Hidden away in the basement or attic, your air conditioner’s air filter is something you probably don’t give much thought to. But a good air filter keeps your oven and air conditioning working by protecting the mechanics from dust and debris. And the best filters trap pollutants like dust, pet dander, and pollen to help clean the air in your home.
This is important because the levels of pollutants in the air inside your home can be two to five times higher than the levels typically found outside, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Below are the best air filters from the CR tests (grouped by thickness and arranged alphabetically). We measure how well an air filter removes dust, pollen, and smoke from the air and how freely the air flows through the filter at any fan speed. We also calculate the annual cost of replacing the filters based on the manufacturer’s recommendations for when they should be replaced (note that prices may vary by the retailer; it may also be cheaper if you buy the filters in bulk).
“Thicker filters perform better in our testing, and we’ve found that they don’t need to be changed as often,” says Dave Trezza, who leads CR’s air filter testing. But not every HVAC system can accommodate a thicker filter – the most common size is 1-inch-thick – although it is possible to retrofit some systems’ ducting to accommodate thicker filters.
Another point that you should consider when making your purchase is the degree of filtering specified by the manufacturer. The most commonly used system assigns each filter a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) number developed by ASHRAE (formerly the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers). But 3M and Home Depot have each developed their own rating systems called MPR (Microparticle Performance Rating) and FPR (Filter Performance Rating), respectively. “Regardless of the rating system, the higher the number, the better the filter is at removing airborne contaminants,” says Rony.
What is the most efficient HVAC filter?
- Ultra allergen reduction fpr9 filter for the oven | Best ac filters for allergies
- Aprilaire – 213 a1 213 replacement air filter | Best truth about home air filters
- Ez flex expxxunv0016 expandable filter media | Best type of furnace filter
- 3m company dp03dc-4 filter filter | Lowe’s air filters
- X6672 lennox healthy climate 16x25x5 merv 16 filter | Filtrete furnace filters
Complete Review of The Best Air Filter for Home
1. Ultra Allergen Reduction FPR9 filter for the oven
The Filtrate Ultra Allergen Reduction 1500 MPR filter receives a very good rating for removing smoke, dust, and pollen from the air when the system is operating at high speed but is only average when operating at the lowest speed. In both cases, the airflow through the filter is strong. Filtrate recommends changing this filter four times a year. The annual cost is $68.
2. Aprilaire – 213 A1 213 replacement air filter
The 4 inches thick Aprilaire Healthy Home 213 MERV 13 filter excels at removing dust, smoke, and pollen when the HVAC system is running at maximum fan speed. It works almost as well when running at the lowest speed and the air is flowing freely through the filter. The annual cost is $41 per year based on Aprilaire’s recommendation to replace the filter once.
We also tested the Aprilaire Allergy & Asthma 216 4-inch filter, which performed similarly well. But you’re paying $184 a year because the filter costs more and Aprilaire recommends replacing it twice a year.
3. EZ Flex EXPXXUNV0016 Expandable Filter Media
The 5-inch-thick Carrier EZ Flex filter cabinet with a MERV10 filtration rating performs very well at removing dust, pollen, and smoke from the air when the system is running at maximum fan speed but performs only moderately when the air conditioning is on running at the lowest speed. Either way, he has no trouble maintaining airflow. Carrier recommends replacing this filter twice a year, at an annual cost of $128.
4. 3M COMPANY DP03DC-4 Filter Filter
The 4-inch thick Filtrate Healthy Living Ultra Allergen 4 MPR1550 is another high-performance filter that removes dust, pollen, and smoke at both the highest and lowest air conditioner settings and has been rated very well. This filter offers almost unimpeded airflow. Filtrate recommends replacing this filter once a year, and at $29 per filter, it’s one of the cheaper filters in our tests.
5. X6672 Lennox Healthy Climate 16x25x5 Merv 16 Filter
The 5 inches thick Lennox Healthy Climate Carbon Clean 16 filter effectively filters dust, smoke, and pollen when the system is operated at both the highest and lowest fan speed without noticeably restricting the airflow through the recirculation system. The list price for this filter is $100, but we’ve seen it for less. Lennox recommends replacing it once a year.
What to consider when buying furnace filters for homes with pets
Finding a furnace filter for a home with pets isn’t all that difficult. However, through our extensive research, we have uncovered a few features that you should consider when choosing the best furnace filter for homes with pets. This includes:
The first thing to look for is the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of the furnace filter. This value indicates how well a filter works and what type of air particles it can filter.
Since you are looking for a furnace filter against pet dander and allergies, you should choose a filter with a higher filtration efficiency – MERV 8 to 13. A furnace filter with a MERV value above 8 will effectively rid the air of your home of dander by covering around 85 % of large and 50% of small particles removed.
Of course, a higher value guarantees you better filtering. However, you should not exceed a MERV of 13 to avoid airflow issues. A furnace filter with MERV 13 works perfectly without causing unnecessary airflow problems. It filters about 95% of the large and about 80% of the small particles from the air.
Size plays an important role when looking for the best furnace filters for homes with pets. You want a furnace filter that fits into your heating system. It should fit comfortably and stay in place.
You can go through the documentation that came with your oven to find the ideal oven filter. Alternatively, you can also check the dimensions of your old filter. If no sizing is available, use a regular tape measure to measure the thickness, length, and width.
The price of a filter should match your budget. And the good news is that most of the best models are available at an affordable price.
Nevertheless, the price should not be the only decision criterion. Instead, you should also pay attention to other characteristics.
When you buy a quality furnace filter, you get a lot for your money. It will have a positive effect on the air quality in your home for a long time.
Therefore, avoid cheap filters because, as the saying goes, “cheap is expensive”, you may need to carry out regular repairs, which can result in even higher costs in the long run.
Some oven filters are reusable. You rinse them off in the shower or with the garden hose. Once they’re dry, put them back into your device. Others are disposable filters, meaning when they get dirty you throw them away and use a new one.
When buying disposable filters, opt for a 4″ filter instead of a 1″ filter. A 4″ filter has more surface area to catch particles, so it lasts longer. It can last three to six months without needing to be replaced. On the other hand, even the best 1″ oven filters for homes with pets require you to change them every 30 days.
However, the best option is a high-quality permanent filter that can last for several months or even years.
-Frequently Asked Questions-
Below are some frequently asked questions about heater filters for households with pets:
Can an oven filter really reduce pet hair and dust?
It might sound crazy, but yes, a filter this simple can do so much for you.
However, you should keep in mind that only an oven filter rated MERV 8 to MERV 13 can serve this purpose, with the latter offering the best filter performance.
How often should you change the furnace filter in a home with pets?
You should clean or replace your oven’s air filter at least once a month if you have pets. With additional air filtration measures, you can extend this period by a few weeks.
How can I repair my heater filter?
Your filter can become clogged and damage some of its internal components. If this happens, replace the filter and contact a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technician. The HVAC professional will make some basic repairs and prevent the unit from failing completely.