Air Filter Options Compared By Cost

White air conditioning unit against indoor wall

When it comes to maintaining the air quality in your home, one of the most important factors to consider is your air conditioning system, or to be more precise, the filters that you install in it. Air filters are a crucial component of any domestic air conditioning system, as they help to remove impurities from the air and keep it clean and fresh in all types of weather conditions. However, there is a wide variety of filters for sale today, at all price levels, so it can be tricky to know which type to buy and whether it is worth paying more for expensive filters.

As HVAC cleaning specialists, we know very well how different types of air filter can affect the performance of central air conditioning systems and we’d like to share our experience with you, to help you make the right choice when you next replace your HVAC filters. Below, you will find our thoughts on cheap vs. expensive filters, along with some advice that will help you to keep your system running at maximum efficiency.

Cheap Air Filters

In our experience of air duct cleaning in residential properties, we have found that many of the cheapest available air filters are often made of little more than paper and cardboard, or similar materials, and they typically have a lower MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating than their more expensive counterparts. This means they are less effective at trapping small particles like pollen, pet dander, and dust mites. However, they are still very effective at capturing larger particles like hair and dirt.

Cheap Filter Pros:

  • Cheap - Cheap air filters are, of course, very affordable, which makes them a good option for people who are on a tight budget.
  • Widely Available – Cheap filters are available from a wide variety of hardware stores and they can also be purchased online very easily.
  • Easily Disposable – Because they are made of recyclable materials such as cardboard and paper, cheap air filters can be disposed of very easily.

Cheap Filter Cons:

  • Less Effective - They are less effective at removing smaller particles from the air, which can negatively affect the overall air quality in your home and exacerbate allergies and asthma symptoms.
  • Need to Be Replaced More Often - Cheap air filters need to be replaced more frequently than higher-quality filters, which can be inconvenient and may even mean that they end up costing more than expensive filters in the long term.

If you are only concerned with removing larger, visible particles from the air that circulates around your home, cheap filters may be an option you wish to consider. However, if you are keen to achieve the highest air quality possible, we recommend you read the next section, in which we outline the pros and cons of more expensive air filters for domestic air conditioning systems.

Expensive Air Filters

Having provided professional air vent cleaning services to numerous homeowners in Arvada over the years, we have handled many different types of air filters. In almost all instances, we have found that more expensive air filters are made of denser materials than their cheaper counterparts, like pleated fabric or activated carbon, and consequently have a higher MERV rating. This means they are far more effective at capturing smaller particles and improving indoor air quality. However, because they also come with a higher price tag, you probably want a little more information before deciding whether they are truly worth the extra cost.

Expensive Air Filter Pros:

  • More Effective - Expensive air filters are much more effective at removing pollutants from the air, especially smaller particles, which can improve the overall air quality in your home and reduce both allergy and asthma symptoms.
  • Longer Lasting – Expensive filters typically last longer than cheaper air filters, which means they need to be replaced less frequently.
  • Added Protection for Your System - High-quality air filters can help to extend your air conditioner's lifespan, as they can prevent dirt and debris from accumulating in the ductwork and making its way to the compressor and other vulnerable components.

Expensive Air Filter Cons:

  • Greater Initial Cost - Expensive air filters can be quite costly, which means they may not be the most practical option if money is in short supply.
  • Potentially Harder to Find – Expensive filters may not be as readily available in your local hardware stores, which can be inconvenient if you need to replace them in a hurry.
  • May Increase Energy Usage - Some types of expensive air filters may restrict the airflow in your system, causing it to have to work harder to circulate the same amount of air.

In conclusion, whether you should choose to buy cheap or expensive air filters may depend on a number of factors, including your budget and your biggest priorities.

Another Way You Can Improve the Efficiency of Your Air Conditioning System

In addition to investing in higher-quality filters, you may like to consider hiring a local air duct cleaning and furnace cleaning team to ensure your system remains free of dirt and debris. If you would like to explore this option further and you’re in the same part of the country as us, please don’t hesitate to call and ask for a vent cleaner, or a team of furnace cleaners, in Arvada to visit your home.

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Your air ducts are the lungs of your home and keeping them clean keeps you and your family healthier and your HVAC equipment working optimally.