Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Air Filter Decisions: Should You Choose Disposable or Permanent?

air filtersAir filters come in a variety of types, but in general you’ll be choosing between disposable and permanent. The permanent filters are washable, and cost more than disposable.

There are other pros and cons for each type of filter. Here are some tips to guide you in your choice.

Washable Filters vs. Disposable Filters

Washable filters generally work by capturing airborne pollutants with an electrostatic charge. To work effectively, they must be cleaned periodically. That’s the main drawback, besides the added cost of the investment in this type of filtration. However, they are considered effective. You may need to consult with your HVAC technician as to the best recommended type of washable air filter for your HVAC system.

Advantages of washable filters are:

  1. You don’t have to keep buying air filters.
  2. You aren’t throwing away disposable filters in landfills.
  3. Good quality electrostatic air filters can last a long time if properly cared for.
  4. They do a good job of filtering the air when cleaned properly.
  5. They are easily obtained in standard filter sizes.
  6. They are a good investment when weighed against the cost of the disposable types.

A disadvantage of washable filters is that you have to clean them thoroughly, allowing them to dry completely, or they won’t work properly.

Advantages of disposable filters are:

  1. They cost less than washable filters.
  2. Good quality disposable air filters are generally just as effective as washable models. By good quality, we mean pleated and fairly dense, with a rating of 8 to 12 on the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) scale so that it effectively catches finer particles that cheaper filters miss.
  3. It’s not difficult to determine when to wash the filter; you just take it out occasionally to check on how dirty it is, and change it as needed.

Both washable and disposable air filters can restrict air flow if they are too dense. That’s why it’s important to get an expert opinion as to how dense a filter you should use for your equipment.

To learn more about air filtration, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company of Yuma.