Cost vs Efficiency. How To Choose an Air Filter for Your Athens Home

Published on: February 22, 2012

The right filter for an air conditioner and heater in Athens, GA can make all the difference in indoor air quality. There are many different types on the market and each has its own positive qualities. Cost may be a factor for those on a budget. The first consideration for a homeowner is to choose a filter that provides the air quality desired.


The filter works by preventing dust, hair, mold or other particles from entering the unit. These particles can coat the fins, the coils and the heat exchanger. The coating acts as an insulator and prevents the most efficient operation of the air conditioner and heater. The unit has to work harder, thus increasing the electric bill. Ultimately, a unit in this condition needs more repair and will wear out long before it should. For HVAC owners in Athens, GA, this is a waste of money.


A HEPA filter is the most expensive type of filter available today. This filter will trap 99% of particles over .3 microns in size. It can also be cleaned several times before it needs to be replaced. For those with respiratory problems such as asthma or allergies, this filter will provide the cleanest air from the air conditioner and heater system in Athens GA.


Electrostatic filters trap particles by creating static electricity as the air passes through it. Although not as efficient as the HEPA filters, they trap particles other filters may allow to pass through. They are less expensive and are available from air conditioner and heater companies, big box stores, DIY stores and online in a variety of sizes. Any homeowner in Athens GA should be able to locate one quickly.


Paper filters are the cheapest and most commonly available. Sizes are available for any air conditioner and heater system. Pleated filters offer a greater surface area to trap more particles.

There are filters made from activated charcoal designed to remove odors from the home. These are widely available on the market. HVAC owners do not need to use only one type of filter with a unit; they can switch filters as the need arises. This ensures the highest quality indoor air possible.