10 Best Furnace Filters in 2020

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  • More efficient than standard filters of the same type.
  • Cleans air through electrostatic charges.
  • Easy to wash.
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  • Stops pollen, mold spores, and other common allergy triggers.
  • Can be used to clean up pet dander.
  • Efficient design.
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  • Great for catching common allergens.
  • Blocks mold.
  • Boosts heating and ventilation system efficiency.

If you own a house with a furnace-based heating system, you’ve likely heard of furnace filters at some point: they do precisely what their name implies, filtering out dust and pollen that can get into the system and leave your air feeling stuffy or unclean. They are also known as air filters or vent filters, but they all have the exact same purpose. This can make it hard to find the best furnace filters on the market, especially if you don’t know what to look for.

Below are ten different furnace filters that can keep your home feeling clean and uncluttered, as well as their main strengths and the situations you might want to use them in.

View the Best Furnace Filters, Below.

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1. Filtrete AC MPR 300 Furnace Air Filter

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These filters are made of a durable, washable set of materials that can out-perform most generic filter brands, as well as offering a much higher chance of drawing in and catching any dust particles in the air. The electrostatic design acts like a magnet, attracting extra debris and lint without needing any kind of power source or special outer layer. This helps this furnace filter clean any air that passes through it without leaving the dust floating around in the air, allowing you to clean it off without releasing it back into your home.

Why We Like It
  • More efficient than standard filters of the same type.
  • Cleans air through electrostatic charges.
  • Easy to wash.
  • Available in a range of different sizes.
  • Attracts most standard dust and lint types
Lint
Yes.
Pollen
No.
Mold Spores
No.
Our Verdict

These furnace filters are simple, reliable, and effective, cleaning the air in a quick and efficient manner.

Editor Rating
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2. Aprilaire 213 Replacement Air Filter

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These multi-purpose furnace filters are designed to work with specific air purifiers, allowing them to block a range of common air pollutants and particles. Not only does this air filter block standard dust and dust mites, but it can also be used to filter out mold spores, pollen, and even natural bacteria, keeping your air fresh and disease-free.

This indirectly makes it incredibly useful for people with allergies, since it keeps most common allergy triggers out of the air and ensures that it never reaches your body. Combined with its long lifespan, it is ideal for keeping the air in your home clean and pure at all times.

Why We Like It
  • Stops pollen, mold spores, and other common allergy triggers.
  • Can be used to clean up pet dander.
  • Efficient design.
  • Long-lasting.
  • Improves ventilation and heating system performance.
Lint
Yes.
Pollen
Yes.
Mold Spores
Yes.
Our Verdict

Although they’re not called furnace filters by name, these filters are perfect for keeping your home feeling pure and letting your heating system do its job.

Editor Rating
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3. Aerostar MERV 8 Pleated Air Filter

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These pleated air filters are perfect for stopping a wide range of allergens. If you need furnace filters, they're also an excellent tool for improving the overall performance of your heating system, as well as keeping dust out of key components.

If placed correctly, they can stop dust from spreading through your house, and will even help prevent the spread of mold, ensuring that your home stays cleaner for longer. Not only that, but the reduced strain on your ventilation system will save energy in the long run, even if you don't notice any change in performance.

Why We Like It
  • Great for catching common allergens.
  • Blocks mold.
  • Boosts heating and ventilation system efficiency.
  • Filters air for better overall quality.
  • More durable than standard filter designs.
Lint
Yes.
Pollen
Yes.
Mold Spores
Yes.
Our Verdict

While they might look like just another filter, these work extremely well as either air or furnace filters, making your home more efficient and less stuffy almost immediately.

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4. Honeywell FC100A1037-2 Filters

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These air filters are designed to prevent pressure drops as much as possible, avoiding the issue of your filters, reducing the efficiency and power of your ventilation or heating systems. The one-way design ensures that you won't have air flowing through the wrong way and helps keep all kinds of dust and lint out of the air while still allowing it to circulate properly.

This filter won't have any significant negative impacts on the performance of your heating system, so you can use it alongside a furnace-based setup without needing to worry about being wasteful or not getting the complete experience.

Why We Like It
  • Efficient design.
  • Great at catching dust.
  • Can be cleaned easily.
  • Works well as both an interior and exterior vent.
  • High MERV value (can catch a lot of debris/dust types).
Lint
Yes.
Pollen
Yes.
Mold Spores
Yes.
Our Verdict

These air filters are perfect for making sure that you get the freshest air possible without letting dust and dirt get into your home, even if you have a direct vent to the outside world.

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5. Lennox X6673 Merv 11 Filter

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The electrostatic charge on these filters makes them perfect for catching even the smallest pieces of dust and dander, keeping the air clean much more efficiently than a standard filter can. Its design allows this filter to catch anything up to 0.3 microns large, meaning that it’ll block and capture dust that you can’t even see with your own eyes. The large surface area acts as a kind of storage, ensuring that there’s always somewhere for the dust to go and stopping it from building up over time.

