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Best Furnace Filters of 2022

Updated
Give your furnace the protection it deserves. 

Your home furnace heats your house continuously, which means the same air repeatedly travels around your home. Inevitably, this will pick up contaminants, dust, and dirt. These pollutants are fed back into your furnace, then distributed around your home.

A furnace filter will prevent this by catching contaminants before they enter your furnace. It keeps your air clean and free from pollutants and allergens.

With the best furnace filter, you will also be protecting the blower fan. In this post, we’ll compare how effectively each filter will work. We’ve also considered the filter’s durability, minimum efficiency reporting value, and the type of filter.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Honeywell FC100A1029 16 x 25 Media Air Filter (MERV 11)
Most Compatible With Other Brands
Honeywell Air Cleaning Filter
  • MERV rating of 11
  • Static pressure drop system
  • Efficient filtration captures 90 percent of particles
Product Image of the Nordic Pure 16x25x1 MERV 12 Pleated AC Air Filters 6 Pack
Best Furance Filter for Pet Owners
Nordic Pure 4
  • Removes pet dander
  • MERV rating of 12
  • Hypoallergenic and antimicrobial materials
Product Image of the Filtrete 20x25x4 Furnace Air Filter MPR 1550 DP MERV 12, Healthy Living Ultra Allergen Deep Pleat, 4-Pack, Fits Lennox & Honeywell Devices (exact dimensions 19.88 x 24.63 x 4.31)
Best Furnace Filter for Allergy Sufferers
Filtrete Ultra Allergen Filter
  • Certified asthma and allergy friendly
  • Good quality
  • Captures bacteria and viruses
Product Image of the Filtrete 16x20x1, AC Furnace Air Filter, MPR 300, Clean Living Basic Dust, 6-Pack (exact dimensions 15.69 x 19.69 x 0.81)
Most Affordable Furnace Filter
Filter Clean Living Basic Dust Filter
  • Compatible with high-velocity equipment
  • Effectively filters dust and grime
  • Filter lasts up to three months
Product Image of the AIRx HEALTH 16x25x1 MERV 13 Pleated Air Filter - Made in the USA - Box of 6
Best All-Around Performance
AIRx Health MERV 13 Furnace Filter
  • Increased number of pleats
  • MERV rating of 13
  • Electrostatic filter performs up to 225 Fahrenheit
Product Image of the Filterbuy 20x20x1 Air Filter MERV 8 Dust Defense (4-Pack), Pleated HVAC AC Furnace Air Filters Replacement (Actual Size: 19.50 x 19.50 x 0.75 Inches)
Best for High-Humidity Areas
FilterBuy Silver Furnace Filter
  • Increased filtration
  • Won't decrease airflow
  • Traps 90 percent of particles
Product Image of the AirCare Furnace A/C Filter
Best Eco-Friendly Furnace Filter
AirCare Furnace A/C Filter
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Traps 95 percent of particles
  • Washable feature


Product Reviews

Finding the most suitable product for your needs is important, and we want to help you make the best decision. Using information from industry professionals and real user reviews, we’ve researched the best products available today. Here’s our compilation of the best furnace filters.

1. Honeywell Ultra Efficiency Air Cleaning Filter

Most Compatible With Other Brands

With over 100 years of experience in this industry, you can rest assured that your Honeywell product is of good caliber.

This filter will not only effectively remove dust before entering your furnace, but it also has the added benefit of capturing microparticles. It will successfully filter more than 90 percent of air particles that flow through its system.

Honeywell has ensured a more efficient filter than fiberglass options using premium polypropylene and cardboard.

Another great feature is the built-in static pressure drop system. It helps to maintain optimal airflow through your furnace.

Pros

  • High MERV rating of 11.
  • Static pressure drop system maintains excellent airflow.
  • Efficient filtration captures 90 percent of air particles.
  • Good quality; they should last six months.
  • Easy to install.

Cons

  • Durability is affected in dusty environments.
  • Quite pricey for just one filter.

Product Specs

Durability 3-6 months
Pleated Yes
Available in Different Sizes No
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value 11
Number of Units in Each Pack One

2. Nordic Pure 4

Best Furnace Filter for Pet Owners

With an MPR of 1500 to 1915 and MERV of 12, this filter could be an excellent choice.

Equipped with an electrostatic filter, it successfully removes many harmful air particles. We love that it efficiently targets dust, pollen, and allergens.

