The Difference Between Disposable and Permanent Air Filters

You can use a permanent or disposable air filter in your HVAC system. The majority of homeowners choose disposable filters because they cost less up front and are more convenient. But let’s have a look at the pros and cons of each type of filter, so you can make a more informed decision as to which is best for you.

Disposable Filters

Disposable filters range widely in effectiveness. The cheaper fiberglass filters are designed to capture only the largest airborne particulates, so do little more than keep dirt and dust out of your HVAC system. This is important, as the less dirt in the system, the less friction and the equipment runs cooler. However, a denser, pleated filter goes a step further by capturing smaller particles that affect your indoor air quality.

Air filters are rated by a system called MERV, or minimum efficiency reporting value. Cheaper filters are usually rated MERV 1-4, while a good quality filter recommended for a typical residential HVAC system might be MERV 8-12.

Permanent Filters

Most permanent filters work by trapping airborne pollutants with an electrostatic charge. Generally, they trap only the larger particles, so are rated MERV 1-4 as far as effectiveness. They are not particularly effective in trapping finer particles of pet dander, pollen and others.

Permanent filters must be washed periodically to be effective. They must be thoroughly dried before they are reinstalled. A big plus for permanent types is that you eliminate having to throw air filters away in landfills. They do cost more — on average $75 as compared to around $18 for a good quality disposable filter — but they last a long time, say about five years on average.

To learn more about air filters, contact Aggressive Mechanical. We serve Neptune City and the surrounding area.

Close Menu