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Choosing the Best Home Air Filter


There are a few home maintenance items that are easy to neglect if we aren’t intentional. One of those tasks is changing the air filter. I don’t know about you, but every time  I go to the store I’m confused about which kind of air filter to buy. Do the cheap air filters (less than $5 for a 3pack) or the expensive, pleated air filters ($12-$20 for one) work best? Expensive usually means better, right?

What Kind of Home Air Filter is Best?

Since I have no idea which home air filter is best, I decided to ask an expert who’s been in the commercial and residential HVAC business for over 25 years. Here’s his summary:

The cheap, blue air filters block major dust particles and prevent damage to the air conditioning unit. The expensive, pleated air filters block allergens and other minuscule particles but actually make your unit work much harder. So, unless you have extremely bad allergies, you get more bang for your buck by using the cheap filters and replacing them once a month.

So, there you have it. Expensive isn’t necessarily better.

How diligent are you in changing your air filter on a regular schedule?

Photo Credit: flikr

  • Phoebe @ GettingFreedom August 11, 2010, 8:25 am

    I never would have guessed it!

  • Absentminded Mother August 12, 2010, 11:56 pm

    What a great tip. I have been buying the more expensive ones because I thought they worked better, and I’m not good about changing the filter. I went out of town last weekend and before I left my air conditioner seemed to be over worked. When I got back my husband thought we should call someone, but I just changed the filter and it is running better. Such little details.