If you want to provide better protection for your HVAC system and have cleaner air to breathe in your home, your first thought might be to install a filter with a higher MERV rating. But when it comes to flat panel filters, higher MERV ratings often mean restricted airflow and higher energy consumption. To avoid this problem, many homeowners in the St. Louis area choose to have the best of both worlds (better particle control and good airflow) by installing a pleated air filter.
What is a pleated air filter?
A pleat is a type of fold that's often used in clothing like skirts and trousers. When it comes to a pleated air filter, this type of fold is used to increase the surface area of a filter without having a big impact on airflow. As a result, pleated filters are able to trap more particles from your air than flat panel filters without significantly increasing your air conditioner's energy consumption.
Pleated air filters come in a variety of different MERV ratings and sizes. Typically, pleated filters are one or two inches thick, but models are available as large as six inches thick.
What are the benefits of a pleated air filter?
- Removes more particles than standard filters. Because pleated filters have more surface area than standard throwaway filters, the particles in your air have a better chance at getting trapped by pleated filters. Whereas throwaway filters have MERV ratings between one and eight, pleated filters are available with MERV ratings as high as 12. This makes pleated filters a good option for anyone who is looking to provide excellent protection for their HVAC systems and limit the amount of allergens and particles in the air.
- Doesn't have a big impact on system airflow. As we mentioned above, the folded design of pleated air filters allow them to increase surface area without restricting your air conditioner's airflow. This is makes them an energy-efficient alternative to flat filters that have high MERV ratings, because those filters tend to block airflow to your system.
- Don't require alterations to your ductwork. Unless you are using a pleated filter that's too thick for your existing ductwork, most pleated filters do not require any alterations to your ductwork to be installed. You can simply slide them right where you'd slide a standard flat filter. For this reason, pleated filters are often the best air filtration option for anyone who is not ready for a more advanced filtration device like an air cleaner or air purifier.
- Last longer than standard filters. Because there is more area for particles and dust to build up on a pleated filter, they do not need to be changed as often as standard flat filters. Whereas most throwaway filters need to be replaced once a month, pleated filters typically last between 60 and 90 days.
If you have any questions about a pleated air filter, or if you'd like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Charles, MO, air conditioning service and repair company. We service the St. Louis area, including towns like St. Peters, Town and Country and Weldon Spring.