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The 4 Types of HVAC Air Filters


Air filters are an important part of every HVAC system, helping it to maintain quality performance and energy efficiency. In addition, these air filters also remove contaminants that can affect your health and comfort. When it comes to HVAC maintenance, the filters must be replaced every three months. However, what some homeowners don’t realize is that there are actually additional types of air filters beyond the one they see in their HVAC system.

In this post, trusted HVAC contractor John Stevenson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. lists the four different types of HVAC air filters.

Pleated Media Filter – A pleated media filter is a disposable variety of air filter that has a standard MERV rating between 5 and 13, with its high-efficiency versions rating between 14 and 16. The pleats of this filter are designed to help increase its surface area, which raises its filtration efficiency. While they provide less airflow resistance and can suppress fan noise, pleated media filters do fall short in their air filtration efficiency compared to HEPA filters.

Flat-Paneled Fiberglass Filters – This type of air filter has the lowest MERV rating, and is composed of layered fiberglass and a metal reinforcing grate to prevent them from collapsing. Unfortunately, compared to other air filters, HVAC repair experts say that they offer little in terms of improving indoor air quality.

Reusable Air FiltersThe main reason that homeowners are attracted to this kind of air filter is that it can be reused after a simple washing. However, they do come with a few drawbacks. For one thing, they’re a costly alternative to disposable air filters, and they have a low MERV rating of 1 to 4. In addition, there’s also a high chance of mold or mildew growing on the filter if it’s installed while it’s still damp.

HEPA Filter – HEPA filters have the highest MERV rating among the filter types available. They also provide the highest level of protection against airborne particles, being capable of trapping particles as small as 0.3 microns. Unfortunately, you’ll first have to modify your HVAC system if you want to install this type of filter, as most residential systems cannot support a HEPA filter due to its size and airflow restrictions.

Don’t hesitate to turn to John Stevenson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. for your HVAC needs. When it comes to HVAC and air quality, we’re your leading service provider. Give us a call at (760) 276-6690 or fill out our contact form to request our services.