Best Air Filter for Home Furnace (2018 Updated)

best air filter for home furnace

Air filters work to keep your home clean. Your home absolutely needs fresh air, but with no air filter, there could be plenty of contaminants that you can breathe or inhale in. The best air filter for home furnace ensures that the air you breathe inside your home is 100 percent clean and fresh. If you are in search of a new air filter for your home, you have come to the right place.

In this review, we will examine six popular air filters, disposable and permanent. Each one has its share of advantages and disadvantages that can help you determine whether to buy it right away or avoid it at all costs. We will then determine which filter is the most worthy of your investment.

Without further ado, here are the air filters that we will be reviewing.

Image

Product Name

Dimensions

Editor Rating

Check Price

Filtrete Healthy Living Elite Allergen Furnace Filter

1.6 x 15.7 x 19.7 inches

FilterBuy Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter

20 x 25 x 4  inches

Top Pick

Filtrete Healthy Living Ultra Allergen Air Filter

2 x 16 x 25 inches

AIRx ALLERGY 16x20x1 MERV 11 Pleated Air Filter

15.5 x 19.5 x 0.8 inches

Air Filter for Home Furnace for AirCare

Electrostatic Washable Permanent A/C Furnace Air Filter

18.8 x 1 x 19.3 inches

6 Best Air Filter for Home Furnace - In Depth Reviews

1. Filtrete Healthy Living Elite Allergen Reduction HVAC Air Filter

The first home air filter that we have examined is from Filtrete, a 3M company. Its microparticle performance rating (MPR) is 2200. Ours came in a pack of two, and each are 16 inches by 20 inches by 1 inch in size.

This filter touts high-performance electrostatic capabilities. These Healthy Living filters work to capture particles that can only be seen underneath a microscope including debris created from cough and sneezes, candle soot and bacteria. It can also collect larger particles well, including lint, pollen and dust. This filter does its job in trapping unwanted air particles while allowing clean air to flow on through at the same time.

Compared to non-static pleated filters for the home, this filter can capture smaller particles five time better, and can capture particles in between 0.3 to 1 micron particles. It can even outperform fiberglass and washable filters of equal thickness.

The Healthy Living filter is most ideal for home furnaces and air conditioners, and can prevent allergies, smoke, bad smells, viruses and pet dander from entering the home.

From what we have experienced, there is less air flow that enters the home, due to the filter restricting the smallest of particles. Apparently, it also blocks much of the clean air out as well.

Pros

  • Blocks the smallest of air particles imaginable.
  • Keeps bad air out of the home.
  • Is electrostatic.
  • Comes in a pack of two.

Cons

  • Restricts a lot of clean air from entering the home.

2. FilterBuy 20x25x4 MERV 8 Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter

This next pack of filters is from FilterBuy. These filters have a grey frame to them, and are 20 by 25 by 4 inches in size. These are large and thick filters, but they are available in various other sizes. This one came in a pack of six. They are also made in the USA.

The MPR for this air filter is 300 / 600. It is capable of trapping 9 of every 10 particles flying around in the air, and will block out lint, pollen, dust mites, mold, pet dander, debris and dust from entering your home or building. The indoor air quality is sure to go up dramatically.

This is ideal for both home and commercial use, so no matter if you need this for your home or your business, this  filter from FilterBuy is worth considering. Each filter lasts up to three months, so an entire pack will last as long as a year and a half.

FilterBuy’s frames are made of a material is known as “beverage board”. These boards are thick and durable, and endure high levels of humidity and temperatures close to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. These are compatible with either your air conditioner or furnace.

This might be too big for the furnace or AC unit in your home. This size is mostly ideal for warehouses and large commercial venues where high amounts of activity take place from sunrise to sundown, or vice versa. FilterBuy’s filters can actually get at large as 30 by 36 inches.

Pros

  • Comes in a pack of six.
  • Works for both residential and commercial use.
  • Made in the USA.

Cons

  • Might be too big for your furnace.

3. Filtrete Healthy Living Ultra Allergen Reduction HVAC Air Filter

This next home air filter is another filter from Filtrete. It is similar to the first filter in a few ways, and is different in others. In size, it is 16 inches high by 25 inches long by 1 inch thick. Its MPR is 1500, compared to the first filter 2200 MPR. These filters are longer by about five inches.

These work in a similar way to the first Filtrete filters. They can capture microscopic particles that are less than a micron in size, and can also block out allergens, viruses, dust and bacteria.

These filters come in packs of two. Altogether, this pack of two will serve you for a good six months, as each filter will last as long as three.

The same problem occurs just like the other Filtrete filter: There is not enough clean air flow. The 1500 MPR provides a little more air flow than the 2200 MPR model, but not by much. This one still blocks out a portion of the fresh air that you would love to enjoy in the home.

Pros

  • Blocks the smallest of air particles imaginable.
  • Keeps bad air out of the home.
  • Is electrostatic.
  • Comes in a pack of two.

