The Best Furnace Filters – Complete Buying Guide & Reviews

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When it comes to finding the best furnace filter for your house, skimping out on quality and maximum filtration is the last thing you want to do. Your furnace filter is responsible for controlling the debris buildup in your home's furnace - we don't want a musty, smelly mass of a furnace clog.

Furnace air filters catch the airborne particulates from dirt, dander, and more that block up your furnace. This article offers a guide to choosing the best furnace filters to improve the functioning of your home's furnace, and air quality. Let's take a look at the best furnace filters on the market.

Related: The Best Dryer Filter

The Best Furnace Filter - Reviews

Last update on 2019-03-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

X6673 Lennox 20x25x5 Merv 11 Filter Media 2 Pack

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X6673 Lennox 20x25x5 Merv 11 Filter Media 2 Pack
  • MERV 11
  • Actual Size: 19-3/4" X 24-3/4" X 4-3/8"
  • 2 Filters

Last update on 2019-03-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The X6673 Lennox 20x25x5 Merv 11 Filter are the best furnace filters for capturing all the standard air pollutants in your home. It includes two UL class-2 filters which are certified to UL 900 standards. Each unit lasts for six months, under normal conditions.

These filters are made of a synthetic fabric mesh, which captures air pollutants down to 0.3 microns small. Pollutants like mold spores, dander, pollen, mites, and more.  The media is designed with a large amount of area to capture the maximum amount of dirt while maintaining maximum airflow.

Things We Like:

  • MERV 11: Captures about 60% of pollutants, 3 to 10 microns
  • Max dirt capture with minimum air resistance
  • Electrostatically charged
  • Disposable
  • 6 months of air filtering per filter
  • Incredibly effective for the price

Things We Don't Like:

  • Reported inconsistencies in the size of the filter
  • Might have to make it fit

FilterBuy AFB Silver MERV 8 20x20x1 Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter.

FilterBuy AFB Silver MERV 8 20x20x1 Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter. Pack of 4 filters. 100% produced in the USA.
  • 20 x 20 x 1 air filter for ac hvac and furnace. 20x20x1 (19.75 x 19.75) furnace filters/ air filters - afb silver merv 8 (4 pack)
  • Afb silver: an advanced filter that offers increased filtration of dust mites and other allergens
  • Removes lint & dust, dust mite debris, pollen and mold spores

Last update on 2019-03-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The FilterBuy AFB Silver MERV 8 20x20x1 Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter is our second choice when it comes to furnace filters. The pack includes four disposable air filters, each of which lasts for up to three months.

The filters frame is tested to maintain its structure through heat and humidity reaching up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. These filters carry a MERV rating of 8, which is great for standard residences. These filters are designed for filtration against common air pollutants.

Things We Like:

  • MERV 8: Captures 85% of pollutants 3 to 10 microns.
  • Great for standard residential and commercial use.
  • 3-month filter life.
  • Designed for AC HVAC and Furnace.
  • Captures dust mites, mold spores, pollen, lint, and dust.

Things We Don't Like:

  • A bit flimsy
  • More expensive than others of it's kind

Filtrete Clean Living Basic Dust AC Furnace Air Filter, MRP 300, 16 x 25 x 1-Inches

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Filtrete Clean Living Basic Dust Filter, MPR 300, 16 x 25 x 1-Inches, 6-Pack
  • Helps protect your home by reducing contaminants and allergen in your air. 316 MPR Performance Rating
  • Electrostatically charged fibers attracts and capture large airborne allergens like Pollen, Household Dust, Lint
  • Ideal for high-velocity heating and cooling systems, lasts up to 3 months

Last update on 2019-03-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Filtrete Clean Living Basic Dust AC Furnace Air Filter are some of the best furnace filters for basic residential use. These furnace filters are great for those without allergies, asthe filters only capture around 20% of pollutants from 3 to 10 microns in size.

The pack contains 6 disposable filters, which each last for up to 3 months. The filter media is electro-statically charged, which helps attract common air allergens, such as dust mites, mold spores, and more. These filters work well in high-velocity systems, but, are not intended for any commercial uses.

Things We Like:

  • Practical usage with a basic, easy to use structure.
  • Electrostatically charged fiber media attracts common household dust and air pollutants.
  • Great for high-velocity systems.
  • Includes 6 furnace air filters.

Things We Don't Like:

  • For residential usage only.
  • Only captures about 20% of pollutants.

Filtrete MPR 1200 16 x 25 x 1 Allergen Defense Odor Reduction HVAC Air Filter

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Filtrete Allergen Defense Odor Reduction HVAC Air Filter, Captures Small Particles like Dust & Lint, MPR 1200, 16 x 25 x 1, 6-Pack
  • Removes strong odors in your air from pets, cooking, mildew and smoke and starts working in minutes* {*Based on comparison of organic vapor...
  • 65x better at reducing odor than other leading brands** {**Based on comparison of organic vapor capacity vs. other national retail furnace...
  • Featuring 3M carbon web technology, the Filtrete Odor Reduction filter combines active carbon with electrostatically charged fibers. As...

Last update on 2019-03-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Filtrete MPR 1200 16 x 25 x 1 Allergen Defense Odor Reduction HVAC Air Filter is one of the best furnace filters for reducing odors in your home or building. These filters are suitable for residential and commercial uses.

The media is a blend of activated carbon fibers, as well, as electro-statically charged synthetic fibers. The electrostatic fibers attract airborne particles, and the carbon filter neutralizes any residual odors. 

