What Are The Different Types of HVAC Air Filters?
HVAC air filters come in several shapes and sizes and a variety of materials, each with a unique efficiency rating on the filter's ability to capture particles. It would be beneficial to know about each type before deciding.
Flat-paneled HVAC air filters are the cheapest air filters on the market. Most if not all, traditional flat panel air filter models have fiberglass or polyester embedded on the framework.
They're easy to install but are not made of the highest quality material, allowing many dust particles to enter.
Disposable pleated filters utilize plastic or thick screens of cotton fibers to get rid of particles from the air. As compared to flat-panel filters, these filters have pleats to provide a larger surface area for filtration and catch more debris.
Even though its air filtration efficiency is relatively low, it can minimize fan noise and has less airflow resistance. The price point of pleated filters is slightly higher than flat-panel filters.
Electrostatically charged air filters catch more of the smaller air particles like smoke, bacteria, and pollen within their screens. These filters can either be flat or pleated and include reusable or disposable versions.
Washable filters are also known as reusable HVAC air filters and come with either a flat-paneled or pleated design. They can be vacuumed or hosed down with water to remove dust accumulation.
These filters are more eco-friendly as compared to disposable filters. However, washable filters lose their electrostatic charge over time and consequently, their ability to trap smaller particles.
High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filters (HEPA)
The HEPA filter can consistently capture around 99.97% of air particles, generally 0.3 microns or larger. The United States Energy Department endorses this fact.2
Larger commercial properties and hospitals commonly use HEPA filters, where it's required to have clean air. Residential homes using HEPA filters are typical with individuals suffering from extreme allergies or a weak immune system.