It’s important to replace your HVAC air filter periodically to keep your system running efficiently. What kind of filter should you get, though? You need to take into account the type of AC filter material used in each one, and there are a number of different types for different needs. Here’s a breakdown to help you choose the AC filter material that’s best for you.

  • Fiberglass. This is the most common (and typically the cheapest) type of AC filter material, and these types of filters are also among the least efficient. Though they allow for better airflow than most other filters, they typically have MERV ratings between 1 and 4, so they’re not ideal for improving indoor air quality.
  • Pleated. Made of polyester or other cloth material, pleated filters are made in an accordion shape. This provides more surface area, which helps filter air more efficiently. They’ll often have MERV ratings between 8 and 13 and can be replaced less often.
  • Reusable. These are also made of cloth, and rather than replacing these filters, you can simply wash them off and put them back in. Though generally considered to be on the lower end of the MERV scale, if you spend a little extra money, you can get a more efficient washable filter that has a MERV rating between 10 and 13.
  • Electrostatic. Usually made of cotton or paper, these filters use multiple layers to trap contaminants. Friction from the first layer creates static electricity, which gives contaminants an electrical charge. Subsequent layers have an opposite charge, attracting particles and removing them from the air. They’re great at filtering out small particles but less effective against larger ones, such as dust and mold. Their overall efficiency is fairly low.
  • HEPA. High Efficiency Particulate Air filters have the highest efficiency ratings, up to 20. They can remove 99.97% of air contaminants. They also restrict airflow in a regular HVAC system, causing damage. If you have serious allergy or asthma sufferers in your home and want the extra protection of a HEPA filter, invest in a separate air purifier, designed to handle these special filters.

For help choosing the AC filter material that’s best for your home, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We keep Indianapolis homes comfortable and efficient.