Do Expensive Air Filters Offer the Best Protection?

If you're looking for an air filter that provides the best possible protection and improves indoor air quality, then an expensive one is the best option. However, if you're on a budget, a cheaper one can still offer some benefits. A washable air filter should last for years, but it has several drawbacks such as a lower MERV rating, frequent maintenance requirements, and the potential for mold growth. When you buy air filters online, look for places that allow you to customize the quantity to get exactly what you need.

Contrary to popular belief, having more folds or pleats on an air filter does not let more air through; it increases its surface area to trap airborne particles. The least expensive filters are made of spun fiberglass, which filters air very poorly compared to materials such as paper, cotton or polyester. This is especially true in homes with older air conditioning units, which weren't built to house thicker air filters. It's important to only use air filters with the MERV rating recommended by the air conditioning system manufacturer. Adding more folds (sometimes referred to as pleats) on air filters increases their surface area, and a larger surface area means more space to trap airborne particles.

Air filters are also essential for people who live in highly polluted areas, as they can filter out harmful pollutants from the air. You can also have a separate filter for an air purifier, which can be a standalone unit or connected to your heating and cooling system. In addition to helping your home's heating and cooling system work more efficiently, an HVAC filter plays a critical role in your home's indoor air quality. All other things being equal, a filter with a higher MERV rating and more pleats per inch will have the same or better airflow than the same filter with a lower MERV rating and fewer pleats. HVAC air filters for household use are classified according to their MERV classification, and most household filters are rated between 1 and 13 (HEPA filters are more than 13).

According to the EPA, these filters can filter 99.97 percent of airborne particulate matter from indoor air. Air filters are important for everyone, but especially for those who suffer from allergies or respiratory illnesses such as asthma and hay fever. An electrostatic air filter is a washable air filter that uses static electricity to capture particulate matter. Choose one with more pleats, which means a thicker filter for particles to pass through, but also with more surface area for air to pass through.

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