Furnace filters work hard to keep the house warm in chilly days and cool in scorching summer days. They control the temperature of the house to improve your living condition.
But in the process of exchanging air, they also carry dust, dirt, and pollen to the house. These airborne particles can cause breathing difficulties for your family members.
Furnace filters are used to make sure that doesn’t happen. They are an integral part of the furnace setup. They prevent these harmful airborne particles from entering the home.
However, a dirty, long used filter only increases energy cost. The furnace has to work longer and harder to keep the temperature within the desired range. If you’ve just lived through a chilly winter, it’s high time to replace your filter.
Since there are many custom designed products on the market, choosing the best furnace filters can be challenging. We’re here to help you to make a smart decision.
- Best Furnace Filters Choices 2020
- Top Furnace Filters Comparison Chart
- Our 10 Picks Of Best Air Furnace Filters
- 1. Lennox Carbon Coated X6672 | Overall Best Air Furnace Filter
- 2. Aprilaire 213 Air Filter | Best Furnace Filter For Smoke
- 3. Filterbuy Space Gard 201 | Best Furnace Filter For Pet Dander
- 4. Flanders PrecisionAire 10155.01202 E-Z Flow Air Filter | Cheap Furnace Filters
- 5. Trophy Air Electrostatic Air Filter Replacement | Best Washable Furnace Filter
- 6. Filterbuy AFB MERV 8 Air Filter | Best Furnace Filters For Asthma
- 7. Airx ALLERGY 20x25x1 MERV 11 Pleated Air Filter | Best Furnace Filters For Air Flow
- 8. Aerostar MERV 13 Pleated Air Filter | Best Replacement Furnace Filter
- 9. Honeywell FC100A1037 Air Cleaning Filter | Best Furnace Filters For Allergies
- 10. Flanders NaturalAire Odor Eliminator Air Filter | Best Air Filter For Odors
- How Often To Change A Furnace Filter?
- How To Change A Furnace Filter?
- What To Look For When Choosing Furnace Filter For Allergy, Pet, Smoke
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) related to furnace filters
Best Furnace Filters Choices 2020
It’s important to change your furnace filters regularly. If you don’t, the air quality will drop and you’ll feel dust particles floating around the house. Also, you’ll end up spending more on energy cost.
Purchasing a new filter is an easy and fast solution. However, with so many features and technicalities to understand and choose from, it can be difficult to separate milk from water.
However, a quality furnace filter should come with high MPR and MERV ratings. Also, it should be available in different sizes to fit your particular requirements. Finally, the efficiency level should be high.
Top Furnace Filters Comparison Chart
|Filters Per |
|13||2||6 Months||Disposable||Check Price|
|FilterBuy SpaceGard 201||8||2||3 Months||Disposable||Check Price|
|Flanders PrecisionAire||4||12||1 Month||Disposable||Check Price|
|Trophy Air Electrostatic||4-5||1||Reusable||Washable, |
|FilterBuy AFB||8||4||3 Months||Disposable |
|AIRx ALLERGY||11||6||2 Months||Disposable||Check Price|
|6||2-3 Months||Disposable||Check Price|
|Honeywell FC100A1037||11||1||6 Months||Disposable||Check Price|
|Flanders NaturalAire||8||4||3 Months||Disposable, |
Our 10 Picks Of Best Air Furnace Filters
The furnace filter works in two ways. First, it protects the furnace, the blower fan to be exact from dirt, hair, and debris. Secondly, it improves indoor air quality by preventing these particles from entering.
A top furnace filter will accomplish both, while not restricting the air flow. Good news is, there are several brands on the market that live up to expectations. We have reviewed the most acclaimed ones from them. Keep reading.
1. Lennox Carbon Coated X6672 | Overall Best Air Furnace Filter
Lennox X6672 is as good as it can get with furnace filters. It has a high MERV rating, more pleats, and filtration. With a MERV rating of 16, you’ll get hospital grade filtration.
It can filter even the smallest particles of 0.1 microns with 90% accuracy. As for 0.3-micron particles, the removal rate is 95%. It also prevents unwanted odors with the carbon coated fiber matrix.
This activated carbon furnace filter can be used for both house and industrial purposes. You can even use it for hospital and general surgery wards where pathogens and germs need to be eliminated. To deliver safer air, it reduces 50% of the Ozone with one pass.
