How to Choose Furnace Filters

Featured Video Play Icon

Indoor air inside our homes is 1-3 times more polluted than the outdoor air, according to the EPA. If you want to improve the air quality inside your home, you have to use better furnace filters. Furnace filters range from basic to premium varieties, but which ones are really worth it? Watch and find out which filters is best for you.


  • Furnace filters are designed for two things:
    • To protect your furnace
    • To improve air quality
  • MERV ratings are something that go across all filters. MERV stands for "Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value". A higher rating means it can grab smaller particulates from the air better. The highest MERV rating is 20, which is usually reserved for scientific clean rooms.
    • Ratings of 4 can filter out dust mites, pollen, pet dander, dust and lint.
    • Ratings of 5-7 can filter out everything a 4 can, as well as bacteria and mold.
    • Ratings of 8-10 can also filter allergens, smoke, and virus carriers.
    • Ratings of 11 or more can also filter out odors and smog.
  • No matter what filter type you choose, you need to change it on a regular basis. If it gets clogged, your system will have to work harder to cool or heat your house and reduced effectiveness in improving air quality.


  • Spun fiber glass filters are an entry level options, with a MERV rating of about 4. They do a good job at grabbing larger particulates and have been around a long time. This is one of the top sellers that people grab.
  • Disposable pleated filters are better for people with asthma or allergies, and who need better quality air. Pleated filters' MERV ratings start at 8 and can go up to 15. They fit in the same slot that other filters fit it, but are higher quality.
For more helpful tips, visit Ace Hardware's Tips & Advice or visit your Neighborhood Ace.
Published: 3/11/2020