Wondering what furnace filters are best? The answer is not as simple as it may seem. There are so many options on the market advertising themselves as the “best furnace air filter” but not all of them can be trusted. Especially when the stakes are so high. Filtrete air filters or other brand filters are important for keeping people healthy. When they fail to work properly, they can put home dwellers in danger of inhaling dust and other irritants. These furnace filter reviews will help you choose a trustworthy option to help you keep your home safe.
Aprilaire 213 Replacement Filter (MERV 13) | Filtrete Filter Quality at a Great Price
This is considered the best furnace filter because it can tackle common particles such as dust, mold, and more. These unhealthy air dwellers would otherwise be taking root in HVAC systems. It is relatively simple to install. Just take off the filter’s packaging, slide it into the filter track, and close the door of their purifier model. The filters feature a snug fit and self-sealing technology so that dirty air cannot escape around or through them.
This version is also amongst the best furnace air filters for people with allergies or asthma. Plus, it can last for up to twelve months before it needs to be replaced. This lifetime can be extended or reduced depending on interior air quality. Though the product does not technically come with a manufacturing warranty, it can be personally requested. Adding this step into the buying process takes some of the risks out of making this purchase. Overall, this is the best air filter for furnace use because of its ease of use, its extent of filtration, and the variety of pollutants it filters for. It might be a good place to start for those searching for an alternative to Filtrete furnace filters.
- Filters for many different types of irritants
- Ideal for households with allergies or asthma
- Can last up to twelve months
- Available in value packs
- Super simple to replace and change
- Optional warranty
Filtrete Micro Allergen Defense (16x20x1) | Exclusive Technology for an Impressive Clean
This Filtrete Micro Allergen Defense air filter might be a good option for those seeking the best furnace air filter for allergies. It does not have the typical design that other units have. This one combines pleating with a protective diamond encasing. These units can be purchased in packs of two, and they come for a great value. It claims to work better than other washable and fiber-glass units. Users should just note that these filters have a shorter lifetime of 90 days for one-inch filters such as this one though.
One cool thing this manufacturer offers as an added bonus is a remind program to let owners know when to change their filter. Keeping a dirty filter in an HVAC system can actually be worse than having no filter at all. It will make it harder for air to flow through the system, and it will also blow some of the pollutants from the filter into the air.
This product has a relatively high MPR of 1000. That means that it can filter more microparticles than some of the other best furnace filters. Whether it is dust, pollen, or pet dander passing through an HVAC system, it will get trapped by this sheet. To install it, buyers should first remember to remove the plastic that the filter comes wrapped up in. Then, there will be arrows on the top of the unit showing which direction it should be faced. Depending on whether it is being placed into a central unit or into a wall, it will either be slid sideways into place on a track or placed vertically in the wall slot. Then, it can pretty much be forgotten about until it is time for a change.
- Works for both wall or central unit use
- Eliminates a wide variety of pollutants
- Can sign up for changing reminders
- Great overall value
- One-inch filters will not last more than 90 days
Filtrete UR01 Healthy Living 2-Pack | High MPR for Extra-Fine Filtering
The Filtrete UR01 finds a good balance between good price and performance. It is a product with a 1500 microparticle rating, meaning it can filter even the smallest of air particles. In fact, it is so good, it will trap particles as small as 0.3 to 1 microns in size. This is a similar capability of HEPA filters and other great products. For those with really sensitive allergies or asthma, this might be a good place to start. It traps all sorts of irritants that would otherwise trigger these issues, such as dust and dust mites, mold spores, and lint.
These filters will last a buyer about 3 months before it needs to be switched out for a clean one. Filtrete is a widely respected brand that uses a unique 3-in-1 3M technology in their products. This technology enables it to trap large amounts of particles but helps stop collecting pollution from negatively affecting airflow.
This unit also utilizes electrostatic technology. It works by actually attracting irritants almost like a magnet. It can even help catch bacteria and other viruses. This feature is helpful because even if a sick person stays quarantined in their room all day, HVAC systems can still transport their illness all over an entire house. This filter will stop that transportation and better protect the health of a home’s inhabitants. For those with large families where someone is always getting sick, this could be a good option.