Why We Like It
  • Large surface area for catching dust.
  • Electrostatic charge to attract debris.
  • Efficient design.
  • Relatively long lifespan.
  • Disposable.
Lint
Yes.
Pollen
Yes.
Mold Spores
Yes.
Our Verdict

While it doesn’t look too special at first, these furnace filters use their surface area to their advantage, catching much more than a standard filter without being obnoxiously bulky or heavy.

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6. FilterBuy Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter

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These long-lasting furnace filters are designed to trap up to 90% of any common dust or debris particles, freshening up any air that passes through it regardless of what it contains. At MERV 8, they offer excellent protection from a range of different health hazards and dust types but don't sacrifice the efficiency of your heating or ventilation systems in the process.

This furnace filter is also able to prevent mold from spreading and keeps it from getting into key parts of your ventilation, isolating it and blocking it from moving through your house.

Why We Like It
  • Provides a massive reduction in the amount of dust in the air.
  • Stops mold.
  • Made with high-quality parts.
  • Long lifespan.
  • Deals with humidity and heat well.
Lint
Yes.
Pollen
Yes.
Mold Spores
Yes.
Our Verdict

The simple design of these furnace filters hides their excellent durability and efficiency, as well as their ability to stop up to 90% of the dust you’d normally be breathing in.

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7. Nordic Pure MERV 12 Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter

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These furnace air filters boast a high MERV rating of 12, allowing them to stop almost all kinds of common household dust and allergens. This can be anything from regular lint and dust to things like mold and pollen, all of which get caught in its simple filter frame.

The electrostatic charge used in this furnace filters filtering section makes sure that dust will stick to it rather than squeezing past, making an already-great filter even more effective. The high surface area adds to this even further, giving it plenty of room to catch more dust.

Why We Like It
  • Extremely efficient design.
  • Large surface area.
  • Electrostatic charge.
  • Stops most allergens.
  • Perfect for residential areas.
Lint
Yes.
Pollen
Yes.
Mold Spores
Yes.
Our Verdict

These filters don’t rely on any kind of gimmick and provide an effective, efficient source of filtration with no downsides or weaknesses. If you need some basic furnace filters that do their job well, these might be perfect for you.

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8. AIRx ALLERGY 11 Pleated Air Filter

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These anti-allergy air filters are designed specifically to trap and block common allergens that try to get into your home, keeping you and your family protected from allergic reactions to the air around them. The design uses more pleats than average, creating a larger surface area that can easily catch anything dangerous or harmful in the air.

It’s not only limited to allergens, though: the filters can also stop dust, smoke and pet dander, as well as helping to keep your heating or air conditioning systems at top efficiency.

Why We Like It
  • Extremely efficient design.
  • Can block smoke particles.
  • Pleated for a larger surface area.
  • Offers a good airflow.
  • Stops vents/heating systems from getting clogged.
Lint
Yes.
Pollen
Yes.
Mold Spores
Yes.
Our Verdict

These filters are extremely efficient and very well-designed, offering an excellent amount of surface area while still keeping your heating, cooling, and ventilation systems spotless and fully-functional.

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9. Trion Air Bear 255649-102 Replacement Filter

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These electrostatic-based filters are perfect for maximizing your airflow and keeping dust out of your home. The large surface area and pleated design let it catch more than an average filer, whereas the carefully-balanced density stops it from impeding your heating or ventilation.

Thanks to the electrostatic charge, it is especially good at stopping conventional types of dust and dirt, preventing them from moving between rooms or getting into your home from outside.  They can work as both an interior and exterior filter, and won’t suffer any problems in either situation.

Why We Like It
  • Electrostatic charge to catch more dust particles.
  • Uses a large surface area for greater efficiency.
  • Isn’t any bulkier than a standard filter.
  • Works alongside heating and cooling systems.
  • Can be used as both an indoor and outdoor filter.
Lint
Yes.
Pollen
Yes.
Mold Spores
Yes.
Our Verdict

These filters combine a wide surface area with an efficient design, catching all kinds of dirt and dust without slowing down the system it’s attached to.

Editor Rating

10. AIRx HEALTH MERV 13 Pleated Air Filter

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These high-MERV air filters are perfect for dealing with all kinds of allergens and irritants, cleaning the air and catching as many particles as possible in its pleated surface. The amount of pleats on its surface is much higher than regular retail designs, giving it a huge surface area without expanding its overall size or bulk.

Their MERV rating puts them at a much higher standard than many other residential filters, and they catch a much wider range of dust types, making them a great way to keep your home feeling fresh.

Why We Like It
  • High MERV rating of 13.
  • Large surface area.
  • Made of thick, durable materials.
  • Doesn’t block airflow.
  • Can catch a range of allergens.
Lint
Yes.
Pollen
Yes.
Mold Spores
Yes.
Our Verdict

If you need something that’ll purify the air without slowing down your heating or ventilation systems, these filters are perfect for the job, especially if you have allergies to work around.

