What Kind of Filter Should You Use in Your Furnace?

When it comes to furnaces, the type of filter you use is just as important as the furnace itself. The right filter can help keep your furnace running smoothly and efficiently, while the wrong filter can cause problems and even damage your furnace. There are several types of filters available, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. The most common type of furnace filter is the disposable pleated type.

These filters are made of paper and polyester and do a good job of filtering out most household particles and allergens. They come in a range of standard sizes and ratings, and should be changed frequently to avoid clogging and overloading the HVAC system. A disposable electrostatic filter is another popular option. These filters contain self-charging electrostatic cotton or paper fibers that attract and trap small particles. With a MERV rating of 10, these filters are affordable in standard sizes and are a good solution for homes with children, pets, or smokers.

Custom sizes are more expensive, however, so they may not be the best choice if you need to replace them regularly over several years. Reusable electrostatic filters are similar to their disposable counterparts, but they contain self-charging cotton fibers that attract particles. These filters have a removable, machine-washable furnace filter that can be reused for six to eight years. With a MERV rating of 8, they produce little debris and are more effective than pleated air filters. However, they are less effective than electrostatic models and custom sizes are expensive. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters block up to 99.7 percent of airborne particulates of 0.3 microns or greater, but they are not suitable for most residential furnaces.

With a MERV rating of 16-20, these filters block the highest level of particles in the air and provide better air quality, but they can reduce the airflow entering the furnace. Nordic Pure MERV 12 pleated air conditioning furnace filters are a great option for those looking for an easy way to change their furnace filters. These disposable pleated filters are hypoallergenic and feature electrostatic fibers that attract contaminants and resist mold and mildew growth. They come in several sizes 1 and 2 inch thick to fit a wide range of furnaces, and should be changed at least once every three months. The Filtrete furnace filter is another great choice with its disposable electrostatic design, multiple size options, MERV rating of 12, and 3-in-1 technology to trap lint, dust, pet dander, soot, pollen and mold. Alternatively, if you're looking for a more economical option, the FilterBuy furnace filter also has a disposable electrostatic design but has a MERV rating of 8 which can trap 90 percent of contaminants and filter media. When it comes to choosing the right furnace filter for your home, there are several factors to consider.

Pleated and electrostatic disposables are generally the best choice as they can filter lint, dust, pet dander, soot, pollen, and mold spores. Most options come in various sizes and thicknesses to be compatible with your furnace. As for MERV ratings, most products range from 8 to 12 without impeding airflow. It's important to remember that buying a filter that is “close enough” to what your system needs will allow dirt and dust to escape through the holes and gaps between the air duct and the filter. A home warranty company will repair or replace your furnace if it breaks down as long as you have been cleaning your filter every month. The Honeywell Home Elite Allergen pleated air filter is one of the best choices overall with its FPR 10 and MERV 13 rating which indicates it is useful for filtering large and small particles.

This electrostatically charged filter will trap up to 90 percent of airborne particles including lint, pet dander and pollen to keep your furnace running clean for up to three months before you need to replace it.