Fiberglass air filters are some of the most commonly used filters in St. Louis area homes. Although there are some good reasons to use fiberglass filters, they aren’t always the best option for homeowners. Today we’re going to talk about what fiberglass air filters are and the advantages and disadvantages of using them with your heating and cooling system!

What are fiberglass air filters?

Fiberglass filters are the 1-inch blue filters that can be found at most hardware and large retail stores. They are made of spun glass that captures large particles from your home’s air and typically come with a MERV rating between 1 and 4.

Fiberglass filters are often referred to as “throwaway” or “disposable” filters because they are only designed to last around 30 days before they need to be thrown away and replaced.

What are the advantages of fiberglass air filters?

The biggest advantage of using fiberglass air filters is that they are inexpensive when compared to more advanced filters like pleated filters or whole-house air cleaners. You can typically buy an individual fiberglass filter for under $3, and you can find them at almost any department, grocery, or large retail store.

What are the disadvantages of fiberglass air filters?

  • Must be changed every 30 days.
  • , Unlike many advanced filters that can last 3 months or more, fiberglass filters are only designed to last for 30 days at a time. After 30 days, they lose effectiveness and need to be replaced.

  • Can significantly impair your system’s efficiency levels. If you forget to change your fiberglass filter, your furnace or air conditioner will suffer from severe efficiency losses. That’s because fiberglass filters clog up fast, which forces your air handler to work extremely hard and use a lot of energy to compensate.
  • Not effective at removing small particles. Fiberglass filters are only designed to remove the largest particles from your home’s air. That means that they provide a minimum amount of protection for your heating and cooling system, and they do very little to protect your health (see below).
  • Not effective for asthma or allergies. Allergens and other airborne contaminants that affect our health are the smallest particles found in our homes’ air. These tiny particles will flow right by fiberglass filters, which means these filters will not protect against the spreading of illnesses or relieve allergy and asthma symptoms like more advanced filtration systems will.

If you have any questions about fiberglass air filters, or if you’d like a heating and cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Charles, MO, furnace, and air conditioning contractor. We service the St. Louis area, including towns like Weldon Spring, Wentzville, and Winghaven, MO.

photo credit: MBK (Marjie) via photopin cc

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