- Captures particles as small as 0.3 to 1.0 microns
- Can trap bacteria and viruses
- Uses electrostatic technology
- Easy to replace
- Need to be replaced every 90 days
Filtrete Allergen Defense (16x25x4) | Lasts Longer Thanks to Thickness
This version of the Filtrete Allergen Defense is similar to the one listed as #2. It catches similar pollutants that may irritate allergies or asthma. It differs in that it is much thicker. One-inch filters only last the user living in an average home about 90 days, equating to three months. This option, on the other hand, is four inches this. This added thickness extends the life of the product. Instead of three months, it will last buyers about twelve months, which is nearly four times as long! Like other Filtrete products, it comes with a reminding service that notifies users when it is time to switch out their dirty unit for a new clean one.
This has a microparticle performance rating of 1000. While it is designed to fit some types of cleaners such as the Honeywell Trion Air Bear, it can also be placed directly into a wall depending on its user’s needs. Its versatility and focus on preventing allergy and asthma triggers might make it a good option for people living in climates with several seasonal changes per year. It may also be a good choice for those that do not want to have to change their unit out frequently.
- Long-lasting lifetime
- Simple to install
- Change reminder programs
- Catches lots of different airborne pollutants
- Will not trap bacteria and viruses
Nordic Pure Pleated MERV 12 Filter (16x25x1) | Complete with Hypoallergenic Filter Material
This Nordic Pure has been widely recognized as one of the best air filters for furnace usage thanks to the unit’s material. It is not only hypoallergenic but also antimicrobial. The pleated fabric utilizes electrostatic technology to attract pollutants and then trap them in its folds. Surrounding its pleating is a diamond-shaped pattern structure to maintain its sturdiness and keep it upright. Buyers should note that this unit does have a shorter lifespan than some others though. Its one-inch size filter must be changed out every 30-90 days, meaning that this unit could last as little as one month. People who prefer as little furnace maintenance as possible may find this too frequent for their liking. For users who do not mind the common changing though, it is one of the best furnace filters for allergies.
Its packaging is super simple and aesthetically pleasing. This furnace filter’s ratings hover around 4.5 stars. Past consumers have been satisfied with their purchases, which eliminates some of the buying risks for this product.
- May have to be changed monthly
FilterBuy Pleated Air Filter Silver (16x25x1) | Best Value Option
The FilterBuy Silver may be a good option for those with mild issues pertaining to the cleanliness of their HVAC systems. It is the best air filter for home furnace systems at a below-average market cost. The units feature horizontal pleating and a frame with a diamond pattern. The pleats occur once every inch to maximize the fabric that can fit inside the frame to catch pollution. It can be purchased in nearly every size a buyer may need. On its packaging is a handy guide that shows what the unit can do and where it should be used.
These filters have a MERV rating of 8, which eliminates 90% of airborne particles. While it will not catch finer types of pollution, it takes care of dust and other types of large debris. This product comes in a large pack four. Its frame can withstand temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit as well as high degrees of humidity. Its synthetic fabric material is also designed to outperform standard cotton materials.
- Come for a great value
- Transparent about capabilities
- Frames are well-built and will last
- Might need exchanging more often than every 30 days
AIRx MERV 8 Dust Filter(16x20x1) | Best Furnace Filters for Dust
These AIRx MERV filters for dust control will suit buyers who are glad to keep things basic. This product is regarded as the best furnace filter for dust control because has the elements it needs to eliminate large pollutants like dust, but not much more. Because this unit does not have to filter for finer particles, it will allow air to pass through its fabric quicker. This means that when a user is running their heating or air conditioning, this filter will not be slowing down their airflow and wasting their electricity. They will also eliminate the bigger particles that would otherwise clog and potentially damage an HVAC system.
The manufacturers recommend that these units be replaced every two months or so. The product comes in packs of six to hypothetically get a user through an entire year before they would need to buy more replacements. To get the best results though, the units should probably be replaced every month, especially in homes that are more dusty than average or are near ongoing construction. Ultimately, this product is ideal for people who live in homes without mold, bacteria, or smoke problems, and are looking for a simple purchase to help their systems stay a bit cleaner.
- High-efficiency furnace filter
- Will help protect HVAC systems
- Lower lifespan than other products
- Not the best furnace filter for allergies
AIRx MERV 11 Allergy Filter (16x20x1) | Best Value Option for Allergies
This AIRx MERV 11 filter is extremely similar to the above MERV 8 option. It can be told apart by its stark red packaging. The only major difference is its ability to filter for smaller particles.
