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Best Furnace Filters (Reviews & Buying Guide)
If you’re like most Americans, you spend 90% of your time indoors. Did you know that indoor air pollution can be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor air pollution? If you want to improve the air quality in your home, a good furnace filter is a great place to start—and our reviews are a great place to start to find the best furnace filters.
First, let’s take a quick look at what makes a furnace filter good in the first place so that you can make a more informed buying decision.
Top Reasons to Buy:
In a Rush? Our Most Recommended..
Venti Tech Washable Electrostatic Filter
Available in five sizes ranging from 16” x 20” x 1” to 20” x 25” x 1”
Capable of eliminating over 95% of all airborne contaminants
Features a long service life of over eight years
Reusable furnace filter
Eliminate up to 95% of all airborne particulate contaminants
Generates a very high positive voltage on the alternating mesh plates
Filtrete MPR 300
90-day service life
Available in a pack of six filters
Features an acceptable static pressure drop at 0.27 InWg
Removes particulate contaminants from indoor air
Traps particulate matter within its mesh
Filtrete MPR 600
Filtration capability of airborne contaminants with diameters over 3 microns
Sold as a pack of six filters
Features an acceptable static pressure drop at 0.24 InWg
Pleated polyester composite furnace filter
Can trap airborne particulate contaminants with sizes between 3 and 10 microns
Filtrete MPR 1000
Sold as a pack of six filters
Suitable for use with furnaces and other indoor air purification systems
Eliminates a wide range of household allergens
Filters out a wide array of air contaminants
Features pleats in its mesh design
Filtrete MPR 1500
Available in packs of two, four, and six filters
Electrostatic micro-particle capture capability
Medical-grade air filtration performance
Delivers impeccable filtration performance
Can efficiently eliminate the finest indoor air contaminant
Low static pressure drop of 0.21 InWg
Top 9+ Furnace Filter Reviews
To compare and contrast the performance capabilities of different furnace filters, we’ve included all five MERV classes in our review. Their corresponding MRP values for different MERV ratings are provided below.
● MERV rating (1-4) corresponding to MRP rating (300-500)
● MERV rating (5-8) corresponding to MRP rating (600-900)
● MERV rating (9-12) corresponding to MRP rating (1,000-1,200)
● MERV rating (13-16) corresponding to MRP rating (1,300-1,800)
● MERV rating (17+) corresponding to MRP rating (1,900-2,400)
- Available in five sizes ranging from 16” x 20” x 1” to 20” x 25” x 1”
- Capable of eliminating over 95% of all airborne contaminants
- Features a long service life of over eight years
- Cheaper in the long run than other furnace filter types
- Reusable after cleaning with water at high pressure
- Higher initial monetary investment
- Needs a continuous connection to the power grid
Filter SpecificationsThe Venti Tech electrostatic filter is a reusable furnace filter that makes use of electrostatic charge to eliminate up to 95% of all airborne particulate contaminants. This furnace filter departs from all the other filters in this review in that, instead of employing composite fibers, it makes use of alternating stainless-steel plates. Furthermore, it requires power to generate the electrostatic charge on the stainless-steel plates. This charge attracts and snares the finest microscopic particulate indoor air contaminants. The airborne pollutants and allergens that the Venti Tech can eliminate include pollen, dust mites, pet dander, sanding dust, cockroach debris, fine-carbon tobacco and kitchen smoke, mold spores, lead dust, and myriad other indoor air contaminants.
This filter requires a power source. Once connected, it generates a very high positive voltage on the alternating mesh plates. The outcome is that they acquire a large positive charge. This positive charge causes the ionization of air molecules, and the airborne particulate matter contained therein. The ionized particulate contaminants get attracted to the neutrally-charged ground mesh plates of the filter, which snares them. In this manner, the Venti Tech furnace filter can capture well over 95% of all indoor air contaminants.
- 90-day service life
- Features an acceptable static pressure drop at 0.27 InWg
- Available in a pack of six filters
- Available in eighteen different sizes from the standard 16” x 20” x 1” to extra-large 24” x 24” x 1”
- Can only filter out particles with sizes bigger than 10 microns
- Requires frequent replacement
- Limited to residential applications
Filter SpecificationsThis furnace filter from 3M is guaranteed to outperform fiberglass and washable filters in terms of its ability to remove particulate contaminants from indoor air. The Fltrete MRP 300 is a pleated filter that is not only suited for use on furnaces but also with air conditioners and other types of HVAC systems. The filter has a service life of three months and can filter out pollen, carpet fibers, spray paint droplets, sanding dust, cockroach debris, pet dander, and textile fibers.
