Air is essential for life on earth. Without air, our survival will not be possible. However, due to this, the harmful materials present in the air can cause a plethora of problems for humans. Air pollution nowadays is one of the primary causes of respiratory problems found in humans. So it is evident that we should try to make the air we breathe at home as clean as possible. Air filters are excellent for this purpose. However, choosing an air filter is not easy as there are many kinds available. Each of the different types of filters provides several advantages. However, electrostatic air filters are arguably more effective than others. Now you might be wondering, what is an electrostatic air filter? In this article, we will be talking about electrostatic air filters and what advantages it offers in purifying your home air.
What is An Electrostatic Air Filter?
As the name suggests, an electrostatic filter makes use of electricity. It uses static electricity to get rid of the dust, pollen, smoke, and other airborne particles from the air. The main difference between pleated and electrostatic air filters is that the electrostatic filters are placed on top of a furnace. Installing these filters on a boiler helps the user to implement them for both heating and purifying constancies.
How Does an Electrostatic Air Filter Work?
Now many pleated filters make use of electricity, but there is a factor that further differentiates them. The electrostatic filters, also known as washable or reusable filters, meaning unlike the pleated filters, the electrostatic filters are washable. As a result, it allows them to use it for a lengthy period with no need for a change. However, you ought to charge these electrostatic filters to use them to their full potential. While you can use them without complete charging, the effectiveness will be inferior to the pleated filters. Therefore, to make them more effective, full charging them is necessary.
While fully charged, the electrostatic filters make use of static electricity. Static electricity is a much safer method for stripping the unnecessary and harmful particles from the air. But how exactly does it work? The working process of the electrostatic filters is quite simple. They usually consist of multiple layers of vented metal. The filter takes impure air from the outside and passes it through the metal layers. The friction between the layers and the air causes air molecules to electrically charge them. There are ionizers present in these filters as well. These ionizers release negatively charged ions, which then attract the charged molecules present in the air. These molecules then attach themselves to the subsequent layers of the filter and what comes out, in the end, is purified air, devoid of all harmful particles.
Is an Electrostatic Air Filter Better?
So far, we have discussed the process of electrostatic air filters while cleaning the air. Now let us see if this process allows better filtration. First of all, the air filters are efficient in what they are meant to do. However, they do not have similar efficiencies. Electrostatic air filters are very durable and can provide a lengthy use option. So we can say that they are hassle-free and are budget-friendly as well. However, they usually cost more than the pleated filters. That is something you should keep in mind. Moreover, you have to clean them regularly. The particles stay stuck to the filtration device until you wash them. Therefore, it can lead to reduced effectiveness if they are clean.
However, electrostatic filters make use of static electricity. It gives an extra advantage over the pleated filters. Other kinds of filters sometimes fail to get rid of fine particles from the air. The process through which electrostatic filters purify the air allows them to make the air free of the finest particles. Therefore, we can say that electrostatic air filters are more effective than their counterparts.
What Molecules do They Trap?
The effectiveness of an electrostatic filter is way better than the other filters. It can trap 80-90 % of dust, pollen, smoke, pet dander, and mold spores. So, it is evident that the rate of trapping molecules of an electrostatic filter is much more, compared to other standard cotton-pleated or fiberglass filters. Besides capturing particles, it also effectively works as a savior to people having allergies. An electrostatic filter is the best way to save people suffering from several airborne allergies.
The Reason for Installing an Electrostatic Filter
Every customer might have a question, as to why should they install an electrostatic filter in their house? Well, there are various reasons for this. Instead of better and healthy air quality, a buyer needs to consider several other aspects when planning to install them. Below are the most fundamental reasons for installing them.
- Most filters use paper products for manufacturing, but they are not durable enough. But the electrostatic filter is manufactured with an aluminium frame, making it much more durable than others.
- An electrostatic filter can protect the interior and the coil of the air conditioner efficiently from dust. As a result, a user does not need to maintain the AC frequently. The filters save money in maintenance or repairs.
- If you purchase any machine with other filters besides an electrostatic one, then you have to replace them often over the period of time
- A user does not need to worry about the maintenance of this before installing it. It is quite simple as the maintenance only requires water rinsing and vacuuming.
The Principal Advantages of an Electrostatic Filter
From the above discussion, it is apparent that an electrostatic filter has several benefits, from the recent technology to the health concern. Below we have bestowed some of the best principal advantages to prove why an electrostatic filter is the best available technology to you.
