Air filters for your HVAC unit remove dust, pollen and debris from the air before blowing it into your home. Most need to be cleaned or replaced monthly not only to keep the air clean, but also to keep your system working efficiently. To find replacements that will fit your unit exactly, you may want to contact an authorized dealer, as generic filters can lead to poorer efficiency. However, if you’re getting filters at your local store, here is what you will find:
Flat-paneled fiberglass air filters:
Fiberglass air filters consist of a disposable filter made of layered fiberglass. These inexpensive air filters primarily provide protection for heating and cooling components and are not great for cleaning the air.
Pleated media filters:
Pleated media filters collect more particles. They are similar to fiberglass filters but the pleats increase the surface area and make the filters more efficient at capturing particles.
These filters offer the best air quality control because HEPA products filter air at a very fine level. However, most residential HVAC systems are too large or restrict airflow and can’t accommodate HEPA filters. You may consider switching to HEPA filters, as it will significantly improve your indoor air quality. This will likely require calling a heating and cooling professional to retrofit your furnace.
Lastly, washable air filters are another option but are more costly up front and can be a hassle to maintain, especially because it’s critical to let them dry thoroughly and so that they don’t get moldy.
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