How to Choose the Right Air Filter for Your HVAC Unit

So, you’re walking down the heating and cooling aisle of your local home improvement store and all you want to do is purchase a new air filter. Overwhelmed by the myriad of options? Most of our customers are in the same boat. From flat to pleated to reusable, how are you supposed to know which option is the best one for your HVAC system? We’ve packaged together some helpful tips to assist you in making an informed decision the next time you purchase an air filter. Here is a simple breakdown of the most common types of air filters and their features:

Basic Air Filters

No frills included, the basic filter is considered your first-level choice to keep your unit functioning. Providing the absolute minimum when it comes to air filtration, the basic air filter traps large particles that can wreak havoc on your system. With the basic filter, you get what you pay for – meaning the cost of the filter (or lack thereof) outweighs their performance when it comes to air quality. However, they do little to help with air quality and must be replaced monthly. Additional benefits include ease of replacement and accessibility in many home improvement and grocery stores. If low-level cooling isn’t your main priority, a basic filter will do the job.

Framed Filters With Replaceable Pads

There are several reasons that a framed filter is considered an upgrade from a basic filter. First, you are able to replace the pads that capture grime, dirt and other debris. Second, the framed filter is able to absorb smaller allergen particles from circulating through your home. The versatility in size can help protect your system components. On the flip side, you’ll need to replace these filters more frequently because they lack the ability to capture small particles compared to stronger filters. If you don’t have the time to change your filter at least every two months, this filter may not be the best option for you.

Pleated Air Filters

Known throughout the HVAC industry as the most efficient filters, a pleated air filter has more surface area than its counterparts. Many customers who don’t have time for regular maintenance choose pleated air filters because of their durability and replacement requirements. In addition, to their ability to trap fine particles, you will only need to replace a pleated air filter once a year. Thinking about upgrading to a pleated filter? Check with your Alps technician to determine if you need to refit your duckwork to accommodate for this filter’s wider design.

Not sure what air filter is right for your HVAC unit, we’re happy to help! Visit our website to schedule a consultation.