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AC Filters for Air Flow – Buyer’s Guide!

Air filters come in many forms, sizes, and materials, but they all perform one essential job, they filter the air and keep it clean. The difference between filters is how much of the air they clean. There are basic filters that merely keep the air free from soot and other particulates, and there are HEPA filters, which are High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters designed to make sure the air is virtually sterile. These HEPA filters are used for protecting people that have allergies or are susceptible due to low immune efficiency.

List of Top-Rated AC Filters for Air Flow

Product ImageProduct NameMERVMore Information
1. Dupont Kb16x25x1 High Allergen Care Electrostatic1. Dupont Kb16x25x1 High Allergen Care Electrostatic11More Information
2. Honeywell 20x25x5 MERV 13 Honeywell Replacement Filter (2 Pack)2. Honeywell 20x25x5 MERV 13 Honeywell Replacement Filter (2 Pack)13More Information
3. FilterBuy 16x25x4 MERV 8 Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter (Pack of 4 Filters), 16x25x4 - Silver3. FilterBuy 16x25x4 MERV 8 Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter (Pack of 4 Filters), 16x25x4 - Silver8More Information
4. 3M Filtrete Ultra Allergen 12x20x1 Air Filter4. 3M Filtrete Ultra Allergen 12x20x1 Air Filter11More Information
5. 3M Filtrete MPR 1200 20 x 25 x 1 Allergen Defense Odor Reduction HVAC Air Filter5. 3M Filtrete MPR 1200 20 x 25 x 1 Allergen Defense Odor Reduction HVAC Air Filter11More Information

Let’s take a look at the five top rated best air filters for home use.

The Best AC Filters for Air Flow Reviews

1. Dupont Kb16x25x1 High Allergen Care Electrostatic

This is the Dupont Kb16x25x1, Merv 11, High Allergen Care Electrostatic Air Filter 16″ X 25″ X 1″ that comes as a 4 Pack

Performance

This is a classic HEPA filter for odor reduction as well as anti-allergens for home use. The rating is MERV 11, and it is designed to trap micro-particles associated with allergies, like ragweed and pollen.

This model comes with the Oguard odor-reduction technology used to filter out and trap smoke and other odors from entering the home.

This product must be replaced every 90 days.

Features

  • MERV 11
  • 4 Pack
  • Cardboard frame
  • Glass Fiber Filter

Recommendations

This is a simple MERV 11 air filter that has a universal fit and is reliable for most home HEPA applications.

2. Honeywell 20x25x5 MERV 13 Honeywell Replacement Filter (2 Pack)

This is the Honeywell 20x25x5 MERV 13 Honeywell Replacement Filter (2 Pack)

Performance

For homes that require higher protection, this MERV 13 filter made by Honeywell is the perfect answer. This filter comes in a two pack and is made with pleated glass fiber. The dimensions of this filter are 20″ x 25″ x 4″, and this is a replacement part for Honeywell application models F200, F100, F150, F35, F25, F27.

For maximum performance, efficiency replace this filter before 6 months, and you can clean this model using the Honeywell 20×25 F100 and F200 Media Air Cleaners as well as the Aprilaire Media Air Cleaners.

Features

  • MERV 13
  • 2 Pack
  • Industrial Quality Filter

Recommendations

This is a replacement filter for a large HVAC system, and as a MERV 13 is top quality to provide maximum clean air.

3. FilterBuy 16x25x4 MERV 8 Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter (Pack of 4 Filters), 16x25x4 – Silver

This is the FilterBuy 16x25x4 MERV 8 Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter, comes in a Pack of 4

Performance

If your home only requires a standard HVAC clean environment, then this MERV 8 filter is the option you should consider. It is an AFB Silver framed model for all HVAC applications and comes with pleated synthetic filaments. The dimensions of this model are 16 x 25 x 4, and it is MPR 300 /600 comparable, which means it’s for dust and pollen-free environment.

This kit comes with 4 replacement filters, this is a year’s supply since you need to replace these units once every 3 months. The frames are made from beverage board material and withstand both humidity and temperatures of up to 200° F.

Features

  • Synthetic Fibers
  • MERV 8
  • HVAC replacement part

Recommendations

This is a standard universal replacement part that will fit into heaters, air conditioners, and blowers and is a great standard HEPA replacement for a clean environment.

4. 3M Filtrete Ultra Allergen 12x20x1 Air Filter

This is the 3M Filtrete Ultra Allergen 12x20x1 Air Filter, MERV 11.

Performance

3M is the producer of a number of quality filtration products, among them, is their Filtrete™ Brand, which uses a 3-in-1 technology that pulls in and traps unwanted air particles while freeing cleaner air flow through the filter.