It comes with an actual size of 15.65″ x 24.65″ x 4.31″. Thus, you can use it for 16″ x 25″ x 5″ filter dimensions. The thickness of 4.31 inches means it does an outstanding job for filtering dust and pollens. The construction is sturdy and stable. The filter pleats come with support units.
It’s true that there are many cheaper models on the market. While they claim to be high in MERV ratings, they don’t necessarily perform like one. You’ll get a near HEPA performance from Lennox. And since it comes with a pack of 2, this is kind of one-time purchase for a whole year. Also, the dense pleating delivers you enough total surface area to keep the air flowing.
2. Aprilaire 213 Air Filter | Best Furnace Filter For Smoke
If you want healthier air in your home and don’t want to overkill it, then Aprilaire 213 is the right choice for you. Made in the USA, this filter works with a variety of furnaces including most of the Apriliare air purifier models.
It comes with a MERV rating of 13, which is enough for home, even industrial uses. This filter is capable of restricting dust, pollen, allergens, pet dander from coming to your house. As it reduces the air-bypassing area of your furnace, you can rest assured of having a secure filtering process.
One of the main worries about filters is the replacement process. Aprilaire makes it easy as a pie with its interlock rail system. All you need to do is unpack the filter, slide in through the rail and close the door. You don’t require to spend long minutes assembling the cardboard.
While it cannot be washed and reused, the value packs will keep you going for months. With a 200 cube-feet/ minute capacity, you won’t face scarcity of air flow. Aprilaire also gives assurances that your furnace coil will stay in peak working condition.
Aprilaire is a well-made furnace filter. If you live in dusty places, you’ll need to replace it every 3 months. But for places with minimal dust, you can use it for 1 year! The older stocks fabrics are poorly glued and might get separated, but the newer versions have addressed this issue. Make sure of getting the right version and you’re good to go.
3. Filterbuy Space Gard 201 | Best Furnace Filter For Pet Dander
The great thing about FilterBuy filters is, they come with a lot of models. Basically, you’ll be getting almost all the sizes furnace filters usually come in. This gives you outstanding freedom to replace your old, underperforming filters. These models come with cheap price tags that make them ideal replacements.
The model we’re going to discuss here is the Space Gard 201 model. The difference is only in size, but it comes with all the great features FilterBuy models provide.
The SG 201 particularly come with an actual dimension of 19.75 x 24.25 x 6.375. You’ll get the nominal dimension once you round the figures. This one is made to fit the famous 2200 model. With a greater surface area and high-quality frame, you’ll able to filter most of the allergy-prone elements.
This model has a MERV rating of 8, which is enough for home uses. Since the frames are manufactured from beverage boards, they’ll stay intact even under 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is an excellent filter with a decent rating and good construction. Also, this brand has a lot of size variations, so you can just cherry pick the ideal one for you. As for packaging, the manufacturers should look into it. If you get any damaged good, you can just return it and judging from their reviews, they’ll be happy to comply.
4. Flanders PrecisionAire 10155.01202 E-Z Flow Air Filter | Cheap Furnace Filters
Flanders Flat Panel EZ is one of the most used air filters. That’s because it’s cheap, decent performing and it protects the HVAC unit’s vital parts. With MERV ratings of 4, it is certified by third parties as an effective dust remover.
Let’s start from the construction. It has a chipboard frame and a metal retainer which makes the board long lasting. Also, it performs great with different heat and cooling system. It comes with a dimension of 20x20x1 inches.
You can use this on HVAC units, coils, and even fans, as long as the dimension supports them. Judging from the MERV ratings, it should be able to eliminate basic dirt, dust, pollen and pet dander. It’ll remove 80% of the contaminants, which is well enough for house and offices.
Another good thing about this brand is, apart from the model we’re discussing, it comes with almost all other sizes. So if you know the dimension of your old filter, you’ll probably find a Flanders filter that comes with a similar dimension.
There are top notch products that come double/ triple the price. But when you look at price to performance ratio, this one can surpass many. All you have to do is replace it every month which won’t take more than a few minutes.
Although the fiberglass furnace filters may feel thin and a bit flimsy at times, they’ll provide a decent job to prevent most particles from coming indoors.
