When it comes to air filters, you may be tempted to opt for the more expensive option. After all, washable air filters are said to last for years, rather than months. But is it really worth the extra cost? While the idea of a long-lasting filter is appealing, there are some drawbacks to consider. For instance, they often have lower MERV ratings, require frequent maintenance, and can even attract mold to your air unit.
Folding air filters increases their surface area, which in turn provides more space to trap particles in the air. Flat filters should be replaced every three months or monthly if there are allergies, pets, or someone smokes in the home. Those with respiratory problems may benefit most from using expensive air filters in a heating and cooling system. Once you've determined the maximum MERV rating your oven or air conditioning unit can handle, you can decide how close you should be to that higher rating.
A dirty or clogged air filter is never good for your HVAC system and should be replaced regularly. According to McDow and Spittle, regular monitoring and replacement is important because old, overly dirty filters restrict airflow and make your oven work harder. Disposable filters are made of pleated paper or polyester that provide a larger surface area for filtering. The pleats offer thicker filter media while the larger surface area allows more free space for air to pass through.
More expensive air filters such as pleated residential filters can filter out dust mites, pollen, pet dander, mold, and even bacteria - making them worth the extra money for those with severe allergies. When shopping for air filters online, look for places that allow you to customize your quantity to get exactly what you need. Fine dust and dirt particles accumulate in the heat exchangers and cooling coils of the oven, blocking the flow of air. Therefore, if you choose to go expensive, it might make sense to invest in HEPA filters and buy them less often.When searching for filters in the store, consider the manufacturer's recommendations for each specific filter.
This is especially true in homes with older HVAC units that weren't built to accommodate thicker air filters.