This filter is also made from hypoallergenic and antimicrobial material. This great feature ensures bacteria and viruses do not find their way into your home.

This product is a go-to filter for homes with pets as it effectively removes particles shed by our furry friends. The frames are produced from recycled materials, making them an environmentally-friendly option.

With this choice, you don’t have to worry about changing it too regularly. Its ability to deal with heavy-duty conditions such as pet dander increases its lifespan.

Pros

  • Removes pet dander and other particles your pets bring in.
  • High MERV rating of 12 and MPR rating of 1500-1915.
  • Hypoallergenic and antimicrobial material filters many contaminants.
  • Removes smoke, smog, bacteria, and viruses.
  • The frame is made from recycled board paper.

Cons

  • The filters are slightly smaller than the advertised sizing.
  • There is no MERV rating on the packaging, which makes customers skeptical.
  • The quality feels cheap and non-durable.

Product Specs

Durability 30–90 days
Pleated Yes
Available in Different Sizes Yes
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value 12
Number of Units in Each Pack Six

3. Filtrete Healthy Living Ultra Allergen Filter

Best Furnace Filter for Allergy Sufferers

Having earned a MERV of 12 and MPR of 1550, this filter can capture the smallest of particles. Wave goodbye to dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and smoke. This product may be an excellent choice for anyone looking for extra protection in their home.

It’s built with an electrostatic charge to ensure an optimum level of filtration. This is a helpful feature to attract microscopic particles. The design also increases the surface area, making this filter more efficient.

Pros

  • Electrostatic filter captures lint, dust, mold spores, pollen, and more.
  • High quality and premium brand.
  • Captures bacteria and virus carriers.
  • Works for heating, cooling, and HVAC systems.
  • It can last up to one year.

Cons

  • Quite expensive compared to other options.
  • The sizing is a little off, so it might not fit perfectly.

Product Specs

Durability One year
Pleated Yes
Available in Different Sizes Yes
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value 12
Number of Units in Each Pack Four

4. Filter Clean Living Basic Dust Filter

Most Affordable Furnace Filter

Are you looking for an affordable yet high-quality furnace filter to shield your home from dust and allergens? The Filtrete Clean Living air filter offers just that.

Filtrete is a reliable and recognized brand in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry. You can be sure that this filter will protect the longevity of your furnace. What’s more, it will keep the air you breathe at home healthy and hygienic.

Built with an MPR of 300, this filter will actively protect your furnace from debris that could lead to a blockage. The electrostatically charged fibers also help to attract large airborne particles, which could cause allergies.

It’s compatible with high-velocity equipment, meaning it won’t compromise the efficiency of your furnace.

Pros

  • Compatible with high-velocity equipment without reducing airflow.
  • Effectively filters dust, grime, dust mites, lint, and more.
  • Affordable price point; great if you’re on a budget.
  • Filters last up to three months.

Cons

  • Residential use only.
  • Low MERV/MPR rating captures fewer particles than other filters.
  • Makes a whistling noise when air is filtering through.
  • Difficult to install into the furnace.

Product Specs

Durability 90 days
Pleated Yes
Available in Different Sizes Yes
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value 5
Number of Units in Each Pack Six

5. AIRx Health MERV 13 Furnace Filter

Best All-Around Performance

The AIRx is on our list, thanks to its all-around excellent performance, not to mention its MERV rating of 13. This is the highest rating available for residential use.

This means that it will protect you and your furnace from the smallest harmful particles. You’ll even be safe from airborne viruses and bacteria!

It features AIRx’s highest pleat count to date, resulting in enhanced airflow. This reduces energy costs and improves its ability to retain particles.

It’s also equipped with health filters to safeguard you from small particles such as dust, debris, virus carriers, and allergens.

To top it off, there is an electrostatic filter that helps to capture harmful air particles. This will provide your furnace with extra protection from contaminants.

Pros

  • Increased number of pleats to remove more contaminants.
  • High MERV rating of 13, which captures everything from lint to smoke.
  • Electrostatic filter can perform in temperatures up to 225 Fahrenheit.
  • Filters are made in the USA.
  • Super reasonably priced.

Cons

  • Filter makes a whistling noise when air is flowing through.
  • Inaccurate product dimensions.

Product Specs

Durability 90 days
Pleated Yes
Available in Different sizes Yes
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value 13
Number of Units in Each Pack Six

6. FilterBuy Silver Furnace Filter

Best for High-Humidity Areas

Great quality air filtration without breaking the bank is just one benefit this filter offers. With a MERV of eight, it’s designed to capture dust, dander, mold, smoke, and pollen.