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Furnace Filters Buyer’s Guide

Buying furnace filters isn’t as simple as picking the “strongest” on the market. There’s a lot of different elements that go into even the most basic filter design, and getting it wrong can cause more harm than good. In fact, if you’re not careful, you can actually end up damaging the ventilation and heating systems in your home, and there’s no easy way to alter an existing filter to make it more suited to a certain task.

If you’re buying furnace filters, you need to know what to look for, as well as what you actually need.

Efficiency

Efficiency is important when it comes to cleaning and purifying the air. There’s only so precise any given filter can be, and you’ll never find one that catches dust and dirt at 100% efficiency. However, an inefficient filter can be almost worthless in large spaces, especially when it has to deal with a lot of particles at once (say, if you’ve been cleaning and there is dust floating around in the air). A filter still has to let air pass through it, so the level of efficiency is simply how quickly it can clean this air before it passes through.

This can depend on a number of factors, like its total surface area and the fineness of the filter, but it’s generally categorized with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating that lets you identify what it can actually filter. Lower MERVs can only deal with large things such as clumps of dust or animal fur, whereas a higher MERV is more suited to properly purifying the air. However, a filter with a MERV rating that’s too high might restrict the flow of any air passing through it, which can make your ventilation or heating systems feel weaker and less effective.

Certain MERV ratings will also struggle to catch smaller particles, which can result in hard-to-see allergens getting into your home. If allergies are a serious problem for you or somebody you live with, it’s important to find a filter that’s capable of stopping whatever can trigger it. This isn’t just pollens, but things like animal hair and certain types of dust – all of them can trigger certain allergies, both minor and significant.

Electrostatic Charge

Certain filters carry an electrostatic charge that allows them to catch dust and debris more easily, pulling it out of the air and leaving it stuck against the surface of the filter. However, this isn’t always a direct upgrade from non-electrostatic filters, since it depends on the design itself. A wider surface area makes any filter more effective, and many electrostatic designs have to be made in certain ways to ensure that the charge is being held properly. They can also sometimes wear out easily, forcing you to replace them more often, and will generally cost more each time than a standard pleated filter.

On the positive side, they’re great at catching allergens and other irritants that can otherwise sneak by most normal filters, making them an ideal choice for homes where allergies are a constant problem. They also generally have a higher MERV rating than the average of other filter types, so they produce a finer and more purified airflow.

There are certain designs that use washable materials instead, which are more reusable than their normal counterparts. However, as a trade-off, they have to use a less refined design that doesn’t trap really small particles.

While it’s nice to have an electrostatically-charged filter if you can get one, they’re mainly helpful for people with allergies and conditions that can be triggered by certain types of dust or pollens, rather than as a general-purpose filter. This is because they’re more expensive and often don’t last as long, especially if they’re mounted on the outside of a house and have to filter all the air flowing in.

Size and Installation

Making sure that your filter is installed correctly is an essential part of keeping your home clean and fresh, but it’s easy to get confused by the sizes when you buy one for the first time. It’s not quite as easy as measuring the outside since many manufacturers round up or down their measurements. While you can correct small mistakes with tape or padding to patch up holes, a filter that’s too small will become far harder to deal with.

Make sure you measure the space you’re installing the filter into (preferably in inches, since that’s what most manufacturers use), including depth. This is especially important if you’re attaching it to an existing ventilation system since you can’t always work around the size difference, and too much depth can make it stick out of the wall. If you can’t’ find one that matches the exact size you need, always go for something slightly smaller – it’s easier to fill in the gaps than it is to try and squeeze a large filter into a small space.

When it comes time to install it, make sure it’s facing the right way. This is quite a common mistake, but it can lead to your ventilation system filling up with dust or your furnace and heating system getting clogged up. If it’s too small for the space you’re mounting it in, cover the edges with tape or some airtight padding to stop air from flowing past it. The more gaps you leave, the easier it’ll be for the dust to completely bypass the filter itself, which makes it far less effective.

Pleating

Pleating is one of the most useful techniques in filter construction since it increases the surface area of the filter without making it wider, longer, or bulkier. They’re easy to identify since the materials on the inside follow a “zig-zag” pattern that provides more space for dust and dirt to gather. In general, a pleated design will last far longer than a non-pleated design of the same size and quality, although they will also collect more dust that they can release when you’re replacing them.

Keep in mind that pleating isn’t exclusive to a single material type or filter design – you might end up finding multiple different pleated furnace filters made from different materials and constructed in different ways, all of which will have their own benefits, drawbacks and price ranges. You can even get special high-efficiency pleated filters, although these are often meant for very specific environments (like hospitals) and are harder to find in certain sizes.

It’s also important to remember that a pleated filter will generally be deeper than a non-pleated filter since it can’t be perfectly flat. This means that you’ll need to pay even more attention to the depth measurements, especially if you’re trying to mount it in a vent or room-to-room connection.

Expert Tip

It’s a good idea to check your filter once per month. This’ll let you estimate how long it’ll last, and when you might have to replace or clean it.

Did you know?

You don’t always need the most efficient filter on the market. If you don’t have any allergies or reactions to significant types of dust or debris, the only thing it’ll affect is the air quality and the amount of dust you might see lying around a given room.