What You Need to Know about HVAC Filters

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With any forced-air HVAC system, air filters play a key role. Thus, it’s important to do more than just grab the first filter you see off the store shelf. Yes, there are different types available and getting familiar with them can help you identify what you need to make a smart choice.

Fiberglass/Synthetic Filters

This type of filter is probably what you’re most familiar with. These are the inexpensive, disposable options that are widely available in home-improvement retailers and even grocery stores. Fiberglass or synthetic filters are relatively efficient – catching up to 80 percent of particles that are 50 microns and larger. They can effectively minimize the buildup of dust and dirt on heat exchangers, fan motors and other surfaces of your HVAC system.

Polyester Filters

Made from higher quality material, polyester filters trap and remove 80 to 95% of particles 5 microns or larger. With their greater effectiveness comes a higher price. Expect to pay approximately four times more for a polyester filter than a standard fiberglass/synthetic filter.

Pleated Filters

For even greater efficiency, choose a pleated filter that traps particulates 0.3 micron in size, including bacteria and viruses. Pleated filters also last longer than fiberglass/synthetic filters.

Electrostatic Filters

Electrostatic filters leverage the innovation of self-charging fibers to attract and remove particles from your air. Both disposable and washable electrostatic filters are available.

HEPA Filters

High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters offer high filtration capabilities, capturing 99% of particles 0.3 microns or larger. It’s important to consider that these filters are excellent at removing indoor pollutants and creating an easier-to-breath-in household environment. However, they can reduce your HVAC system’s air flow, resulting in higher utility costs.

Choose the Right Size

Along with type, you also need to consider size when it comes to HVAC filters. You’ll want to choose one that fits into the filter cabinet correctly to ensure there are no airflow obstructions that could hinder system performance. The most common sizes are:

10 X 20, 14 X 20, 16 X 24, 18 X 30, 12 X 12, 14 X 24, 16 X 25, 20 X 20, 12 X 20, 14 X 25, 18 X 18, 20 X 24, 12 X 24, 14 X 30, 18 X 20, 20 X 25, 12 X 30, 15 X 20, 18 X 24, 20 X 30, 12 X 36, 16 X 20, 18 X 25, 4 X 24 and 25 X 25

Change Filters Regularly

The importance of changing HVAC filters on a regular basis cannot be overstated. Over time, filters become clogged with pollutants – particularly here in Arizona. Forgetting to change your filter can cause costly airflow obstructions and can even damage your system. Stick to a set schedule of replacing or cleaning your HVAC filter at least once a month.

Get HVAC Filter Help

Have questions or need help with your HVAC system? Call the experts at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating today at 480-968-5652.