What Type Of Air Filter Should I Order?

There's a lot of options out there, not all of them good.

There's a bewildering range of different air filter types out there and it's easy to get confused. We have done the homework for you and simplified the process so you can make the right choice.

First things first: Economy fiberglass filters compared to pleated filters.

There really is no comparison to be made. Cheap fiberglass filters are usually sold in multi-packs for a few bucks and, in this case you definitely get what you pay for... very little quality. They are not efficient for two reasons.

  • The relatively open weave of the fiberglass mesh does not filter out much dirt at all and the micro-particles and contaminates present in your home just get sucked through the filter and into your HVAC system.
  • Over time, the inside components of your HVAC equipment and the air ducts get coated with crud and your system can't work at peak efficiency. This means higher energy bills and expensive sanitizing and repair bills.

In short, this cheap type of filter doesn't filter very well at all and you won't find them here at Second Nature. If you are in the habit of buying them it's a habit you should break!

Pleated filters are the only way to go.

We only offer reliable, good quality pleated filters, which are made right here in the USA. They are up to 60% more efficient than fiberglass and have a denser, larger surface area (imagine the pleats ironed out flat) that ensures better filtration. But remember, these higher grade filters are more efficient at capturing the bad stuff and by doing a better job they get dirty quicker. That's good news … not bad news. They are both more efficient and faster at doing what they are supposed to do.

Picking the grade of filter.

Much of the information in the 'How often should I change my filter?' section also applies to the grade of filter you should choose. The number of people, pets, and any allergies will need to be considered. Also, the possible presence of smoke, smog, and microscopic contaminants that may carry odor usually call for a higher grade of filter to trap the smaller stuff.

We have simplified your filter choice. Good, Better. Best.

Our three grades of filter, Essential, Essential+ and Health Shield are simply categorized as 'Good', 'Better' and 'Best'. They each do a great job in different home environments. One of them is just right for you.

Essential. Good.

This filter easily takes care of the basics such as dust, pollen, pet dander and virus carriers whilst allowing a good airflow through the HVAC system.

Essential+. Better.

Our most popular filter also offers good airflow but better filtration than the Essential. In addition to the basics, it captures smaller particles, smoke and smog. If anyone smokes tobacco in the home or the kitchen is a busy cooking area (are your smoke detectors always sounding off?), Essential+ is the right filter for you.

Health Shield. Best.

This is the most powerful and efficient filter in our line-up. The Health Shield traps all the contaminates the other two filters do, but also snags lead dust, oil smoke, and most importantly, microscopic allergens … some of which are 20 times smaller than a grain of salt! If anyone in the home suffers from allergies or serious respiratory problems such as asthma, this filter is a 'must.'

The denser filter media and more efficient filtration mean slightly less airflow than the other two grades and it will need to be changed more frequently. In return, you will be rewarded with the reassurance of sustained, super-fresh indoor air quality similar to hospital standards. If you want the best, definitely go Health Shield.

Alec Lower

Content Writer

Alec is a third-year member of the team at Second Nature. He brings expert knowledge of a myriad of home air filtration topics including HVAC filters, filtration efficiency, and indoor air quality.