Choosing the Best HVAC Filter for Your Tempe Home
There are several vital components located within varying parts of your HVAC system, and one of these that plays a daily role is your filter. There are actually several different kinds of HVAC filters out there, though — which is right for your home, and how can you tell?
At Accurate Air, we’re proud to offer numerous HVAC services to our Tempe and other nearby clients, from HVAC tune-ups and maintenance to repairs, new installations and more. We’re also happy to advise clients on important concepts like their HVAC filters, including which of the varieties out there might be best for you. Here’s a rundown of your options.
What Role(s) Do Filters Play?
Before we dig into the different types of HVAC filters, it’s important to understand a little bit about what they actually do. In short, these filters play two vital roles:
- They help to protect your HVAC system itself from dirt, dust and other airborne particles that could cause wear and tear.
- They improve the quality of the air in your home by trapping these same airborne contaminants before they can circulate through your ductwork.
These two benefits are actually pretty closely related. By protecting your HVAC system, your filter helps it to run more smoothly and efficiently — and that can in turn help to improve the quality of the air in your home, since your system won’t be working as hard (and using as much energy) to move air through dirty ductwork.
Now that you know a little more about the role that your filter plays, let’s take a look at some of the different types of filters available in our upcoming sections.
Fiberglass Disposable Filters
Likely the most common option out there today, and the type of filter that you probably had in your home growing up, fiberglass disposable filters are just what they sound like. These are filters made out of a fine mesh of fiberglass fibers, and they’re designed to be used for a set period of time before being thrown away and replaced with a new one.
Fiberglass disposable filters are pretty good at doing their job, and they’re also relatively inexpensive — which makes them a popular choice for many homeowners. However, they’re not ideal in every situation. One downside to these filters is that they can be pretty easy for dust and other airborne particles to bypass, since the fibers are spaced rather far apart. This means that they might not do as good of a job protecting your HVAC system itself as some other types of filters.
If you are utilizing fiberglass disposable filters in your home, it’s vital to keep a regular eye on them and replace them as needed — typically every 30 to 60 days, depending on the specific product. Neglecting to do so could lead to big problems down the road for your HVAC system.
Pleated Disposable Filters
If you’re looking for something with a little more filtering power than a standard fiberglass disposable filter, you might want to consider a pleated disposable filter instead. As the name implies, these filters feature a series of pleats — or folds — that give them more surface area to trap airborne particles. This makes them much more effective at doing their job than fiberglass filters, and they only need to be replaced about once every 90 days in most cases.
Pleated disposable filters are a great middle-of-the-road option for many homeowners. They’re more effective than fiberglass disposable filters, but they’re not as expensive or cumbersome as some other types of filters (which we’ll get to in the next section).
Like with fiberglass disposable filters, however, it’s important to keep an eye on pleated disposable filters and replace them as needed to ensure optimal performance from your HVAC system.
In many cases, the best option is actually a reusable filter — especially if you or anyone in your household suffers from allergies or other respiratory issues. These filters are designed to be washed and reused multiple times, which means they can last for years with proper care.
Reusable filters come in a variety of different materials, but one of the most popular options is a pleated reusable filter made out of polyester. These filters do an excellent job of trapping airborne contaminants, and they can be washed in your home’s washing machine (just be sure to use hot water and mild detergent) about once every month or so to keep them clean.
Another popular option is an electrostatic filter, which creates static electricity that attracts dust, pollen, and other airborne particles. These filters also need to be washed regularly, but they don’t need to be replaced as often as some other types of reusable filters — typically only once every two or three years.
While reusable filters are more expensive than disposable filters up front, they quickly pay for themselves over time — plus, you can feel them working in many cases.
UV Light Filters
In other cases, however, you may consider using a separate UV light system in conjunction with your HVAC system to help purify the air in your home and protect your HVAC system itself. These systems emit UV light, which is safe for humans and animals but deadly for many types of bacteria, mold spores, and viruses.
UV light filters are most commonly used in homes with someone who suffers from a weakened immune system, as they can help to purify the air and reduce the risk of infection. However, they can also be used in any home as an extra layer of protection against airborne contaminants.
For more on choosing the best type of HVAC filter for your home in Tempe, or to learn about any of our other HVAC services, speak to the pros at Accurate Air today.