Filter PerformanceThe Filtrete MPR 300 is capable of removing out indoor air contaminants with sizes greater than 10 microns. It traps particulate matter within its mesh while allowing air molecules to pass through easily. This outcome is a result of the filter’s low static pressure drop of 0.27InWg. The Filtrete MRP 300 will, therefore, not cause the blower fan on your furnace to strain because it does not inhibit the flow of air. However, the static pressure drop on this filter does increase to over 0.3 InWg by the third month of use, meaning frequent replacement is important.
- Features an acceptable static pressure drop at 0.24 InWg
- Filtration capability of airborne contaminants with diameters over 3 microns
- Sold as a pack of six filters
- Available in twelve different sizes from the standard 16” x 25” x 1” to extra-large 25” x 20” x 1”
- Use limited to residential applications
- Does not feature odor elimination capability
- Must be replaced every three months
Filter SpecificationsThe Filtrete MPR 600 is a pleated polyester composite furnace filter from 3M made using the company’s patented 3-in-1 filtration technology. This furnace filter can trap airborne particulate contaminants with sizes between 3 and 10 microns. Examples of the allergens eliminated by this filter include mold spores, pet dander, hair spray, dust mite debris, and fine dust. The Filtrete MPR 600 features a static pressure drop of 0.24 InWg, which means using this filter with your furnace does not hinder the optimum performance of your HVAC system. As with the MPR 300, the Filtrete MPR 600 features a service life of three months after which you need to replace the filter.
Filter PerformanceThe fine polyester fibers that make up the mesh of the Filtrete MPR 600 possess the ability to acquire an electrostatic charge as air molecules pass through it. The electrostatic charge enhances the filter’s air filtration capability in that it attracts fine airborne particles, thereby trapping them in the mesh. This furnace is, thus, able to remove indoor air contaminants with sizes between 3 and 10 microns. The fine pores on this filter grant it as static air pressure drop of 0.24 InWg, which means that the Filtrete MPR 600 does not impede airflow in your HVAC system.
Filter SpecificationsThe Filtrete MPR 1000 is guaranteed to outperform both fiberglass and washable filters due to the ability to trap indoor air contaminant with sizes as small as 1 micron. This furnace filter can filter out a wide array of air contaminants, including Legionella bacteria, vehicular particulate contaminants, aerosol spray, lead dust, and milled dust. The Filtrete MPR 1000 features pleats in its mesh design. These pleats help to increase the surface area of the filter and also increase the structural integrity of the mesh. While the one-inch thick version of this furnace filter features a service life of three months, the four and five-inch versions of the Filtrete MPR 1000 boast service spans of eight and twelve months, respectively.
Filter PerformanceThe Filtrete MPR 1000 can trap microscopic particulate air contaminants with diameters as small as 1 micron. This impeccable filtration capability is due to the ultra-small pores on the polyester mesh that constitutes the filter. In addition to ultra-small pores on its mesh, the polyester fibers are capable of realizing an electrostatic charge that attracts fine airborne particles. These particles exit the airflow once they get trapped in the filter. The static pressure drop of the Filtrete MRP 1000 is 0.21 InWg, which means this filter offers even lower airflow resistance than both the MPR 300 and MPR 600 filters.
- Available in packs of two, four, and six filters
- Available in eight different sizes starting with 16” x 24” x 1” to 24” x 24” x 1”
- Can filter out particles as small as 0.3 microns
- Electrostatic micro-particle capture capability
- Medical-grade air filtration performance
- Use limited to residential applications
- Possesses minimal odor reduction capability
Filter SpecificationsThe Filtrete MPR 1500 makes use of 3M’s patent 3-in-1 filtration technology to deliver impeccable filtration performance. The super small pores on the polyester mesh of the MRP 1500 allow it to trap airborne particulate contaminants as small as 0.3 microns. Furthermore, the polyester fibers that make up the filter feature the natural ability to develop an electrostatic charge as a result of unrestricted airflow. This charge attracts fine particulate matter to the filter, which then gets trapped within the mesh fibers.
