Common Air Filter Types for Your Home

Air filters keep fresh air in a home and any airborne problems out. The air filters you use determine what is able to be blocked and how long the filter will last. There are a variety of filters available for purchase to the average buyer. You can learn more about the different filter types and decide which are best for your budget and needs.

Air Filter MERV Ratings

The MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value ratings determines an air filter’s capabilities. When you check on the MERV ratings you see just what the filter is able to attract and eliminate. A filter with a lower rating is capable of blocking basic particles like dust or dirt. If a filter is high enough on the MERV chart it can block out microscopic problems like fibers or paint particles. The different air filter types have varying degrees of MERV ratings which determine their individual capabilities.

Filter Uses and Requirements

When you are purchasing a filter it is important to understand what type you need depending on your location. Areas that have issues with allergens or pollution are often in need of higher MERV rated filters. An appropriate filter will raise the air quality of a home and keep it clear of any problematic issues.

Different Types of Air Filters

High Efficiency Particulate Air Filters

A common type of air filter for the home, HEPA filters are capable of blocking the majority of contaminants most often found in the air. Unwanted particles are trapped by the carbon material and sanitized, filtered air passes through on to the other side. The Filter is made from fiberglass fiber mats built to attract the smallest of passing particles before trapping them. HEPA filters are used in more than just homes, they are used in industrial and hospital settings as well.

Carbon Air Filters

These types of air filters for HVAC are designed to handle less solid airborne issues like gasses or smoke. The activated carbon used in the filters reacts to the chemicals in the air that are the usual result of incoming problems. Gas and smoke can not only be blocked, but absorbed by certain types of carbon as well. Carbon air filters are best used in areas that have to consistently protect against smoke and chemicals in the air.

Fiberglass Filters

One of the disposable types of air filters for the home. The fiberglass filter uses fiberglass fibers laid over each other to form a protective barrier. These filters are also usually reinforced with metal grating to add to their durability and ability to last.

Ionic Air Filters

Commercial sectors often use this type of air filter for its ability to efficiently bring in particles passing through. The filters produce negatively charged ions and when particles pass by the two collide. The particles are trapped and the air left passing through is thoroughly filtered.

Polyester and Pleated Filters

Similar to fiberglass filters, but made from different materials, these air filters are of a higher quality material. The materials used offer a higher chance of stopping any dust passing through and higher resistance to airflow.

UV Light Air Filters

This type of air filter blocks any mold or bacteria by exposing trespassing materials to high intensity UV light. The lights can block several different carbon-based compounds which makes the filter perfect for medical facilities.

Washable Filters

These types of air filters are reusable but require consistent maintenance. Depending on location these filters may require more or less consistent cleaning.

Furnace Air Filters

The types of air filters for a furnace vary depending on their lasting power. A disposable furnace filter is usually made of cardboard and will not last long. A filter made of metal or fiberglass is meant to be more permanent and washable. Disposable types of air filters are cheaper and should be replaced monthly. You are able to reuse permanent filters but the process requires extra work. The MERV rating of the filters determines how often they need to be replaced or cleaned.

Types of Furnace Air Filters


These types of air filters use electrically charged wires to draw in dust and debris. Electronic filters are so efficient that their MERV ratings quickly fall due to dust and debris buildup. The electronic air filters require much more maintenance than others with a required cleaning weekly.


The electrostatic air filter uses the air flow passing through it to charge polyester strands with an electric charge. The types of air filters are able to use the built up charges to attract dust and debris with above average results. Electrostatic air filters are built with a durable metal frame built to last, and can go up to three months without requiring a cleaning.


An HEPA, High Efficiency Particle Absorber, or filter is the most expensive and efficient type of air filter you can buy. These types of air filters are so efficient that they are not even rated on the MERV scale. HEPA air filters are used in high-sanitary environments like hospitals, laboratories and surgical facilities rather than homes.


The mechanical type of air filter uses meshing to capture dirt and debris. Mechanical air filters are among the most versatile, and can be made from a variety or durable or disposable materials. These types of air filters are less expensive in general, but require monthly maintenance.

Possible Contaminants

There are several different airborne issues that are able to float through an unfiltered air system into a home. These Issues include:

  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Dust
  • Dust Mites
  • Bacteria
  • Pet Dander
  • Smoke
  • Virus’s

Filter King is Able to Provide a Full Variety of Air Filters for Residences and Businesses Alike

When you are in need of an air filter it helps to talk to one of the best providers in the field. Filter King offers top quality filter models for low, affordable prices. You can even pay for the subscription service where filter replacement is handled for you on a monthly basis. Have your air filter needs handled today!