There are two main types of air filters on the market today for use in residential and commercial buildings: panel air filters and pleated air filters. Many homeowners and building managers choose to purchase panel air filters based on the price of the filter without thoroughly examining whether purchasing a pleated air filter would be more beneficial. There are a number of benefits to purchasing a pleated air filter over purchasing a panel air filter. Many people believe that these added benefits are well worth the additional cost.

Three Benefits of Pleated Air Filters

1. Filtering Efficiency
A pleated air filter is more efficient at removing airborne particles than panel air filters. Many of the cheapest panel air filters are meant for pre-filtering or only removing the largest particulate from the air being filtered. Smaller particles of dirt, dust, and allergens passing through a panel filter can damage expensive equipment and cause numerous health issues. A pleated filter captures a wider range of air pollutants and is capable of removing much smaller particles from the air.

Pleated air filters have an average efficiency more than 22 percent higher than standard panel filters. The manufacturers of pleated air filters compensate for the decreased airflow through the more efficient filter material by creating a deep V pleat in the filter material, increasing the square footage of the filter material without increasing the size of the filter. A standard panel filter may have four square feet of surface area while a pleated air filter of the same size may have 17 square feet of surface area.

2. Ability to Trap Dirt and Pollutants
Pleated air filters are capable of holding more dirt and pollutants than panel air filters. The much larger surface area of the pleated filter material provides more material for trapping air pollutants, giving the air filter a higher maximum build-up limit. Build-up on the filter material can result in lower efficiency, allowing dirt and other particulates to pass through the air filter and accumulate on equipment or be released back into the air where it can be breathed in by the individuals occupying the space.

3. Ease of Changing
Pleated air filters are much easier to change without dislodging large amounts of dirt and debris from the filter material. Many panel filters are unable to hold the particulate caught to the filter material securely when moved, resulting in a significant quantity of the unpleasant substance being released into the air, onto the floor, or back into the filtering system. Cleaning up the dirt and fine particulate after changing a panel filter can be costly, time consuming, and frustrating for all involved.

Choosing the Best Filter
There are many other benefits to choosing a pleated air filter over a panel air filter for use in a home or business. Even though the pleated air filters may be more expensive, this additional cost is offset by the longer life, ease of maintenance, and simplicity of using the pleated filters. Changing from panel air filters to pleated air filters is easy and inexpensive as many manufacturers use the same dimensions for different styles of filters so that multiple types may be used for the same equipment.

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 (