The Essential Guide to the Pleated Air Filter

June 10, 2020

There’s no questioning the ubiquity of pleated air filters. As one of the most commonly found filters found in the heating and cooling systems of residential homes, pleated filters offer a myriad of advantages over other filter alternatives. A reputable HVAC service professional should be able to advise consumers on the basics of pleated air filters. But that shouldn’t prevent you from developing a basic understanding when it comes to these incredibly useful filter products.


In today’s blog, we break it down to the basics of the pleated air filter. Read on to learn more.


What is a pleated filter’s primary purpose?


Pleated filters are typically manufactured from polyester, paper, or cotton material folded down into pleats. The pleats increase the surface area of the filter product, and this enables the filter to trap more airborne particles that can accumulate and negatively impact your HVAC system’s blowers fans and AC coils. 


Why are pleated filters so popular?


Pleated filters are more durable, cost-effective, and efficient than fiberglass filter alternatives. They also typically come in a wide range of sizes, and are flexible enough to accommodate most air handling systems. 


Replacing Your Pleated Filters


When airborne particles have accumulated on your pleated filter, you might want to consider replacement. There are a few indicators that may suggest that it’s time to replace the filter. These include the following:


- The filter is grey and you can see visible dirt and dust build-up on the filter surface

- You notice more dust than usual inside your home

- Your HVAC system is not as efficient as it could be - heating and cooling cycling takes more time than before

- The filter has been installed for longer than the manufacturer’s recommended use 


If you notice any of the above, it might suggest that it’s time to opt for pleated filter replacement. 


What are some other considerations I should factor into deciding when to change my pleated filter?


How often you need to change your pleated filters should largely depend on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer. Other considerations include MERV ratings - filters with lower ratings require more frequent replacement. If you are using pleated filters for your furnace system, it will also likely require more frequent replacement depending on how often you put your HVAC system to use.


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