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Pleated vs. Non-Pleated Air Filters: Which Are Best?

To examine the questions of whether to buy a pleated or non-pleated air filter, it helps to invoke examples. For our example today, let’s create an imaginary air filter consumer. We’ll call him Ted. 6 feet tall, brown hair, business owner. Nice guy, I think. He wants to find the right air filter for his apartment, which is 1,200 square feet and located in the heart of the city.

Ted is based in San Francisco, California, one of the places with the highest air pollution in the US. Ted wants to buy a filter, but has no idea where to start.

He knows that the job of a filter is to trap particles in order to make air clean and safe, and keep gunk from reaching the HVAC system.

To find the best filter, we need to consider three criteria:

Price:

The budget he has in mind for purchasing his filter is important. Being in San Francisco, he has to save up for rent.

Replacement Frequency:

Replacing an air filter is a boring chore. Ted would rather not do it very, so he wants a filter that doesn't need much attention.

MERV rating:

MERV means the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It is the level or ability at which a filter is able to capture particles. The recommended MERV rating for regular use is 1-16 for residential houses, and 17-20 for specialized medical/commercial use.

Now, to make things easy for Ted, we’ll divide air filters into 2 types - pleated and non-pleated. Let’s look at the advantages of each.

Pleated Air Filters


Pleated air filters are made from pliable materials like polyester, paper or cotton, and have a high surface area as compared to its counterpart, the non-pleated air filter.

A pleated filter is made up of different sizes, and readily captures pathogens as small as 0.3 microns, filtering out even the tiniest of bacteria. They are overall more effective in capturing very tiny particles than non-pleated air filters; 99.97% of airborne particles are trapped with a pleated air filter.

When it comes to price, a pleated air filter is technically more expensive than a non-pleated air filter, although all air filters are pretty cheap.

The ideal replacement frequency for a pleated filter is 90 days or 3-months, with the frequency increasing depending on how many pets you have and how dusty and polluted your area is.

A pleated filter has an MERV rating of 5+. The higher the MERV rating, the higher the amount of particles filtered, and the cleaner the air is on the other side. Note, however, that a higher MERV will require more energy for air passage, since the material is more dense. This makes pleated air filters less suitable for large spaces that require faster air passage.

Non-pleated Air Filters


Non-pleated filters are made of fiberglass or some other electrostatic material, which is weaved about in a random fashion to create a barrier through which air passes.

Compared to pleated air filters, non-pleated air filters are less expensive. They’re simpler to manufacture and use cheaper materials. Of course, no slash in price is without its trade-offs.

A non-pleated air filter is required to be changed every 30 days due to its large surface area. Non-pleated air filters are designed to catch the largest particles, which add up on the filter fairly quickly compared to the tiny particles that pleated filters are designed for.

A non pleated air filter has a MERV rating of 2-4, making it considerably less effective for catching small particles than a pleated filter. Filters with a MERV rating of 4 only catch less than 20% of particles smaller than 10 microns in size. Generally, a non-pleated filter is not suitable for people with allergies.

Here’s the good news: Because non-pleated filters are less air-restrictive. they require less energy for usage and can be fitted with any HVAC system available.

So which filter is better for our man Ted?

Well, Ted needs defense against the smog and pollution in his city. In order to protect against the bombardment of smoke and dust particles that will invariably enter his apartment, he’ll need a pretty high MERV on his filter. His apartment is also fairly cozy at 1,200 square feet, and his AC is up to residential standards, so air-restrictiveness is not a huge concern.

Now, a non-pleated filter is best suited for large spaces that require a free and fast flow of air, and only traps the largest particles. Because of this, the best place for a non-pleated filter is a large commercial space like, say, a warehouse or a workshop. Non-pleated filters catch carpet fibers, saw dust, leaves, and small pieces of trash. In a commercial setting, non-pleated filters are a great way to keep your air clean without spending a lot. The higher air flow allows more air cyclese power hour, which prevents the build-up of debris during working hours.


For Ted, a pleated air filter - and a high-MERV one at that - is by far the best bet. We’d recommend our MERV 10 Odor Eliminator for Ted, so he can filter out the stench of San Francisco along with all of the pollution and contaminants. By placing cost and air flow on the back burners, Ted can have the best quality of air in his apartment without having to replace his filter too often.


But hey, that’s just Ted. Regardless of which filter you need, Filter King is the best source for supplying it. With unmatched quality, super fast delivery, subscription services, and unparalleled customer service, it comes as no surprise that Filter King has earned its name.

Check out our online store to find any filter you’d like in just about any size (yes, even the rare ones). Select your size and your MERV, and get your filters on your doorstep in a few days. You won’t be disappointed.

Pleated Air Filter

The pleated air filter is a common style of filter that provides a low cost, affordable protective layer to your home ventilation system. A pleated air filter is mode of a wire back synthetic media that traps and absorbs more particles than spun fiberglass. The air filters increased quality cause it to have a higher price range than lower style filters. While the air filters may cost more, their quality helps better protect your home from airborne problems.

Pleated Air Filter Protection

The pleated air filter is able to protect your home from floating particles that come through a ventilation system into your home. As air pumps into a ventilation system the airflow goes through filtration and cleansed free of issues. The air filters absorb and trap passing particles and leave the cleaned airflow to enter a room. Air filters are especially important for homes that are in areas with high levels of allergens, pollutants, and odors.

