Which Electrostatic Air Filter is the Best? | HowtoHome

Which Electrostatic Air Filter is the Best?

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Air filtration remains one of the most important features of an HVAC system.

Without proper ventilation and filtration of air particles, pollen, dust, debris, and other harmful substances can linger in the home and pollute air quality.

There are several HVAC air filters you can choose from, including:

  • Electrostatic pleated air filters
  • Standard pleated air filters
  • Fiberglass air filters
  • Electrostatic washable air filters

Of these options, electrostatic pleated air filters are the most effective. Note that these can also come sprayed with activated carbon to eliminate odor.

Let’s take a look at why you should choose electrostatic air filters and how to find the best electrostatic air filters for your needs.

Why Electrostatic Air Filters?

Electrostatic air filters pull allergens out of the air through the use of static electricity. They do this by charging the particles in the air. These charged particles become magnetically attracted to the metal in the air filters, sticking to the air filter instead of staying in the air that you breathe.

Electrostatic pleated air filters combine the best elements of the paper made pleated air filter (effective microscopic filtration and replaceability) alongside the best elements of a washable electrostatic air filter (effective filtration through the use of static electricity).

Electrostatic washable air filters use static electricity only, while they are reusable and therefore cost-friendly, they do not trap the smaller particles.

Although you may pay a premium for electrostatic air filters, they’re well worth the extra cost when you learn that no other air filter removes the same quantity of allergens and pollutants from the air without compromising the efficiency of the system.

Type of Air FilterHow it worksProsCons
Electrostatic Pleated Air FiltersCharges particles in the air so that they become attracted to the metal in the air filter and polyester or cotton paper collects small particles from the air
  • Removes close to all allergens from your home
  • Higher MERV rating on average
  • Disposable
  • Uses 2 filtration methods at once
  • Cost of replacing over time can be expensive
Standard Pleated Air FiltersPolyester or cotton paper collects small particles from the air
  • Removes many allergens from your home
  • Does not trap the small particles
  • Cost of replacing over time can be expensive
Fiberglass Air FiltersSpun fiberglass collects large pieces of dust
  • Cost effective
  • Does not trap the small particles
Washable Electrostatic Air FiltersMade of metal, plastic and cloth. Charges particles in the air so that they become attracted to the metal in the air filter and the plastic and cloth collects the particles from the air
  • Eco Friendly
  • No recurring costs
  • Difficult to remove all debris
  • Does not trap the small particles
  • Maintenance
  • Easily get moldy

Choosing the right Electrostatic Pleated Air Filter

You can buy high quality, USA made electrostatic pleated air filters at Filterbuy.

Choosing the right air filter depends on a number of qualities:

Find your size:

Pay attention to actual vs. nominal air filter sizes, nearly all filters go by the nominal size, which is the actual size rounded up to the nearest inch measurement. Both sizes are usually written on the side of your air filter, if not, grab your tape measure!

The right MERV rating:

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and rates the effectiveness of air filters to trap air particles. Established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), it’s the only nationally regulated air filter rating system.

MERV ratings run on a scale of 1-20. The higher the number, the more effective the air filter is and the more types of particles it can remove from the air. However, if the MERV rating gets too high, it can block air flow, which can reduce your ventilation system’s overall performance. This is why we recommend sticking with a MERV rating of 13 or lower. Air filters within these MERV levels remove the majority of the dust from your home without compromising your system’s performance.

Check out the chart below to decide what MERV rating is right for your needs:

Traps

Merv 6

MPR 300
FPR N/A

Merv 8

MPR 600
FPR 5

Merv 11

MPR 1000 - 1200
FPR 7

Merv 13

MPR 500 - 1900
FPR 10

Odor Eliminator

MERV 8 MPR 600
FPR 5

Pollen

Dust Mites

Mold

Large Dust Particles like Pudding Mix

Auto Emission and Large Particles like Milled Flower

Sneezes

All Bacteria

Odors

Ideal For

Merv 6

MPR 300
FPR N/A

Merv 8

MPR 600
FPR 5

Merv 11

MPR 1000 - 1200
FPR 7

Merv 13

MPR 500 - 1900
FPR 10

Odor Eliminator

MERV 8 MPR 600
FPR 5

Basic Residential Use

Standard Residential and Commercial Use

Superior Residential and Commercial Use

Smoking Lounges

MERV 6

MPR 300 FPR N/A

Traps
Pollen
Dust Mites
Mold
Odors
Ideal For
Basic Residential Use

MERV 8

MPR 600 FPR 5

Traps
Pollen
Dust Mites
Mold
Large Dust Particles
Ideal For
Basic Residential Use
Standard Residential and Commercial Use

MERV 11

MPR 1000 - 1200 FPR 7

Traps
Pollen
Dust Mites
Mold
Large Dust Particles
Ideal For
Standard Residential and Commercial Use
Superior Residential and Commercial Use

MERV 13

MPR 1500 - 1900 FPR 10

Traps
Pollen
Dust Mites
Mold
Large Dust Particles
Auto Emissions and Large Particles like Milled Flower
Sneezes
All Bacteria
Ideal For
Basic Residential Use
Standard Residential and Commercial Use
Superior Residential and Commercial Use
Smoking Lounges

ODOR ELIMINATOR

MERV 8 MPR 600 FPR 5

Traps
Pollen
Dust Mites
Mold
Large Dust Particles
Odors
Ideal For
Basic Residential Use
Standard Residential and Commercial Use
Smoking Lounges

As you can see, the higher the MERV rating, the more types of particles the electrostatic air filter pulls out of the air. However, even in areas with a lot of pollutants, it’s not necessary to have a MERV rating higher than 13. In most homes, a MERV rating 8 is sufficient to reduce allergens at home without putting undue pressure on your filtration system. Also remember to change out your air filter every 3 months or so!

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