Filter PerformanceThe Filtrete MPR 1500 can efficiently eliminate the finest indoor air contaminants, including several bacteria species, tobacco smoke, kitchen smoke, insecticide dust, microscopic paint droplets, sneeze and cough debris. Despite having super small pores in its mesh, this furnace filter boasts a low static pressure drop of 0.21 InWg. This furnace filter has a service life of three months, after which you must replace it to ensure your HVAC system continues to perform optimally.
- Available in seven sizes from the standard 16” x 25” x 1”
- Can eliminate particles with sizes smaller than 0.3 microns
- Features a very low static pressure drop
- Acquires electrostatic charge which enhances air filtration performance
- Only available in a two-pack
- Service life limited to three months
Filter SpecificationsThe Filtrete MPR 2200 is a pleated polyester composite furnace filter from 3M that makes use of the company’s patented 3-in-1 air filtration technology. This attribute grants the Filtrete MPR 2200 the ability to eliminate ultra-microscopic airborne pollutants, including several viral species, ultra-fine carbon particles in tobacco and kitchen smoke, face powder dust, vehicle exhaust emissions, and fine household dust. The super ultra-small pores in the mesh of this filter grant it the ability to restrict the movement of some large volatile molecules. Thus it features notable odor elimination capability. The electrostatic charge generated by the movement of air molecules through the filter mesh further enhances the particle elimination capabilities of this filter.
Filter PerformanceThe Filtrete MPR 2200 features a static pressure drop of 0.19 InWg, which means using this filter with your furnace does not hinder the optimum performance of your HVAC system. This furnace filter features stellar airborne contaminant elimination capability in that it can remove particles with sizes as small as 0.3 microns. In addition to its outstanding air filtration capability, the Filtrete MPR 2200 can attract and snare the most microscopic particles within its structure. This capability is a result of the electrostatic charge that the filter acquires as air flows through it.
Filter SpecificationsThe Lennox X6672 is a furnace filter with a MERV rating of 16, which means that it can eliminate particles as small as 0.3 microns. This filter can, therefore, eliminate a wide array of airborne indoor air contaminants, including several species of bacteria, fine carbon from tobacco, kitchen and automobile smoke, aerosol droplets, insecticide dust, and myriad other microscopic particulate matter. The Lennox X6672 is carbon-coated, which grants it VOC elimination capability. Furthermore, it features an anti-microbial coating that allows it to both trap and destroy airborne pathogens.
Filter PerformanceThis furnace filter is capable of providing an impressively high indoor air quality level. In addition to its stellar air filtration capability, the composite fibers of the Lennox X6672 feature an activated-carbon coating. The carbon possesses an extremely high surface area, which grants this furnace filter the ability to adsorb VOCs, thereby eliminating a wide array of odors and smells. The anti-microbial coating on the X6672 allows it to combat a wide array of airborne pathogens, including several viral and bacterial species responsible for the flu, colds, coughs, skin rashes, pneumonia, and myriad other ailments.
Filter SpecificationsThe Nordic Pure MERV 12 is capable of capturing airborne contaminants with sizes as small as 1 micron. This feat is made possible by the ultra-small pores of the polyester mesh that constitutes the filter. This filter features a service life of three months.
Filter PerformanceThe particulate matter that this filter can eliminate includes legionella bacteria species, lead dust, fine-carbon from tobacco, kitchen and automobile exhaust, aerosol droplets, and fine household dust. In addition to its commendable air filtration performance, the Nordic Pure MERV 12 can acquire an electrostatic charge as air molecules move through it. This charge grants this furnace filter the ability to attract and capture the microscopic indoor air contaminants.
Filter SpecificationsThe Honeywell Home Microdefense MERV 8 can filter out indoor air pollutants with sizes as small as 3 microns. That includes particulate contaminants such as fungal spores, pet dander, aerosol spray droplets, dust mite debris, and fine household dust.
Filter PerformanceThe ultra-small pores in the polyester mesh of this filter grant it the ability to capture a wide array of airborne contaminants. The polyester fibers that make up the mesh of the filter can acquire a static charge as air molecules move through it. This acquired charge can attract fine particulate matter to the filter, thereby allowing its capture. This 4-inch thick furnace filter from Honeywell features a service life of a year.
