What is the Best Type of AC Filter to Replace Your Current Filter?

When it comes to air conditioning filters, there are a few different types to choose from. The most popular type is the HEPA filter, which is recommended by the U. S. Department of Health because they are capable of eliminating at least 99.97% of allergens and pollutants from the air, including mold spores and dust as small as 0.3 microns.

Despite their popularity, these filters don't contribute much to indoor air quality as they can only filter about 20% of particles between 3.0 and 10.0 microns in size, such as dust, carpet fibers, and pollen. UV light filters are another option for air conditioning systems. These filters remove bacteria and viruses from the air, but they do little to combat contaminants such as dust. As a result, these filters are often part of a more advanced filtration mechanism, such as HEPA filters. This is a perfect balance between a filter that cleans effectively and that doesn't hinder air flow.

Look for a filter that removes as much as possible without causing an air restriction. Fiberglass air filters are disposable and are the most economical type of filter. They cause less stress on air conditioning systems when they suck in air and keep large particles out of the system. However, they don't do a good job of preventing dust and other smaller contaminating particles from entering. If you or someone in your family has allergies or has breathing problems, this type of filter may not be powerful enough to help alleviate or prevent respiratory issues. Many of the newer models of air conditioning systems can easily work with the MERV 11 or higher, such as the Aerostar 20x25x1 MERV 13 pleated air filter.

This filter traps just about everything you would breathe at home. For those who need even more protection from allergens and pollutants, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are recommended. Also known as flat panel filters, these filters consist of glass filaments spun and reinforced by a metal grid. They filter dust, pollen, pet dander, and other small particles from the air you and your family breathe. The color-changing technology of this MERV 8 filter means you don't have to guess when to change it for the best air filtration. The yellow color indicates that the filter is at 25% capacity and will need to be changed soon, but it will continue to work and will turn gray as it nears the end of its useful life. Remember, once again, the more filter has to pass through the air, the harder it will be for the unit to work properly.

According to the EPA, an effective, well-adjusted air conditioner filter can also help filter indoor air when outdoor air quality is poor. If it's such a small element in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, the right air filter keeps you busy the most. Although they are more expensive than fiberglass or pleated air filters, they are the most effective at removing up to 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, pet dander, viruses, bacteria, and other irritants from the air.

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