One of its benefits lies in its durability and budget-friendliness. You may consider an electrostatic filter as a permanent filter because you do not need to replace it until you want to change the entire filtration system. These filters do not require frequent replacement compared to the filters of activated carbon.
The technological advancement made it possible to run it efficiently. The electrostatic filters have the Minimum Efficient Rating Value or MERV rating between 5 or 6 based on the manufacturer. The ratings are much higher than other filters. Besides, the inbuilt dust loading mechanism is also noticeable because it can handle the airflow quite effectively while doing filtration.
Efficient Air Filtration
If you want to compare pleated filters with this, then the electrostatic filters are way better than the latter. It can improve air quality quite efficiently by removing toxic pollutants having PM 10 or less like dust, pollen, molds, bacteria, spores, and animal dander. These filters provide maximum improvement of indoor air quality and ensure a healthy home environment.
The users can not only save their hard-earned money, but they also save time with the electrostatic filters. It provides trouble-free handling for a long time. Besides, the cleaning process is easy and speedy as well. A user only needs to rinse it with water or vacuum it.
The drawbacks of an electrostatic filter
After knowing the principal advantages, it is also necessary to have a look at the disadvantages. Remember that your health is your topmost priority, and that is why selecting a proper filtration system is eventually evident. Like all the other technologies, the electrostatic filters also have some drawbacks. Though some of the deficiencies cause no interference to your health, others are harmful. The principal disadvantages of it are as follows.
These filters need monthly maintenance. A user has to remove it and clean the filters to work it effectively. Though it does not require replacement like the activated carbon filters, the performance hampers if you do not clean it properly. It may stop working and cause disturbance to the system by putting dirt and other molecules into the air.
These filters require static electricity to filter our small and lightweight particles, but they are not adequate for the large molecules. As a result, the dust particles stuck inside the system create a hindrance when cleaning them. Besides, these filters are less effective compared to the HEPA filters for trapping toxic pollutants.
Block the Airflow
The electrostatic filters block the airflow if they are not clean regularly. As a result of which the air conditioner has to work hard to keep the air flowing. It grants access to more dirt inside the AC unit if the filters are dirty.
The Incompetent Choice for Some People
These filters do not give a choice to safeguard against Ozone. As a result, they can produce Ozone particles, which may cause health issues to people having asthma or allergies and damage the lungs. Besides, these electrostatic filters are washable. They release large molecules into the air creating an unhealthy environment for sensitive people.
Methods of Cleaning the Electrostatic Filters
After discussing the principal drawbacks, it is evident that cleaning is necessary for the electrostatic filters to protect and shield them from the accumulation of dust. The ideal cleaning period is once a month. But you need to know the methods of cleaning. So, what are those? Well, the process is easy and is listed below.
- Firstly remove the filter from the AC unit.
- Then flush with water from the counterpart side. Always remember that you need to give much pressure to clean it properly.
- Next, rinse it from the opposite side.
- After that, you may notice some stains present there. So, to clean them, you should use appropriate cleaners to remove them.
- After applying the cleaners, again rinse it to clean the remaining dirt.
- Finally, drain the water and leave it to dry. Keep in mind that do not reinstall it until it dries.
In the end, though the electrostatic filters require daily maintenance, their benefits are satisfactory. They are washable and come with lifetime longevity. It is not mandatory to change them frequently, like activated filters. We must admit these filters are unbelievable in eliminating the small particles. That is why modern AC manufacturers are using this filtration technology to give a hassle-free healthy life. But keep in mind that always do some research about the technology, its benefits and drawbacks before buying.
After completing this graduation in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Manipal University in 2013, Ankit began rummaging the current Indian market of technology and science. At apolloedoc, Ankit’s job profile consists of cumulating, researching, testing, and verifying products related to tech.
He has a knack for details and catches even the tiniest advantages and flaws that can make or break the product. Since last year, he has been writing for apolloedoc and has been our knight in shining armour when reviewing home appliances.
Ankit’s favourite pastimes consist of jamming onto his guitar with a couple of friends and constantly updating and learning new things! He is also a big-time pet lover and has a cute little pug named Oreo back in Chandigarh. He has bagged many achievements in his college by participating in multiple extracurricular activities.
Writing is something that comes to Ankit naturally. He has his own blog where he posts about coding languages and even provides coaching to students from 12th grade to 2nd year of college. At apolloedoc, Ankit beautifully showcases his knack for the written word by lucidly explaining information in an unbiased way.