5. Trophy Air Electrostatic Air Filter Replacement | Best Washable Furnace Filter
Now, this is different from the filters we have reviewed until now. The Trophy Air Filter Replacement is a reusable, washable filter. It also one of the best HVAC filters, something you won’t get with disposable models.
You can use this product with both air furnace and HVAC units. Made of 4 layers of aluminum and 2 additional layers of electrostatic media, this one is an effective and eco-friendly filter solution.
Being an HVAC filter, it refuses to drop the air flow pressure, providing a continuous air flow to your house and office. The electrostatic layers are placed inside a robust aluminum frame. Not only it’s durable, it literally draws static-charged air particles and holds onto that.
This electrostatic furnace filter is available in a wide range of models. Since it is made of aluminum, you can just rinse it and use it repeatedly. This model doesn’t come with MERV ratings, but being electrostatic, it should work great for houses with pets.
Many people like the fact that it can be used repeatedly, and that surely bring value for the money spent.
Though there isn’t any formal instruction, the installation is easy. There are plenty of YouTube videos to help you with that.
As for the filtration, it’s enough for household and even office uses. However, the performance might come short for hospital grade uses.
6. Filterbuy AFB MERV 8 Air Filter | Best Furnace Filters For Asthma
The great thing about FilterBuy is, they have almost every size for furnace and AC filters. No matter what size your old filter is, you’ll probably get the same size from FilterBuy. The model we’re discussing is the 20x25x1 size, but the features are the same as other FilterBuy models.
The FilterBuy AFB Air Filter comes in a pack of 4. Each one has an expected lifetime of 3 months, so you are pretty much covered for 1 year. It comes with a MERV rating of 8, which is equivalent of MPR 300/600. The frame is made of beverage board, thus durable and resistant to high heat (up to 200 F).
The filter media is made of synthetic. They provide better performance compared to the cotton media. The model comes with a good number of pleats, which catches more particles and reduce the amount of restricted air flow.
This beast can eliminate 90% of the airborne particles. It keeps the indoor air refreshed and pure for your kids and pets. Also the price it comes in is one of the cheapest on the market, so you get more price to performance ratio out of this one.
This is a very economical solution to your furnace filter issue. It comes with sturdy construction, a number of pleats and synthetic media. It will deliver decent performance as long as it lasts.
Sometimes a customer might find the size a bit off for the particular HVAC system. If that happens, see if the size still fits. If it doesn’t fit, you can return the product and ask for a replacement.
7. Airx ALLERGY 20x25x1 MERV 11 Pleated Air Filter | Best Furnace Filters For Air Flow
Although the market has seen many air filter models, only some of them strike a balance between price and efficiency. You see, for home or office use, you don’t need to overkill it with high MERV ratings. You don’t need an ineffective filter either.
AIRx Gallery with its MERV 11 furnace filter brings a balance between cost and filtration level. MERV 11 ratings mean this filter has enough mechanism in place to protect your house from mold, pollen, dust mite, pet dander. Yet, it comes as cheap as air filters can.
The AirX is a pleated filter and contains more pleats than average filters. The increased pleat per square inch indicates the filter can catch more dust from air and hold onto itself. They trap and lock allergy particles while making your home safer.
AIRx Allergy is made in the USA. The package comes with 6 filters. Each filter can serve up to 3 months, but if you want increased efficiency, replace them every 2 months. It comes in a variety of sizes from 14 x 14 to 20 x 25 inches. The thickness is 1 inch.
It is rare to find a filter that works as good as top brands but comes at a fraction of price. With a higher MERV rating, AIRx will surely catch more particles and smoke. However, high-efficiency filters usually last for a short time.
I wouldn’t call it a flaw, because the more dust they catch, the sooner their lifecycle finishes. It doesn’t always mean the filters are inferior, they’re just good at their work.
8. Aerostar MERV 13 Pleated Air Filter | Best Replacement Furnace Filter
You will find many brands that offer different sizes and varieties with their product. But the Aerostar took it to another level. You’ll get almost all sizes of furnace filter there is, and you’ll get different MERV ratings for each of these sizes.