Filtrate rates these filters at an MPR of 1200, which equates to a MERV rating of 14. These filters are a great choice for anyone with sensitivity to smells like mold, mildew, or tobacco smoke.

Things We Like:

  • MPR 1200 / MERV 14: Captures 75% to 85% of air particles 0.3 to 1 micron, and, over 90% of air particles 1 to 3 microns in size.
  • Specially designed for odor removal.
  • Media of activated carbon and electrostatically charged synthetic fiber.
  • 3-in-1: Attracts dust, traps particulates, and allows air to move through media.

Things We Don't Like:

  • A bit pricier than other models
  • Reported loosening of carbon particles

Filtrete MPR 2800 16 x 25 x 1 ultrafine Particle Reduction HVAC Air Filter

Filtrete 16x25x1, AC Furnace Air Filter, MPR 2800, Healthy Living Ultrafine Particle Reduction, 2-Pack
  • Outperforms fiberglass, washable and non-electrostatic 3-month pleated 1" home air filters
  • Designed with exclusive Filtrete Brand 3-in-1 technology from 3M to trap unwanted air particles while letting cleaner air flow through
  • Attracts and captures microscopic particles such as smoke, cough and sneeze debris, bacteria and viruses-and large particles, including...

Last update on 2019-03-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Filtrete MPR 2800 16 x 25 x 1 ultrafine Particle Reduction HVAC Air Filter offers the best air filters for those with respiratory sensitivity, allergies, and, for commercial hospitals and care facilities.

These filters capture the debris from a sneeze or a cough as well as filter out the residual exhaust from vehicles. This filter is one of the best options for keeping your furnace clean in areas of high dust volume.

These are the best filters for those who live in cities or near large industrial complexes. They will remove the soot and smoke in the air while letting the air pass through the furnace with ease.

Things We Like:

  • Best for small particles. 
  • Hypoallergenic friendly.
  • 3-in-1: Attracts and traps particles while letting air easily flow.
  • Liner lock - for strong media hold.
  • Captures PM 2.5 air pollution, vehicle exhaust, soot, smoke, coughs, sneezes, viruses, lint, dust, debris, and pollen.

Things We Don't Like:

  • Definitely a more expensive model.
  • May cause added stress on the furnace to push air through.

Features to Consider

Determining Needs

The improvement of your homes air quality is, in fact, a secondary function of your furnace filter. The only way that it affects the air quality in your home is when the heater is turned on. Without a filter, your furnace becomes caked with residual masses of dust and airborne particulates.

Odor 

Like residue in your oven, when dirt builds up in your furnace, the heater causes an odorous, burning smell to make its way through your home. If your furnace is emitting an odor, you may want to check out a furnace filter option that includes odor removal or prevention.

Checking Your Furnace

The first sign of a clogged furnace filter is a lack of heat. If your filter does not let enough air move through the media, the caught dirt will prevent air flow. The component most negatively affected by inadequate air filtration is your furnaces heat exchange. Be sure to check this out to measure the severity of the damage to your furnace or figure out how clogged it is.

Size

Furnace air cleaners are designed for filters of a specific size. The size varies, depending on your model of the air cleaner. All of the furnace filters reviewed above are offered in a variety of common filter sizes. Make sure you find the correct size furnace filter to fit your air cleaner model.

Reusable vs Disposable

Furnace filters may be reusable or disposable, depending on the design of the unit. Disposable filters are popular for their convenience and economy. They are inexpensive and function well for a few months.

Reusable filters are made from a washable media, such as polyester or cotton. They last many years if maintained. Reusable furnace filters require washing every thirty days or so. The repercussions of neglecting to clean a reusable air filter results in excess air pollutants and particulates in your home.

A functioning filter captures these particulates. If you have air related allergies, asthma, or sensitivity to respiratory irritants look for a filter that captures more fine particles of dust from the air. The amount of air particles captured by a furnace filter is expressed in its MERV rating.

​What the MERV Rating Means

Every furnace filter is tested to a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. Filters are rated, from 1 to 16, to reflect the units filtering effectiveness. Dust and other pollutants in the air are so small that they are measured in microns.

For some context: one of your hairs is around 30 microns, give or take ten or so. The MERV scale measures the collection of air pollutants as tiny as a 30th the size of a human hair, or 0.3 microns.

A filters MERV rating is determined by subjecting the filter to a series of controlled tests. Lasers are used to count air particulates entering the filter by way of a wind tunnel. Another set of lasers count the particles that come through the other end.

Interpreting the Ratings

Filters that do not capture particles smaller than 10 microns are not assigned a MERV rating. These filters are disposable and cheap, but, will do little to help improve your homes air quality or heat circulation.

Furnace filters that receive a rating of 5 to 12 are most common amongst homeowners. These filters will provide your furnace with protection from dirt buildup while allowing air to flow.

Filters that receive a MERV rating from 12 to 16 are designed for maximum pollutant capture. They are great for anyone who has allergies to pet dander, pollen, or other airborne irritants. These filters work to keep your home clear of dust and dirt, but get clogged easier.

Wrap Up

The quality of your air is vital to your health and life longevity. Go with one of the furnace filters on our list, and you can't go wrong. Furnace filters will keep your house odorless and avoid a disgusting mess of a furnace which could cause airflow complications in your household. Like we said before, this is a product worth investing a little extra money in for quality - your life could depend on it!

When it comes to our top choice for the best furnace filter, you really can't go wrong with the X6673 Lennox. It offers high quality, plenty of coverage for residential and commercial use, and doesn't sacrifice quality, even with a lower price. You can check this furnace filter out here.


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