Cons

  • Restricts a lot of clean air from entering the home.

4. AIRx ALLERGY 11 Pleated Air Filter

This next pack of air filters comes to us from AIRx Filters. This filter comes in a set of six, and are 14 by 24 by 1 inch in size. The MPR is not specified, but the brand touts these filters to be comparable to 3M filters that are around 800 to 1200 in MPR. Another filter proudly made in America.

These air filters for the home work to trap most particles what include pet dander, dust mites, pollen, smoke and mold. This filter comes with more pleated than most other filters that you can buy. Like the first Filtrete filters, these filters can outperform washable and fiberglass filters.

These air filters last for three months total, so with a pack of six, these will provide you with enough clean air for the next 12 to 18 months. You are also expected to enjoy reduced energy and maintenance costs in that timeframe.

These filters don’t seem to fit without working them into your furnace or vent as diligently as possible. Even if you have the right size, you will need to really cram it in to get all sides to fit. While they eventually do fit and work well, homeowners do not want to get used to this every two to three months.

Pros

  • One of the most pleated filters you can buy.
  • Comes in a pack of six.
  • Made in the USA.

Cons

  • Don’t quite fit right.

5. AirCare Electrostatic Washable Permanent A/C Furnace Air Filter

AirCare’s air filter is our next one to review. This is 20 inches by 20 inches by 1 inch in size, making it a perfect square. Square filters are far less common compared to rectangular filters. There is no MPR rating specified, but it is made in the USA.

You can only buy one of these each, no extras. This is because this is a permanent and washable air filter that you can use again after cleaning it. This can save you money on purchasing filters; but it once and use it for the long haul. These filters are said to be ten times as efficient as disposables.

This is also an electrostatic air filter that can attract microscopic particles from bacteria, dust, pollen, smoke, mold and pet dander. These unseen particles a trapped there indefinitely until you wash the filter.

Included with this filter is a 100 percent money back guarantee and a lifetime warranty. We do think this is too good to be true, but even if the warranty cannot be fulfilled, the price is not really a hard ask. The window for money back guarantee is 30 days; so it’s “buy before you try” in essence.

Now for the bad news, this is a metal air filter. With the filter being metal, the filter is harder to get in and out. With the razor thin metal used to line the filter, you could end up cutting yourself by just trying to pry it free. It is not really a risk that is worth taking for many homeowners.

Pros

  • Permanent air filter.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Blocks the smallest of air particles imaginable.
  • Is electrostatic.

Cons

  • Made of sharp metal.

6 STAGE ELECTROSTATIC WASHABLE PERMANENT HOME AIR FILTER

This last air filter for the home is from BuyFiltersOnline. This one in particular is 20 by 25 by one inch in size. Similar to AirCare’s filter, this is a permanent metal filter that is electrostatic in nature. It is also made 100 percent in the USA.

BuyFiltersOnline touts that this filter has six stages of filtration. Four of the stages of long-lasting aluminum alloy, with the other two being the electrostatic filter.

To clean this filter, take it out first. Then vacuum it to remove the dust.  Rinse it with water, next. To clean off the smoke, use a dish detergent or dish washing liquid. Put it back in and you should be good to go.

This electrostatic filter makes particles from dust, smoke, pollen bacteria and more, only allowing clean air to enter your home. The filter guarantees that you will live comfortably in your home without allergy, sickness or irritability.

This filter needs to be taken out and cleaned every 4 to 6 weeks, or a month to one and a half months. For a permanent filter, some people might argue that this is too frequent, and there are disposable filters that can be good for longer.

A percentage of these filters, however, are defective; either it works or it doesn’t, and there is no way of telling until you put it in and try it. After a month, you will know that it does not work if A. You are dealing with dirty air and get sick and B. The filter remains perfectly clean. Another air filter that sounds more like a gamble for homeowners.

Pros

  • Permanent air filter.
  • Blocks the smallest of air particles imaginable.
  • Is electrostatic.

Cons

  • Either it will work or it won’t.
  • Requires cleaning more frequently.

General Advice : How To Choose The Best Air Filter For Home Furnace

Choosing the right filter for your furnace or air conditioner is important when it comes to maintaining a pure, clean and healthy environment inside your home. Just choosing the right filter, however, is not enough to guarantee the best flow of clean air. You also must be sure that you are following the conditions and guidelines laid out by the maker of the filter you are looking to buy. This way, you will be completely sure that the filter can be run flawlessly. Here are the most important things to consider when buying an air filter for your home furnace.

Size
While not all furnaces accept the same size of filters, the most common are 16 by 20 inches, 20 by 25 inches and 16 by 25 inches. There are many other sizes that filters are made in, from handheld filters to filters that span three or four feet in length. There are even some that are square-shaped.

The size of the filter can be explained to you on the side of your filter cabinet door, so there is no need to measure the door yourself. The filter needs to make an exact fit inside your furnace or air conditioner. “Close enough” is not good enough, when it comes to air filters. The right fit will prevent dirty air from slipping through a loose edge or corner of the filter, and that every particle of air must go through the filter itself.

