Electrostatic Air Filter- Working Principle, Usage, Pros, And cons

Do You know the air inside your homes is not fresh and clean ?. Yes, It’s right. I know you want fresh air in your home. But this will be quite a concern for you because it is seen that Indoor air is more dangerous than the air that we have outdoor. I don’t know you are aware or not that the air pollutant levels Indoors are 2-5 times higher than air available outdoors.

You know what? You are dealing with varieties of contaminants inside your house. Dust, smoke from kitchen chores, pollen grains, air fresheners, and if you are an animal lover, pet dander too. These particles are unhealthy for you. Specifically, the real problem arises when you have a member in your family who has allergies and asthma. I hope it is clear now, the fresh and clean air inside your homes is quite a mandatory sort of thing. 

But, how to get the fresh air?. This can be done using air filters. Air filters help to remove the deadly contaminants from your home. There are so many kinds of air filters available. However, In this article, we entirely focus on the Electrostatic Air filters. We will see how effective they are, whether they are good enough to give off harmful air articles or not. To better understand the Electrostatic Air filters, we need to look a little closer to it. So, Wait for what?. Let’s just stuck into it.

What Are Electrostatic Air Filters?

The common form of Air filters used to remove the hazardous airborne particles from the Indoors of your homes is nothing but ” Electrostatic Air Filters”. It generates an electric field along the filter unit to trap the contaminated particles.
Electrostatic air cleaners work on the principle of electromagnetism, and thereby ensure the total removal of impure air particles from your homes

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How do They work?

It may seem tricky from the outside but the actual process is quite simple and intuitive. Opposite charges attract each other, this rule you must have learned in your school days. Like the positive pole and the negative pole of magnets attract each other, and by rubbing the balloon on hairs, it sticks up with the balloon. The same science involves here too. In a technical word, it’s termed “Electrostatic attraction”.

electrostatic air filter
Credit : Link

Your electrostatic air filters generate an electric field and the airborne particles passing through the filters are given an electric charge. And, in this time if you place filter plates nearby them, carrying an opposite charge. The huge pressure is applied on the particles and they will be pulled towards the plates and sticks with them. The charge will hold these particles until you wash them away.

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What Are Electrostatically Charged-Fibers & Precipitators?

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Electrostatically Charged-Fibers

Reusable air filters are the most useful filters and I know you too are looking for that electrostatic air filter, having potent reusable filters medium. Reusable filters medium are nothing but the filter panels that can be washed and reused multiple times. Its fibers are made from electrostatically-charged material.

In HEPA Air filters, the airborne particles get trapped within the fibers. However, that’s not the case with the Electrostatically-charged filters. These filters are often termed ‘flat’ filters and in these fibers are electrostatically-charged. So when the air particles come into contact with the fibers. It’s not get trapped within fibers but attracted and stick to the filter.

These are made up of coarse fibers, which are easier to manufacture. Therefore these filters can be installed directly to your HVAC system. They are quite cheaper in terms of cost than what we have in mechanical Air filters like HEPA.

The Plus point is that it can be washed and reused. However, sometimes fibers become coated in dust. Resulting, the filter medium becomes insulated and does not attract contaminated particles as better as it used to be, a little minus point of these filters.

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Electrostatic Precipitator

Electrostatic Precipitators are nothing but Electrostatic Air filters(or cleaners), and that is our major focus of this article. They are intuitively designed, can easily be installed in your HVAC system. It is done in accordance with the electromagnetism principle. In the effect of the electric field, it transfers the electric charge to the incoming airborne particles to attract. Also, it charges the filter plates to collect the incoming particles.

The section where those harmful air particles get a charge or where the air first draws is the Ionization section. the real picture starts now when the particles pass towards the filter plates, which carry an opposite charge, then the strong pulling force exerts on the particles which makes them move towards the plate to attract. The only problem with these filters is, the pollutants get stuck into it, which comes out the outer side of the precipitator.

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Electrostatic Air Filters- Positives & Negatives

Undoubtedly, Electrostatic Air Filters are the best in all types of air filters. Yet, you know everything has some points good and a few bad too. There are some serious debates about how good electrostatic air filters are and how efficient it works. Here, We will see them in a detailed manner.

