Understanding the Different Types of HVAC Air Filters

When it comes to keeping your home's air clean and free from contaminants, HVAC air filters are an essential part of any heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. But did you know that there are various types of these filters available? In this article, we'll explore the different kinds of HVAC air filters and their uses.

Fiberglass Filters

Fiberglass filters are the most basic type of filter for an HVAC system. They are made from spun glass fibers and can trap particles as small as 3 microns in size. Although they can effectively capture larger particles such as dust and pollen, they don't offer much protection against smaller particles like mold spores or pet dander. For maximum efficiency, fiberglass filters should be changed every 30 days.

Pleated Filters

Pleated filters provide more efficiency than fiberglass ones and can trap particles down to 1 micron in size. These filters consist of a combination of synthetic fibers and paper that is pleated to create a larger surface area for trapping contaminants. To ensure maximum efficiency, pleated filters should be changed every 90 days.

HEPA Filters

High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters offer the highest level of filtration available for an HVAC system. They can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns in size and even remove bacteria and viruses from the air! HEPA filters should be replaced every 12 months for optimal performance.

Activated Carbon Filters

Activated carbon filters are designed to eliminate odors, gases, and chemicals from your home's air supply. This type of filter contains activated carbon which has been treated with oxygen to create a porous material that absorbs odors, gases, and chemicals effectively. For best results when using activated carbon filters it is recommended that they be changed every 6 months.

UV Air Purifiers

Ultraviolet (UV) air purifiers use UV light to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. These types of purifiers are often used in hospitals or other healthcare facilities where cleanliness is paramount. To ensure maximum efficiency, UV air purifiers should be replaced every 12 months.

Electrostatic Filters

Electrostatic filters use an electrical charge to attract dust, pollen, or other airborne particles. The electrical charge causes these particles to stick onto the filter media which prevents them from entering your home’s atmosphere. To get optimal performance out of electrostatic filters it is recommended that they be changed every 6 months.


When it comes to keeping your home’s atmosphere clean, there are several different types of HVAC air filters available - each with its own purpose & level of effectiveness. It is important to choose the right type & replace them regularly so you can enjoy fresh & healthy indoor air quality!