Every air conditioning system uses some type of filter in the air handler. Air filtration keeps dust and allergens from recirculating in the air you breathe, helping you keep your family happy and healthy. The right air filter can reduce allergy symptoms while improving your home comfort. Below, we’ll discuss what types of air filters are available and what benefits each provides.
Types of HVAC Filters and Air Filter Benefits
Before you add a $3 air filter to your cart, consider these filters, which may improve your health and HVAC experience:
Standalone Filters and Air Purifiers
- HEPA filters. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters have been around since World War II. These filters collect 99.97% of the airborne particulates that pass through them. HEPA technology does an exceptional job removing pollen, bacteria, pet dander, dust mite residue, and mold from airflow, but may not capture smoke or chemical-related fumes. HEPA filters are most commonly available as standalone units or in commercial HVAC systems.
- Ionic filters. An ionic filter won’t slide into your air handler the way other filters do, but they do improve air quality. Homeowners often use standalone ionic filters to reduce the number of allergens and irritants in the air further. For removing second-hand smoke, viruses, and chemical fumes, ionic filters work well. They use negative ions to attract and contain harmful particulates. These filters may remove some hazards, but do not necessarily remove the odors.
- UV filters. These filters use ultraviolet light to kill a variety of allergens in the air and on surfaces. These purifiers remove mold, yeast, bacteria, and viruses from the environment. However, you may still need to invest in a HEPA filter to remove particulates such as dust and dander.
Types of HVAC Filters
- Carbon filters. Carbon filters use an activated form of charcoal to trap contaminants including smoke, pet smells, and chemical smells. They do not do a great job of removing particulates, bacteria, or viruses. To gain the most benefit from these air purifiers, many homeowners look for combination carbon filters that use another form of filtration to capture allergens.
- Washable filters. Not paying for disposable filters may seem like a good way to save money, but these cloth filters do not have the ability to capture fine particulates. They are most useful in industrial applications in which owners need to remove larger particulates from the environment.
- Pleated air filters. Typically made of polyester, disposable pleated filters fall in between fiberglass filters and HEPA filters in terms of effectiveness and price. They offer high-quality allergen and particulate filtration for any HVAC system. High-efficiency pleated filters provide a step up from regular pleated air filters. Look for a high MERV rating to get the most out of them.
- Fiberglass filters. Made from layers of fiberglass encased in a metal cage, these filters provide only basic filtration. They work to protect the efficiency of the HVAC system. For airborne contaminant removal, look at a different filter.
Why Air Quality Matters
It can affect how you feel on a daily basis, and improve the overall air experience within your home. A combination of standalone and high-quality HVAC filters will provide your home with the best allergen, dust, and germ-reduction capabilities.
If you need help choosing the right air filter for your HVAC system, give us a call today. We would be happy to help you find the best home comfort options for you.