Modern furnaces aren’t just tasked with keeping your household warm during the winter but can sometimes be expected to also clean your air as well. This way, a furnace equipped with an air filter can clean the air inside the house, keep allergies under control, and help purify your air against allergens and hazardous impurities. For that to be the case, a furnace needs to employ a decent filter, preferably one with a high filtration rating.

We should point out that furnace filters come in all shapes and sizes and that some of them offer roughly the same filtration standards as high-end air purifying devices. A good way to determine a filter’s filtration rating is to check what type of filtration technology it uses. As such, a filter can use MERV, MPR, FDR, or HEPA technologies, each with their own particularities. Let us then take a look at the ten best furnace filters the market has to offer in an effort to find out more about what makes a decent filter to begin with.

Best Furnace Filters – Reviews

10K&N Home Reusable Air AC Furnace Filter

The K&N Home Reusable Air AC Furnace Filter is a washable air filter that has been crafted to provide long-term performance for HVAC systems. This heavy-duty filter helps clean the air from dust, bacteria, pollens, allergens, spores, and other pollutants, keeping the air around your home healthy and clean. Made with a synthetic filter media that is pleated, it provides a large surface area to help capture more particles. Featuring high flow rates with an exceptional filtration system, this filter comes equipped with a heavy-duty steel backing that adds stability and durability to the filter.

9Filtrete 16x25x1 AC Furnace Air Filter

Uniquely crafted to hold enough dust that can be held by 50 dusting wipes, the Filtrete 16x25x1, AC Furnace Air Filter delivers a better performance than most fiberglass, non-electrostatic and washable filters. Ideal for furnaces, AC’s and HVAC systems, this filter features a 3-in-1 technology from 3M that captures all unwanted air particles. Designed to trap all traces of pollen, dust, dirt, debris pet dander, smoke, and bacteria, it produces clean fresh air that flows out of your heater or AC. For optimum performance, the filter should be replaced every 90 days to ensure you get healthy clean air at all times.

8Canopy Air 16x25x1 Home AC Furnace Air Filter

The Canopy Air 16x25x1, Home AC Furnace Air Filter is a premium grade product that features a MERV 8 rating. Designed to fight dust mites, dust, lint, pollen, and mold spores, it aims at creating healthy air and keeping your home fresh and clean. Made from high-quality synthetic material, it is resistant to moisture and prevents the growth of bacteria. Thanks to its recycled wire back material that is electrostatic, it helps with boosting the overall filtration process to impressive standards.

7Arm & Hammer Max Allergen & Odor Reduction Air and Furnace Filter

The Arm & Hammer Max Allergen & Odor Reduction Air and Furnace Filter is a premium quality product that is designed to filter all traces of allergens along with reducing unpleasant odors. Providing you with up to 3 months of filtration, this filter features inbuilt carbon granules that are known for its absorption capacity. Leaving you with clean, healthy air in your home, this filter removes pollen, dust, pet dander and all kinds of allergens effectively. The pleated filter is electrostatic and has a MERV 11 allergen reducing performance.

6AIRx DUST 16x25x1 MERV 8 Pleated Air Filter

Known for its premium quality, performance, and durability, the AIRx DUST 16x25x1 MERV 8 Pleated Air Filter works towards capturing all traces of airborne pollutants including dust, dust mites, pollens, pet dander, lint and more. Made with electrostatic material, it provides optimum airflow and increases the durability of the filter making it last up to 90 days. Thanks to its additional pleats, it not only provides more space to trap more particles but also increases the efficiency of the filter. The filter also helps protect your heating and cooling system from dust clogging and minimizes energy costs as well.

5AIRx ALLERGY 16x20x1 MERV 11 Pleated Air Filter

The AIRx ALLERGY 16x20x1 MERV 11 Pleated Air Filter is a high-quality filter that is uniquely put together to trap smoke particles, dust, pollen, debris, and mold. It also works towards keeping away allergens and protecting the air from allergies. Compared to other standard filters of its kind, it contains added pleats and that helps in trapping more particles. Durable, energy efficient and heavy duty, this air filter can go up to 90 days in homes and offices. For best results, replacing the filter every 2 months would help increase the efficiency of energy.

4Trion Air Bear 255649-102 Replacement Filter

Crafted with a MERV 8 efficiency rating, the Trion Air Bear 255649-102 Replacement Filter is designed to provide an air flow of up to 200cfm. This heavy-duty filter traps dust, dirt, and pollutants inside the filter, enabling easy and free airflow through the furnace. Made from electrostatically charged synthetic material, these filters come with extended pleats that have a larger capacity of holding dirt and debris in comparison to other filters of its kind. Not just that but this filters are also very easy to install on account of their ingenious design.

3Aerostar MERV-Pleated Air Filter

Providing you with clean, healthy air, the Aerostar Air Filter aims at removing all traces of allergen and airborne particles from your air. Designed with MERV 8 pleated filters, is made with 100% electrostatically charged synthetic material that grabs all particles and allergens between 3-10 microns including dust, pollen, lint, mold, pet dander and more. Easy to use and budget-friendly, this filter works efficiently and helps reduce the strain that is put on the motor. It also helps in getting rid of all airborne allergens that can cause asthma problems. Durable, reliable and effective, it consumes less energy and does not require too much maintenance.

