If you are looking for a reusable air filter option, then the electrostatic air filter may be exactly what you're looking for. These privide a washable air filter option that has low airflow resistence and high arrestance/particle capture. There have been several types of electrostatic filters over the years, and the effectiveness varies from style to style.
Electrostatic Precipitator Filter Systems
These systems were a big hit back in the 1970's and eventually fell out of favor because they were expensive, required a lot of maintenance, and their effectiveness was questionable. Today the are experiancing a resurgance as they do offer very low airflow resistence and some newer testing procedures can inflate their effectiveness. The big problem is they still rely on an aactive electrical field to generate the static electric charges that cause the system to capture particles (or filter). They are still susceptible to failure due to short circut of this electrical field, though now there are multiple panels, so it will be a portion that goes out and stops filtering instead of the entire system like earlier generations. A major cause of this is when carbon particles enter the system - so if your hvac is near anywhere diesel fuled vehicles are used there will be carbon particles in the air that can cause iusses for these systems. Add to that they are as expensive as ever and you really have a very narrow application window for them.
Passive Electrostatic Air Filters
These filters are a great substitue for metal and other low-efficiency filters. They get the same low airflow restriction benefit as other low-end or resuable filters, but they get the added bonus of an electrostatic charge increasing the filter efficiency. A word of caution here is that regular clenaing is required for the filter to maintain that electrostatic charge generation. When the filter media loads it blocks direct airflow over the fibers which is what creates the efficiency boosting charge - so these filters will actually capture less particles the dirtier they get. Even without the boost though, they still capture more particles as metal filters, fiberglass disposables, and other washable or resuable air filter options, so that extra efficiency is still a bonus. In a residential setting these filters should last 10+ years and commonly have "lifetime" warranties, while in commercial applications you'd see life cut by about half, and 5-year warranties are more common for commercial use.
If you're ready to upgrade your washable filter to a passive electrostatic, or just curious to how much they cost - click here to get a quote! If you have more questions about these or any other filters please contact us - we're here to help!