An electrostatic filter is a unique type of furnace filter. This filter uses electrostatically charged particles to attract dirt and push it into a collection bin. Though they do not trap quite as much debris as other filters, plenty of people still use them because they are very convenient and affordable. If you are thinking about using these filters in your furnace, it can be helpful to learn a bit about their unique advantages.
Electrostatic Filters Trap Dust and Other Debris
This type of filter uses static electricity to remove debris from your air. Inside the filter, there are a few different layers. The air passes through ionizers, which attract dirt and other particles. Then, the electrostatically charged particles push the dirt toward a collector plate. All the debris is trapped on the collector plate while clean air enters your HVAC system to be cooled or heated.
Electrostatic filters have a MERV rating of around 5 or 6, depending on the brand. This means they can catch dust, pollen, pet fur, mold spores and other similar debris. An electrostatic filter will not trap very fine particles, like tobacco smoke or bacteria. Therefore, it might not be ideal for someone with asthma, allergies or other serious breathing problems. However, it still does a great job of trapping most of the larger particles that are responsible for clogging up your AC system.
Electrostatic Air Filters Are Reusable
One of the major perks of electrostatic filters is that they are reusable. Unlike every other filter on the market, you do not have to throw them out when they quit working. Instead, you just pull out the collection plate, rinse it off and reinsert it in your HVAC system. Those who feel uncomfortable with using disposable products will enjoy being able to reuse their filter. For many people, this can feel more environmentally sustainable and less wasteful. The reusability of electrostatic filters also comes with several other benefits.
You Save Money in the Long Run
The reusability of electrostatic filters leads to big savings. The average electrostatic filter costs around $50 or $60, which can feel pricey compared to the $2 to $6 price of other filters. To compare costs fairly, though, you need to look at the overall cost of purchasing filters for years.
Most disposable filters need to be replaced every 30 to 90 days. Meanwhile, an electrostatic filter can last just as long as your HVAC unit itself. In most cases, an electrostatic filter will pay for itself within just a year. Then you can continue to save money for several more years since you do not have to repeatedly buy filters. If you can afford to pay a higher initial cost, you end up saving hundreds of dollars.
Maintaining Your Filter Regularly Is Quick and Convenient
For people with disposable filters, filter maintenance is often a hassle. It tends to involve setting alarms on your phone to remind you about filter changing, and the amount of time between changes is constantly varying based on which brand you buy. When you are out of filters, you have to make trips to the store, spend time debating all of your filter options and remember what size of filter you need once you make your decision.
An electrostatic filter takes a huge load off your mind. The only thing you need to remember is to clean it once a month. The cleaning process itself is fairly quick and simple. You just pull out the filter, hose it down, let it drip dry and reinstall it. This can typically be done in 15 to 30 minutes, so it is often shorter than a trip to the store.
You Don’t Get a High Pressure Drop If You Forget to Change the Filter
When comparing filters, it is important to consider pressure drops. This is essentially a measurement that looks at how much air pressure changes before and after it passes through the filter. A high pressure drop measurement is a bad thing because it means that your AC has to work harder to pull air through the system.
Typically, a filter with high efficiency will have a high pressure drop. One of the big problems with pleated filters is that their efficiency goes up as they collect dirt. If you forget to change it, it becomes more and more clogged with dirt until your AC system is really struggling. Electrostatic filters do not have this issue. Instead, their pressure drop remains at stable and safe levels regardless of how long you wait between changes.
You’ll Notice Less Noise in Your Home
A surprising perk of switching from regular to electrostatic filters is a decrease in noise. Homeowners often report that their HVAC seems just a little quieter when it is running with an electrostatic filter. Tests support these anecdotes, with a system using an electrostatic filter running about 11 decibels quieter on average.
This happens because the filter does not cause such a big pressure drop. Air moves through the system more rapidly, so you are not hearing large whooshing noises from your HVAC struggling to pull air in. Those who are tired of hearing a constant roaring noise from their HVAC may want to switch to electrostatic filters.
The Reusability Makes Your Filter More Eco-Friendly
When talking about reusable air filters, an important consideration is eco-friendliness. Being able to keep the same filter for years is more than just convenient and affordable. It also means far less waste is being produced.
Did you know that over the lifetime of your HVAC system, you could end up generating 30,000 cubic inches of landfill waste from all the filters you dispose of? This results in all sorts of toxic waste production and energy consumption. Being able to use the same filter over and over greatly reduces the amount of waste that your HVAC system produces. If your concerns include environmental sustainability, an electrostatic filter could be a good choice for your home.
Electrostatic Filters Help Keep Your HVAC Functioning Properly
Electrostatic filters play a very big role in helping your HVAC run properly. By catching debris, they keep dust and other particles from coating blower fans and other delicate components. This makes it easier for your system to efficiently heat and cool air because components are not weighed down with grime.
Furthermore, hot and cold air can be transferred with ease since heat-conducting parts are not insulated with dust. Since the filters still allow plenty of airflow, they also lighten the load on your blower fan. The motor does not have to work hard to get proper air intake, so you can increase the lifespan of your system.
Still not sure whether electrostatic air filters could work for your system? Summit Heating & A/C can answer all your questions about the best filters for your HVAC. We help Denver residents with heating, AC and air quality services. When you need repairs, installations or maintenance, give us a call and schedule your appointment.