Over time, this filter gets blocked and dirty and the filter needs to be cleaned or replaced. Usually, AC manufacturers provide cleanable filters but you can also install stronger or thicker filters that will purify the air completely.
Each AC model will have its own filter requirements and we’ve created a short guide that will help you pick the right model.
Area — AC filters are specifically made for different areas. For example, humid areas have denser filters that will absorb water and dirt and clean out air. For dry areas, the filter is made from thinner fibers with smaller pores to filter the sand, dirt and particles present in the air.
Type of filter — At present there are several different types of filters used in ACs.
1. The best quality filters are called as electrostatic filters as they are affordable and reusable. They can be washed and replaced back. The individual cost of the filters is also low at about $10 to about $100 and they are available at any hardware store.
2. Pleated filters are great as they have an increased surface area to filter dirt and grit from air. These filters are usually about 1 inch in thickness but they are very affordable and they last for a very long time.
3. Electronic filters are the next best option as they can be very good at filtering air. However, they are a little expensive at about $1000. Ready-made models are available but technicians can also make custom-models. These models do require extensive maintenance and they use more power increasing the overall energy bill.
MERV value — Filters are also selected according to the MERV or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This value refers to the power of the filter to catch and remove particulate material.
Residential filters can usually be rated anywhere from one to 12 where 12 is the highest amount of filtration.
Some manufacturers also have individual notations that measure filtration. For example, manufacturers note down filtration power with MPR (Micro particle Performance Rating) in which the higher number indicates better filtration power.
Disposable or reusable — Disposable filters are the most popular as they can be removed and discarded. New filters are cheap and they can be replaced quickly. There are several options in this category and you can choose from panel filters, pleated panel filters, high efficiency pleated filters, HEPA AC filters and paper filters.
As you can see, there are several different types of air conditioning filters online and you can choose the right one for your AC depending on model, and brand.