We researched the most sought-after furnace filters in their respective categories and discovered that the best options available are compatible with many HVAC system and furnace brands, filter out as many pesky particles and contaminants as possible, have a long lifespan, and come with a high MERV rating (filter performance rating).
The favored type of furnace filters in the above list is the disposable pleated and electrostatic for their ability to filter out lint, dust, pet dander, soot, pollen, and mold spores. While many picks are not capable of filtering smoke and bacteria, most of these options come in multiple sizes and thicknesses to be compatible with certain furnaces. As for MERV ratings, most of the products above range from 8 to 12 without impeding airflow.
Select picks listed above can last for over 2 to 3 months at a time, but for convenience, some will last for over 12 months or come with multiple filters. As for special features, arrows on the frame to direct placement and airflow, odor-control, HEPA filters, and even Bluetooth capability are included for convenience.
Furnace filters come in dozens of sizes, with 16-by-20-inch, 20-by-25-inch, and 16-by-25-inch being the three most common sizes. Filter thickness varies from 1 to 5 inches, and in general, the thicker the filter, the more particle-blocking ability it will have.
A washable filter, depending on the brand, may last a few years. Still, it requires a specific washing procedure, which may include separating the filter into layers and washing them separately. Users must also make sure a washable filter is completely dry before reinstalling it to prevent mold and mildew growth. For many, using disposable filters is the quickest and most straightforward solution.
Furnace filters are assigned a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) based on their density. While denser filters trap more airborne particles, they should also be changed more frequently because they tend to clog more quickly. The MERV scale runs from 1 to 20, and filters in the 6 to 12 range are designed for residential use.
But there can be a big impact even in little things, and finding the right furnace filter can save money and improve air quality. Originally, filters were designed to protect the moving parts of the furnace itself. Still thanks to technological advancements, filters now prevent harmful particles from cycling back into the air that is breathed in at home.
Disposable pleated air filters, a popular option made from polyester or cotton paper, can remove some small particles like spores and mites for better air quality, but need to be changed frequently to avoid clogging and taxing an HVAC system.
The granddaddy of furnace filters, high-efficiency pleated options are made from deep 4- to 5-inch thick pleated synthetic cotton attached to a very rigid metal grid to prevent leaks or fluttering. These filters are a little pricey at $100, but they have an excellent MERV rating of 14-16 making them suitable for use in hospitals.
A disposable electrostatic filter contains self-charging electrostatic cotton or paper fibers that attract and trap small particles. With a MERV rating of 10, these options are affordable in standard sizes and are a good solution for homes with children, pets, or smokers. If needed, custom sizes are expensive, leading to higher costs if replaced regularly over several years.
Similar to their disposable counterpart, a reusable electrostatic filter contains self-charging cotton fibers that attract particles. Permanent options have a removable, machine-washable furnace filter users can reuse for six to eight years. With a MERV rating of 8, these produce little waste, are more effective than pleated air filters, and a good option if users use a standard size. But, they are less effective than electrostatic models, and custom sizes are expensive.
This reusable filter is denser than fiberglass, so it blocks more airborne particulates, and it comes in either a flat or pleated version in thicknesses up to four inches. Traps up to 91 percent of common airborne particles, including pollen and dust particles with a MERV rating of 8. As for the downside, these options do not eliminate the need to clean HVAC filters or coils at least every few years because some of the particles will still slip through.
Many furnace filters need to be changed every 2 to 3 months, which is why many options come with four to six filters per purchase. However, select options can last from 9 to 12 months before requiring a replacement.
This furnace air filter promises to last up to three months and outperform filters that are made with fiberglass. The product can capture up to 64% of airborne particles from pet dander to pollen. In addition, the product comes with easy-to-follow installation instructions for large HVAC systems that require filters that are 20 by 25 by 1 inches in size.
Mold, pet dander, pollen, dust mites, and bacteria are only a few of the microscopic particles that this filter can capture. The high MERV rating of this product is close to that of an N95 mask, keeping the air in your home clean.
