You may think you’re saving money buying a cheap air filter, but unfortunately, the cheaper filter may not be what is best for your home. Some homeowners may not realize which type of filter is best for their home, and you’re unable to take advantage of the benefits of a quality air filter. Besides removing dust and contaminants, it is essential to understand the differences between cheap and expensive air filters to ensure you're creating the best air quality in your home. Understanding the pros and cons of both options can help you make an informed decision when choosing the best air filter for your home.
Purpose of Air Filters and Their Benefits
Air filters remove unwanted dust and allergens in the air, including smoke particles, pollen, pet dander, and other air pollutants, to clean the air. They reduce the amount of pollutants you breathe in and reduce the risk of respiratory infections to improve air quality. Air filters help HVAC equipment (heating and cooling systems) run efficiently by reducing resistance and lowering energy bills. Air filters may help reduce moisture throughout your home as they clean the air.
Cheap Filters Need Changing More Frequently
Cheap filters are made with paper and cardboard, so they don’t last as long, and you need to replace them more often. A cheap filter may not trap as many pollutants as an expensive filter. Therefore, you may spend more money on cheaper filters throughout the year or require additional maintenance for your HVAC system due to increased exposure to moisture and pollutants.
Cheap Filters Are Not as Efficient in Removing Dust and Contaminants
Cheap filters need changing sooner to keep the level of pollutants low in the air. If you notice someone in your home has respiratory issues or more traffic in your home contributing to air pollution, you may also notice you need to change the filter more often. Cheaper air filters are made with cheaper materials, so they won’t do as good of a job keeping the level of pollutants low in your home. They are also more likely to get clogged sooner.
Expensive Filters Feature Higher-Quality Materials
Quality air filters are made with fiberglass material which is more porous and traps more pollutants. It is moisture-resistant and doesn’t tear as easily. The air filter lasts longer before it needs changing. It costs more money to produce, but using them means your HVAC system requires less maintenance.
Expensive Filters Can Filter More Surface Area
Quality air filters can clean more air because they can cover more surface. To understand this further, consider the MERV rating. The air in your home can stay cleaner longer, and you’ll breathe better quality air while reducing allergens. A cheaper filter may have fewer folds or pleats, but it can reduce the amount of pollutants the air filter can trap.
Which Option is Best for You?
The best option is likely a personal choice. If you’re okay with using cheaper filters, remember they may not trap as many pollutants, but they will do the job until it needs to be changed again. The best option is what you can afford based on your budget. If you have someone in your household with respiratory issues or you keep pets in the home, consider investing in a high-quality air filter to produce the best air quality for your family. If you want to remove the most contaminants as possible, consider an expensive air filter. You can also get a professional recommendation from your local HVAC system provider.