Difference in Air Filters

What kind of air filters are out there?  There are two main groups of air filtration systems out there; mechanical filters and electronic filters.  However there are also many categories of each group and it can be rather helpful finding out what the difference really is between all of them.

Mechanical filters

Mechanical filters operate on the premise of trapping particles and creating a physical barrier between your furnace and the rest of your home.  Of the mechanical filters you have the following types.

  • Flat Filters – tend to catch only larger particles however have limited impact on air flow
  • Pleated Filters – excellent at catching small particles but at the cost of air flow

Electronic Filters

Electron filters differ from mechanical filters as there is no restriction of air flow.  These filters operate by giving a static charge to particles so they cling to mesh or duct work instead of blowing into your home.  Not all electronic filters are created equally however.  Some are known to generate ozone which the EPA recognizes as potentially harmful to your lungs.


Often times we find a hybrid approach to air filtration is the best method to providing you and your family with save air.  However we recommend a free home estimate to help you find what solution is right for you.

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8 Responses to “Difference in Air Filters”

  1. retired Tin Man says:

    Its amazing how much things have changed over the years. When I was a furnace man we used the throw away filters. The joke in the industry was filter, what filter those 50 cent filters from Home Depot do nothing.

  2. Tiny T says:

    Does any one make a furnace filter that all you have to do is wash it out and you don’t have to purchase expensive furnace filters every month .Im also looking for one that kills the h1n1 or swine flu virus .

  3. R.S. says:

    The old type electronic air cleaners have been discontinued by a lot of companies was there a problem or are the new paper media that much better .I was looking to buy a new furnace and I also would like to update my air cleaner .

  4. retired Tin Man says:

    The old style air cleaners that were part of most furnace installations gave off ozone and some people think ozone is bad for you so they discontiued them.

  5. Lisa says:

    I have a old Honeywell air cleaner on our furnace are heating and cooling bills have started to clime ever since my husband shut the power of to this unit could the air cleaner be causing are furnace to run harder or does that have no effect on our furnace and air. He shut it off because the furnace was making a snap sound like the old blue bug zappers. The furnace is made by Trane and we have had both the furnace and ac for 10 plus yrs.

  6. Jim Dean says:

    Can you install an air cleaner on a wall furnace and who makes them TRANE, CARRIER, LENNOX, RHEEM, RUDD, YORK, AMERICAN STANDARD??? I checked all of their web sites and they don’t make a wall furnace please help I have no heat and the temps in the Chicago area are dropping.

  7. Larry 345 says:

    What do you think of the portable air cleaners are they as good or better and what is the cost difference . We also would like some info on 3 party evaluations of both portable and furnace installed air cleaners .

  8. biz x says:

    Can an air filter kill the h1n1 flu or can you buy something that will keep the air clean? Can I spray Lysol in my furnace duct work? Also what is the best brand of furnace and what has the best furnace ratings?