What is the Best Material for Air Filtration? A Comprehensive Guide

Learn about different types of air filter materials and how they can help keep your home's air clean and healthy.

What is the Best Material for Air Filtration? A Comprehensive Guide

Spun fiberglass is an economical and dependable resource for filtering air and trapping pollutants. It is great for capturing large contaminants, such as dust and pet dander, and often helps maintain superior airflow. Many HEPA filters are mainly composed of fiberglass. Each of the fiberglass, polyester, washable, pleated and electrostatic filters offers different air filtering capabilities.

Electrostatic filters provide the highest level of filtration for small particles. Experiments have been conducted to measure resistance in single samples. In real filters, a multilayer surface with a complex configuration is usually used. The experiments showed that the nylon-4,6 filter material had the best properties of all the types of fabrics described above.

In terms of the relationship between the length of intercept and the weight of the filter and the relationship between the resistance to interception and air flow, the new filter material surpasses any existing equivalent on several occasions. If your air conditioning system uses a thicker filter (usually between 4 and 5 inches and is usually mounted on the air controller), it is likely that it was specifically designed for medium-efficiency MERV filtration. Additionally, an exhaustive, frequently cited independent test on the effects of MERV filters 8 to 13 on air flow and HVAC energy consumption (an indicator of how hard the equipment works) concluded that, even “if steps are not taken to account for the greater pressure drop of filters with high MERV content, the air flow and energy penalties are not likely to be at least serious, not until the filter is full of dirt. However, one of the main advantages of a thicker air filter with larger folds is that they don't need to be replaced as often.

During a wildfire, you'll need to change filters more often than you would under normal air conditions, and there are some indicators that can help you know when it's time to replace one. In a conversation about the most common filter levels sold in retail stores, MERVs from 1 to 16, Owen said that this range “goes from filters that can catch a golf ball (I'm exaggerating a little) to filters that catch almost everything. We believe that the concerns of manufacturers are a bit exaggerated, in part because a recent innovation in air filters allows for high MERV ratings (11 to 1) with a low pressure drop. All of them (and Owen) told us that the MERV filters in this range restrict air flow more than filters with a low MERV content, as measured by the decrease in air pressure generated by the filters when they are installed.

There are many different types of air filter materials available; each one is designed to capture different types of recirculated particles. The Home Depot also offers a full range of air filter accessories, making it easy to keep your system running at peak performance. To make sure they fit you properly, take out your current air filter and check the size printed on the frame. You may need to change your filter more often if you have some very furry pets or if you live in an area with a lot of air pollution, such as from wildfires.

The air is charged with particles, passes through the filter only once, and results are measured. You should expect to replace your filter every three to 12 months of use, depending on its size.

Erika Rogan
Erika Rogan

Hipster-friendly zombieaholic. Typical tv junkie. Devoted bacon expert. Lifelong organizer. Wannabe beer evangelist. Proud web junkie.

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