Are Expensive Air Conditioning Filters Worth It?

When it comes to air conditioning filters, more expensive options such as pleated residential filters can be worth the extra money, especially for those with severe allergies. These filters are designed to filter out dust mites, pollen, pet dander, mold, and even bacteria. Washable air filters are also available, but they come with a few drawbacks such as lower MERV ratings, frequent maintenance requirements, and the potential to attract mold. Generally speaking, air conditioning filters can range in price from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. For those with serious allergy or asthma problems, an expensive air conditioning filter may be worth the investment.

Regularly changing these filters is essential for maintaining a clean and well-functioning air conditioning unit and a comfortable home. The average household benefits from having a filter that is rated high enough to block problems in the air, but not so high as to cause airflow complications. These filters are very effective at trapping dust, pollen and other particles in the air, but they can also restrict airflow if they become too clogged. The type of filter you have, the size of the unit, and the environment in which you live can all influence how often you need to change filters. If you choose to use an expensive air filter instead of a cheap one, these monthly routines can quickly become costly.

If you've changed all of your air filters and the air is still moldy or dusty, you could have a crack or break in the return air duct. These filters generally trap less than 20 percent of air contaminants and have a thickness of about 1 to 2 inches. Fine dust and dirt particles accumulate in the heat exchangers and cooling coils of the oven, blocking the flow of air. Knowing this information allows you to make a well-informed decision about how often to change filters. Placing more folds (sometimes called pleats) on air filters increases their surface area, and more surface area means more space to trap particles in the air. Clean air filters also mean less wear and tear on the air conditioning unit, which means longer system life and fewer repairs in the future.

The MERV classification system (Minimum Efficiency Report Value) shows you how efficient a filter is at trapping and absorbing particles. Ultimately, whether or not expensive air conditioning filters are worth it depends largely on your specific needs and circumstances. HVAC instructors Roger McDow and Roger Spittle suggest that if the oven is the beating heart of your home, then air filters are like lungs.

Doug Bundley
Doug Bundley

Professional coffee aficionado. General web specialist. Avid internet guru. Subtly charming beer nerd. Infuriatingly humble bacon specialist. Hardcore web evangelist.

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