There are many different kinds of air filters available, including electrostatic and metal mesh, washable and disposable. When deciding on which air filter is best for your HVAC system, you’ll need to consider more than the initial cost. For example, to work effectively, air filters need to be changed or cleaned as often as every 4-6 weeks (depending on the individual application), so that the clogged, dirty filter media won’t restrict critical air flow. With disposable filters, that can add significant, ongoing replacement costs, especially if your organization has multiple HVAC units. And while there are a few filter options, including quite a few washable filter options, a washable electrostatic air filter may be the best choice of all.
A Washable Electrostatic Air Filter vs. Metal Mesh
In order to appreciate why a washable electrostatic air filter may be the best choice, compare it to your typical metal mesh filter. To catch debris, a metal mesh air filter relies on multiple layers of vented or expanded metal bonded into a pad. A spray on tackifier is needed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of this type of filter. A washable electrostatic air filter, however, is made with woven polypropylene media with electrostatic properties that enhance particle capture. This electrostatic charge keeps airborne particles out by drawing them onto its woven fiber surfaces, much like iron filings onto a magnet. Since static electricity remains constant over time, these filters will never lose their electrostatic properties, regardless of how long they are used or how often they are washed.
A Washable Electrostatic Air Filter vs a Disposable Filter
Since an electrostatic air filter is completely washable and reusable, you no longer have to keep a stack of disposable filters handy for monthly replacement. Instead, you simply remove your washable electrostatic air filter, clean it with water (and maybe a mild detergent), and then put it back in place. A well-constructed washable electrostatic air filter is designed to last, often longer than the HVAC system itself. Electrostatic polypropylene is manufactured from non-porous filament which won’t absorb or retain environmental moisture, and is impervious to mold, bacteria and fungi. The filter won’t tear either, as the petroleum-based media has excellent strength and is highly resistant to abrasion. Additionally, a reusable air filter addresses the environmental concerns of disposable air filters.
You may have read that washable air filters don’t always perform up to the same efficiency standards as disposable filters. That may be true when compared to some of the high-efficiency, particle size specific MERV rated or HEPA filters out there, but they outperform metal mesh filters. Often, washable air filters are used as a prefilter for those high-efficiency filters, catching larger particles and allowing post filters to work more efficiently.
The Permatron Model IN and Model HFA
Two excellent washable electrostatic air filter options are our Model IN and Model HFA filters. These cost-effective and energy efficient solutions easily outperform and outlast metal mesh panels or any other washable, stacked media panel filter on the market, especially as a prefilter or roughing filter. Permatron’s commercial filters use our exclusive Accumulator Chamber® construction (three-stage filtration process including an inner prefilter and afterfilter) to produce superior efficiency and air purity. If an excess of small particulates build up on the prefilter, they break off, allowing air flow to sweep them through the prefilter into the Accumulator Chamber. Cross currents within the Accumulator Chamber cause further agglomeration to create larger particle and some settlement until the filter is rinsed. The afterfilter attracts and holds particles that escape the prefilter or do not respond to an electrostatic charge. The prefilter/afterfilter assembly promotes free air flow with superior dust holding capacity while resisting face loading. They both also carry a five year warranty.
- Our Model HFA is a high-efficiency institutional or commercial washable electrostatic air filter that protects units from both large and small particles, including dirt, hair and dust.
- The Model IN is a durable, high velocity air flow commercial or industrial washable electrostatic air filter built to handle heavier dirt loads and rigorous maintenance programs such as those in paper mills or food processing plants. Available in a stainless steel frame, it also works well in caustic or wet marine environments where chemicals, mold and bacteria can be a concern.
The Best Washable Electrostatic Air Filter is from Permatron®
Since 1957, Permatron has been designing and manufacturing air filters for industrial and commercial use. In fact, we created the very first washable electrostatic air filters over 60 years ago. Not only are our filters custom-made to your specifications and needs, we pride ourselves on our fast turnaround, durability and a nearly endless variety of materials and frames.