This offers a heap of freedom to the customer. You can choose any size and choose any MERV ratings from 8, 11 and 13. This allows you to cut your coat according to the cloth. Also, the price is so cheap that you’ll get a year of protection for a convenient price.
But does it perform well? Yes! With the varying MERV ratings, you’ll get performances equivalent to MPR 600- 1900 depending on your model. The filter is constructed of disposable fiberglass and can eliminate pollens and allergens from the air.
When you compare it to name brands, you’ll find it as good as Honeywell Allergen Elite FPR 10. The filters are pleated which can catch more dust and mites than ordinary filters. The package comes with 6 filters, and depending on usage pressure, they last somewhere between 30-90 days.
Aerostar really takes freedom to another level. Depending on the season and where you live in, you can order different MERV filters.
As for the size, it’s actually the buyer’s responsibility to check the ‘actual size’ and match it with the used one. Measure the old filter by measuring tape and look for the actual size nearest to that dimension.
9. Honeywell FC100A1037 Air Cleaning Filter | Best Furnace Filters For Allergies
With more than 130 years of history, Honeywell is a known brand around the globe. Especially, Honeywell air filters are widely used by American people due to their superior efficiency.
They come with a wide range of filters, but the one we’re discussing is the popular FC100A1037 model. Why it is popular? Well, for instance, they are made of polypropylene. This makes them robust and durable.
The MERV ratings 11 means they are enough equipped to deal with office and household dust, mites, and particles. Once installed, they can last up to 1 year depending on the use.
The filter works well with a number of air cleaner models, including Honeywell, Spacegard 2200, Aprilaire, Trion Air Bear, etc. The filters are more efficient than your regular 1-inch fiberglass filters. It can catch even the smallest particles ranging from 0.3 to 1 micron.
Honeywell comes with a rich history and a sublime quality to match that. With higher MERV ratings, you can rest assured of the air quality of your household.
The product might come dented as it has in some instances. Also, the size might actually be slightly off than advertised. Either way, see if the product is still usable. If not, you can ask for a replacement.
10. Flanders NaturalAire Odor Eliminator Air Filter | Best Air Filter For Odors
You’ve tried everything. You increased the filter thickness, you purchase models with higher MERV ratings, but you can’t remove the odor. While top models do a good job with cleaning the air, they aren’t actually meant to remove unwanted odors.
This is where NaturalAire Odor Eliminator Air Filter is different. These best AC air filters not only filtrate the air, but they also remove odor from the air. And to accomplish that, these Flanders furnace filters come with a thin film of baking soda over them. Just as these films can remove odor from your refrigerator, they do the same with air units.
Another thing we loved is the robust infrastructure. While most of the filters are constructed of thin and flimsy materials, NatureAire comes with frames that are coated with clay. This helps them stay stable and rigid.
The package comes with 4 filters. Each of them should last for 90 days. Thus, you’re covered for a year with a minimal price to pray. The filters are rated MERV 8, so they are well capable of absorbing dust, pollen, and mold spores. As NaturalAire comes with many sizes, you shouldn’t have a tough time finding the one suitable for your HVAC unit.
The odor removal feature is a relief for many users, especially who live in a smoke prone area or have smoker inhabitants at the house.
The baking soda removes the unpleasant odor. However, sometimes they might come off, generating dust. Sometimes the baking soda layer can come thicker and restrict air flow.
If any of that happens, you should change the filter and replace with another. Since they come very cheap, the loss would be negligible.
How Often To Change A Furnace Filter?
It depends on several factors. Before taking any decision regarding that, you need to find answers to some questions.
- The indoor air quality.
- The furnace filter type you’re using.
- The number of people and pets living in the house.
- The level of construction and air pollution around the house.
Now, manufacturers recommend changing the filter every 30-60 days for 1”-3” sizes. If you notice the air quality dropping sooner, you can replace it more frequently. For remote areas where air quality is exceptionally good, or for vacation houses, you’ll require less frequent replacements.
Here are some general replacement recommendations. Based on the above-mentioned factors, the time can vary.
- Allergy Patients: After 20-45 days.
- Pet Holders: After 30-60 days.
- Average House Without Pets: After 90 days.
- Vacation House/ Single Inhabitant: 6-12 months.
Read Also: Top 10 Home Air Purifiers Review
How To Change A Furnace Filter?
