Cheap air filters often sound like a good idea to cash strapped consumers worried about the costs of home of office upkeep, but using cheap replacement filters in your air conditioner isn’t a good way to save money. As a matter of fact, doing so can result in a wide variety of other problems that could end up costing the homeowner or business owner more than the price of replacing high quality filters.

Problems with Using Cheap Filters
Many problems and issues can result from the use of cheap replacement filters, ranging from inconvenience to dangers to the health and well being of everyone present in the home or office. However, these issues can be avoided simply by choosing a high quality filter for your A/C unit and replacing it on a regular basis, as directed by the manufacturer.

Choosing the Best Filters for Your Needs
Knowing the differences between cheap air filters and ones that are high quality can help consumers make a decision on which type of air filter is best for their needs and their budget.

MERV Matters
Cheap air filters are generally less efficient than their high quality counterparts are. High quality air filters have a higher MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) than the cheap alternatives, which means that the high quality filters are more effective at removing small particles of air pollutants from indoor air. Because many harmful air pollutants, such as mold, smoke, and animal dander, are comprised of small particles, choosing a high quality air filter will remove more of types of these harmful elements in larger quantities and increase the cleanliness and healthiness of the indoor air by a significant amount.

Clean Disposal
Cheap air filters can be messy when removed from the filtration system. Compacted dirt and debris attached to a cheap air filter can come loose when the air filter is moved from the filtration system to a disposal area, resulting in this particulate being released into the air, onto the floor, and back into the filtration system. Removing these fine particulates often requires a great deal of work as well as the assistance of chemical cleaners – substances that can be harmful if breathed.

Structural Integrity
High quality air filters are more likely to maintain their structural integrity while the filtration system is in operation. A loss of structural integrity while the air filter is contained within the unit can result in a number of costly issues, including damaging expensive equipment, depositing large amounts of particulates back into the air filtration system, or having to contact a trained professional to remove a stuck, broken air filter from the unit. It is important to use air filters that are the correct length, width, and thickness for the unit in which the filter will be installed to ensure that the air filter will fit properly within the unit.

Fiberglass Problems
Some cheap air filters are made of fiberglass material because it is relatively inexpensive and is simple to form into the proper shape. Fiberglass can be very brittle and may cause harm to the homeowner or business owner when the air filter is handled. There is also the potential for fiberglass fibers to break off from the filter material and enter the passing air to be breathed in by any individuals indoors, causing serious health issues.

Make the Right Choice
In order to avoid these and other dangerous and inconvenient indoor air quality issues, a high quality filter should be chosen that meets the needs of your home or business.

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 (