What are the different types of air conditioning filters for your home?

Regular AC maintenance can increase the longevity of your system.

With summer fast approaching, now is the time to make sure your air conditioner is ready to keep you cool and comfortable throughout the hot and humid months ahead. We frequently remind customers to change the filters in their heating and cooling systems. Today we are taking a look at the various air conditioning filters and the ins and outs behind these filters. 

First, let’s start by understanding the different types of air conditioning units among homes:

Traditional Central AC Units

  • Central AC Units are built to provide cooling throughout the entire home or building, relying on ductwork to carry cool air where it is needed.

Window AC Units/Portable AC

  • In homes without ductwork, it’s common to find portable AC units installed from room to room. Typically, these units are installed in windows and can be removed during the cooler months when AC is not needed but they are expensive to operate.

Ductless Mini-Split

  •  Ductless Splits are easy to install because they require no ductwork and offer effective cooling to zoned areas or rooms.

Depending on the Air Conditioner in your home, the filters will vary. Regardless, regular replacement of filters is important for unit longevity and the healthy air quality of your home. According to the US Department of Energy , the simplest way to save energy and money on your cooling bill is to regularly clean and replace filters.  

The most common air filters are fiberglass, polyester or pleated, and washable filters. Knowing the differences among these filters and understanding the one you have is important for performing regular maintenance and cleaning. 

Fiberglass Filters

  • Typically, 1” thick, offering basic filtering
  • Least expensive option
  • Should be changed every month

Polyester or Pleated Filters

  • Come in a variety of thickness options, ranging from 1” to 4”
  • More effective at filtering than fiberglass filters
  • Lifetime of 3 months to one year, depending on use and home environment

Washable Filters

  • Least common, yet most effective
  • Typically, last as long as the lifetime of the unit with regular washing
HVAC techs check AC outdoor cooling unit.

Ultimately, the best air filter for your home is the one that works with your cooling unit and is regularly cared for. 

During your routine maintenance appointment, our service experts can show you how to easily change your AC filters while also ensuring your cooling system is working effectively and efficiently. 

And, if your question isn’t answered here, contact the National Refrigeration team and we’ll find your solution.

Whether you need 24-7 emergency service or advice on improving your everyday air quality and comfort—at home and at work—call us at 401-737-2000 or email us.


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