Changing the air filter is a pretty easy job, only if you know what to do. If you do it incorrectly, for example purchasing the wrong filter or install it backward, you’ll end up blocking the air flow instead of releasing it. Here are the steps of furnace filter replacement.
1. Turn Off The Furnace
While you change the filter, you wouldn’t want the HVAC unit to turn on accidentally. That’s why make sure the thermostat is turned off. For ultimate safety, discard the power cord and turn off the machine completely. This will prevent any debris or loose filter fitting from going into the duct.
2. Find The Furnace Filter
Those who are doing this for the first time would need to locate the filter first. You can find them in two ways.
First, check the instruction manual. Usually, it contains every information regarding the furnace. You should find pictures portraying the parts of a furnace.
Secondly, if you don’t have the instruction manual, look for the filter. Usually, it is built-in before the duct fan within the metal ductwork. If not, remove the furnace cover, and you should find it in the blower compartment of the furnace.
3. Determine The Type And Size
Some filters are known as permanent and can be reused. Others are temporary and need replacing from time to time. Choose one that’s convenient for you.
As for the size, you can determine it easily by looking at the old filter. Usually, it should have the dimension printed on it. If not, take a measurement tape and measure the height, width, and thickness.
To ease the process next time, it’s a good idea to write the measurement on the furnace housing with a permanent marker. You need to meet the exact height and width. As for the thickness, the thicker you choose within the specified range, the more fresh air you get.
4. Insert The New Filter
Before that, you need to remove the old one. The best way to do that is by bringing it out and disposing directly to the garbage bin. This way, the dust gathered on the old one won’t spread scattered.
Usually, home air filters come with a setup that only filter air from one direction. If you put the filter in the opposite direction, the air flow will actually stop.
So, you need to install the new filter facing the same direction as the old one. Usually, filters come printed with the “air-flow direction arrow”. The arrow should be pointing towards the fan unit of your furnace.
That’s it, you’re done with the process! Now plug the power cord and turn the thermostat. Now, the furnace is ready to deliver peak performance.
What To Look For When Choosing Furnace Filter For Allergy, Pet, Smoke
Types Of Furnace Filters
There are mainly 4 types of furnace filters. Some are cheap, while some are more environmentally friendly. They differ in filtration-level, reusability, and durability. Here are the types-
- Fiberglass Filters: They are the most known filters and sometimes the only option due to the large duct size of your furnace. They usually come within the MERV ratings 2 to 4 and catches large airborne particles.
- Pleated Filters: They are the one most used at home. They use folds of materials so that the filtration level and surface area increases. They come with a wide range of MERVs and sizes. They are not washable, thus not permanent.
- Passive Electrostatic Filters: They are washable and can be used for a long time. Also, the principle they work on makes them eco-friendly. They generate a static charge to attract naturally charged small particles from the air.
- Active Electrostatic Filters: They are the most eco-friendly options with least carbon footprint. The initial cost is higher, but you don’t have to clean them frequently, thus add more value in the long run.
They work like passive electrostatic filters, but on top of that, they use an electrified plate to collect static charged these particles. The plate generates an opposite electric charge to attract the particles.
Size is an important matter because you can’t choose filters that don’t fit your HVAC system. That’s why most models come with a variety of sizes. Measure your existing filter and purchase one with the same dimension.
The most common sizes are 20 x 21, 20 x 22, or 20 x 25 (inches). But honestly, the sizes can vary a lot for different models. As for the thickness, they usually come between 1-3 inches. While the length and width can’t be compromised, you have a little liberty when it comes to thickness.
The term stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. They are a numerical representation of performance that’ll instantly tell about the efficiency of the filter. Higher MERV ratings mean higher filtration and smaller sizes of particles caught.
MERV 1-8: Usually, most homes will be okay with these filters. That’s because you mostly control what comes to your house, thus less filtration work. Also, the number of inhabitants is smaller.
MERV 9-13: If you have people with breathing difficulties at your house or need air filtration for commercial spaces, they are the ones to choose. Remember, the higher the MERV number, the purer the air you get. But lower numbers usually last longer.
MERV 14-20: Places where the air quality needs to be strictly maintained, need these filters. For example, hospitals need to maintain higher air filtration so that germs, pollutants, and pathogens get caught effectively.
