Although furnace filters are supposed to eliminate all airborne contaminants in your house, they may create another problem. Some furnace filters can interfere with the free flow of air in your HVAC system.
You must select a furnace filter that performs excellently in trapping contaminants and does not interfere with airflow.
Why Should I Change My Filter Regularly?
You should change your furnace filter regularly for several reasons, as outlined here. Remember to either stick to the period that the manufacturers indicate on their furnace filters or change yours earlier than the indicated period.
To fight off asthma and other allergies
Allergic reactions occur when there are allergens in the air. Allergens may be anything, from dust and smoke to animal fur pieces. If your furnace filter is full of contaminants, it will be unable to trap allergens. Therefore, you will be forced to change it to ensure that it traps all the airborne allergens in your home.
Keeping the Indoor Air Quality high
Your Indoor Air Quality determines how comfortable the home is. Low Indoor Air Quality is a result of the presence of contaminants like dust and pollen. Also, the presence of odors reduces your Indoor Air Quality. You should change your air filter regularly to improve your Indoor Air Quality.
Keeping the HVAC system in good condition
Your HVAC system is in danger of getting damaged if the furnace filter is clogged. The blower will be forced to overwork if your furnace filter is already clogged with contaminants. To prevent this scenario from occurring, change your furnace filter regularly.
Types of Air Filters
There are several types of air filters. The filters vary in design and performance. Your choice depends on the specific needs of your house. Here are a few common ones from which you can choose what suits you best.
Fiberglass furnace filters
This is the most common type of furnace filter. The fiberglass furnace filters comprise layers of fiberglass that are reinforced using metal grating. The fiberglass furnace filters are capable of trapping large and small airborne contaminants, including dust, smoke, and pollen grains.
Pleated furnace filters
Pleated furnace filters are made of fibers that are pleated to increase surface area. The increase in surface area is beneficial because it enables the furnace filter to trap vast quantities of airborne contaminants.
Hight Efficiency Particulate Furnace Filters
HEPA filters are the most advanced types of air filters. They are usually used in hospitals and laboratories where the air needs to be cleaned of microorganisms. Although this kind of filter traps 99% of all contaminants, it can easily interfere with airflow in your HVAC system.
MERV vs. MPR
MERV is an acronym for minimum efficiency reporting value. It is a standardized form of categorizing the performance of air filters. The rule of thumb is that the higher the MERV rating of a furnace filter, the greater its performance in trapping airborne contaminants that may be found in your house.
Furnace filters with an average MERV rating of 8 can capture large contaminants, including pollen, pieces of human hair, and fibers from your carpet. You will need a furnace with a higher MERV rating to remove more acceptable contaminants, including pet dander, dust from insecticides, and cars’ emissions.
Typically, a furnace filter with a MERV rating of 13 can successfully remove even finer airborne contaminants, including tobacco smog, smoke from cooking, and even bacteria.
MPR stands for microparticle performance rating. This form of rating is used to classify the performance of air filters. It ranges from 100 to 2800. Remember that there is no third-party verification for this form of rating. Nevertheless, you can use it to determine the average level of performance of your furnace filter.
Furnace filters that have an MPR or between 100 to 300 help remove general dust and lint only. Such furnace filters cannot handle more acceptable contaminants. For you to remove pollen and dander from the air in your house, it may be necessary to use an air filter with an MPR value of about 600.
Air filters with an MPR value of about 1200 are powerful enough to remove smoke, smog, and related contaminants from the air in your house. They can also help curb the spread of flu and cold by capturing the droplets from people who sneeze or cough.
What are the Best MERV Ratings for Air Flow?
There is an exciting relationship between airflow and the MERV ratings of furnace filters. The higher the MERV rating of a furnace filter, the more it may restrict airflow.
Conversely, the lower the MERV rating of a furnace filter, the less it will restrict airflow. This means that you should go for low MERV rating furnace filters to ensure the free flow of air in your system.
However, this is not always the case. You need a high MERV to ensure that your home is free of all types of small contaminants. Furnace filters with high MERV ratings are pretty exceptional in removing even 97% of microparticles. The particles may be as small as 0.3 microns wide. These are usually smoke from cooking and bacteria.
Therefore, you need a compromise between the desire to rid your house of small contaminants and the need to ensure the free flow of air. The best air filters for both airflow and high Indoor Air Quality have a MERV rating of about 11.
Choose filters with a rating that ranges from 8 to 13. Such filters will provide you with the best of both worlds: perfect airflow and protection of airborne contaminants.
What is Indoor Air Quality?
The concept of Indoor Air Quality means the level of cleanliness of the air inside your house. Your indoor environment may contain a lot of contaminants. The contaminants may come from various sources. Here are some of the most common sources of contaminants.
