Air filters designed for use in your home's HVAC system can be made out of a wide range of different materials, each of which possesses a distinct set of advantages and disadvantages. Understanding what the differences between each type of available HVAC air filter are can help you make an informed decision about which type of filter is best for your home.
Fiberglass Air Filters
Fiberglass air filters are the bare minimum of HVAC system air filters, blocking out large pieces of debris, like dust, but they will have difficulty dealing with smaller particles, such as mold spores and pollen. This means that fiberglass air filters are less than ideal for homeowners with allergies or respiratory conditions, as they will do little to improve your home's air quality. However, they are still fairly common, as they are extremely affordable and can fit into any HVAC budget.
Pleated Fabric Air Filters
Pleated fabric air filters are made out of fabric that is arranged into an accordion-like structure. Air passes through the filter relatively easily, but airborne contaminants become stuck in the fabric. They will filter your home's air supply better than fiberglass air filters will, and are generally the most common type of air filter on the market, providing a moderate option between price and air quality. It should be noted that pleated air filters will need to be replaced relatively often, depending on HVAC system usage, which can drive up long run maintenance and costs.
Media Box Air Filters
Media box air filters are quite similar to pleated fabric air filters, being made out of the same material in the same accordion-like style. The main difference is that media box air filters have additional layers of pleated fabric, creating a thicker filter that provides greater filtration over a longer period of time before it has to be replaced.
Electrostatic Air Filters
Electrostatic air filters are made out of a synthetic material, usually some sort of polyester blend, that is then given an electric charge. This charge attracts dust and other small pieces of debris, holding them in place with a static charge. The fact that they make use of a static charge and not a fabric with microscopic holes in it allows for even better air purification. Some high-quality electrostatic air filters are even able to take cigarette smoke out of the air supply of your home. This high degree of air filtration comes at a high unit cost, however, which can add up over time as you replace old filters.
For more information, consider contacting companies like Classic Air and Heating for assistance.