Of all the different types of HVAC filters available today, air filter media pads are used less often than most of the other types available. Media air filters are more commonly used by HVAC professionals than home owners. Only about 10 to 15 percent percent of home owners use media air filters. The two biggest reasons for this are availability and awareness.
Air filter media is very commonly used by HVAC companies where cost and reliability are very important. These companies use huge quantities of HVAC filter media each year. Cost is so important because commercial businesses require three to six filter changes per year depending on environmental conditions. This can add up to thousands of dollars per year.
Media filter capacity is very high compared to some of the other filter types available. For example, pleated air conditioner and furnace filters are very efficient but lack the holding capacity of the material used in these filters. Pleated air filters become blocked quite rapidly because it is a single layer of material. Media air filters utilize all of the material in the filter. If dust is not stopped by the first part of the filter it will be stopped as it gets deeper into the filter.
The most common supplier of air filter media pads are wholesalers who cater to HVAC companies and most wholesalers will not sell to anyone other than air conditioning and heating contractors. However, they are available from some on line stores.
Air Filter Media Pads Come In Two Forms – Pre-cut Change Pads And Bulk Rolls Of Filter Media
Air filter media pre-cut change pads are available in every size. These pre-cut filters are available to home owners on line at places like RiteAir.com at reasonable prices. You can get a one year supply of change pads and an aluminum frame with a lifetime warranty. You can also get activated carbon pads to use with the regular filter media which helps reduce odors.
Rolls of air filter media are available in one hundred foot rolls of varying widths and are cut to fit into a filter holding frame. These filter frames are usually made of aluminum and are used many times over, usually lasting for the life of the air conditioner or furnace.
When it comes to efficiency and cost these are probably among the best available to home owners. The big advantage of these filters over electrostatic air filters is they do not have to be rinsed clean every few months, just change the filter pad and reinstall the frame with a new pad.
Some pleated air filters are almost as efficient as media air filters but you have to be more conscientious about how often you change them. These filters do not have as much holding capacity as media air filters because all of the dust they stop collects on the surface of the filter. This leads to greater resistance to air flow in less time.
Replaceable media filters are usually made of polyester or some other synthetic material and can be used in all brands of air conditioners including Trane, Carrier, Lennox, Ruud, American Standard and all others. They will also replace any other brand of air conditioner filter including Honeywell, 3M and all others.
Don Munn – has written 72 posts on this site.
Don has been working in the HVAC industry for more than 25 years and shares his experience and knowledge on this site. You can also follow him on: