Keeping the dust and dirt out is critical to your AC system’s ability to work effectively.
Clean filters allow your air conditioner to run more efficiently, which can save you money on energy bills and help you avoid a costly repairs or replacement. Plus, a clean filter promotes a cleaner living environment by improving your home’s air quality.
You’ll want to replace your air conditioning filters or clean reusable filters at least four times a year and as often as every month during high usage times. Remember, with AC filters you get what you pay for, so make sure that you purchase one that will provide you the most benefits.
There are a number of common filter options available:
Disposable fiberglass filters are the least expensive—and also the least effective—designed to block only large dust particles. However, smaller particles such as pollen and mold can pass right through.
Washable "electrostatic" filters have a static charge that attracts dust, dirt and other matter. These filters are slightly more effective than disposable but still do not block the smaller particles.
Pleated "allergy" filters use a much denser mesh material to trap and eliminate large allergens like pollen and mold—most are 35 to 50% efficient.
Electronic air cleaners create an ionized electrical field that "magnetizes" pollutant particles, eliminating virtually all pollen and mold spores, up to 94% of smaller particles and up to 80% of airborne viruses.
HEPA furnace filters are the "gold standard." These filters are used in commercial applications like hospitals and electronics manufacturing where clean air is vital.