Pages Navigation Menu

Things to do in Orange County for OC Moms

Categories Navigation Menu

Tips for Buying the Right Furnace Filter

A furnace filter keeps your home air clean and protects you from health problems like asthma or allergies. Experts recommend changing your filters at least 3-4 times annually.   

This regular change ensures you breathe high-quality air at all times.  Quality air means that you have a safe home with little or no air pollutants. It minimizes indoor allergies and other asthma triggers.

A good filter removes smoke particulates, pollen, household dust, mold spores, and pet dander from your indoor air leaving the home space refreshing and healthy. Focus on the efficiency of your filter if you want to keep your household safe.  

Things to look for when buying a furnace filter:

The size of the filter

The filter size should be of the recommended furnace requirements. This ensures the contaminants are eliminated through the air vents or gaps in your air ducts and filter.  

Make sure you get the specified MERV standard filter. Only buy a higher one if that is what your furnace manufacturer recommends. Read more at to know how to find your furnace size.  Ignoring the recommendations may lead to damage to your furnace.

Carefully remove your current furnace filter and note airflow direction to help in re-installing it or a new one. Check the filter size on the cardboard frame.  You can find it on the side door of the filter cabinet.

You can find it between the furnace and the return air duct. The return air duct is that grill opening that draws air inside.

Buy the exact fit for the furnace to ensure it doesn’t slip around. Pick a compatible filter.

MERV filter rating

MERV rates the efficiency of the filter to remove dust and other contaminants.   Pick filters with higher MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value). This guarantees you that only minimal particles will be passing through. 

However, only settle for the recommended rating. For example, a MERV rating of 4 eliminates things like moss, pollen, dust, fibers, and paint, while a filter with a MERV rating of 8 removes pet dander, dust mites, and mold spores.

The highest rating is 20, which removes viruses, smoke, and carbon dust.  Mostly, you find them in clean rooms and hospitals. EPA recommends at least MERV 8 rated filters for indoor air quality.  

Ultra Allergen Reduction filters have a MERV rating of 11 which is slightly below HEPA filtration.  

MPR rating

This is a measure of microparticles’ performance. It measures the efficiency of the air filter in capturing microparticles (particles of 0.3 to 1 micron in size). Coincidentally, these particles make up about 99 percent of the particulate matter in the air.  

Bacterial, smoke, and smog are all particles falling within this range. MPR is an ideal consideration if you want to maximize air filtration. Most people use MPR to compare the efficiency of various filters before buying.  

It shows you the difference in efficiency or what to expect from the filter.   Higher MPR means higher efficiency in capturing these microparticles.   Keep in mind your needs and particular style because not all filters are equal. 

Filter thickness  

Filters have thicknesses from 1-inch to 5-inches. Thicker filters are more efficient and last longer. Check your furnace configurations to know the recommended filter thickness.  

Non-pleated or pleated

Pleated furnace filters last longer and are more efficient. The non-pleated fiberglass filters are less efficient and less durable.  

Pleated filters have more surface area for catching pollutants and have smaller pores that capture even smaller particles without compromising airflow. 

Re-usability or disposable

Do you want a reusable filter or not? Reusable filters are more expensive. Mostly, they have a plastic frame. Thoroughly clean it using water and a vacuum then let it dry before reinserting.  

Disposable filters are affordable but need to be replaced every month for maximum air quality efficiency. They come in different styles like the low-fold accordion which doesn’t have enough surface area hence restricting airflow. 

However, filters with more folds have more surface area for efficient air movement and are slightly more expensive. 


If you live in a humid area, then you need a furnace filter with at least MERV rating of 8 to prevent mould spores from recirculating in the home. Damp regions have mould problems and need a furnace filter of an appropriate rating for maximum air quality efficiency. 

Bottom line

Buy a good furnace filter that can protect the mechanical components from dirt, and dust. They trap indoor pollutants like pet dander, dust, dirt, pollen etc keeping the air quality high. 

Always match the manufacturer specifications to your filter to ensure it fits perfectly without problems. Use MERV, FPR, and MPR to evaluate the efficiency of your filter in capturing particles. For example, a MERV rating of 6 can remove dust and pollen.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter
Connect With Us

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *