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Fiberglass Air Filters vs. Pleated Air Filters

Fiberglass Air Filters vs. Pleated Air Filters

Choosing the right air filter for your HVAC system is no joke. The quality of an air filter impacts not only your home’s air quality but also your family’s health. You have to consider everything from price and size to longevity. It can all be a bit overwhelming for something so small.

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That’s where we come in. We’ve put together a guide just for you that compares two popular air filter types: fiberglass and pleated. If you want to know which option is better for your home, this guide has the answers.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Pleated Air Filters vs. Fiberglass Air Filters

Pros & Cons of Pleated Air Filters vs. Fiberglass


Fiberglass Air Filters

Pros of Fiberglass Air Filters

  • Cost: They typically only cost a few dollars each.
  • Airflow: They allow air to pass through the fibers more easily.
  • Filtration:  They filter larger debris, like dust and lint.

Cons of Fiberglass Air Filters: 

  • Longevity: They should be replaced monthly.
  • Quality: They tend to be thin and fall apart easily.
  • Filtration: They capture larger debris but don’t block out smaller particles like pollen and bacteria.
  • Eco-friendliness: Fiberglass isn’t a recyclable material.


Pleated Air Filters

Pros of Pleated Air Filters: 

  • Longevity: They only need to be replaced every three months.
  • Filtration: Their larger surface area helps them capture large debris and small particles, which produces better air quality.
  • Eco-friendliness: They can be recycled in some areas.

Cons of Pleated Air Filters: 

  • Cost: Due to their greater longevity and superior air filtration, pleated filters are more expensive than fiberglass filters. However, you don’t have to replace them as often as fiberglass air filters.


Based on the information above, you might be wondering whether fiberglass air filters are even safe to use. The short answer is yes. However, if you want an air filter that will remove small particles like bacteria, pollen, and pet dander, a pleated air filter is the better option. Fiberglass air filters clog more easily, which can inhibit airflow, air quality, and comfort.

What Are Pleated Air Filters?

Pleated air filters are made with more flexible materials, like cotton and polyester. They feature folds—or pleats—across the surface. These pleats enable the filter to capture not only smaller particles but also more particles. The primary benefit of this feature is that pleated air filters don’t become clogged as easily or as quickly.

4 Symptoms of a Clogged Air Filter

  1. Unusually High Energy Bills: The more clogged an air filter is, the harder your HVAC system must work to produce cool and warm air. The harder your HVAC system works, the more energy it uses—which causes your energy bills to spike. Simply replacing a clogged air filter restores energy bills to their normal rate.
  2. Inadequate Cooling: Besides causing poor air circulation, a clogged air filter allows contaminants to obstruct or damage HVAC parts. This impedes their ability to cool your home properly.
  3. System Overheating: A clogged air filter forces HVAC components to work harder. Strained HVAC components are more prone to overheating.
  4. Frozen Evaporator Coil: The evaporator coil is responsible for taking warm air and cooling it. When a clogged air filter impedes the flow of warm air to the evaporator coil, the lack of heat can cause the evaporator coil to freeze.

Dependable Heating and Air Conditioning Repair & Installation Services

We offer Heating and Air Conditioning maintenance, repairs, and installations to customers in Jacksonville, Florida, and surrounding areas. Just schedule the service you need online or call us at (904) 440-1507, and a certified technician will come to perform a thorough inspection and provide a reliable solution. We look forward to serving you.