To a very large extent, the indoor air quality of your home depends on your HVAC system’s air filters. The better they are, the better is the air quality and vice-versa. Obviously, everybody wants to breathe in clean air and so wishes to have the best kind of air filters. Usually, every homeowner has a choice between two types. One is the regular air filter that needs to be replaced every month, and the other is the electrostatic air filter, which is washable. But how effective are these two? Today, this is precisely what we are going to help you figure out.
The Work Of Air Filters
When you switch on your home’s heating and cooling system, it pulls in the air inside the house. This air flows through the air filters to reach the unit. When the air passes the filters, it traps the dust, debris, and other particles present in the air, thereby removing them from circulation. The treated air that enters the home is healthy as it is now free of pollutants.
Types Of Air Filters
There are two types of air filters for the HVAC systems. These are:
1. Electrostatic Air Filters – As the name itself suggests the electrostatic air filters use static electricity to rid the air of contaminants. When the air enters the filter, it is given a positive charge. As this air passes through the other layers of the filter, it loses the charge. Bt in doing so, the impurities are captured.
2. Disposable Air Filters – Also known as the regular air filters, the disposable air filters work in the same fashion as the lint trap in the dryer. The disposable air filters are usually made from a pleated material with a cardboard frame. The filter locks in the airborne contaminants making the air cleaner and purer.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Electrostatic Air Filters
1. Cost-Effective – The electrostatic air filters are once in a lifetime purchase. These are almost permanent until you manage to break or damage them. Wash them with care and use them again and again with no worries.
2. Saves Time And Money – Since there is no need to replace electrostatic air filters, you don’t have to waste time and money looking for new ones every month.
1. Monthly Cleaning – Electrostatic air filters need a strict monthly cleaning regime. Once they become clogged, they allow more dirt to enter the unit and also your home. The positively charged air starts dropping the contaminants on other surfaces as the filter can no longer catch them. It makes indoor air inferior in quality. Such a situation is especially bad for people who suffer from breathing difficulties.
2. Cannot Trap Small Particles – Electrostatic air filters are very good in capturing large particles like fibers, pollen, and dust. However, they are not effective in trapping smaller ones like mold spores. They have a maximum MERV rating of 5 or 6.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Regular Air Filters
1. No Hassel Of Cleaning – Regular air filters need no cleaning. Once they get dirty, you go out and buy a new set to replace them. So there’s no need to worry about cleaning them every month.
2. Effective In Trapping Small Particles – Disposable or regular air filters usually have a higher MERV rating. Hence, they are extremely effective in capturing even small particles like smoke, mold spores, and pollen.
1. Recurring Expenditure – Regular air filters are a recurring expenditure. One needs to buy a new set every quarter, if not every month. Since these filters can’t be cleaned, you have no option but to replace them every time.
Regular Vs. Electrostatic Air Filters
Let us now do a comparative study between the regular and the electrostatic air filters to know which are better.
1. Cost – Disposable air filters are very affordable. But you need to remember that these need monthly replacement so the cost will add up. On average, the regular air filters cost $15 each while the washable or the electrostatic air filters cost around $75 each. It is highly likely that the cost or electrostatic filters turn out to be lower than or equivalent to the cost of regular filters in the long term.
2. Efficiency – Regular air filters are very efficient in trapping particles of all sizes, be they big or small. On the other hand, the washable air filters can trap large particles but are not so efficient in catching the smaller ones. The efficiency of the air filters makes for cleaner air indoors.
3. Convenience – The electrostatic air filters need washing every month, and as against this, the regular filters need no cleaning. They just need to be replaced with newer ones. A handy tip while buying the replacement for the regular air filters is to buy them in bulk. This way, you will not have to go to the hardware store every month.
The Verdict – Regular Vs. Electrostatic Air Filters
The regular air filters are better than the electrostatic air filters based solely on their ability to improve the indoor air quality. Where the MERV rating of the disposable air filters is up to 12, the washable ones come up to only 5 or 6. Needless to say, the regular air filters make for healthier indoor air as compared to the electrostatic ones.
From a cost perspective, the electrostatic air filters fare higher than the regular ones. They are just a one-time investment and work through the lifetime of the HVAC system. The regular air filters need to be replaced every month, so they are a monthly expenditure.
Ultimately, there is no one winner in the battle between regular vs. electrostatic air filters. It is more a question of your choice. If indoor air quality is of prime importance, go with the regular air filters. If cost consideration is more important, then electrostatic air filters are your answer.
Still not sure about which air filter is right for your Florida home? Call the air experts at Aztil Air Conditioning. Our team of knowledgeable, trained, and experienced technicians will help you find the most appropriate air filtration solution for your home and office – one that satisfies all your requirements. We are one of the leading HVAC companies in West Palm Beach with over 30 years of experience. Capable of handling all jobs like HVAC installation, repairs, and maintenance, we are your one-stop-shop for all heating and cooling needs. To book an appointment, give us a call at +1-888-729-8452.