- Smoke from tobacco products, cooking, and others
- Dust from damaged building furnishings and the outside of the house
- Pollen from the outside
- Small hair particles from your pets as well as fibers from the carpet
- Microorganisms from particles are released when people cough or sneeze.
Apart from such contaminants, your Indoor Air Quality will below if there are odors in the home. Odors come from various sources, including bathrooms, cooking, and the use of insecticides.
The presence of such particles in the air undermines the quality of your indoor environment. People sensitive to some contaminants may experience severe allergic reactions if the contaminants are present in the home.
Furnace filters help to improve Indoor Air Quality. They attract and trap all types of contaminants, which undermine the quality of the indoor environment. A good furnace filter will keep the home environment safe and clean. Your high-quality furnace filter will also deal with odors in the house.
What is the Difference Between a 1-Inch and 2-Inch Filter?
The Difference between a 1-inch and a 2-inch air filter is in the thickness. A 1-inch air filter is thinner than a 2-inch air filter. The thickness of an air filter determines how long it will last.
Thick furnace filters last longer than thinner ones because they have large surface areas. It takes a long time for the contaminants to occupy all the available space in thick furnace filters fully.
Therefore, your 2-inch furnace filter is likely to last much longer than the 1-inch one.
Tips for Using an Air Filter
An air filter can tremendously improve the Indoor Air Quality of your home. However, it would help if you used it correctly to enjoy this benefit.
Here are a few tips for using your furnace filter.
Choose the correct type of filter
This is probably the most important tip for using furnace filters. You cannot get all the benefits of an air filter if you have the wrong type installed in your house.
Consider the MERV or MPR rating of the filter that you intend to purchase. Ensure that the rating suits your needs for airflow and a clean and safe indoor environment.
Also, remember that there are many types of furnace filters, including pleated and fiberglass ones. Choose the type that is most suitable for your house. Your HVAC technician will guide you in selecting the right size of a furnace filter.
Change your filters regularly
Filters accumulate contaminants that may be found in your house. After some time, the surface of the contaminants gets full of substances. When your furnace filter is full of contaminants, it can no longer attract new contaminants. This means that you will have to replace the air filter in your room to be clean.
The manufacturers of furnace filters indicate when you should change your furnace filter. However, it may be necessary to change your furnace filter earlier than the indicated dates. You can tell when it is necessary to replace your furnace filter by checking your indoor environment’s overall quality.
Install your furnace filters properly
Ensure that the edges of your filter perfectly fit in the compartment. This is particularly important when replacing your filter. If your filter is not correctly fixed, it will not function properly. You will start experiencing a dusty or generally dirty indoor environment.
Best AC Filter For Air Flow Comparison Table
1. Nordic Pure 20x24x1 AC Furnace Air Filter
- Nominal Size: 20 x 24 x 1, Actual Size: 19 1/2 x 23 1/2 x 3/4 (19.5 x 23.5 x 0.75)
- Measure your air filter for the exact size and compare it to our actual size to ensure proper fit.
- Ideal for high efficiency air filtration and will help those with moderate allergies and asthma.
- Nordic Pure MERV 12 is equivalent to MPR 1500-1900
- Made in the USA
If you are looking for one of the most effective furnace filters for removing foul odors in your house, consider using the Nordic Pure 20x24x1 AC Furnace Air Filter.
The substate of this furnace filter is made from a unique carbon material. The material is powerful enough to trap all the contaminants that cause odors in the home.
Furthermore, this furnace filter is the best for your home because it has pleated fibers. The pleating of the fibers increases the surface area for trapping contaminants.
This means that even the tiny particles that escape from getting trapped when they first land on the filter’s surface eventually get trapped within the pleated fibers.
There are six pieces in every pack of the Nordic Pure 20x24x1 AC Furnace Air Filter. Therefore, you will have peace of mind when you purchase a pack because you will not regularly replace the furnace filter.
- The media has activated carbon for absorbing the contaminants that cause odors.
- High air filtration performance because of the pleated fibers and an electrostatically charged surface
- There are six pieces in every pack
- The furnace filter has a relatively low MERV rating of 8
2. Filtrete 20x24x1, AC Furnace Air Filter
- OUTPERFORMS FIBERGLASS, WASHABLE AND NON-ELECTROSTATIC 3-month pleated 1 in. air filters for your furnace, air conditioner or HVAC system
- DESIGNED WITH EXCLUSIVE Filtrete Brand 3-in-1 technology from 3M to trap unwanted air particles while letting cleaner air flow through
- ATTRACTS AND CAPTURES large particles such as lint, household dust and dust mite debris
- MPR 300 has a rating of MERV 5
- The higher the MPR, the more microparticles - such as pollen, pet dander and smoke - your filter will capture from the air passing through it
The Filtrete 20x24x1 AC Furnace Air Filter comprises propylene fibers on the surface and high-quality materials for the frame. The use of high-quality material for the frame enables the filter to remain in good condition despite the weather elements. It can withstand heat and moisture and remain functional for a long time.
