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5 Best Furnace Filters

To find the best furnace filters, we reviewed:
  • 1. Customer Reviews
  • 2. Price
  • 3. MERV Rating
Featured image for a piece on the best furnace filters showing a graphical image of a smiling brunette man in a REthority shirt holding a number of filters in his hands

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Best Furnace Filters

1. AIRx DUST MERV 8 Pleated Air Filter
2. Arm & Hammer Max Allergen & Odor Reduction Air and Furnace Filter
3. Canopy Air Home AC Furnace Air Filter
4. Filtrete AC Furnace Air Filter
5. K&N Home Reusable Air AC Furnace Filter

While the internet makes it easier to find millions of products with the click of a button, it’s not without a downside. In fact, searching Google for “best furnace filters” turns up over 16 million results.

Don’t feel like going through each product to find the best one for your home? Don’t worry — we’ve already done the hard work. Read on to see our picks for the top furnace filters, their highlights, and things to consider when buying one.

Best Overall

AIRx DUST 16x25x1 MERV 8 Pleated Air Filter - Made in the USA - Box of 6

AIRx DUST MERV 8 Pleated Air Filter

A basic pleated air filter with a 60-day service life at a reasonable price.

Brand: Airx Filters Wicked Clean Air
Material: Pleated synthetic
Dimensions (LxWxH): 15.5 x 24.5 x 0.75 inches
MERV Rating: 8

The AIRx DUST MERV 8 Pleated Air Filter is a high-end electrostatic pleated filter built to last up to 60 days. This filter has additional pleats that increase its surface area, maximizing its filtering surface.

It not only traps dust, pollen, mites, animal dander, hairs, and other airborne particles, but also minimizes the amount of electricity your furnace uses.

Second-Best

Arm & Hammer Max Allergen & Odor Reduction 14x25x1 Air and Furnace Filter, MERV 11, 4-Pack

Arm & Hammer Max Allergen & Odor Reduction Air and Furnace Filter

While expensive, this filter provides maximum allergy and odor removal.

Brand: Arm & Hammer
Material: Carbon fiber
Dimensions (LxWxH): 24.75 x 13.75 x 0.75 inches
MERV Rating: 11

The Arm & Hammer Max Allergen & Odor Reduction Air and Furnace Filter is a disposable electrostatic pleated filter that features carbon granules that trap odor.

This filter is built to last you a maximum of 90 days after which it needs replacing. It is ideal for trapping carbon particles, dust, pollen, fur, and lint.

Third-Best

Canopy Air 16x25x1 Home AC Furnace Air Filter​

Canopy Air Home AC Furnace Air Filter

A simple filter from a generic brand that offers compelling value for the dollar.

Brand: Canopy Air
Material: Pleated
Dimensions (LxWxH): 14 x 14 x 1 inches
MERV Rating: 8-13

The Canopy Air Home AC Furnace Air Filter is an electrostatic furnace filter that is made of pleated synthetic material and recycled wire-back materials. It is resistant to mildew, mold, and bacteria growth. Ideal for areas that experience a lot of pollen and dust, this furnace filter is designed to trap pollen, spores, mites, fur, bacteria, and lint.

Fourth-Best

Filtrete 16x25x1, AC Furnace Air Filter, MPR 300, Clean Living Basic Dust, 6-Pack (exact dimensions 15.69 x 24.69 x 0.81)

Filtrete AC Furnace Air Filter

One of the best furnace filters for those seeking both value and performance.

Brand: Filtrete
Material: Fiberglass
Dimensions (LxWxH): 24.69 x 0.81 x 15.69 inches
MERV Rating: 11

The Filtrete AC Furnace Air Filter is made of fiberglass that traps dust, pollen, dirt, fur, bacteria, and smoke. This filter is said to be able to hold more dust than 50 dusting wipes.

This is the Rolls Royce of fiberglass filters. It is studier and more efficient compared to other filters in its class. We think this is one of the best air filter, and has a lifespan of 90 days.

Fifth-Best

K&N Home Reusable Air AC Furnace Filter

K&N Home Reusable Air AC Furnace Filter

A great value for a reusable furnace filter that blends performance and quality.

Brand: K&N
Material: Synthetic polymer
Dimensions (LxWxH): 25.38 x 16.06 x 1.18 inches
MERV Rating: 11

The K&N Home Reusable Air AC Furnace Filter is a washable filter that has been built for heavy-duty use. It filters most airborne particles, from pollen, dust, fur, and spores. This filter is made of synthetic pleated material that gives it a larger surface area to trap pollen. Its frame is made of heavy-duty steel for durability and stability.