In addition to being able to capture everything that the MERV 8 can, it also filters for things like mold and stubborn smoke–common types of particles that irritate allergies. That being said, it still features optimally-placed pleating and will not decrease airflow too much. This keeps it a decent energy efficiency choice.
- Great value option
- Filters for more than the AIRx Dust
- Less energy-efficient than lower MERV options
Nordic Pure MERV 12 Honeywell Replacement | Fits in 4 Different Honeywell Units
This Nordic Pure MERV 12 is extremely similar to the above version listed as number 5. The product also comes in a pack of two. Plus, it filters at the same level, taking care of pollen, dander, dust, mold and other larger particles that may irritate allergies or dirty home.
The major difference is that this product is constructed to slide into Honeywell purifiers while the other is not. There are four different types of units it can fit into. It may be a good option for those who would rather buy these special replacements for their Honeywell than buy a new unit to fit other general replacements.
- Fits four different Honeywell systems
- Filters for allergens
- Won’t fit general systems, and not ideal for wall usage
Honeywell Home MicroDefense (16x25x4) | Honeywell Filters with a Longer Life
These Honeywell Home MicroDefense replacement filters come in a pack of two. Because they are four inches thick, they will last up to a year before needing to be replaced with a new one. Thus, this pack should last its buyers for two years. They use electrostatic technology to attract pollution, reducing the amount that escapes around the filter. It takes large types of pollutants as well as common allergens. There is also no assembly involved in installing these filters. Note that they can be used in any Honeywell filter that can fit this size.
- Ideal for long-term Honeywell owners
- One purchase can last two years
- Not ideal for usage with other brands
Wondering, “what are the best furnace filters of 2020?” Or perhaps, “what is the best furnace filter for allergies?” Reading a furnace air filter review such as this one is a good place to start. However, it is also important for consumers to understand the terms they may come across during their search. One common one is MERV, which is arguably the most common rating method. While MERV can be rated on a scale of 1-20, you’ll typically see a rating of 8, 12 or 16. Higher ratings are able to trap finer pollution particles. Another important term to know is MPR, which is more common among higher-performing units. Like MERV, the higher the number, the better.
When purchasing replacement filters, versatility and lifetime should also be considered. Keep an eye out for products that can only be used with specific systems. Also, if possible, choose thicker filters that have to be replaced less often. It is a pain to have to remember to replace filters on a monthly basis or order new ones all the time. However, dirty filters can slow a person’s airflow and increase their electric bills. Those who want to think about their filters as little as possible should seek ones that require less maintenance. Otherwise, they will find themselves wasting energy and having trouble maintaining comfortable temperatures in their homes.
Overall, the best furnace filters for home usage depend on the buyer’s needs and preferences. For example, a buyer may not have allergies and therefore can buy cheaper filter replacements with a lower MERV or MPR rating such as a Clean Living basic product. At the same time, someone could live in a wildfire area or have bad asthma and require a high-tech filtrete smart filter to save themselves, their families, or coworkers from potentially harmful side effects. The answer to “what is the best furnace filter?” therefore entirely depends on the buyer. Sometimes, the #10 product on a list may suit an individual’s needs better than a pricier #1 option.
How We Tested
When testing these products, we had one primary question in mind: what is the best air filter for your furnace? To begin, we inspected all of the units on their arrival for any damage that may have occurred before or during their shipment. Luckily, they all arrived in great condition. Then, we installed them all in their correlating units or into walls around our offices and tested them to see how they worked. This list was determined mostly by using their demonstrated performance, with the better-performing products near the top of the list. In addition to their filtering ability though, we also considered their overall usability, ease of installation, and their lifespans. Those wondering what type of furnace filter is best should read this entire review, as the most ideal option for them may not necessarily be the most effective.
What is the best furnace filter for a home? It is a loaded question. The only truthful answer is that it depends on the air quality in a buyer’s home or office. A consumer’s best bet is to educate themselves using furnace air filter reviews such as this one. They will introduce buys to the best furnace filters for homes with pets, smoke problems, and other unique situations. Then, they can choose for themselves what they think will be best for their furnace and cooling systems. Don’t be afraid when purchasing these products. After all, it is not a permanent decision. They are not too expensive and don’t have to be repurchased. Sometimes, it takes trial and error to find the perfect fit.