Satisfied customers liked this furnace filter because it was sturdy and effective. They also said that the product was a good alternative to other popular brands. However, a handful of customers found the filter to be slightly smaller than advertised.
This product attracts most airborne pollutants. Made with pleated carbon material, the filter can also fight against heavy odors, such as those caused by cooking or owning pets. In addition to being efficient, the product has a frame made with recycled beverage board paper, making it eco-friendly.
Customers said that the product was high-quality and high-performing. They also praised the product for being comparable to other prominent brands. However, some customers said that they received the wrong filter size.
Furnace filters are rated according to the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) scale. The higher the number, the finer the filter and the smaller the particles it can capture. The MERV rating given to a filter is usually based on its type.
Your furnace or HVAC manual will give you guidelines on how frequently you need to change your filter. In general, a one-inch filter should be changed every 90 days. If you have a pet, suffer from allergies, or are a smoker, you might want to change your filter every 30-60 days.
You may have noticed MERV filter ratings on various air filters but may be wondering what is a MERV rating on filters This rating indicates how effective a filter is at capturing different sizes of particles. Read on to learn more about the MERV rating and how to choose the best one for your home.
If you'd like to know what a MERV rating is, you're in the right place. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. In short, a MERV rating lets you know what air particle size an air filter will trap. A higher rating means that the filter can trap smaller air particles.
While you may automatically think that a higher MERV rating means a better air filter, that's not always the case. Higher MERV ratings aren't always necessary and can decrease your unit's efficiency. The best MERV rating will be the one that suits your needs and lets your unit run efficiently.
In 1987, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers designed the MERV rating scale to give a more accurate picture of an air filter's capabilities. Unlike other scales, which emphasized a need to increase the number of particles passing through an air filter, MERV was designed to offer a balance between particle filtering and energy efficiency.
The MERV scale also helps you balance your air quality and energy efficiency needs. The rating gives you the worst-case possibility for an air filter, so you can get a good idea of how it will perform. You can get by with a lower MERV rating and save money on your energy bill in some cases.
Once you understand how the MERV rating chart works, you'll be able to choose air filters with the MERV ratings that are right for you. It's important to note that the MERV scale is an industry-standard. As such, you can use it to compare different brands of air filters.
The MERV rating chart is a numerical chart with values from one through 20. The highest MERV ranking means that an air filter will capture the most amount of dust, while the lowest rating means a filter will catch the least amount of dust.
The chart also uses percentages based on the chances of an air filter capturing dust particles based on the size of the microns. As the MERV rating goes up, a filter has higher chances of capturing smaller and smaller particles.
A MERV rating of 1-6 is the lowest range of MERV ratings, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you should write off a filter with a rating in this range. These types of filters do have their uses in certain situations. Most aluminum and mesh filters and cheap air filters fall within this range.
A filter with a MERV rating of between 1-6 can remove particles anywhere between 0.3 to 10 microns with an effectiveness of 20%. It can remove small particles such as dust mites, spray paint dust, carpet fibers, and pollen.
A filter that falls within the 8-13 range can remove mold spores, lead dust, cooking dust, flour, hair spray, auto fumes, furniture polish, and welding fumes. They can catch anywhere from 20-85% of all particles.
Filters with the highest MERV rating of 14-20 include commercial, HEPA, and ULPA filters. These filters offer the highest level of filtration and are typically not needed in most homes and businesses.
Other ratings include the MPR developed by 3M and FPR developed by Home Depot. These scales have different ranges than the MERV rating but typically measure against similar factors. MERV rating is superior because it's the international standard and makes it easier to compare filters from different brands.
A higher MERV rating isn't always better. While higher-rated filters can trap more particles, they can also put additional strain on your HVAC unit and cause your energy bill to go up. In most situations, a filter somewhere in the middle is more than sufficient. 59ce067264