2Nordic Pure MERV 12 Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter

The Nordic Pure 20x25x1M12-6 MERV 12 Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter is a heavy-duty filter that has been uniquely crafted to reduce all traces of airborne pollutants from your business or household. Thanks to this hi-end filtration system, you benefit from an improved breathing environment that is equally healthy and fresh. Designed for both AC and furnaces, this filter features electrostatic material that traps in the dust, pollen, mold and mildew, dust mites, debris, and baking flour. Resistant to the growth of bacteria and mold, it also traps in all the tiny allergy-aggravating microorganisms that could cause health issues. For best results and maintenance, it is recommended that you replace your filters regularly to ensure your home stays healthy.

1FilterBuy AFB MERV 8 Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter

Made from 100% premium quality American components, the FilterBuy AFB MERV 8 20x25x1 Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter is designed to provide you with clean, filtered air that is free from allergens, dust, pollen, pet dander, and other airborne particles. Suitable for residential and commercial use, this filter is built to last up to 3 months. Interestingly enough, it also features frames made from high-quality beverage board that is resistant to both humidity and high temperatures up to 200 degrees F. For best results, replace the filters on a regular basis to make sure your air stays clean and your furnace is in proper working condition.

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What To Look For In A Furnace Filter

The first thing you need to understand about furnace filters is that they can differ quite a lot in their design and construction up to a certain point. To be more precise, each filter meets a certain filter rating which is determined depending on the type of filtering technology it employs. As such, filters can be pleated, disposable, electrostatic, permanent, or temporary, each with a specific filter rating. This rating usually meets FPR, HEPA, MERV, or MPR ratings, a universal standard used to showcase just how refined the filtering system is.

Types Of Filters

  • Disposable Fiberglass Filters – As the name suggests, these filters are temporary and have to be discarded once they have served their purpose. Made of fiberglass, these air filters benefit from a coarse composition and wide spacing, thus able to prevent large particles like dust and debris from entering the furnace at any given time. Bear in mind that these filters don’t usually clean the air inside the room, or at least not to the standard that other air filters do.
  • Pleated Filters – These filters use a fabric area to capture airborne pollutants and allergens. It is for this reason that pleated filters generally enjoy a much higher MERV rating than standard filters. Not just that but they can also be expected to reduce pollutants in a much more cost-effective and efficient manner. Given their design, these filters can trap fairly small particles and allergenic elements. It also needs to be said that they require less frequent changing on account of how thick they are.
  • Disposable Electrostatic Filters – With this type of filter, you get a system that uses electrostatically charged fibers that attract airborne particles. These particles can vary in size, from regular particles like dust and lint to smaller ones like smoke, thus improving the general air quality of your home. What’s more, these particular filters are very affordable and easy to come by, which make them perfect for people who smoke a lot.
  • Permanent Electrostatic Filters – Similar tot the disposable versions in their action, the permanent filters differ in that they do not require replacing. This is because they employ self-charging cotton fibers that are built to last. That said, we should point out that you are advised to take out the cotton layer and wash it every few months or so to boost its efficiency. This is bound to reduce your overall spending long-term by virtue of being reusable and easy to care for.
  • High-Efficiency Pleated Filters – The great thing about high-efficiency pleated filters is that they are all made from pleated synthetic cotton built into a rigid metal grid for good measure. The point of such a design is to ensure that it will trap even the smallest particles as quickly and efficiently as possible. Needless to say, this high-end performance comes with a price to match, in the sense that high-efficiency pleated filters are by far the most expensive out there.

Filter Rating Systems

  • HEPA – This type of rating system refers to the type of filters that remove up to 99.97% of airborne particles. By doing so, they meet the filter guidelines of the US Department of Energy which stipulates that particles as small as 0.3 microns need to be trapped by a filter in order to meet the common standards. On a related note, we should point out that HEPA ratings only apply to air purifiers and are not generally used by furnace filters.
  • FPR – The filter performance rating is a standard system developed by Home Depot in order to differentiate between the many filtering systems being sold in their stores. According to these standards, a filter can be either good, better, best, or premium grade. Over time, this system has led to the development of some truly impressive air filters, the type that nowadays command the highest price tags on the market.
  • MERV – This refers to the minimum efficiency reporting value of a filter, a rating system developed by the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning to determine the exact functioning and filtering standards of air filters. This rating refers to a filter’s capacity to trap unwanted airborne particles of any kind. In this regard, the particles being captured need to be as small as possible for the filter to get a high MERV rating.
  • MPR – Developed by 3M Filtrete, the Micro-Particle Performance rating reflects a filter’s capacity to capture particles between 0.3 and 1 micron in size. According to this rating system, a filter can be good, better, or best, a system in which the highest scoring filters can filter almost any type of airborne particles. It should be said that this particular rating system isn’t as widespread as some of the others we talked about but that it accurately reflects a filter’s overall filtering capacity.