Types of Air Conditioner Filters and How They Work

Last Updated on 17 February, 2024 by Sourav Roy

A filter is essential when you’re getting an air conditioner. The more filters, the better. If you’re about to buy an AC, then learning about air conditioner filters will help you significantly.

Types of Air Conditioner Filters and How They Work

Here, we’ll tell you everything you need, starting from the benefits of having a filter in your air conditioner, to all the kinds of air filters used in ACs.

Benefits of an AC with Air Filters

Benefits of an AC with Air Filters

There is a lot of air pollution in countries where industrialisation is present. Your home can oftentimes be filled with polluted air. As you’ll be spending nearly 70% of your time indoors, it means that you’ll have to breathe in that air continuously. Besides, as there is less airflow in the closed confines of your home, the harmful air will keep recirculating for the most part.

Getting an AC with air filters will really improve the quality of the air, as they can remove harmful components like bacteria, dust and other debris from it. Moreover, the air filters will also keep the efficiency of the AC consistent.

Without any air filters, the state of the air inside the room will only get worse. After all, you have to keep the room airtight for the cooling to be done properly. Doing that will also block off outlets through which the polluted air can go out of, leading to the recirculation of the unhealthy air throughout the room.

An air conditioner that comes with air filters doesn’t have any price increases because of the filters themselves. So, you won’t need to pay extra to have these. You do have to put in more effort during maintenance though, as the filters need to be cleaned or changed every 4 to 6 months.

Recommended Reading: 11 Best Air Conditioners in India 2024


Types of Air Conditioner Filters

Now, AC filters come in multiple variants, and each one has different benefits. We’ll touch upon each type of air filter and tell you how each works.


1. Electrostatic Filters

Air Conditioner Electrostatic Filters

Electrostatic filters use electrostatic chargers to remove dust particles. The magnetic effect of the charge attracts debris and various other dust particles. They stay stuck to the filter through static charge. They need to be washed off afterwards.

The good thing about electrostatic air filters is that not only do they decrease the harmful particles in the air, they’re also easy to clean. Besides, these air filters also come with a lifelong warranty and are quite cost-effective.

The only thing you should keep in mind when you get an AC with these filters is that you need to clean often. Cleaning the filters consistently will give you many years of excellent performance. You’ll usually see these air filters being used in Daikin ACs.


2. Nano-Silver Filters

Nano-Silver Filters

Nano-Silver Filters are some of the best filters out there, because of their anti-bacterial quality. The technology is based mostly around dealing with bacteria. Samsung has said that this technology can disinfect as much as upto 650 types of bacteria.

The technology works using the combination of two things—namely, superoxide ions and hydroxyl.

The superoxide ions are created by using Titanium dioxide, which makes electrons in an excited state when it’s exposed to ultraviolet. The eventual reaction of the products with oxygen afterwards leads to the creation of superoxide ions. Another reaction then occurs, with water vapour, leading to the production of hydroxyl radicals.

Superoxide ions and hydroxyl are lethal to bacterial cells when put together, giving way to the spread of clean and safe air.


3. Pleated Filters

Pleated Filters

Pleated air filters are powerful filters, which provide much more potent filtration when compared to the average filters offered by some manufacturers. They are made with pleats of a unique wire synthetic media, and they’re quite efficient at removing microscopic particles in the air.

They can even take out the smallest bacteria, alongside other impurities like dust, pollen, and so on. They’re so effective because they have more fibre per square inch. The more fibre the filter has, the better it will handle air particles.


4. Mechanical Filters

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filters

Mechanical air filters are the most common air conditioner filters used in ACs. These capture particles from the air through the use of synthetic fibres, preventing them from affecting the air. There are different qualities for these filters, though.

Basic mechanical filters don’t really clean the air, and they don’t have a high MERV rating either, ranging from 1-4. They’re inexpensive and only work out to block out dust, for the most part, preventing damage to your equipment. They don’t clean out the air, though.

There are also pleated cotton or polyester mechanical filters, which work better in getting rid of bigger and more harmful particles. So, they’re better at actually cleaning the air. They do need to be cleaned up more often than their basic counterparts though.

The most effective mechanical filters are HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filters, which are used in a lot of the best air conditioners. They can remove more than 95% of the dust, pollen, bacteria and other particles in the air.

For maximum efficiency, these filters need to be cleaned every three months or earlier, if possible.

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What is a MERV Rating?

AC Air Filter MERV Rating

The MERV rating we mentioned earlier is important when you’re considering an air filter, as it tells you about how well the filter can clean the air. A higher MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating means that more particles will be removed from the air.

However, you don’t necessarily need to use an air filter with the highest MERV rating, unless you have respiratory conditions. For a regular person, filters with a MERV rating of 5-8 should be sufficient. They can filter the air well enough, getting rid of common harmful particles like dust mites, pollen, lint or other relatively small ones.

Just make sure you replace these filters often. One thing to keep in mind though, is that the AC has a specific limit on how much of a MERV rating it can accommodate. You can find the limit somewhere on the manual. Going past the limit can actually harm the conditioner.

Recommended Reading: Common problems with an AC – and how to solve them!



Now that you know how air conditioner filters work, you can go on ahead and find the best AC for yourself. This article should help you find an AC that won’t get your body in trouble and give you clean, healthy air.

Good luck and have a good time shopping!

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