When it comes to air filters, there are many different types to choose from. Fiberglass filters are economical, but they can only remove large particles from the air and have little or no effect on improving air quality. HEPA air purifiers, on the other hand, have a first-pass efficiency rate of 87 to 99 percent, meaning they capture more particles faster. Electrostatic air purifiers have a first pass efficiency rate of 60 to 80 percent and require a greater amount of time to improve indoor air quality.
When deciding which air filter is best for your HVAC system, you'll need to consider more than the initial cost. HEPA air cleaners can operate at any level and still trap 87 to 99 percent of the particles in the air within the first air exchange. Disposable filters need to be replaced every one to three months, depending on the air quality in your home. Electrostatic filters are reusable, so you won't have to place an order for new filters every two months or stand in long lines at a store to buy what you need.
As the air enters the filter, it receives a positive charge and, as the positively charged air travels through the next layers of the filter, the charge is released and traps the particles within the filter. An electrostatic filter generally does not have a rating higher than 5 or 6, while other high-efficiency filters have ratings between 10 and 16 and even higher. The EPA states that indoor concentrations of some pollutants have increased in recent decades due to energy-efficient buildings and an increase in synthetic building materials, furniture, personal care products, pesticides and household cleaning products. So, it's important to consider indoor air quality when choosing an air filter for your home.
Now that you know a little more about how electrostatic air filters work in principle, this is how they are used in real life. If you're not a big fan of housework and maintenance, an electrostatic air filter is a good option for you. However, an electrostatic air cleaner unit should be avoided because of the ozone potential it can produce. So, “if an electrostatic air filter is better” is an inaccurate question; the precise question would be: “Is an electrostatic air filter better for YOU and YOUR HOME?” The chosen air cleaner should not be an electrostatic air cleaner device due to the levels of ozone it can create.
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which type of filter is best for your home.