When it comes to air filters, the more expensive ones are usually more effective. However, the amount of filtration you need depends on your individual circumstances. For instance, a single person without pets and allergies may not need as much filtration as a family of five with three pets and a child with asthma. Additionally, you should consider how long your air filter will last.
I recently purchased a K&N air filter for my 18-year-old Subaru 4-cylinder. After installation, I noticed a crisp grunt sound from the engine when accelerating, but the idle and mileage remained the same. On the other hand, when I installed a K&N air filter on my Kawasaki Concours, I heard a cold grunt noise when accelerating and noticed a smoother idle and a slight increase in top speed performance above 7,000 rpm. Based on my experience, I believe that premium air filters are worth the money and time spent cleaning them every few thousand miles if used in a performance application.
However, for an old car, a standard and cheap paper filter is probably the best option. At Filter King, we offer affordable filters that look expensive but provide protection equal to what you pay for. When shopping for filters, make sure to check the manufacturer's recommendations for each specific filter. A high-performance air filter is also known as a high-flow air filter, which explains what makes it different from an average air filter.
If you decide to go with an expensive option, it might make sense to invest in HEPA filters and buy them less often. I tested a new market-leading oiled air filter against a standard Ford factory paper filter. The results showed that expensive filters may seem like a luxury but they play an important role and should not be replaced with lower quality filters. A dirty or clogged air filter is never good for your HVAC system and should be replaced regularly.
Disposable filters are made of pleated paper or polyester that provide a larger surface area for filtering.