There are seven main types of filters used in your HVAC systems. The type you choose depends on location and if you have any pets, mold or allergies to deal with. All filters help clean your air and make it healthier for you and your family to breathe. At A/C Doctors we can send our expert technicians to help you choose which filters are right for you.

What HVAC Filters Do

Filters are made from several different kinds of material, such as fiberglass, plastic fibers, cotton and polyester. They are given a MERV value, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the MERV, the better the filter works in keeping things like allergens, debris, and pollutants out of your home. Filters with the highest MERV ratings tend to make your HVAC system work harder though, so sometimes it’s best to get a filter in the middle ranges. MERV ratings range from 1-20. A MERV rating between 8-13 is most common and recommended for home use. This helps filter your air but keeps energy bills down since it doesn’t make your HVAC system work quite as hard as higher MERV values.

Your air conditioner uses filters to keep dust and dirt from entering the unit and clogging it. They also help keep your air cleaner. When the filters get too dirty, your AC will no longer function properly. It’s good to clean or change filters in your AC system at least every three months.

Furnaces and heat pumps also use filters to avoid getting dirt, hair and other debris into the system. These should be cleaned and changed regularly as well to avoid any problems with your heating units. Furnace filters should be changed every one to three months, and heat pump filters should be changed every month if used daily.

Filters also help improve the air quality inside your home by trapping things like pollen, pet hair, dust, and even bacteria and viruses in certain filters.

Most Common HVAC Filters

Here are the most common types of air filters that are used in your home’s HVAC system. All of these should be installed by one of our professional technicians, so you can be assured they will work properly.

HEPA Filters

HEPA (High-efficiency particulate air) filters are one of the best at removing pollutants and allergens from your air. They can trap mold spores and dust as small as 0.3 microns and help remove some bacteria, viruses and other allergens as well. This makes them the best for people who suffer from allergies or asthma. They are not effective for removing odors or gases. They can last for up to 10 years. They have one of the highest MERV ratings of all filters, between 16-20. They are made from either plastic fibers or fiberglass woven tightly together. It’ss sometimes difficult for HVAC systems to pull in air through them since they are so thick, so if you don’t need them, then other filters may be a better choice.

UV Light Filters

UV lights can be built into your HVAC system and use ultraviolet light to kill viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms. They cannot, however, remove allergens, dust or other debris, or odors or gas. They are best used in conjunction with other filters, such as HEPA. The bulbs need to be changed every year on average.

Pleated Filters

Pleated filters are made from either polyester or cotton and have a MERV of 5-13. They are good at trapping dust, pet dander, mold and pollen. The pleats increase the surface area, allowing them to capture more pollutants and allergens. These filters can be reused and disposed of, unlike some other filters, and often last longer. They do, however, make your HVAC system work a little harder and cost more.

Spun Glass Filters

Spun glass filters are made from fiberglass and are one of the cheapest options. They are commonly used in ACs and furnaces to filter out dust and other larger debris. They are not good for removing smaller allergens or pollutants though, so they are not sufficient for people who suffer from allergies. Their MERV rating is generally 4.

Electrostatic Filters

Electrostatic filters are made from cotton and paper fibers that use static electricity to trap dust and other particles. They are reusable, washable and disposable. The MERV rating is between 8-10. These can improve your air quality to a certain extent but are not as good for people with allergies or respiratory problems. Sometimes, they can produce ozone, which can cause some people to cough. Since they are washable, they can last for many years, saving you money. They should be cleaned once a month to remain effective.

Washable Filters

Washable filters are one of the most environmentally friendly options. They can be washed many times and remain effective. You must allow them to dry completely before putting them back in to prevent mold or mildew from forming. They are mainly made from plastic fibers. They have a higher upfront cost but pay for themselves over time since they can be reused for up to 10 years. They have a lower MERV rating between 1-4 and only catch particles 10 microns or larger. They are still good at trapping things like pollen and dust but are not the best choice for people who have allergies or respiratory issues.

Media Filters

Media filters are made from deeply pleated paper-like material and sometimes use carbon to help filter your air. They are good at trapping bacteria, pollen, dust, pet dander and other allergens. They use a bigger surface area and work inside your HVAC system’s return air duct to help keep your air cleaner. They need to be changed once or twice a year. They generally have a MERV rating between 10-14. Because they are bigger, they don’t cause your HVAC system to work as hard as some other higher MERV filters and are a good cost-effective option. When media filters are coated with activated carbon, they can also remove odors and smoke. These are often used in conjunction with a HEPA filter to give you the best air quality possible.

HVAC Filters in Gilbert, AZ

At A/C Doctors we pride ourselves on offering you the best HVAC services in Gilbert. We have over 20 years of experience in providing top-quality HVAC and plumbing services. We have 24/7 emergency services and can make sure your heating and cooling units are maintained. If you need new air filters installed or a new AC or heating unit, we have got you covered.

Besides taking care of your heating and cooling, we also have expert plumbers who can come install, maintain and repair your plumbing. We also offer air quality, ductwork, insulation and smart thermostat services. We can help provide you with everything you need to keep your home safe and healthy!

Contact A/C Doctors today to find out more information about air filters and our HVAC and plumbing services!

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