What Are the Different Types of Home Air Filters and Which One Is Right for You?

Indoor air quality is a crucial element for any homeowner, especially if members of your household have respiratory problems. The right HVAC filters can make the difference between congested air full of pollutants and clean air that is healthy and easy to breathe. Understanding the different types of air filters for homes is the first step to getting the best indoor air quality you deserve. Each of these filters has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which vary depending on your purpose for your home.

Some people need HVAC system filters that keep the air free of allergens and other contaminants, while others just need a basic filter to get the job done. Typically, high-efficiency filters that are also cost-effective are best for homes, but other considerations should include whether there are pets in the home, if mold is a threat, and how often filters should be changed. To help gather information and evaluate your options, you can compare the basic pros and cons of each filter type. Let's take a look at each type of filter and its characteristics to narrow down the types that may be suitable for your home. People living with allergies or other respiratory problems may benefit more from HEPA filters. A contractor must adjust these filters to fit your specific HVAC system.

As the name suggests, UV filters use short-wave ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses. When air passes through the HVAC unit, UV lamps disinfect it with germicidal radiation. UV filters are excellent for killing microorganisms that could be hazardous to health, including mold spores. A potential hazard of UV filters is that they can transform oxygen into ozone, which can be hazardous to health. Even low amounts of ozone can cause coughing and chest pain, while higher amounts can worsen existing respiratory diseases, such as asthma.

While UV filters are great at killing bacteria and viruses, they are not as efficient when it comes to detecting contaminants such as dust. This is why they are often part of a larger filtration mechanism, which includes HEPA air filters. UV light is invisible to the human eye and bulbs usually need to be replaced every year, depending on the make and model of the HVAC system. By using small cotton and paper fibers, electrostatic filters create static that acts as a magnet for dust and other airborne particles. The magnetism is strong enough to prevent these particles from spreading throughout the house, making them one of the best options for those who need a filter that can fight allergens. An additional advantage for electrostatic filters is that they are available as disposable and reusable.

When it's time to change the filters, you can decide whether to wash and reuse them or throw them away and get new ones. While certain types of air filters come with reusable and disposable options, washable filters are an eco-friendly way to save money. The initial price of this type of air filter for HVAC systems is high, but it should be considered as an investment that will last for many years. The starting price is likely to be all you have to pay, as you can simply wash and reuse the filter over and over again instead of buying a new one every few months. Washable filters must be well maintained to ensure they work as they should.

As one of the main types of air filters, they come with maintenance instructions that must be followed. It is very important to make sure that the filter is completely dry before replacing it. Even the slightest remaining moisture can cause mold and mildew to form on the filter and blow it into the air you breathe. While these filters have a low MERV rating, they are a great long-term investment for someone who doesn't have strong preferences about HVAC filter types and doesn't need special filters. When it comes to air filters for HVAC systems, media filters can offer more benefits than standard filters with high MERV ratings. Media filters provide the same level of filtration as a high MERV filter, but they do so without the negative consequences of airflow or static pressure. Instead, media filters have a larger surface area, which successfully avoids significant static pressure and provides better filtration.

Media filters are very easy to maintain and great for filtering bacteria and other small airborne contaminants. Filtered dirt seals into the filter, preventing it from being expelled back into your home. Media filters are also rugged and cost-effective, and need to be changed as often as once or twice a year. Fiberglass strands are spun to create this type of filter, which is one of the most common types of HVAC filters. It is one of the best types of air conditioning filters because it is cost-effective, disposable and protects air conditioners and ovens from waste. Of the different types of AC filters available, spun glass is one of the most effective.

But if you are looking for an air purifier, a more technological option would be more suitable. These filters are not known to improve air quality, as they cannot put much effort and can only catch some dust and allergens. For this reason, these filters are not recommended for people who have respiratory problems and need a filter that improves indoor air quality. The pleats of these filters give them an advantage over other types in terms of airflow resistance; however, they do not provide much protection against allergens or other airborne contaminants.

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