The 7 Best AC Filters in 2021

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If you own an HVAC system, it’s essential to consider the quality of the AC filter. You should always strive to avoid contamination of your air conditioner or furnace unit but a well-designed AC filter can do more than just that. With the help of a performant filter, you will also be able to maintain very clean air inside your home. Some AC filters are rated to purify the air to levels comparable to a portable air purifier. Depending on your budget, you can aim for an even more performant AC filter.

Measuring the efficiency of this type of filter can be done using a dedicated scale called MERV. It stands out for Minimum Efficiency Rating Values. The weakest AC filters are rated from 1 to 4 while most performant ones can reach a maximum MERV of 16. It may seem like common sense to try to get the most efficient AC filter possible but that’s not necessarily the case. Filters should be selected according to the intended usage. MERV ratings of 6 to 8 work great for residential purposes. You don’t have to invest in filters with a MERV higher than 12 unless you need industrial-grade performance. Check out these reliable AC filters that provide the best value for the money.

Best Budget AC Filter

1. Filtrete MPR 300 AC Furnace Air Filter

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Anyone who wants performant and reliable AC filters should check out the Filtrete MPR 300. This is a basic yet well-designed filter that can match all kinds of HVAC systems. It relies on 3M’s advanced technologies for trapping contaminants and letting out clean air to enter your home. The air filter has a MERV rating of 5 which is quite respectable for the cost.

Although it’s not capable of filtering out very fine particles such as pollen or mold spores, these AC filters deliver excellent cost-effectiveness. They’re geared towards users who just want to keep their furnace or air conditioner free from regular dust and lint. It’s engineered to trap more unwanted particles to make the air cleaner compared to ordinary non-electrostatic filters. The Filtrete MPR 300 is recommended primarily for residential furnace units and each pack includes six filters.

2. FilterBuy HVAC AC Filter

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With a USA-made construction, the FilterBuy AC filter is worth a shot if you need to filter out contaminants more efficiently. It boasts a rating of 8 on the MERV scale so you can count on it to capture more than just dust particles. The AC filter is also great at preventing pollen and pet dander from polluting the air. Each pack comes with a total of four filters that should last for approximately one year.

Thanks to being made from sturdy materials, the frames of the filters can withstand harsher conditions, including very high temperatures and excessive humidity levels. There are 12 pleats per foot to maximize filtering capacity and trap 90% of airborne particles. It’s a suitable filter for any AC or furnace unit as well as HVAC systems. Whether you need to cover residential or commercial needs, the FilterBuy AC filter can be considered worth the money.

Best Pollen AC Filter

3. Filtrete MPR 1000 AC Furnace Air Filter

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If you have allergy problems and need a more powerful filter for your air conditioner or furnace, check out the Filtrete MPR 1000. This unit relies on the Micro Allergen Defense technology for tackling pollen and dust particles more effectively. It promises a MERV rating of 11 so you can expect a superior air purification effect to fight against common allergy triggers.

Due to its advanced filtering abilities, this model can transform any basic HVAC system into a whole-house air cleaner. It’s great for both large and very small particles. Aside from pollen and household dust, the AC filter is able to trap smoke and mold spores just as effectively for a healthier breathing environment. Installing the air filter is a breeze as it comes with standard dimensions. There are two anti-allergy filters included in each Filtrete MPR 1000 pack.

4. AIRx AC Furnace Filter

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There are lots of high-quality AC filters on the market but this MERV 11 model from AIRx can be a satisfying choice for the money. It’s a recommended solution for many HVAC systems, furnaces, and air conditioners as it strikes a solid balance between efficiency and performant air filtration. You don’t need to sacrifice heating power while preventing pollen, mold, and pet dander from contaminating your home.

Additionally, this furnace filter can also deal with smog microparticles or bacteria. It’s built in the USA at the company’s factory in Indiana. All the important industry standards for performant air filtration have been met so you can use this filter with more confidence. The durability of the frame is quite impressive considering the use of synthetic gradient media that boast superior resistance to extreme conditions. Whether you’re allergic or want to breathe cleaner air from your HVAC system, the AIRx air filter is a safe bet for the cost.

5. Flanders PrecisionAire Baking Soda AC Filter

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The Flanders PrecisionAire AC filter makes use of a special odor-elimination technology based on baking soda. It relies on a natural ingredient recognized for its versatile properties. Baking soda has demonstrable power to remove lingering smells from your home so it’s the perfect addition to an AC or furnace filter. In terms of compatibility, the 20” x 20” filter can work well with a wide range of HVAC systems.

The MERV 8 rating of this AC filter enables users to enjoy cleaner air that’s free of common pollutants such as dust and mold spores. The smallest particles that can be filtered out are pollen, dust mites, and pet dander. By far the most impressive feature of this air filter is its capability to provide fresher air without offensive odors. It’s also quite durable and efficient with its fiberglass construction and V-pleats design for solid filtration performance.

6. Aerostar Home Max AC Filter

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A great AC filter that you shouldn’t miss comes from Aerostar. The Home Max model offers an incredible filtration power that gives it a MERV rating of 13. It’s the ultimate allergen filter to consider if you have troubles with pollen and fine dust particles. When it comes to residential needs, this kind of filter is one of the strongest available that shouldn’t affect the efficiency of the HVAC system too much.

The filter is crafted in the USA and can easily capture all kinds of micro-contaminants, including bacteria and virus carriers. It makes use of a synthetic fully electrostatic media that ensures the most filtration power possible without a negative effect on air flow. The nominal size is clearly labeled so you shouldn’t expect any problems in terms of compatibility. Considering the value for the money, the Aerostar Home Max filters are strongly recommended.

7. K&N HVAC Furnace AC Filter

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Designed to be long-lasting and reliable when it comes to filtering various air contaminants, the K&N versatile AC filter represents a great investment. As opposed to all the other disposable models on the market, this HVAC filter is fully washable so it can be reused again and again. It’s certainly a game changer when it comes to saving money and overall convenience. The filter is crafted from synthetic polymer and offers MERV 11 filtering performance.

Instead of purchasing new filters for your furnace all the time, this reusable model seems like the superior choice. It will require a bit of extra effort as you need to clean it regularly using a special spray but there are some important money savings to be made nevertheless. The filter promises decent airflow and capable protection against germs, allergens, and common contaminants such as dust, mold spores, and pet dander.