The air that we breathe indoors may not be as clean as we think it to be. Even though it is not as polluted as the air quality outside, dust particles or bacteria are still capable of invading our homes. How can we ensure that your air purifier is using the right type of filter? Read on to know the different kinds of air filters and why using the correct one is important.
How Many Types of Filters Are There?Air purifiers and all units of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system have air filters. There are many types of air filters. Let’s look at the 9 examples here. But the first three are the main types.
Fibreglass FiltersAmong the air filters, this is one of the most common types due to its affordability. It is made of fibreglass supported with metal grating. Fibreglass air filters are the most affordable but the least effective amongst the filter types. As inexpensive as they are, they need replacement each month. They basically protect the HVAC unit from harmful debris.
Pleated FiltersPleated-type filters are more efficient than fibreglass. They are known to use cotton or polyester fabric to block particles. What makes them unique is that they are folded into pleats, providing a wider filtering area and greater density in blocking off unwanted air particles.
High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) FiltersHEPA is one of the most effective types of air filters against stubborn airborne particles. It is capable of capturing up to 99.97% of pollutants up to 0.3 microns in size. Such levelled-up efficiency makes it popular for those who want a better protection against mould spores, bacteria, viruses and more. HEPA filters, if not the most common, are considered the gold standard in HVAC air filters.
Media FiltersMedia filters are paper-like materials that are folded into pleats. They cover a wide surface area (usually up to 75 square feet if they are not folded) and are useful for industrial areas. The folds serve as an effective pollutant barrier but not for unwanted odours, making them last longer. However, you need a professional installer for them.
Electrostatic FiltersUnlike the first type of filters which depend on airflow to send the particles towards it, electrostatic filters attract dirt and other particles using static electricity. This is made possible by utilising cotton and paper fibres. The downside is that they may be less effective against larger particles.
Carbon FiltersThis is the ideal filter if you want to remove odours from the surrounding area. It can eliminate or reduce the smell of food, carbage, smoke and tobacco. However, it is best used with other filters that have specific jobs of capturing particles like dust and pollen.
Ultraviolet (UV) Light FiltersIf other filters can trap particles, this type of filter can eliminate them for good. It uses UV light to break down the pathogens of bacteria and viruses through radiation. The UV lamps will make sure that no disease-causing particles will be released into the room.
Disposable FiltersThis one is perfect for those who do not want to clean their filters now and then. Just dispose of them and find a replacement. It is also less expensive.
WashableAs opposed to disposable filters, washable are literally reusable filters. They help you save money in the long run and can last up to several years depending on the usage. Because you do not need to replace them often, you are helping the environment as well. Be sure to regularly clean them or mildew and mould can grow on them.
How to Choose the Right FilterChoosing the right filter is understanding your need in your indoor space. Do you have a family member with certain allergies? Are they prone to smoke, bad odours or pet dander? The right air filter matches the HVAC appliance, MERV rating, level of requirement for air quality in the room and many more. Also, having a proper discernment over air filters’ MERV rating will help you decide for the right filter. If you have no idea how, get recommendations from the experts. Using the right air filter gives you the following benefits:
- Improved indoor air quality
- Extend the life of your HVAC unit
- Protect your health
- Save on energy consumption.