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Fiberglass vs pleated home air filters

Views:0     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-09-06      Origin:Site

Fiberglass panel air filters:

Let’s begin with fiberglass (98% H11 HEPA Filter Media) / polyester filters. Fiberglass / polyester filters are often referred to as “throwaway” or “disposable” filters because they typically last no longer than 30 days. These panel filters use either a spun glass media or a non-woven polyester media, with a cardboard frame and can be found in most hardware stores. The main argument with users of the fiberglass / polyester filters is that it will save you money, but keep in mind that you’ll have to replace these filters monthly (if not more frequently depending on how highly trafficked your environment is).

Glass fiber nonwoven fabric stock - Jiatecairfilter

Another reason many people opt for these filters is because they provide the least amount of airflow resistance for an HVAC system. However, with this ease of airflow comes lower quality air filtration. Fiberglass / polyester filters have a very low MERV rating between 2-3 efficiency. 

A MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) is the standard rating system for measuring an air filter’s overall effectiveness at trapping air pollutants. The higher the MERV rating, the finer the particles the filter can trap and block from recirculating back into the air. A MERV rating between 6-13 is recommended for residential use and 5-16 MERV for commercial environments. Fiberglass air filters have media that is loosely woven with a low MERV rating, which means many air pollutants pass through the filter sending the allergens and particulates back into the circulating air.

Pleated air filters:

While not the cheapest option, pleated air filters provide superior air filtration to fiberglass / polyester. Manufactured using a premium pleated synthetic fiber media, these filters allow for an increased surface area to capture more airborne pollutants. Additionally, these filters are reinforced with an expanded metal backing and heavy-duty frame. Pleated AC/furnace filters are available in an 8-13 MERV rating and can last up to 90 days without requiring a filter changeout. 

Although some older HVAC systems may be strained and experience less airflow with pleated filters, most HVAC systems today have had advancements so that the performance is unaffected with pleated filters. The synthetic media used in these filters effectively traps and blocks smaller sized air particles better than fiberglass filters, keeping your environment’s air free of air pollutants and allergens longer.

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