This Filtrete™ Healthy Living model is a MERV 11 filter designed to reduce the allergen content of the air supply and proactively captures dust, bacteria, viruses, and allergens.

This model is also designed to reduce odors by trapping microscopic particles such as smoke, cough and sneeze debris, and its dimensions are 12 x 20 x 1.

This model is made from a synthetic, washable and non-electrostatic pleated 1″ filters, and must be replaced every 3 months.

For maximum performance, change your filter at least every 90 days.

There are a number of MPR levels to choose from, including anywhere from 1,500 to 2,800. As such, this model has rated a MERV 11 which is the standard base.

Features

  • MERV 11 and up
  • Synthetic Fiber Filter Technology
  • Universal fit for specific models

Recommendations

3M is a leader in air filtration products, and this model is an exceptional home HEPA filter.

5. 3M Filtrete MPR 1200 20 x 25 x 1 Allergen Defense Odor Reduction HVAC Air Filter

This is the 3M Filtrete MPR 1200 20 x 25 x 1 Allergen Defense Odor Reduction HVAC Air Filter

Performance

This is another 3M product and is part of the Filtrete™ Brand, which uses a 3-in-1 technology that pulls in and traps unwanted air particles while freeing cleaner air flow through the filter.

This Filtrete™ Allergen Defense model is a MERV 11 filter designed to reduce the allergen content of the air supply and proactively captures dust, bacteria, viruses, and allergens.

This model is also designed to reduce odors by trapping microscopic particles such as smoke, cough and sneeze debris, and its dimensions are 20 x 25 x 1.

This model is made from a synthetic, washable and non-electrostatic pleated 1″ filters, and must be replaced every 3 months.

For maximum performance, change your filter at least every 90 days.

There are a number of MPR levels to choose from, including anywhere from 800 to 1,200. As such, this line is rated with a MERV 8 standard base. However, this particular model is rated at MERV 11.

Features

  • MERV 11 and up
  • Synthetic Fiber Filter Technology
  • Universal fit for specific models

Recommendations

This is another great 3M product that will fit into any application that uses these filters dimensions.

AC Filters – How To Choose?

In most residential cases, pollen is the major contributor to allergies, and as such, many homes require an excellent HEPA filter. However, not all filters are excellent, and this is why I focused on sorting through the different filter elements to find the best AC filters to combat pollution.

Before I present you with each filter, let’s take a look at some facts around HVAC (heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) filters.

Basic Filters are for Machines, not Humans

The standard filters you see in the various HVAC are not there for human protection; they are in place to protect the machine and maintain a particulate-free environment so that the cooling and heating elements do not get filled with gunk. As such, proper maintenance, cleaning and replacing HVAC filters are for machine reliability and stability, not to protect the people from pollution or pollen.

Not all Filters are HEPA

There are many different types of filters on the market, not all of them are for protecting you against pollen or particulates. In most cases, the standard filters are there just to keep the general pollutants, such as car exhaust emissions and soot from entering the atmosphere. Mold, bacteria, and pollen are smaller than soot particles, and as such, pass through standard filters.

The filters designed to combat small particles are called HEPA filters, and if that word does not appear in the product information sheet or on the package, then the filter is most probably not a HEPA filter. HEPA filters are made from densely packed layers of glass fiber and not from paper. This means that the top rated air filters will block 99% of the smaller pollutants.

Not all HEPA are Equal

Even when you do buy a HEPA filter, you will need to double check the quality and reference of the filter. Air Filters are measured in terms of MERV, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The MERV shows you how accurate the filter works, which is in the density and size of pollutants it can stop.

The higher the MERV, the more powerful the filter, and there are 20 MERV settings from 1 to 20. To truly stop most particulates and have an allergy-free environment, you need to find a filter that is at least MERV 8. Hospitals have MERV 20 since these are used to sterilize the air and maintain it free from bacteria and viruses as well as particulates.

Residential filters tend to come with a rating between 8 and 13, and you will need to change the filter once every 3 months for optimum performance and reliability.

Another form of measurement is MPR, Microparticle Performance Rating, and The Microparticle Performance Rating (MPR) system is used to rate the smallest particulate trapping abilities of the filters, from 0.3 to 1 µm in size. The difference between MERV and MPR was created by 3M, while MERV is a national standard.

  • MERV 8 is equal to MPR 600
  • MERV 11 is equal to MPR 1000 to 1200
  • MERV 13 is equal to MPR 1500 to 1900

Maintenance

Always clean and maintain your HVAC systems. Otherwise, you will accumulate spores from the mold that builds up in the mechanical and electronics. Also, replace the filters once every 3 months, literally.

About the author

Jessica Nickson

Jessica Nickson is a keen home and garden innovator with over 25 years of hands-on experience in, home improvement, landscape gardening and all things appliance related to making life easier and more interesting.

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