Electrostatic Furnace Filter VS Disposable: A Close Comparison

Electrostatic Furnace Filter VS Disposable: A Close Comparison

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Ever since furnace filters first found their way to the market, people have been contemplating which kind is best.

When you manage to narrow it down to the right type of furnace filter for your home, there are then the tons of brands to pick from, making the process even more lengthy and complicated.

While there is not a simple answer, we are going to go over the pros and cons of electrostatic and disposable filters. Once you understand what both types have to offer, the choice will become just a little easier.

A Closer Look

Let’s look at some of the differences between both an electrostatic and disposable filter.

Electrostatic ​​​Disposable
Electrostatic Washable Permanent A/C Furnace Air Filter in white background
Glasfloss Industries PTA16251 PTA Series Heavy Duty Disposable Panel Air Filter in white background
  • Eco-friendly
  • Cost efficient
  • Easy to clean
  • Affordable
  • No cleaning required
  • Helps with allergies



Eco friendly Stamp

Being eco-friendly is important to reduce carbon footprints and keep the planet thriving. Electrostatic filters are very eco-friendly.

You’ll use them for several years, cleaning and reusing them rather than disposing of them. This reduces waste, saves money, and allows you to do your part in achieving an aspect of green living that helps keep our world safe.

Time and Maintenance

Closeup of construction worker choosing Maintenance button on virtual screen.

Electrostatic filters can be cleaned rather than replaced, for numerous cycles. While this might take a bit longer than simply taking out an old one and installing a new one, it’s a simple process that only requires water and a clean rag.

Safety Concerns

Many Caucasian People And Hands Holding Colorful Letters Or Characters Building The Isolated English Word Safety On White Background

Electrostatic filters work quite well, removing almost all of the toxins and contaminants from the air. However, because of the way they function, it’s possible for them to release some of the ions they uses into the air you breathe. This can trigger some pretty severe skin allergies in a number of people, which is definitely not ideal.

Financial Benefits and Concerns

A person thinking about Benefits with a thought cloud over his head, wondering which package is the best choice and most beneficial

With an electrostatic filter, you don’t have to replace it every three months. This means long-term savings over several years.

However, in order to get that long-term savings, you have to be willing to make a short-term investment. These are a much higher cost than disposable filters, and you may want to weigh out the amount you’ll save to determine if it’s worth the investment.

Availability and Variety

When you go shopping for your furnace filter, you should be armed with the correct size, as well as the furnace manufacturer’s suggested MERV rating. In electrostatic filters, you’ll likely easily find all the standard sizes, as well as a few of the more custom and unusual sizes of filter available. Because of the strength and functionality of these filters, however, you’ll have a limited range of MERV ratings to choose from, which may increase cost.



Earth with recycling arrows symbol in green background

Technically, a disposable filter could be eco-friendly, if you don’t mind working hard at it. These filters are made with multiple materials, which have to be taken apart to recycle them. So, if you feel like you have time and don’t mind the effort to deconstruct three materials once every 90 days, this is still an option.

However, being that they are labeled ‘disposable’ and that you probably aren’t going to take that kind of time, they typically add plenty of wasted materials to the environment.

Time and Maintenance

A man's arm and hand seen replacing disposable air filter in home central air furnace.

It may seem like a breeze to change out a disposable filter, and it is a quicker process than cleaning an electrostatic furnace filter. But if you don’t have a spare and remember to keep one around, you may run into a problem that takes you on a hunt to more than one store, trying to find the right size at the last minute.

Safety Concerns

By comparison, disposable filters might not be quite as efficient (though close), but if you find you’re experiencing any allergies or irritation, you probably just need to change out the filter because the current one is full. This is a much simpler solution, and you’ll usually notice it before it becomes detrimental to your health.

Financial Benefits and Concerns

Cheap Vs Expensive 3d Words on a scale or balance to illustrate or compare prices or costs to find the best deal, bargain or value

Disposable filters are relatively inexpensive, so when you go to the store, you can rest assured you won’t be spending a great deal of money.

At the same time, you’ll have to remember that this investment has to be made at least every three months and sometimes more often, depending on your home environment and how quickly the filter fills up.

Availability and Variety

Disposable filters tend to be completely opposite. You’ll have a broad spectrum of MERV ratings available, so you can be certain to meet the requirements of your furnace and HVAC system. You’ll also find all the standard sizes available for your purchase.

However, if your filter size is uncommon, you might have some difficulty locating the one you need, as these aren’t mass-produced and, therefore, aren’t common among the cheapest of solutions for your system.


The best type of furnace filter is the one you’re most comfortable with and which gets the job done. Always keep in mind that the primary role of a furnace filter is not to filter your air, but to keep the furnace protected from contaminants that might damage the system. The clean air is just an added bonus.

That being said, it’s important to determine what’s next on your priority list. Do you want furnace filters that are easily removed and replaced, and you don’t mind the extra bucks per year? Or are you more interested in saving money and wouldn’t mind having to clean an electrostatic filter every once in a while?

Electrostatic Furnace Filter VS Disposable A Close Comparison

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