What are the Pros and Cons to Electrostatic Filters?

Electrostatic filters

Electrostatic filters are also known as washable air filters. They are just one of the many air filters on the market today, and like others, they have pros and cons.

If an electrostatic air filter was recommended by your HVAC service in Gilbert, you probably have a lot of questions about how well they work and whether they’re right for you. If you have someone in the household with severe allergies or asthma, the air filtration system you choose is even more important.

What are Electrostatic Filters? Why Do People Like Them?

The appeal to electrostatic air filters is that they don’t need to be replaced. This is the claim, though it’s hard to believe that something that attracts dust and debris won’t need to be replaced at some point. At the very least, you can expect a much longer lasting air filter compared to conventional filters.

To keep these washable air filters cleaned and maintained, you are responsible for taking them out once a month and hosing them off. Once cleaned, the air filter can be popped back in. However, it is extremely important that the filter is washed each month. Failure to do so can result in a quickly dirtied system that leads to increased allergens and dirt coming out of the ductwork.

What are the Pros and Cons to Washable Air Filters?

Now that you know a bit more about electrostatic filters and how they work, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons and whether your household can benefit.

Pros

  • Good air filtration. Electrostatic filters do a good job of filtering out the air, though they are not as effective as pleated air filters. If you have someone in the home with asthma or allergies, the filter probably won’t be enough.
  • Efficient operation. Reusable filters have MERV ratings of around 5 or 6, which is what you will see with a pleated filter. However, cheaper brands might have a negative impact on equipment performance.
  • Cost effective. Washable air filters pay for themselves in about one year. They cost around $50-$60, which you probably already pay for conventional filters every 12 months.
  • Save time and hassle. Not only can you save on the cost of the filter, but also you don’t have to worry about going to the store, standing in line and purchasing air filters every few months.

Cons

  • Monthly maintenance. In order to be effective, electrostatic filters must be removed and cleaned monthly. If they’re not, they can stop working efficiently and put allergens and dirt into the air.
  • Less effective than HEPA filters. Electrostatic filters rely on static electricity, which is enough to filter out small, lightweight particles but not enough for larger dust particles or mold spores. They are not as good as HEPA filters or even a 1200 MPR filter.
  • Not a good choice for asthma sufferers. Since washable filters are not as efficient at removing particles and mold spores from the air, they are not ideal for people with allergies or asthma.

What’s the Verdict?

Is a washable air filter right for you? It could be. As long as you don’t mind doing the work each month, and there’s no one in your home with severe allergies or asthma, an electrostatic filter is a good choice for air filtration. However, if you’re not prepared to be diligent with monthly cleanings, or you need more efficient filtration, it’s best to go with a higher quality conventional filter.

If you have questions on the best air filters for your home, give Simply The Best AC a call and we’ll be happy to help you select an option for air filtration.

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/ToriCampbell