Efficiency
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. When manufacturers discuss “MERV”, they are talking about how efficient their product is when it comes to it trapping and filtering particles in the air. MERV can be rated for air filters home from 1 to 16, with 1 being able to capture particles as small as 10 microns and 16 being able to capture particles as small as 0.3 to 1 micron.

Filters that are MERV ratings of 1 through 4 include disposable, electrostatic, and/or washable filters. They can best trap dust, pollen, sawdust and carpet fibers.

Filters that are MERV ratings of 5 through 8 include disposable, pleated, and/or cartridge filters. They can best trap mold spores, cosmetic sprays and cleaning and baking products.

Filters that are MERV ratings of 9 through 12 include box and bag filters. They can best trap auto emissions, humidifier dust, welding fumes and legionella.

Filters that are MERV ratings of 13 through 16 also include box and bag filters. However, they can best trap all forms of bacteria, tobacco and particles caused from sneezing and coughing.

The air filter used for the average household is MERV 10, but MERV 12 or higher is suitable for household members who own pets or suffer from allergies, asthma or other respiratory problems.

Pleated Or Non-Pleated
Pleated filters, for the most part, are more efficient and longer-lasting than non-pleated and fiberglass filters. Pleated filters contain a lot more surface area to trap contaminants. They also have the ability to provide smaller pores for catching smaller particles while still allowing an adequate flow of fresh air.

Thickness
The thickness of a filter for your furnace can be anywhere between one inch to five inches. As a cardinal rule, thicker air filters tend to last longer than thinner ones. Your furnace, however, may limit you to how thick your filter could be. Some can only accept one inch filters, while others can go the maximum five inches.

Air filter for home furnace Buyer’s Guide

Should I Buy A Disposable Or Permanent Air Filter?
Permanent air filters are a most cost-effective direction that you can do in. However, by purchasing disposable filters, cleaning will not be necessary. Having to clean an air filter is normally an unappealing task that can discourage people to maintain them properly. After a permanent filter is washed, the filter also must be dried so that mold does not grow on it.

Disposable filters on the other hand are easier to install, and are more energy efficient. The downside of these, obviously is the ongoing costs.

While is better for your home? That is really up to you. There are some blatant advantages that one type has over the other.

What Happens If I Do Not Replace Or Clean My Air Filter Soon Enough?
An air filter that remains unreplaced or uncleaned over a period of time can become clogged from excessive dust that builds up over time. Two hazards can occur as a result of this: Stale air and furnace damage. When air is clogged in the furnace, it does not circulate well throughout the home. The clean air that remains with you will become stale, and its quality will dip over time. You always need fresh air for comfortable living.

How Can I Tell If An Air Filter Is Working?
And air filter will work by recognizing two telltale signs: If you are experiencing cleaner air throughout your home, and if you notice dust accumulating onto the air filter as it is running. Air filters do not require electricity or a motor, and they run silently. With that in mind, there are no known audio cues for homeowners to pay attention to.

What Can I Keep Out With An Air Filter?
According to the type and density of the filter’s filter media, there are a number of different things that a filter can block out of your home.

Dust is the most basic of contaminants, and the weakest of air filters can block out most dust from entering the home. Pollen, dust mites and mold can contain allergens that will trigger reactions in allergic members of the home.

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are gases that contain foul odors and harmful effects. They too can be blocked out from air filters. Those with carbon layers specialize in keeping VOCs out of a person’s home.

Bacteria is simply microscopic organisms that can contribute to a person’s lack of health and wellness. Although only air filters with high MERV ratings are capable of preventing this bacteria from entering the home from outside.

Who Needs This Particular Product?

If you own a home, or place of business, a furnace or air conditioner with an air filter will be absolutely necessary for clean and comfortable living. Without an air filter, the air in your home will be contaminated with dust, dirt, bacteria and other irregularities, and you have a good chance of becoming ill until you get an air filter.

Essentially, if you are a home or business owner that wants to live and/or work in clean, healthy air, you will need an air filter for your furnace.

Final Verdict

The best air filter for home furnace that we have chosen on your behalf is the Filtrete MPR 1500 16 x 25 x 1 Healthy Living Ultra Allergen Reduction HVAC Air Filter

While many paper filters work fine, and some homeowners prefer to stick with them, I urge them to give this filter a chance. It does a great job with collecting contaminants, and there is no point to ever buy another air filter; this could be your one and only for your air conditioner or furnace.

The filter is razor sharp, we won’t lie. Handle this filter with great care. Use a tool or two and wear some gloves to take this filter off and put it back on. With all the dirt that collects onto these filters, you will want to protect your hands anyway.

Try this filter for two weeks, and if you aren’t happy with it, you can always go back to disposable air filters that you are more accustomed to, thanks to the 30-day money back guarantee.

About the Author Frank J

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