Disposable vs. Washable AC Filter, Which is Better?

Air filters are important for your HVAC unit to work efficiently. They collect and trap particles of dust, dirt, dander and other debris that circulate throughout your home.

With all the different types of air filters on the market, it can be confusing to know which filters are the best choice for your home. You might even be thinking to yourself, “All air filters do the same thing.”

While that may be partly true, not all air filters are created equal.

One thing is for certain –If you want to maintain clean and healthy indoor air, you need to keep a strict schedule for either replacing or cleaning your filters.

Disposable vs. Washable AC Air Filters

Two Types of Air Filters

There are two types of AC air filters: disposable and washable/reusable.

So which is better, disposable air filters or washable air filters? Let’s take a deeper look at these two types of AC air filters.

What are MERV Ratings?

Before we get into the different types of air filters, it’s important to understand the MERV rating system, which is a system that measures how efficient the air filter is at removing particles from the air passing through it.

A filter with a very high MERV rating could stop air from getting inside, increasing energy costs. The best AC air filter has a MERV rating between 11 and 16.

Disposable Air Filters

If you’re a busy person who takes pride in efficiency, disposable air filters are probably the better choice for your home. It requires less effort to deal with disposable air filters.

When it’s time to change the dirty air filters, you simply toss them in the trash and replace them with fresh new ones. Done!

Overall, it takes less time and energy to deal with when it comes to AC maintenance.

4 Types of Disposable Air Filters

1. Fiberglass Filters

Disposable fiberglass filters are easy to find and commonly used in homes, apartments and residential buildings. Two of the biggest pros to fiberglass filters is that they are affordable and easy to install.

However, fiberglass filters are less effective than other types of filters and don’t do the best job of keeping your indoor air clean. The MERV rating for flat fiberglass filters varies between 1 and 4.

2. Pleated Air Filters

Pleated air filters can remove up to 45% of the air pollutants in your home. If you or someone in your home has allergies, pleated filters might be the way to go. Pleated filters have an average MERV rating of 12 and are very efficient at catching debris from the air. Many homeowners value this efficiency and prefer pleated air filters.

3. Electrostatic Air Filters

If you’re looking for filters you don’t have to change so frequently, electronic filters might appeal to you. While electronic filters are a more costly option, they are one of the most effective type of filters. Electronic air filters need to replaced every three to six months.

4. HEPA Filters

HEPA filters are very good at trapping even the smallest particles and keep your indoor air quality super clean. Unfortunately, due to their high efficiency, HEPA filters can restrict airflow. If you have a HEPA air filter, the air in your house might feel stuffy and you may notice an increase in your energy costs.

Benefits of Washable or Reusable Air Filters

Maybe you’re interested in a more economical air filter option – An air filter you don’t have to replace every month. Washable air filters are suitable, but are not the most efficient option. They do not filter pet hair, dander, soot or allergens. Washable filters actually work better when they’re dirty and only have an average MERV rating between 1 and 4.

Contact Colman Heating & Air for AC Service in Brevard County

At Colman, we understand that sometimes, AC issues happen during the most inconvenient times. This is why we have a 24/7 AC emergency line. Call us at (321) 269-4565 if you need assistance ASAP or to schedule routine HVAC maintenance. Contact us.

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