Do Pleated Air Filters Restrict Airflow?

Pleated air filters are a popular choice for many households, as they are designed to trap and absorb passing particles without restricting air flow. However, it is important to note that all air filters will restrict air flow to some extent. The key is to find the right filter for your unit and overall system to ensure that you reduce the amount of pollutants in the air as much as possible. The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) rating of a pleated air filter determines the tightness of its mesh fabric, with higher ratings meaning more restricted airflow.

If the fabric is too tight, it can lead to an expensive airflow restriction. Generally, a filter with a higher MERV rating will reduce airflow, but other factors such as the size of the filter and the type of fan motor of the HVAC system also play a role. The disadvantage of using a pleated air filter for long periods of time is that your HVAC system will suffer from reduced airflow. To help you keep things clean during maintenance, pleated air filters are great for trapping dust and particles.

When properly installed, high-efficiency filters prevent air leakage that passes through the system. Pleated filter widths range from 1 to 6 inches to restrict small and large particles in the air. The trick is to maximize the filter face area to get the lowest possible filter pressure drop. Some of the key aspects affecting the choice of an air filter include cost, filtration quality and ease of use, among others.

Households with reduced airflow suffer from dry, stagnant, smelly air that makes it uncomfortable or unsafe. Different pleated air filters are designed with different properties and results in mind, which is important to remember when buying your own filter. In fact, you have the option of sliding the filter directly into the space where the standard flat filter was installed. You'll want to have clean air while not exposing your HVAC system to restricted airflow and wasted energy.

The pleated design improves airflow, as the crests of the pleats help distribute air more evenly than non-pleated filters. Filters for central HVAC systems are often the primary form of particulate removal in residential and commercial buildings. There are many types of filters, such as media filters and HEPA filters, and they all adapt to different circumstances. However, keep in mind that reduced airflow caused by a high MERV filter is usually an afterthought for most homeowners.

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