Pleated Filters: Why They Are So Effective

Mar 14, 2021

When you are trying to determine which air filter is best for your HVAC system, you have many choices. Some that are available include fiberglass, pleated and deep media filters. There is a lot riding on choosing the right filter for your HVAC unit. Without the appropriate filter, your HVAC system will not work properly, and your family will be breathing in polluted air. 

It so happens that one of the most common types of filters is the pleated filter, and it is also the most effective. 

Let’s first look at what a pleated filter is. 

What Are Pleated Filters?

A pleated filter uses screens of polyester, plastic fibers, or cotton to remove dust and other particles from the air that goes through the HVAC system. As opposed to standard filters, these filters have pleats, or folds, that provide more surface area for filtering more debris that could potentially destroy the AC coils or blower fan. What’s more, pleated filters improve indoor air quality. 

Pleated filters are available in different sizes, ranging from 1 to 6 inches, as well as varying Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings. The majority of filters that are fitted on HVAC systems have depths of 1 to 2 inches. 

Some of these pleated filters are equipped with wire mesh in order to maintain their shapes while also preventing blockage. Filters with mesh material on the filters should tip you off that they are of lower quality. You are better off opting for pleated filters composed of sturdy material that does not require wire mesh. 

What Makes Pleated Air Filters So Effective?

Larger Surface Area

Let’s begin by comparing a filter for your HVAC system with your small intestine, which is more than 22 feet long.  You might wonder how something so long can fit in such a small area of your body.  It has to do with your small intestine being folded. This enables your small intestine to have a longer length without taking up unnecessary space. 

This same concept of folding is one of the primary reasons that a pleated filter is so effective. Interestingly, if you removed the frame from the pleated filter and stretched it out, you would see that the actual size of the filter is much larger than its frame. 

This extra surface area makes it possible for the pleated filter to eliminate more dirt than it could if it were not pleated, considering that there are far more possible locations where a piece of dust can land. What’s more, the pleats in the filter add strength to its structure so that it stays in place until it needs to be replaced. 

Higher MERV Rating

The MERV rating is very important and as well as relevant when it comes to choosing a filter for your HVAC. Filters with higher MERV ratings can capture smaller particles in the air. How this happens is a filter with a higher MERV rating will use cotton for its filter material, which takes advantage of the high fiber density of cotton. 

An example of the difference in MERV ratings with pleated and other types of filters is a fiberglass filter, which is usually rated from 2 to 4 on the MERV scale. Low-end pleated filters normally rank around a level 6. A filter that is rated MERV 6 can capture most household dust, lint, and pollen. 

Changing Airspeed

This is another advantage of pleated filters, in that they can capture finer, smaller particles. A pleated filter changes the airspeed and disturbs the air as the air flows and winds its way to your HVAC system. Although it is a small change, it can be sufficient to cause some smaller particles to stick to the filter rather than being pulled through the system. 

Makes Possible Ideal Airflow

As pleated air filters have higher MERV ratings compared to other filters, the pleated filters are more efficient in restricting several pollutants. The pleated filter does not interfere with airflow, while other filters undergo a high-pressure drop because of high MERV.  In contrast, the pleated filter does not interfere with the airflow. As a result, your energy system will be able to maintain its cooling or heating efficiency. 

Peated filters with high MERV ratings are extremely effective in capturing particles that are of the smallest sizes. 

Pleated Filters Do Not Require Ductwork Modification

When you go about installing various types of filters it typically requires a modification of the HVAC system. However, when you install pleated air filters to your HVAC system, no ductwork modification is necessary. You can even slide in the filter directly into space where the standard flat filter had been installed. The high-efficient filters prevent leakage of any air circulating through the system. 

Highly Durable

High durability means that pleated filters are very versatile in that they are designed for all types of HVAC systems in commercial, industrial, and residential areas where high-quality air is necessary. They also have a longer service life compared to other filters. In fact, you most likely will not have to buy or reinstall a new pleated air filter for at least three or four months. Its longevity is attributed to its more expanded surface area, which traps more allergens and dust particles than standard filters. 

Look to Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning to Help You Achieve Optimal Clean, Healthy Air in Your Home or Office with our HVAC Systems

Look to the HVAC experts at Apollo to ensure your energy system is in excellent condition and operating at optimal efficiency, while also helping to keep your indoor air of the utmost quality!  

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning want to make you aware of a product that pro-actively treats every cubic inch of conditioned air in your home or business.  The In-Duct LED Air Purifier is a whole-home air purification system that reduces airborne and surface contaminants, viruses, and pollutants, all through bi-polar ionization. 

Apollo field technicians will work closely with you in deciding what HVAC system is the best, and tailor it to fit your unique needs and preferences, and the indoor environment!  We are committed to delivering premium quality HVAC service, maintenance, products, and documentation in Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, and beyond!

Learn more by contacting Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning!  Call us at (509) 396-COLD (2653).