The frames are made of beverage board. As a result, they can withstand temperatures of up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This could make it an ideal choice for areas with high humidity.

The Air FilterBuy Silver features an improved level of filtration. It protects you from 90 percent of harmful air that would ordinarily be circulating in your home. With up to 14 pleats per foot, its increased surface area can attract more particles and last longer.

This product is recommended for both residential and commercial use.

Pros

  • MERV of eight protects home from 90 percent of airborne particles.
  • Won’t decrease the airflow of your furnace.
  • High-quality electrostatic and pleated construction.
  • Industrial grade frames made from beverage board and wire backings.
  • All parts are made with recycled materials.
  • Suitable for residential and commercial use.

Cons

  • Smaller than advertised, so they leave a little gap.
  • They’re not super affordable.
  • They might make a whistling sound if they don’t fit properly.

Product Specs

Durability 90 days
Pleated Yes
Available in Different Sizes Yes
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value 8
Number of Units in Each Pack Four

7. AirCare Furnace A/C Filter

Best Eco-Friendly Furnace Filter

This filter may be a great option if you’re looking for a reusable product. The washable feature means you no longer need to keep replacing your filter. When the time comes, simply remove, rinse, dry, and reinstall — as simple as that!

The washable feature also has the added benefit of saving you money. Once you buy it, a quick clean once a month is all there is to it. There will be no need to keep buying replacement filters every few months.

The AirCare Filter will trap up to 95 percent of airborne particles. It ensures harmful air particles don’t find their way into your furnace or your home. The electrostatic charge helps to increase its particle capturing capabilities.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty ensures you get your money’s worth.
  • Traps 95 percent of dust and allergen particles.
  • Washable feature; simply hose down, dry, and reapply.
  • Electrostatic filter captures more contaminants.

Cons

  • Improper washing can cause damage.
  • Won’t fit all furnaces.

Product Specs

Durability Check every 30 days
Pleated No
Available in Different Sizes Yes
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value 6
Number of Units in Each Pack One

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Durability Pleated Available in Different Sizes MERV No. of Units
Honeywell Air Cleaning Filter Compatibility With Other Brands 90 days Yes No 11 1 – 2
Nordic Pure 4 Furnace Filter for Pet Owners 30–90 days Yes Yes 12 6
Filtrete Healthy Living Allergen Filter Furnace Filter for Allergy Sufferers 90 days Yes Yes 12 4
Filter Clean Living Basic Dust Filter Affordable Furnace Filter 90 days Yes Yes 5 6
AIRx Health MERV 13 Furnace Filter All-Around Performance 90 days Yes Yes 13 6
FilterBuy Silver Furnace Filter For High-Humidity Areas 90 days Yes Yes 8 4
AirCare Furnace A/C Filter Eco-Friendly Furnace Filter Check every 30 days No Yes 6 1

Choosing the Right Furnace Filter

When buying your filter, you’ll notice three acronyms that always pop up: MPR, MERV, and FPR. But what do they mean?

MPR

This stands for Microparticle Performance Rating and measures the air filter’s ability to trap particles smaller than one micron (1). It was created by 3M to assist consumers and is only used under this brand. Look for filters with an MPR of between 1,500–1,900.

MERV

MERV refers to the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It’s a standardized scale to rate air filters’ effectiveness, considering health, costs, and energy efficiency. All furnace filters on sale in the US feature a MERV rating.

The higher the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, the finer the filter is, making it more effective. A typical air system at home can remove air pollutants using a filter with a MERV rating of between six and 13 (2).

Usually, the MERV for residential use extends up to 13. Nonetheless, a filter with a value between eight and 11 is satisfactory for a residential home.

But some people may want to purchase a filter with a value towards the higher end of the scale. This is especially so if the air around you is susceptible to pollutants. For example, a higher rating will benefit you if you live in an area with building work nearby or have multiple pets in your home.

FPR

FPR is Filter Performance Rating developed by Home Depot for ranking filters sold in their stores. This system is similar to the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rating. However, please remember that the two can’t be accurately compared (3).

If looking at FPR rating, we recommend looking for anything between five and 10, though seven to 10 is best.

How to Choose (Buying Guide)

To help you find the right furnace filter, we’ve listed some important things to look out for.

