Are Expensive Furnace Filters Really Worth the Cost?

When it comes to furnace filters, the general consensus among HVAC professionals is that cheaper is better. However, more expensive air filters, such as pleated residential filters, can be worth the extra money in certain cases. These filters are able to filter out dust mites, pollen, pet dander, mold, and even bacteria, which can be beneficial for people with severe allergies. You may be tempted to purchase a washable air filter because it should last for years rather than months.

While this is a good idea in theory, it presents multiple problems such as lower MERV rates, frequent maintenance requirements, and the possibility of it attracting mold to the air unit. Expensive air filters are made of better quality materials than cheap air filters. They're often made of fiberglass, which is a porous material that can trap more dust and pollen than other materials such as cardboard or paper. Fiberglass also resists moisture and doesn't tear as easily as other materials.

It's more expensive to manufacture, but it lasts longer and requires less maintenance. Nortek Environmental, Inc strongly recommends that all their customers purchase the most economical fiberglass filters instead of the more expensive pleated filters. The main reason why they suggest this is because pleated filters restrict air flow to the oven more than fiberglass filters do. By using pleated oven filters, you are making your oven work harder than usual to suck in air due to the thicker filter. So when it comes to furnace filters, it's important to consider all factors before making a decision. If you have severe allergies or need a filter that can trap smaller particles, then an expensive filter may be worth the cost.

However, if you're looking for a filter that will last longer and require less maintenance, then a fiberglass filter may be the better option.