When it comes to air filters, fiberglass is the most basic option. However, in most cases, pleated air filters are much better. They can filter out even the smallest particles, which is essential for people with allergies or respiratory sensitivities. Plus, they are less likely to clog up quickly and can last up to 90 days.
Fiberglass air filters contain materials that cannot be recycled, while pleated air filters are usually made of cloth and cardboard and can be easily recycled. For a variety of reasons, pleated filters are often a better choice than fiberglass filters, even if they cost more upfront. Pleated filters are made with synthetic fibers that are held in place by a wire mesh. Pleated filters are more durable than fiberglass filters and can last up to 90 days.
This means you only need to change them every three months instead of every month like with fiberglass filters. Pleated filters can trap several particles that would pass through common fiberglass air filters. If you have pets in your home or someone is sensitive to pollen and dust, pleated filters are the best option for you.
Remember to change your pleated filter every three months or sooner if you smoke, have pets, or live in an unusually dirty environment.In some cases, modern pleated air filters can cause damage to modern HVAC systems, but this is usually because the filter is not changed regularly.
Similarly, operating the heating and cooling system without an air filter can damage the internal coils. Fiberglass air filters are often referred to as “traprocas” because of their poor ability to filter out particles. The black cloth of the filter medium on a fiberglass creates a secondary filter that has decent filtration but a poor surface and, as dust begins to accumulate, the air flow decreases significantly. Fiberglass filters may be cheaper upfront but they end up costing more in the long run due to their short lifespan and potential damage to HVAC systems.
The primary purpose of an air cleaner is to remove air contaminants from inside your home as they enter the HVAC system. Creating a filter like this has been a difficult task because, generally speaking, the more efficient a filter is at actually filtering, the worse its air flow will be. To ensure your filter continues to do its job properly, it's important to follow a replacement program every three months for pleated air filters (and about twice as often for fiberglass filters). Since changing air filters is something you should do frequently, it's important to consider the ease of use of different types of air filters.
Make sure your return air filter is installed correctly for optimal performance and check it regularly for signs of wear and tear.