Electrostatic air filters use the natural phenomenon of static electricity to capture particles in the air. These filters are made of a filter medium that undergoes a process to charge them, creating an attractive quality. The filter medium is usually a combination of polyurethane and polypropylene layers and filter media, which generate static electricity by creating friction as air passes through the filter. The electrostatic filter is made up of two plates, one with a positive charge and the other with a negative charge.
Positively charged particles are attracted to the negatively charged plate, while negatively charged particles are attracted to the positively charged plate. All electrically charged particles in the air in your home will be attracted to one of these plates, sticking to it until its surface is washed. Multi-layer washable filters contain layers of materials intended to charge particles as they pass, making it easier for the attractive filter layer to work. This type of air filtration system stops dust and dirt before they reach the HVAC unit, reducing the risk of wear-related damage and increasing efficiency.
If you've seen washable metal air filters, then those are electrostatic air filters. Statically charged pleated filters combine the electrostatic element to attack small particles with the mechanical element to attack large particles, making them the most effective in the entire particle size spectrum. To maintain maximum filter performance, I recommend cleaning the electrostatic filter at least once a month. Cleaning is quick and easy if done according to instructions, and will provide you with many years of trouble-free use.
So, “is an electrostatic air filter better?” It's an inaccurate question; the right question would be: “Is an electrostatic air filter better for YOU and YOUR HOME?” Electrostatic air filters capture the smallest dust particles and keep them away from the heating and cooling system.
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