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Here are some benefits which I have found interesting in electrostatic air filters. See them-

  • The best thing about electrostatic Air filters is their effective cleaning with easiness. It is quick and simple. You will have no trouble using this free for so many years.
  • The Dust loading Patterns are designed in a manner that ensures maximum air filtration
  • It exerts a strong electric field on the system which helps in particulates the dust, smoke, pollen grains, and other contaminated particles.
  • It comes at a low cost and Doesn’t need frequent replacement as such. Can be reused and washed again and again.
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  • You have to clean it regularly because they lose the effect if it is not subjected to cleaning.
  • They have only been restricted to particulate the dust, and pollen grains. It gets fails to address the harmful gases like volatile organic compounds and the odors from tobacco, and wood smoke.
  • Along with the electric field, it produces ozone as well, which is very harmful to health, especially asthma patients.
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Different Types Of Electrostatic Air Filters

There are different types of electrostatic air filters currently available in the market. All are categorized as per the MERV Rating standard and Arrestance capacity. Arrestance is the measure of the ability to pull stubborn stains out of the air. The more Arrestance, the better air filtration. Here, we have enlisted 2 types of electrostatic air filters.

  • Electrostatic Pleated Air Filters
  • Electrostatic Washable Air Filters
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How To Clean Electrostatic Air Filters?

Regular Cleaning is necessary for any machine to work efficiently and the same in the case of electrostatic air filters too. Because the dust can shackle the airflow. So, here, we will see how effectively we can clean it to get the best out of it and use it for plenty of years to come.

  • Firstly, you have to remove the air filter from the AC and apply a gentle stream of water from the opposite side of the filter so that it could get better cleaning. Please make a note that, the higher the pressure you have given to the system, the better cleaning of filters you will get.
  • Secondly, You need to rinse the filter thoroughly from the opposite side.
  • Now use specified cleaners to remove heavy tight stains.
  • Now you need to rinse thoroughly if it has some dirt remaining.
  • At last, drain the excess water which left remains on the system and leave the screen for a couple of minutes to get dry for reinstallation.

One thing to note is, it’s always better to clean the electrostatic filters once every 4-5 weeks.

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Difference Between HEPA Air Filters & Electrostatic Air Filters

Both the HEPA Air filters and Electrostatic Air filters are good in terms of giving off the tough air. HEPA filters are nothing but just a mat of fibers, aligned randomly. These fibers are made from either glass or synthetic materials whereas the electrostatic air filters are made up of coarse fibers, works on the principle of electromagnetism.

Like, Electrostatic filter which sheds off the pollen grains and dust from your homes. Also, HEPA filters remove viruses, bacteria, mold, pollen grains, and many other contaminants. For a better understanding of the difference, see it with the given table below.

electrostatic air filter
Credit : Link

You are Reading: Difference B/W HEPA Air Filters & Electrostatic Air Filters

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Usage of Electrostatic Air Filters In AC( Air Conditioners)

There has been a great usage of Electrostatic Air Filters in AC. Now, there are most of the ACs come with potent electrostatic filters to sheds off the fine particles and debris from the indoors. the best talking point is its lower replacement frequency.

Electrostatic filters come in specific models of Daikin Air Conditioners. 83 % paper 3 M Air conditioner filter is quite a famous one. Pleated Air filters are not suitable for Ac as they restrict air filtration whereas the electrostatic air filters ensure maximum air filtration.

The best part of these filters is, you can reuse and wash them easily. However, you will need to consider the maintenance of it regularly.

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Final Words

Dirty Air particles and Debris inside the homes give a heavy toll on your health. And, this is becoming a big concern to think about. To curb it, we have air filters. Air filters remove the harmful airborne particles of the air. Earlier, In this article, I have talked about electrostatic air filters like how they work, how to clean them, usage in AC, types, and so on.

HEPA filters are also good in terms of the removal of stubborn air particles. But, they get fail when it comes to delivering maximum air filtration. However, electrostatic air filters ensure maximum air filtration with a lower replacement frequency. That’s why I would recommend you to have AC with potent electrostatic air filters.

If you find some queries regarding electrostatic air filters, you can simply write your thoughts in the comment section. we will be glad to hear your thoughts and feedback.

You may also like to read: What is PM 2.5 filter


Harsh Verma

A Software Engineer by profession, I blog about technology, gadgets, and tech reviews on RiansTech. Love learning new technologies, reading non-fiction books and writing is my passion. I am reachable on Instagram, And Facebook,

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