What Are the Different Types of HVAC Filters?

Indoor Air Filters

One of the key components of your heating and cooling system is something you may not think about too often - the filter. However, HVAC filters perform essential functions, from keeping dirt and debris out of your ductwork and comfort equipment to boosting your indoor air quality. When it comes to filters for different heating and cooling systems, there are several types that can be used. Here's what you need to know about some of the more common HVAC filter options.

Fiberglass Air Filters

These filters are generally pretty good at protecting your system's inner workings, which helps maintain efficient operations. However, they're not as good at filtering out pollutants and other airborne particles. They also need to be changed roughly every 30 days or so.


  • Disposable
  • Easy to find and replace
  • Affordable

Pleated Filters

If you or other household members have an allergy or respiratory issues, you'll likely appreciate pleated filters. Made of cotton folds, or polyester fabrics, these filters are typically good at keeping dust and other pollutants out of indoor environments.


  • Increased energy efficiency because of cleaner HVAC coils
  • Reduced household dust
  • Fewer HVAC maintenance needs

Washable Air Filters

Designed to be washed, these filters are a bit more of an investment, but they can pay for themselves over time. For one thing, there's no need to replace them constantly. When cleaning these filters, follow the manufacturer's directions and make sure you let your filter dry completely before reinserting it.


  • Environmentally friendly
  • Often includes a lifetime warranty
  • Available in custom sizes

Electrostatic Air Filters

These filters are made of a particular type of filter media that produces an attractive quality. The resulting electrostatic charge attracts dust and other airborne particles to keep them out of your system and home. Some of these filters are washable, but some need to be replaced entirely.


  • Good air filtration
  • Improved air quality
  • Cost-effective if you get the washable ones

HEPA Filters

If you have concerns about indoor air quality for health reasons, you'll likely appreciate HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters. A type of mechanical air filter, HEPA filters block out nearly all contaminants (99.97 percent) by forcing air through a fine mesh.


  • May provide allergy relief
  • Capable of blocking out cigarette smoke and other sources of household odors
  • Improved indoor air quality

UV Filters

Ultraviolet (UV) light is what allows these filters to kill bacteria and viruses that could get into your home via your HVAC system and the resulting circulated air. Not as good at blocking dust and other pollutants, these filters still provide sufficient protection against microorganisms.


  • Eliminates allergens
  • Reduces instances of fungal contamination
  • May minimize household sicknesses

Call Us Today

Need some help with filter cleaning, installation, or replacement? Turn to the pros at Ardmore Fresh Air. We'll gladly take care of your HVAC filter needs. We also offer routine maintenance assistance and other services that can keep you comfortable throughout the year.

Contact Ardmore Fresh Air at (847) 792-1019 for your next appointment or any questions regarding our blog articles! In a hurry? Schedule your appointment online now.