Type

You’ll come across a variety of filters, the main ones being:

  • Fiberglass: These are very common and will prevent lint and debris from clogging the furnace. But they don’t clean the air well, so they’re unsuitable for people with allergies or asthma.
  • Polyester: These filters are expensive, but they can trap up to 95 percent of particles from five microns small. This is a great choice if you have family members with health issues.
  • Electrostatic: These filters can capture tiny harmful particles. They’re a great option if you have smokers or pets in your home.
  • Pleated: This is a popular option usually made from cotton or polyester. It removes small particles, including mites and mold spores. You must change them frequently, though. You can also choose high-efficiency pleated filters, which are best for those with allergies, asthma, or other illnesses.
  • HEPA: A high-efficiency particle air filter can trap 99 percent of particles down to 0.3 microns in size. They are expensive and can minimize airflow, but they will trap pollutants, creating a healthier atmosphere for your family.
  • Washable: Many filter types have the option of being washable rather than disposable. This can save you money in the long run since you don’t have to buy as many replacements.

Identifying your household’s requirements will allow you to decide on the optimal filter for you.

One of the most important factors is that the product will effectively filter airborne contaminants without significantly reducing airflow. This benefit is twofold. It increases your furnace’s efficiency and keeps the air you breathe safe.

Just remember to purchase a filter that’s labeled for residential use. This ensures that it’s suitable for your home.

Size

Your furnace will require a specific size filter, so take note of this. If you buy the wrong size, it won’t fit your furnace properly, significantly reducing its ability to work efficiently.

The size will usually be displayed clearly on the product. However, if you are unsure, you can just grab a tape measure to check.

Thickness

The thickness of the filter determines its effectiveness at removing dust and dirt from the air feeding your filter, and circulating your home. The most common thicknesses are one inch and four inches. Take care, though, because if your furnace uses a 1-inch filter, a 4-inch filter won’t fit.


Why Change Your Filter Regularly?

If left for too long, the collected particles may start to cause a blockage and restrict airflow. This means that your furnace begins to overwork as it fights to push the air through. This, in turn, increases your energy costs and may eventually lead to your furnace breaking down (4).

How Often Should You Change Your Filter?

In general, it’s advised to change your filter every 60 days. However, depending on the model, some can last up to 12 months.

Filters will need to be changed sooner if multiple people live in your home. This is also the case if you have pets or the air around where you live is more polluted. You’ll also need more frequent changing if someone in the household has allergies (5).

Top Tip

Make a note in your calendar to remind you to replace your furnace filters regularly. This helps to achieve maximum cost efficiency and maintain good air quality in your home.

FAQs

Is It Worth It to Buy More Expensive Furnace Filters?

Knowing whether it is worth it to buy more expensive furnace filters depends on how heavily the furnace gets used. It is worth it if there are many dust and debris sources in your home, like pets and kids.

However, it may not be worth the added expense for single people and infrequently used furnaces.

Can a Furnace Filter Be Too Restrictive?

A furnace filter can be too restrictive. The better the performance, the more it restricts the airflow, making your furnace work harder. HEPA filters trap 99.97 percent of pollutants to a size of three microns, so they are effective.

The downside is that they can quickly restrict the airflow when they get dirty.

Do Pleated Furnace Filters Restrict Airflow?

Pleated furnace filters do restrict airflow as they collect dust and debris. As they fill with particles, the air flow weakens, causing the furnace to work overtime to heat your home.

How Do I Know If My Furnace Filter is Dirty?

Knowing if your furnace filter is dirty is crucial to the smooth running of your heating system. Luckily, there are tell-tale signs, like the furnace working harder to heat your home or increased energy bills.

You may also notice an increase in allergies like sore throats, blocked noses, and itchy or red eyes. Those with respiratory issues may also find it harder to breathe.

What Happens If You Put Furnace Filter In Backward?

When you put a furnace filter in backward, you get something called short cycling. The heating system kicks in more frequently because it works overtime to heat your home. If you ignore the symptoms, the heating will malfunction.

Can a Dirty Furnace Filter Make You Sick?

A dirty filter can make you sick because allergens that would typically trap in the filter get pushed around your home, polluting the air. You suffer from sore throats, noses, and red or itchy eyes.

It could also increase asthma symptoms and make breathing more difficult.


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Headshot of Matthew Sullivan

About the Author

Matthew Sullivan

Matthew is a freelance writer with several years of experience in DIY and HVAC. For as long as he can remember, Matthew has always found great pleasure in taking things apart and learning how to put them back together.