What is the Best Filter for Your Air Conditioner? Ask the Experts: Air Conditioning in Bellevue, Seattle, Everett, Lynnwood, Washington

Choosing AC FiltersWith summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to check the filter on your air conditioning system. There are several options to choose from, and you may decide that a different type is better suited to your needs. The HVAC experts at Complete Mechanical are the Air Conditioning experts in Bellevue, Seattle, Everett, Lynnwood, Washington. It is crucial that you have your system inspected every season to assure the most efficient, effective cooling of your home. Keep in mind that the filters on the air conditioning unit are primarily to protect the machinery – not to be confused with an in-stream air filtration or air cleaners. Although the better filters will aid in removal of dust in your home’s air as well, the best solution is a device designed specifically for particulate removal; either whole house or portable air cleaners. The Environmental Protection Agency:

estimates that pollution inside your home or office is typically five times worse than outside air.

Ring or Link Panel Air Filters

Comprised of 2-4 layers of laminated synthetic filter media, with cardboard (or other corrosion resistant material) frame. This filter should fit tightly in the air handler unit to prevent dirty air bypassing the filter. Generally changed after 90-100 days use, the filter should be visually inspected every 30 days.

Pleated Filters

The pleating of this high-loft synthetic/cotton air filter provides a greater surface area which allows for greater particulate removal. Also capable of higher air flows, pleated filters also have non-corrosive frames and should be used no longer than 90 days; with a monthly visual inspection.

Electrostatic Air Filters

Although more costly, the electrostatic filters are re-usable. There are different grades of electrostatic filters:

  • Polyester
  • Foam
  • Polypropylene

The longest lived by far is the filter constructed from polypropylene. Foam and polyester tend to deteriorate and clog over time. The electrostatic filter carries an electronic charge that attracts airborne particulates, including but not limited to:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Pet Dander
  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Bacteria

Electrostatic filter must be washed with mild detergent and water every 90-100 days. With a warranty ranging from 5 – 10 years (foam & polyester filters) to lifetime warranties on polypropylene filters, you may determine that the additional cost is well worth the investment.

Before making the leap to an electrostatic filter, be certain that your air handling unit can handle the obstruction. Some units are incapable of pushing enough air through the high efficiency filters. During you yearly inspection, ask your technician from Complete Mechanical which filter is best for your system.

Always remember that HVAC systems cannot operate with clogged air filters! The blocked air flow decreases the efficiency of your unit substantially. Mark your calendar for a monthly filter check.