Are Electrostatic Air Filters Better?

Believe it or not, there are a few choices to choose from when it comes to air filters for your air conditioning unit. Air filters are so important because when your system powers up, it draws in air from inside your home, pulling it towards the unit. Without a filter, dirt, dust and other harmful allergens can disrupt the flow of clean air and continue to circulate these particles in the air inside, creating poor air quality. Electrostatic air filters are washable filters that use static electricity to catch smaller particles like dust, pollen or carpet fibers. Many prefer these to disposable filters for their sustainability and reduced cost. Which is the better choice for you and your home?

Electrostatic air filters (also known as washable filters or reusable filters) are able to be detached, cleaned and reused. This means you’ll only need to maintain your filter for cleanliness and efficiency without having to constantly replace and purchase a traditional filter. They use electricity to attract and capture dust, pollen and other airborne particles to keep them from entering the home. They usually last an extended amount of time, if not indefinitely. To promote the installation in a commercial HVAC system, electrostatic air filters are available in a range of dimensions and are constructed from recycled materials such as aluminum frames. Electrostatically washable air filters catch small particles and are both cost-friendly and reusable.

Washable air filters use prefilters and highly effective filters to trap larger particles, allowing for more efficient operation of the post-filter. This could be valid when comparing largest particle sizes (MERVs) evaluated for efficiency. Many of the best available electrostatic air filter solutions are built for particle sizes which are unique to MERV.

Since electrostatic air filters are not as effective at catching larger particles, as larger particles require a stronger static electricity force to pull them in and make them stick, this can potentially raise the risks for those suffering from allergies or asthma. They can also be considered high maintenance as they will need to be cleaned as often as they are filled because a clogged filter can allow dirt and allergens into the HVAC system and shorten the lifespan.

You may have read that washable air filters aren’t always as effective as traditional disposable filters. You can pay a premium for an electrostatic air filter and be shocked to learn that other air filters can remove from the air approximately the same amount of allergens and pollutants without sacrificing the system’s performance.

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