The surface of this filter is electrostatically charged. Filters with electrostatically charged surfaces are pretty reliable in removing contaminants, including dust, smoke, and mite. The charged surface attracts contaminants that may be floating in the air in your home.
Another good feature of this furnace filter is that it lasts for a long time. You will enjoy using a furnace filter that does not require you to keep on replacing it after just a month or two.
The Filtrete 20x24x1 AC Furnace Air Filter retains its ability to keep your indoor air clean for about 90 days.
- Electrostatically charged filter media for effective removal of contaminants
- The frame is made of high-quality material to withstand the effects of the elements.
- Long-lasting performance of up to 90 days
- The furnace filter has a low MERV rating of 5
3. Accumulair Gold 16x25x1 Air Filter/Furnace Filter
- Nominal size is 16x25x1. Actual size is 15.75 X 24.75.
- MERV 8 Rating. Each filter lasts up to 3 months.
- Traps most large allergens including pollen and lint.
- Electrostatic charge captures airborne allergens SMALLER THAN 1 micron including fine dust, smoke, dander, mold, pet dander and dust mites. Also traps most large allergens including pollen and lint.
- 4 Pack of Air Filters
Several features make the Accumulair Gold 16x25x1 Air Filter one of the most reliable and helpful furnace filters for your home. First, this air filter has been designed to improve your Indoor Air Quality.
It is pretty successful in attracting and trapping large contaminants, including mite, dust, and smoke particles. These types of contaminants are particularly notorious for making your indoor environment dirty.
Second, you can rely on this furnace filter to effectively fight off allergic reactions. The filter has a pleated surface that can trap microorganisms and other allergens that may trigger an allergic reaction in sensitive people.
Third, this ai filter does not compromise your airflow. Some air filter that is not designed correctly may easily undermine airflow within your HVAC system. This may, in turn, lead to damages in some components of the system.
The only notable drawback of using this furnace filter is that you will be forced to replace it quite often. It does not last if the manufacturer indicates, mainly if your indoor environment is full of contaminants.
- Ideal for airflow within the home
- The surface is made of 100% substrate material
- Adequate air filtration capacity because the filters are pleated
- The filter lasts for about 60 days only
4. Aerostar Clean House 16x25x1 Air Filter
- Nominal Size: 16x25x1; Actual Size: 15 1/2" x 24 1/2" x 3/4"
- Comparable to MPR 600 Clean Living and Honeywell Micro Defense Plus FPR 5
- Designed to filter microscopic particles such as lint, dust mites, spores, and pollen.
- Simple to install and a cost-effective step towards a healthier home environment. For best results, change your filters every 60 to 90 days but increase frequency to 30 days during peak summer and winter months
- 100% synthetic electrostatic media for high efficiency with low air flow resistance
The Aerostar Clean House 16x25x1 Air Filter has pleated fibers. The pleating of the fibers of a furnace filter is important in two ways: improving air filtration performance and ensuring free flow of air. Thus, this furnace filter will have minimal interference in airflow in your HVAC systems.
Besides, the surface of this furnace filter is electrostatically charged. The use of the electrostatic charge on the surface enables the filter to attract contaminants. It can effectively attract and trap contaminants of all types, ranging from 0.3 microns to 1.0 microns in diameter.
The only important issue of concern about this filter is that it does not last if you would expect it to. Whereas many other similar brands of furnace filters can last for 90 days, your Aerostar Clean House 16x25x1 Air Filter will remain helpful for about two months only.
- The furnace filter is made of 100% synthetic media for maximum performance.
- The surface of the air filter is electrostatically charged to attract and trap contaminants.
- The pleated fibers provide excellent air filtration performance without interfering with the flow of air.
- The furnace filter does not last for a long time
5. FilterBuy Allergen Odor Eliminator Furnace Air Filter
- 20x20x1 replacement air filters for your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump, or HVAC system (actual size: 19.50" x 19.50" x 0.75")
- MERV 8 (Odor Eliminator) synthetic media (comparable with MPR 600 & FPR 5) protects homes from adverse smells while trapping 90% of airborne particles without impacting air flow
- High-quality construction features an electrostatically charged, pleated design that captures more harmful particles and prolongs the products lifespan by 3 times that of fiberglass models
- Industrial-grade beverage board frames with dual wire backings outperform standard cardboard designs
- All components are manufactured within the United States and designed with recyclable materials
The FilterBuy Allergen Odor Eliminator Furnace Air Filter is a reliable and robust furnace filter specially designed to remove all the odor from your home.
