If you want your indoor air free from pollutants and dust particles, there is no alternative to installing an air filter in your heating and cooling unit. This is truer when you have a family member who has some respiratory problems. But as there are different types of air filters available in the market, how do you know which one will be the right fit for your HVAC unit? No worries. In this article, I’ll tell you about the seven types of HVAC air filters with pros and cons.
7 Types of HVAC Air Filters & Their Pros and Cons
1. HEPA Air Filters
HEPA HVAC air filters can remove up to 99% of all pollutants and recommended by the US Department of Health. With this type of HVAC air filter, you can have maximum protection in your house, especially if you have an allergy or asthma problem.
- Needs to change only once in few years
- Can detect larger particles such as pollen and pet dander
- Can block particles that are the size of 3 microns
- Works effectively against bacteria and tobacco
- Cannot block finer particles such as gases, fumes, mold spores
- Cannot eliminate odor from the indoor space
- High-rated HEPA air filters may require newer HVAC models
2. Electrostatic Air Filters
As this type of HVAC air filter is made of cotton and fiber, it can create electrostatic force and attract dust and allergens. This force is enough to catch all the microparticles and keep your indoor air quality higher.
- Both disposable and reusable
- Uses electrostatic force to attract allergens and dust from the air
- Removes allergens and pollens from the air
- May not be able to handle bigger particles such as mold spores
- Not suitable for people with respiratory issues
3. UV Air Filters
When the air passes through the HVAC unit, this type of air filter uses a short-wavelength UV ray to kill the microorganisms. However, one of the downsides of this air filter is that it can create ozone in the air and cause chest pain and cough.
- Offers exceptional indoor air quality
- Uses UV ray to kill all the microorganisms
- Ineffective against gas, cigarette smoke, and fumes
- Not cost-effective
- Costly installation
- Isn’t effective against common pollutants such as allergens and dust
- Can create ozone in your house
4. Washable Air Filters
Unlike other air filters, this type of air filter is environmentally friendly. Besides, it has both disposable and reusable options. However, compared to other HVAC air filters, this type of air filter cost more. But as you’ll be using this air filter for a long time, you should consider this as an investment.
- Environment friendly
- Can last more than 7 to 8 years if it’s properly maintained and cleaned
- Initial cost is way higher compared to other types of HVAC air filters
- Requires regular maintenance, cleaning, and drying
- If not properly cleaned and dried, mold and mildew will grow and lower the indoor air quality
5. Pleated Air Filters
MERV rating of the pleated air filter ranges from 5 to 12. This air filter can easily filter pollutants and dust from the air. However, one of the downsides of this air filter is that it is less resistant to airflow.
- Air filter can be recycled
- Requires minimum replacement
- Has larger surface area, which allows it to catch more dust and debris
- High cost
- May decrease the HVAC unit’s efficiency
- Low resistance to airflow
6. Media Air Filters
If you compare the media air filters with standard air filters, media air filters are more efficient and have high filtration ability. Besides, these air filters are easy to maintain and cost-effective.
- Low maintenance
- Need to be replaced twice a year
- Requires professional installation
- Ineffective against removing odors
7. Spun Glass Air Filters
This type of air filter is commonly used because of its cost-effectiveness and filtration capabilities. If you have respiratory problems, it’s recommended that you should install this air filter in your heating and cooling unit.
- High filtration rate
- Less effective against smaller particles or pollutants
- Can cause negative airflow problem
See the summary infographic here – 7 Types of HVAC Air Filters [Infographic]
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