always necessarily better. While this type does work better at trapping specific types of particles (allergens, smoke, etc.) it also might restrict airflow, due to it’s smaller openings. You can learn more about these types of ratings through this helpful guide.

What Are the Different Types of Air Filters?

Not all filters are made the same way. Many use different methods or materials for removing particles from the air.

In this section, we’ve selected five of the most popular types of house air filters commonly used in homes and apartments. That way you can decide for yourself which one works best for you.

1. HEPA Filters

HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. It refers to a special type of pleated mechanical air filter that is extremely efficient at removing particles from the air.

According to the specification defined by the U.S. Department of Energy, these filters can remove up to 99.97% of particles in the air.

It traps the smallest size particle, which makes it ideal for people with serious dust or bacteria allergies. Unfortunately, this filtering capability comes at the cost of efficiency. HEPA filters can be too effective at filtering which means they restrict airflow in many cases.

2. Fiberglass Filters

Fiberglass filters are one of the most popular types of air filters found in homes and apartment buildings. As the name suggests, these filters use a fiberglass material to remove particles from the air.

Fiberglass filters are incredibly affordable, which makes them a popular option for people on a budget.

Unfortunately, this low price comes at a cost in terms of performance. Fiberglass filters do just the bare minimum in filtering our particles from your air. They are known for protecting your equipment, but won’t do anything to reduce dust, pollen, pet dander, and other air particles.

3. Electrostatic Filters

Electrostatic filters utilize electricity to draw in particles. It’s extremely effective at capturing most particles, but not dust. It’s also fairly expensive and can potentially produce harmful ozone substances.

However, on the bright side it can improve the ventilation system in the homes it’s used in. They also have a purifying effect on the air by physically destroying the particles.

4. Pleated Filters

Pleated filters are capable of trapping smaller particles than a fiberglass filter. These particles include dust, mold, bacteria, smoke, and much more. On top of that, they also provide more efficient airflow than HEPA filters. As such, they’re a great middle-ground for filtering capability without increasing your energy bills.

5. Washable Filters

Washable filters are ideal because you don’t need to change them every three months. Instead, all you need to do is wash them. As such, they’re more affordable since you don’t need to constantly buy replacements.

Unfortunately, they do have a lower MERV rating and do decrease in efficiency the more you use them. So, they’re not ideal if you’re trying to prevent allergens from entering your air.

Want Low Cost, High-Quality Air Filters? Shop at Discount Filters

We hope this article helped teach you everything you need to know about the different types of air filters. As you can see, there are many kinds of products to fit different needs in your home.

Unfortunately, buying multiple filters for your home can be an expensive endeavor. So where can you find affordable air filters? Look no further than Discount Filters. We’re able to offer products at a 40% to 70% discount for our customers.

And don’t think that this affordable price means they’re lacking in quality. We cut out the middleman and ship our American-made filters directly to our customers and pass along the savings.

Shop our wide selection of air filters today to find the filter that’s right for you and your home!

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