Its surface has activated carbon that successfully traps all the contaminants that cause bad smells in homes.
Furthermore, this furnace filter improves your Indoor Air Quality because it traps all the contaminants that may be found in your home.
It can successfully trap all types of contaminants, including small hair particles from your pets, dust, mite, and dander. This creates a comfortable and healthy environment in your house.
The FilterBuy Allergen Odor Eliminator Furnace Air Filter is quite long-lasting. It can remain functional for up to 90 days. This level of longevity saves you the trouble of having to replace your furnace filters frequently.
Sadly, the furnace filter comes in packs that contain only four pieces. You would love to have packs that contain even eight pieces for your convenience. Nevertheless, this is a minor issue, considering the performance of this furnace filter.
- Designed to eliminate odors from your home
- Dramatically improves Indoor Air Quality
- The filter lasts for about 90 days
- There are only four pieces in every pack
6. AIRx DUST 14x20x1 Air Filter
- MERV Rated Replacement Air Filter: AIRx Filters 14x20x1 (Actual: 13.50 x 19.50 x 0.75 in) MERV 8 air filter assures the effectiveness of your home HVAC system resulting to efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning
- Contaminant Reducing Replacement Air Filter: AIRx Filters 14x20x1 air filter replacement (Actual: 13.50 x 19.50 x 0.75 in) traps 3.0 - 10.0 micron of particles such as lint, dust, pollen, dust mite debris, and mold spores
- High Quality Air Filter Replacement Material: AIRx Filters 14x20x1 (Actual: 13.50 x 19.50 x 0.75 in) air filters are 100% made in the USA using high quality air filter moisture resistant double-wall beverage board
- Superior Air Filter Replacement Construction And Specs: AIRx Filters 14x20x1 air filter uses electrostatically charged 100% synthetic gradient media can perform at temperature ranging from 180F (82C) continuous service, peak 225F (107C)
- Multi-Pack OEM Air Filter Replacement Compatible: AIRx Filters 14x20x1 MERV 8 air filter can replace and/or comparable with Allergen Defense MPR 800, Clean Living MPR 600 14x20x1 air filter
Several features make the AIRx DUST 14x20x1 Air Filter one of the best furnace filters for your home. Primarily, this furnace filter has an electrostatically charged surface.
The surface attracts all types of contaminants, including dust particles. This means that the air filter improves your Indoor Air Quality.
The presence of allergens in your house can trigger severe reactions in people who are sensitive to them. The allergens may be dust, smoke, or even small fur pieces from your pets.
Having a good air filter like the AIRx DUST 14x20x1 Air Filter in place can go a long way in keeping such allergens away from your home. Thus, you will have a clean and safe indoor space when installing your AIRx DUST 14x20x1 Air Filter.
However, you will be forced to replace your AIRx DUST 14x20x1 Air Filter quite regularly. This furnace filter does not last if one would expect it to do. Although it is indicated that it can last for 90 days, this is often not the case.
- The air filter has pleated fibers for easy airflow
- Electrostatically charged surface for trapping dust and other contaminants
- The filter successfully traps all the allergens in the house
- The air filter does not last for a long time
7. E-Z Flow Air Filter
- Pack of 12 disposable UL Class II rated air filters designed for protection of furnace and central air units
- MERV 4 rating: Removes household dust, pollen, and lint
- Continuous chipboard design guards against corner separation while the one-sided metal media retainer adds to the filter strength
- Each filter maintains efficiency for up to 30 days. Length- 12 inch. Width- 1 inch
- Compatible with HVAC systems requiring filters sized 12" x 12" x 1"
One of the most important features of the E-Z Flow Air Filter is its physical strength. One side of this furnace filter is made of metal. This design enhances the overall strength and longevity of the air filter.
Apart from the physical strength, the E-Z Flow Air Filter effectively prevents the spread of pollen and dust in the air in your house. The surface of the filter successfully traps all contaminants, including pollen and dust.
The only notable drawback of using this furnace filter relates to its relatively low MERV rating of 4. You will have to get a different brand with a higher rating if you are keen on having a furnace filter with a high MERV rating.
- It protects your furnace and HVAC systems by allowing unrestricted airflow.
- One side of the media contains metal for enhanced filter strength
- Effective in removing large particles, including dust and pollen
- It has a relatively low MERV rating of 4
Many furnace filters are perfect for adequate airflow in your house. Generally, go for filters that have an above-average MERV rating. Filters with a MERV rating of between 8 and 13 are perfect for ensuring that the airflow in your system is not restricted. If you are using an MPR rating system, go for filters with an average of 1200 MPR ratings.