One of the most important questions to ask yourself, when looking for the best air filter system is what do you require from it?
Are you only looking for a general-purpose air filter to remove dust particles from the air because the furnace manufacturer says you have to use one or they will not honor your equipment warranty? Or, are you truly trying to find the absolute best air filter because you or a loved one suffers from allergies or other health issues and you want to provide the healthiest environment for them?
If you are looking for the absolute best air filter then read on:
The best air filter for your furnace or air conditioner is an electrostatic air filter. This type of air filter is very efficient.
If you require the absolute cleanest air possible for your home you can try this.
An electronic air filter can be over 90 percent efficient, which makes it one of the best air filters available. The weak link of these filters is the pre-filter, which is usually an inefficient woven aluminum filter. The purpose of this pre-filter is to remove the larger particles of dust from the air before they enter the main part of the electronic air filter.
Many of these larger particles will pass through the electronic filter and not attach to the collector plates because they are heavy and overcome the magnetic attraction of the collector plates and pass through into the air stream.
The problem is that the pre-filter is very inefficient. To overcome this issue with the pre-filter, remove it from the system entirely and install a pleated air filter before the electronic air filter. The weakness of the pleated air filter is the opposite of the electonic air filters weakness. Instead of the larger particles passing through this filter, the smaller particles pass through. By installing both of these filters each one compensates for the others weakness. The end result is a much more efficient filter system.
The pleated filter probably will not fit where the aluminum pre-filter was so you may have to cut an opening into the duct system to install it. If you are not comfortable with this modification you can hire a sheet metal contractor to do it for you.
This will be your new pre-filter and the efficiency of this pre-filter will be much greater than the original one and increase the overall efficiency of the air filter system.
You are better off changing the pre-filter every month or two than cleaning the one that comes with the equipment anyway. Every time that you remove and clean the aluminum type you also release some of the allergens and debris back into the air during the cleaning process.
With this simple change you will have the best air filter system available at a reasonable price.