How to Find the Best Air Filter

Finding the best air filter isn’t hard if you know what you’re looking for. We’ve built a complete buyer’s guide to help you navigate the many different brands, types, and ratings.

Why do you need furnace filters?

Image highlighting the benefits of using one of the top air filters to block out debris, dust, and hair

Furnace filters are used to trap dust, lint, hair, pollen, and other gunk thus protecting the blower fan from damage. By collecting and trapping all these particles, furnace filters also ensure that the air circulating in your home is clean.

Having a functional furnace filter is not only good for your furnace and air circulation, but it also saves you are a couple of bucks on your electric bills. A functional and clean filter ensures that your furnace is not working extra hard, which results in optimal energy-efficiency.

What to look for when choosing furnace filters

When choosing a furnace filter it is important to have the following key details in mind.

Size

Since you are purchasing a part of the furnace and not the entire equipment, it is important to know the exact size of the filter you need. While the dimensions of the filter might not affect the efficiency of the filter, its thickness does.

The thickness of a filter determines its efficiency, durability, and its ability to trap dirt particles. Furnace filters come in two standard thicknesses, 1-inch, and 4-inches. Depending on the size of your filter cabinet, you might sometimes be forced to buy a thinner filter. This means that you regularly have to replace it.

Three different considerations that make one of the best furnace filters stand out among the others

MPR Rating

MPR is the acronym for Micro-particle Performance. The MPR system is used to measure a filter’s ability to capture particles that are smaller than 1 micron. This technology was developed by 3M and its standard ratings range from 300-1900. 

MERV Rating

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This is the standard by which air filters’ efficiency is measured. MERV ratings range from 1-16. A furnace filter’s efficiency is also measured using MERV.

A highly rated filter means that the filter lets in very little air to flow through the furnace, this makes the furnace work harder than it is supposed to.

Hard-working furnaces consume more electricity and might at times malfunction. An efficient furnace filter for a typical home should range between MERV 6 to 13. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s MERV rating on the furnace before buying the filter.

Types of furnace filters

If you are a first-time homeowner or if it is your first time coming across furnace filters, then you might think that all filters are the same. Sadly, a quick trip to Walmart will not have you sorted. 

There are different types of furnace filters ranging from cheap disposable ones to high-end ones. The quality and efficiency of your filters depend on how much you are willing to spend. Here is a list of different types of filters.

1. Pleated Furnace Filters

Pleated filters are often made of paper and polyester. While these filters work well and are decently efficient, they require constant monitoring and replacement. These furnace filters will cost you anywhere between $5 and $10 depending on the size, brand, and rating. Pleated filters should be changed every 90 days.

Pros and Cons of pleated furnace filters

Pros and cons chart illustrating the upside and downside of using a pleated furnace filter

2. Disposable Fiberglass Furnace Filters

If you cannot afford pleated filters then your next option is disposable fiberglass furnace filters. These filters have a spider-web appearance, and are often blue in color. This might seem to be a good option if you do not have money to spend on filters.

However, you should be ready to replace them after every 30 days. Disposable fiberglass filters are flimsy, low-quality, and have lower ratings.

Pros and Cons of disposable fiberglass furnace filters

The pros and cons in graphical table format of using a disposable fiberglass furnace filter

3. Permanent Reusable Furnace Filters

These filters are also known as washable filters. They are costlier but they last longer and save you countless trips to the store to get new filters. Permanent reusable filters are made of aluminum or strong plastics.

These furnace filters can be cleaned by vacuuming them or by using water to wash them after every 90 days. Like all filters, they vary in size and ratings and their cost is also determined by the brand, size, and rating.

If handled properly and maintained regularly, permanent furnace filters can last up to five years without replacement.

Pros and Cons of permanent reusable furnace filters 

An illustrated graph highlighting the pros and cons of using a reusable furnace filter

4. Electrostatic Furnace Filters

Electrostatic filters are made of self-charging materials such as cotton or polyester, sometimes even fiber glass. Electrostatic filters come as permanent or disposable and are available in different versions.

Electrostatics is what makes these filters work. This happens when air flows through the filter and the filter is charged up using static electricity. Then, the static electricity traps the particles in the filter. 

Electrostatic filters are ideal for families with pets, those who live in dry areas, households with pets, or those who smoke in the house. Make sure to also check if your furnace can use electrostatic filters before installing them.

Pros and Cons of electrostatic furnace filters

The pros and cons of using an electrostatic furnace filter

Well, there you have it: our complete guide to finding the best furnace filters. We’ve scoured hundreds of listings and online reviews to find the best air filter for your home. We hope we’ve made it easy for you to pick the best model for your needs, and while you’re here, be sure to check out some of our other complete homeowner guides.

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