There are two types of filters based on whether you can use them repeatedly or not. Some people like to reuse a filter, while some would like to avoid frequent washing procedures.
- Disposable: They are usually a lot cheaper and come in sets. What they offer is the convenience of disposing of the filter altogether once it’s dirty and install a new one. However, cheap cost means they also usually come with lower MERV Ratings.
- Washable: They can be washed and used repeatedly. They are more eco-friendly. However, some people don’t like the upkeep that comes with them. It’s just easier to remove an old filter and replace it instantly. Also, there always remains the possibility that you might not be able to wash/ clean them properly.
1. MPR Ratings: The 3M Company uses MPR instead of MERV ratings. If you’re familiar with the latter, then you need to convert MPR to MERV for better understanding.
- 300 MPR = 6 MERV
- 600 MPR = 8 MERV
- 1000-1200 MPR = 11 MERV
- 1500-2200 MPR = 12 MERV
2. Pleat Numbers: They indicate the surface area. Higher numbers mean they can trap more particles. Higher models have tightly spaced pleats, while cheaper ones come flatter.
3. Anti-Microbial: It’s not directly connected to filtration or air flow. Rather it means being safer. Molds and germs travel through the air and get caught in the filter. This feature makes sure the caught ones are killed so that they don’t start spreading and emitting spores.
1. Should I Choose The Highest MERV Rating Available?
Answer: It depends on your personal situation. Obviously, higher filtration is good for people with asthma and allergy problems.
However, if you go for MERV 10 or above, the system used in an average household might fail to generate enough airflow. If you need suggestions regarding this matter, you can consult with an HVAC technician.
2. Which is Better, A permanent Filter Or Disposable Furnace Filters?
Answer: Well, this isn’t something that can be answered in one word, because the answer relies on convenience. Roughly a pack of six disposable filters comes with the same price of a permanent filter. They usually last up to 18 months.
On the other hand, permanent filters have less environmental impacts. You have to wash it from time to time. Some people love the option of quick changing that comes with disposable filters. In the end, it’s up to your choice.
3. How To Clean Furnace Filter?
Answer: A clean furnace filter will help you reduce the energy bill by 5%-15%. Also, sometimes it is cheaper to clean a permanent filter instead of buying disposable ones.
The cleaning process is easy, Turn off the furnace and pull the filter out. Try to watch through the filter. Can you see through? If you can’t, it’s time to clean that filter. You can also decide by seeing if the filter has turned gray or black.
All you have to do is rinse it thoroughly. Use a hose, or sink tap or water from a rain barrel, whichever is convenient. Let the filter dry and put it back to the furnace.
4. Do I Need A High-Efficiency Filter For A High-Efficiency Furnace?
Answer: Not necessarily. The efficiency of a furnace represents how well it can deliver hot and cold air. On the other hand, the efficiency of the filter refers to the cleanliness of the air.
If you’re satisfied with the air quality or aren’t too concerned about that, you can get away with low-efficiency filters. However, it’s always better to stay and breathe, isn’t it?
5. What Is The Purpose Of A HEPA Filter, And Are They The Best?
Answer: HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. This is a highly efficient filter, removing almost 100% of the particles of a minimum of 0.3 microns. As a result, you get cleaner air.
But the drawback is, they have a thick structure. And sometimes furnaces with low pressure might not be able to pass air through them. As a result, the air flow will be hindered and you won’t get any filtration.
That’s why make sure your HVAC system can handle the most efficient furnace filters. Otherwise, your choice will be limited.
Air and water are the two most important factors in our life. Yet, they can bring misery when you become careless and intake them without scrutiny. That’s why you should care a lot about the air you and your family members breathe.
Furnaces control the temperature and improve the quality of the air we breathe at the house. Its performance depends largely on the filter. The filter protects both the furnace and house indoor from dust and airborne particles.
That’s why it’s imperative that you use the best furnace filters for your HVAC system. They help minimize the asthma attacks and allergic reactions caused by impure air. They help your family members stay fit and healthy.
Having a good quality filter prioritizes way beyond saving some bucks. That’s why we dug deeper and featured only the top products on our list. Hopefully, this list will help you find the right model.