We’ve all been there, funds are a little low or you’re saving for something specific and every cent counts. It makes it tempting to grab the own brand air filter and replace your existing one with it. After all, it’s likely to be several dollars cheaper than the manufacturer’s offering.
While this can appear to make financial sense, that doesn’t always mean it’s the best decision. It’s time to see how much difference it makes when you buy a cheap air filter instead of a more expensive one.
It should be noted that this isn’t an option if you have your air conditioning serviced by a local commercial air conditioning specialist. They will use the more expensive manufacturer’s filter.
The Role Of Air Filters
The name says it all. An air filter filters the air, removing, contaminants from it. The pollutants are held in the material of the filter. Once the filter is saturated you can carefully remove it and replace it. In some cases, it’s possible to wash it but this is rare.
It should be noted that removing the air filter needs to be done with care. It has a variety of pollutants, such as pet dander, dust, pollen, and even smoke caught in the filter. Banging it when removing it will release these pollutants back into your air.
That’s why it’s best to remove and bag it simultaneously. You can seal the bag and dispose of it, keeping your air clean.
Issues With Cheap Air Filters
Cheap air filters save you money but, they don’t always do the same job. Here are some of the issues with cheap air filters.
- Poor Fitting
Cheaper air filters are designed to duplicate the original. However, without the manufacturer’s exact specifications, many cheaper filters are not a perfect fit. This means it is possible for air to get past the filter without going through it.
While the majority of the pollutants will still be caught, some will get through, contaminating your air.
- Low-Quality Materials
Cheaper air filters tend to use lower-quality materials. That means they won’t be as good at absorbing pollutants, potentially allowing some through into your home. Equally, the lower quality materials are likely to be saturated faster, meaning the filter will need to be replaced quicker than if you were using a more expensive option.
- Surface Area
One of the main reasons cheaper air filters are cheaper is that they use less material inside the filter. It reduces production costs but makes them less efficient. Of course, the amount of filtration material isn’t easy to calculate. That’s why many people don’t realize this fundamental difference exists.
The Bottom Line
It is possible to purchase cheap air filters and use them. However, the reality is that they are highly likely to cost you more in the long run. They simply don’t last as long and don’t capture the same level of pollutants. It’s worth paying the extra few dollars for one that does the job properly.