I'm interested in increasing the air flow of my AC system and would like to compare electronic air cleaners (like the Honeywell F300E) to a pleated air filters (I have a 4-inch thick MERV 8 filter).

Do electronic air cleaners, in general, have better air flow than pleated filters? It sounds like they must be cleaned regularly to work well and maintain good air flow, which makes sense. Also, it sounds like electronic air cleaners may do a better job of filtering particles.

Are there other pros/cons to consider?


2 Answers 2


You will still want a particulate filter at the intake, I was taught to put particulate filters at each inlet position this helps keep the ductwork clean and prevent build up in the heat exchanger.

Electronic filters are the next best thing in my opinion but just like a 4” MERV 8 they need to be replaced regularly, the electronic take a few minutes to clean. The mesh grid helps with the particulate matter much like the dust filters at the intake but the air flowing through the mesh takes the air to a discharged level, now the air passes over the high voltage grid and the Remaining dust - pollen , mold spores and even smoke particles are trapped in the static grid. There is very little resistance to air flow and these are effective at cleaning the air as long as they are regularly cleaned. My last home I installed this system because of a granddaughter that had severe asthma, this system kept the air in the house clean and inside she never had attacks, I pulled the mesh and grid panels once a month and rinsed them in a shower, it is amazing how much dirt was on them every month. I replaced the 3 pre filters (cheap fiberglass Every 3 months) If I had not seen seen the amount of dirt coming off the electronic grid I would not have beloved how well that system worked, we really noticed when the valley was filled with smoke and my granddaughter was fine inside the house I noticed the system starting buzzing only 2 weeks after cleaning I pulled them and cleaned again they were pulling all the smoke from the fires out of the air I was impressed with how much the system removed from the air, I did run the air handler 24/7 when our granddaughter was with us and she had less need for a nebulizer and fewer trips to the ER so I recommend them for that reason but yes they have less resistance than a high MERV filter.

  • It's hard to parse that massive 2nd paragraph. Some reformatting would help a lot.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 24, 2020 at 12:24
  • Very interesting. I thought about an electric filter but I have a whole house fan I use a lot so I don't think it would be practical.+
    – JACK
    Jun 24, 2020 at 13:19
  • @jack if your fan is your air handler that would be perfect, I know many have a single large fan not air handler for cooling that would not work. I had installed a couple of these in the past but did not think they did that much good until I installed it for my granddaughters health it really removes an amazing amount of contamination from the air but it needs to be confined and recirculating system for the results I had.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 24, 2020 at 15:06
  • @EdBeal It's a separate fan I installed in a main hallway and vents into the attic. I had to add 17 additional soffits around my house.
    – JACK
    Jun 24, 2020 at 15:12

First off @Ed Beal offers very good advice and a good explanation. Asthma and other breathing ailments are prevelent in my home as well. So, let me add just a little more; if you are looking to eliminate odors in your home, instead of a cheap inlet filter you could use a WEB Absorber from most any large hardware store. My choice is from Home Depot which happens to be near my home. The SKU of the filter is 115712 and the cost is around $12.00. I use this filter in addition to my electronic air cleaner to eliminate odors since my wife can smell a "fly fart" from 100 yards. To clean the cells of the air cleaner I cut 4 pieces of 2X4 and lay 2 on each rack of her dish washer (I have 2 cells) and set for a short wash/rinse cycle. Works great and cleans well. Take care when handling the collection cells.

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