Pleated air filters trap and absorb particles that may otherwise cause problems with the residents in your home. your home with low indoor air quality is prone to dry, stagnant air that may be unsafe to breathe. If the residents in your home regularly breathe in dirty, unfiltered air then it could lead to the trigger of even development of breathing complications. Pleated air filters help raise your home’s air quality, the extent of which depends on their MERV rating.

Air Filter MERV System

The perfect pleat air filters have a mesh weave that traps and absorbs passing particles without restricting airflow. You can see the effectiveness of your pleated air filters via their Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. The MERV rating determines the tightness of an air filters mesh weave, with high ratings meaning more restricted airflow. If the weave is too tight, then the result is costly airflow restriction.

Pleated Furnace Filters

When air pumps into a furnace, it heats to the proper degree before going back out into the ventilation system via a blower fan. As the air goes out to the blower fan it passes through a filter that cleanses the airflow. Any particles that leave the furnace become trapped or absorbed leaving fresh, clean air to travel through the home. The furnace filter is a protective layer in the furnace air system but it will eventually require replacement.

Replacing Pleated Air Filters

The air filters in your home ventilation system and furnace will need to be eventually replaced or there will be issues with airflow. A dirty air filter has layers of dirt and debris that prevent incoming air from passing through easily. The air system will then need to use additional energy in an attempt to bypass any obstacles. Blocked filters cause a rise in energy usage for your home which ends up on your billing. Clean air filters negate airflow problems and allow the air to pass through without a problem.

When cleansed airflow can come through a pleated filter, then the results are fresher, cleaner indoor air quality. Homes with lowered air flow suffer from dry, stagnant, odor-filled air that makes it uncomfortable or unsafe. Air coming from the furnace needs to pass by the air filters quickly or the heated air may dip in temperature. Your home may experience fluctuations in the heating unit, which can prevent air from passing through the system smoothly.

Have Your Pleated Air Filters Delivered

Filter King offers our products and services at affordable prices in order to better suit a wide variety of households. You can order your filters now while changing the order to match the quantity, quality, and size of the filters you need. We offer a subscription service where new filters come straight to your door. You do not have to worry about dirty air filters cluttering up your air system when a new filter comes as often as by the month. Order today and keep the air you are breathing in irritant free.

Pleated Air Filter

The pleated air filter is a common style of filter that provides a low cost, affordable protective layer to your home ventilation system. A pleated air filter is mode of a wire back synthetic media that traps and absorbs more particles than spun fiberglass. The air filters increased quality cause it to have a higher price range than lower style filters. While the air filters may cost more, their quality helps better protect your home from airborne problems.

Pleated Air Filter Protection

The pleated air filter is able to protect your home from floating particles that come through a ventilation system into your home. As air pumps into a ventilation system the airflow goes through filtration and cleansed free of issues. The air filters absorb and trap passing particles and leave the cleaned airflow to enter a room. Air filters are especially important for homes that are in areas with high levels of allergens, pollutants, and odors.

Pleated air filters trap and absorb particles that may otherwise cause problems with the residents in your home. your home with low indoor air quality is prone to dry, stagnant air that may be unsafe to breathe. If the residents in your home regularly breathe in dirty, unfiltered air then it could lead to the trigger of even development of breathing complications. Pleated air filters help raise your home’s air quality, the extent of which depends on their MERV rating.

Air Filter MERV System

The perfect pleat air filters have a mesh weave that traps and absorbs passing particles without restricting airflow. You can see the effectiveness of your pleated air filters via their Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. The MERV rating determines the tightness of an air filters mesh weave, with high ratings meaning more restricted airflow. If the weave is too tight, then the result is costly airflow restriction.

Pleated Furnace Filters

When air pumps into a furnace, it heats to the proper degree before going back out into the ventilation system via a blower fan. As the air goes out to the blower fan it passes through a filter that cleanses the airflow. Any particles that leave the furnace become trapped or absorbed leaving fresh, clean air to travel through the home. The furnace filter is a protective layer in the furnace air system but it will eventually require replacement.

Replacing Pleated Air Filters

The air filters in your home ventilation system and furnace will need to be eventually replaced or there will be issues with airflow. A dirty air filter has layers of dirt and debris that prevent incoming air from passing through easily. The air system will then need to use additional energy in an attempt to bypass any obstacles. Blocked filters cause a rise in energy usage for your home which ends up on your billing. Clean air filters negate airflow problems and allow the air to pass through without a problem.

When cleansed airflow can come through a pleated filter, then the results are fresher, cleaner indoor air quality. Homes with lowered air flow suffer from dry, stagnant, odor-filled air that makes it uncomfortable or unsafe. Air coming from the furnace needs to pass by the air filters quickly or the heated air may dip in temperature. Your home may experience fluctuations in the heating unit, which can prevent air from passing through the system smoothly.

Have Your Pleated Air Filters Delivered

Filter King offers our products and services at affordable prices in order to better suit a wide variety of households. You can order your filters now while changing the order to match the quantity, quality, and size of the filters you need. We offer a subscription service where new filters come straight to your door. You do not have to worry about dirty air filters cluttering up your air system when a new filter comes as often as by the month. Order today and keep the air you are breathing in irritant free.

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