Are Cheaper Air Filters Really Better?

When it comes to furnace filters, many HVAC professionals have a general rule of thumb: the cheaper the better. While this may be true in some cases, it's not always the best option for your home. It all depends on your unit, your home and the filter itself. The primary purpose of an air filter is to block large particles and debris from entering the furnace, which could cause damage to the oven.

Cheaper fiberglass filters are just as capable of blocking these larger particles from entering the furnace as pleated filters. However, in the modern era of air filtration, pleated filters outperform their fiberglass counterparts in almost every category. They are much more efficient, safer for the air and HVAC unit, and are not significantly more expensive. The choice is clear: pleated air filters are what you should be looking for in your home.

Cheap woven fiberglass filters do one thing - remove dirt and debris that could damage your oven blower motor - while removing some of the pollen and mold spores. You'll notice that it's much harder to breathe when you hold the oven's pleated filter against your mouth. In the past, pleated air filters were the cause of many HVAC breakdowns, because the system engine would have to work harder than it could handle to draw the air it needed through the hermetically wound filter. There are several factors to consider when choosing the best air filter for your oven (or central air conditioning unit). It's always best to use the recommended filter for your unit, as the right filter can mean a significant difference in the number of years your unit will last.

The filters themselves may be cheaper, but the cost of using them isn't much cheaper, and an HVAC breakdown caused by a fiberglass filter that moves your thumbs while huge particles pass through them is definitely not cheaper. It turns out that both ovens and air conditioning units use the same filters and perform the same functions. This is a situation where pleated air filters succeed and fiberglass air filters fail with a capital F. You may wonder why oven filter prices have such a wide range and if you will get your money's worth with an expensive one. MPR stands for Microparticle Performance Rating and is a system for determining how small particles can be filtered with a particular air filter. A clogged filter can cause both the oven and the air conditioner to work harder and less efficiently.

If you can find a reusable filter that captures the types of contaminants you need to filter for your family, then you could pay more money upfront, but ultimately save money. In situations where modern pleated air filters cause damage to modern HVAC systems, it is usually because the filter is not changed. An ASHRAE study found that filters with a MERV rating of 4 or less met this standard, while a filter with a MERV rating of 8 doubled the pressure drop and a MERV rating of 11 tripled it. Don't let buying your next air filter become a stressful situation. Just remember that cheaper may be better, but it may not be better for you.

If you have questions about your air filter or other HVAC related questions, please contact us at E Dennis Air Conditioning & Heating. We have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and service the entire Northwest Atlanta metropolitan area. Contact one of our specialists today.

Willis Diruzzo
Willis Diruzzo

Typical sushi enthusiast. Infuriatingly humble music geek. Typical internetaholic. Subtly charming social media maven. Lifelong bacon buff.