There are a number of different types of air filters on the market today, each one differing in price and quality. Some people believe that basing purchase decisions on the price of the air filter is the right way to make their choice while other people believe that the quality of the air filter is much more important than the price. Although the short-term savings of using cheaper air filters may be significant, over the long term more money may be saved by investing in higher quality filters.

Filter Comparisons
Cheaper air filters can cost up to 40 percent less than high quality filters, but the cheaper ones must be changed more often. The most inexpensive air filters available are generally panel style air filters that have a lower square footage of filter material than the more expensive pleated air filters. Because of the lower square footage, the panel air filters reach their maximum capacity more quickly than pleated air filters and must be changed before they begin to release dirt, dust, and other pollutants back into the air.

High quality air filters are able to trap and collect a wider variety of air pollutants than cheap air filters. The material density of a high quality air filter is much higher than what is contained within a cheap filter, allowing small particles to be confined along with the large particles captured by most types of air filters. The efficiency of the air filter can be determined by reviewing the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of the filter, with higher values indicating an ability to remove very small particles from the air stream.

Cheap filters may be ineffective at removing various types of gaseous air pollutants, including smoke, chemical vapors, and unpleasant odors. Many high quality filters contain an adsorbent material, such as activated carbon, that removes these gaseous pollutants from the air stream as it passes through the filter material. As the pollutants come into contact with activated carbon in the air filter, the pollutants are adsorbed onto the carbon and stored within the filter. The air filter should be changed as soon as the carbon becomes ineffective to continue the remove of gaseous pollutants from the interior air.

Making Your Purchase Decision
When shopping for an air filter, it is best to remember that you get what you pay for. High quality filters may be more expensive, but they are worth the extra cost when you consider the longer life span of the air filter and the higher efficiency at removing air pollutants from the air.

Author's Bio: 

Jim Gates, CAFS, is the brand manager for Quality Filters, Inc. (, a leading manufacturer and distributor of high quality home and commercial air filters. The company’s products are available online at (