Filter SpecificationsThe FilterBuy MERV 8 is a pleated furnace filter capable of removing over 90% of all household airborne allergens. This filter can capture microscopic particulate matter with sizes as small as 3 microns. Some of the indoor air pollutants that the FilterBuy can eliminate include fine-carbon particles from tobacco, kitchen and automobile exhaust, pet dander, dust mite debris, fungal spores, and aerosol spray. The air filtration capability of the FilterBuyMERV 8 is due to the ultra-small pores in polyester mesh that constitutes the filter.
Filter PerformanceThe ability of the polyester fibers to acquire an electrostatic charge as air flows through it grants the FilterBuy MERV 8 the ability to attract and capture ultra-fine particles present within indoor air. The one-inch version of this filter features a service life of three months while the four-inch and five-inch versions can last up to an entire year.
Your final choice of furnace filter depends on your particular indoor air quality needs. If you desire primary air filtration performance, then a MERV 8 rated furnace filter should prove adequate for your needs. You can opt for the Filterbuy MERV 8, Honeywell Home MicroDefense MERV 8, or the Filtrete MRP 600.
The Filtrete MRP 1000 is the ideal purchase if you require above-average air filtration. If you are looking for a furnace filter with medical-grade air filtration, then you should go for the Filtrete 2200, Nordic Pure MERV 12, or Lennox Healthy Climate x6672.
However, if you want an ultra-high efficiency furnace filter with a multi-year service life, then only the Venti Tech Electrostatic Furnace filter will do.
How to Pick the Perfect Furnace Filter for Your Needs
The MERV Rating of the Filter
MERV is an acronym for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and refers to a scale designed by ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers. The MERV scale defines filter classes based on the maximum size of airborne particles that different filters can trap within their fiber-based mesh.
It rates not only furnace filters, but all other filters used in HVAC, portable air purifiers, and other mainstream air filtration devices. The MERV scale contains five classes:
- MERV (1-4): capture particles with dimensions greater than 10 microns. Examples include pollen, dust mites, sanding dust, spray paint dust, textile fibers, and carpet fibers.
- MERVE (5-8): capture particles with sizes between 3 to 10 microns. Contaminants caught include mold spores, dust mite debris, hair spray droplets, and pet dander.
- MERVE (9-12): capture particles with sizes between 1 and 3 microns, which includes Legionella bacteria, dust, lead dust, milled flour, and the fine carbon particles present in vehicular emissions.
- MERV (13-16): capture particulate contaminants with sizes between 0.3 to 1 microns, including most bacteria, fine-carbon present in tobacco and kitchen smoke, insecticide dust, face powders, and spray paint droplets.
- MERV (17-20): capture particles as small as 0.3 microns. Examples of airborne contaminants eliminated by these filters include several virus species, fine-carbon dust, and fine smoke.
The MPR Rating of the Filter
The MPR, on the other hand, stands for Microparticle Performance Rating. The MPR scale also defines filter classes based on their filtration capability and was developed by 3M.
While initially used exclusively on filters manufactured by 3M, the MPR rating has found its way to other filter brands. The MPR scale is not that different from the MERV scale.
- MPR (600-900): capture relatively large airborne particles which include mold spores and dust mites
- MPR (1,000-1,200): capture medium-sized airborne particles such as pollen and pet dander.
- MPR (1,500+): capture microscopic particulate contaminants, which include tobacco smoke, kitchen smoke, and some bacteria species.
The Static Pressure Drop
The static pressure drop is a useful performance parameter for anyone looking to purchase a furnace filter. This parameter allows you to determine whether a furnace filter brand can work with your HVAC system.
It is a measure of the resistance to the airflow generated by the friction between air molecules and the material through which the molecules are passing. The unit used for this performance parameter is Inches of Water column or InWg.
It is essentially a measure of the pressure difference generated as moving air molecules encounter the furnace filter, pass through its pores, and out on the opposite side of the filter.
Installing a furnace filter with a static pressure drop higher than 0.3 InWg into will cause the blower fan on your HVAC to strain due to high airflow restriction. The outcome is the substandard performance of your system.
The ideal furnace filter should feature a static pressure drop between 0.1 and 0.3 InWg.
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