Air filters do a double duty; they keep dust, hair and pet dander from clogging your furnace or AC motor and also trap unhealthy germs in the air that can make people sick and irritate breathing problems like asthma and COPD. For maximum efficiency, air filters should be changed every 1 to 3 months depending on your system usage. The best type is the one that is the most efficient and provides the best performance. Here is some basic information to help you choose the best filter for your heating and/or cooling system.
How Many Types of Air Filters Are There?
There are many different types of air filters on the market including hybrid forms that are used in air purifiers and cleaners. The types listed here are commonly used to trap dust and particles in your heating and cooling systems. They are :
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Pleated and Fiberglass Filters
The types of filter found in most homes are usually the fiberglass or pleated filters purchased from the hardware store or home improvement center for around $3 each. These two types are inexpensive and generally last about 1 to 3 months depending on usage of the heating or cooling system. If your furnace or air conditioner is in continual use then it will need to be changed more frequently.
This type of filter is a little different from the others as it works on the principles of magnetism to draw in dust, allergens and particles. These filters are manufactured out of fiber material and also a metal mesh similar to screen material that can be washed off and reused. The filters are charged, or magnetized to attract particles and can be found at certain retailers selling permanent or reusable filters. The cost of these filters can vary between $20 and $50 dollars depending on the size needed.
High Efficiency Filters
While these are more efficient than most other types of filters they are also more costly. The upside to this is they also tend to last longer than standard filters, so you could weigh the difference between cost and longevity if you are considering these filters. Some Allergen-Reducing filters are manufactured with several layers of material for best collection of particulates. These high efficiency filters cost between $5 and $15 each and perform similar to HEPA filters at reducing allergens and microbial particles.
The best type of filters is the one that fits your needs as well as your budget so you will have to consider each type and their benefits to decide which one is best for you.
Keeping your air filters clean and changed frequently will prevent a lot of AC repair calls to your HVAC contractor. Many of the repair jobs seen by contractors could have been prevented by changing air filters more often as they get very dirty with continuous use. Call ABA Heating and Cooling if you need AC repair service or for more information about how air filters work to keep your system clean.