4 different types of air filters and their uses in your HVAC system


Changing air filters is something that many homeowners don’t often consider. However, learning which air filter is best for your HVAC system is a great way of saving you time and money on repair and service and offering better health for your family.

Today, you can find several types of filters that can differ in price and specs. Discover four different types of air filters for your HVAC system so that you can help choose the right one that fits your system’s needs.

Understand MERV

To know how to choose your air filters better, you should know that the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) created a system to rate the efficiency of air filters with a unit of measurement called the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). Those air filters with the higher MERV number are the most efficient in the market. The rating goes from 1 to 16, with 1 being the least efficient.

Pleated Filters

Pleated air filters contain folded sheets of paper or polyester, and they can be great options for your new home. However, if you have an older HVAC system, this type of filter can make the system run slower and less efficient. Those air filters with a MERV rating of 6 or higher are great at capturing particles without weighing down the HVAC system. Although they’re disposable, you can find filters made with eco-friendly materials.

Washable Air Filters

Washable air filters seem like an easy choice for those who don’t want to discard their unit’s air filter every three months, and these air filters are usually cheaper to buy. You must service this type of filter correctly or you risk accumulating mold, a problem which can affect the indoor air quality of your home. Look for air filters with a higher MERV number to maintain their efficiency.

Fiberglass Filters

Fiberglass filters are the cheapest on the market; however, they offer the least protection for your family. The filter itself is great at blocking only large particles, but it won’t offer greater quality for those who suffer from allergies coming from dust, pollen or mold. Since these filters have the lowest MERV rating (around between 1 and 4), you need to replace them often.

Electrostatic Filters

Electrostatic filters usually come as both disposable or permanent options. This type of filter contains polyester material and is great at capturing small air-borne particles such as pollen and dust. Electrostatic filters present a better option for those who are concerned about the indoor air quality in their homes, especially during the spring and summer when people usually suffer from more allergies. When you’re shopping for these types of air filters, look for ones that have a MERV rating of 10 or higher.

Finding the the best air filter for your HVAC system can help you keep your system working correctly and efficiently. Knowing which air filter is best for your home is one of the best ways you can help save both money and worry.


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