Best Reusable Furnace Filters for Your Home - 2019 Reviews

The Best Reusable Furnace Filters for Your Home

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Whenever you hear about reusable furnace filters, you should know that the term refers to filters that can be removed, washed and put back into the furnace’s system. As expected, using these types of filters presents a series of advantages and downsides that we’re going to go over before we determine which are some of the best reusable furnace filters currently available on the market.

Best Reusable Furnace Filters for Your Home Comparison

IMAGE Company Features
table__imageMOST DURABLEMOST DURABLEElectrostatic Air Filter Replacement
  • MERV Rating: 5
  • Ease of Cleaning: medium
  • Material: Aluminum
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table__imageCOST EFFICIENT CHOICECOST EFFICIENT CHOICETrophy Air Permanent Air Filter Replacement
  • MERV Rating: 6
  • Ease of Cleaning: Needs mild detergent but easy to clean
  • Material: polyurethane and aluminum
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table__imageMOST EFFICIENTMOST EFFICIENTAir Care Furnace A/C Filter
  • MERV Rating: 8
  • Ease of Cleaning: easy
  • Material: Aluminum and Metal mix
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table__imageBEST WARRANTYBEST WARRANTYAir-Care Silver Electrostatic Washable A/C Furnace Air Filter
  • MERV Rating: 8
  • Ease of Cleaning: Easy and not as frequent as others
  • Material: Electro-static polypropylene mesh Polyester
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table__imageMOST VERSATILEMOST VERSATILEWEB Eco Filter Plus Adjustable Air Filter
  • MERV Rating: 8
  • Ease of Cleaning: Easy
  • Material: recycled plastic
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table__imageBEST OVERALLBEST OVERALLCAS MaxMERV9
  • MERV Rating: 9
  • Ease of Cleaning: Proceed with the care of the pleats
  • Material: rust-proof aluminum
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Are They Any Good?

Young man working with kitchen equipment holding a filter

If you’ve ever wondered if these kinds of filters actually work, the short answer is “yes”. Even so, they are not everyone’s favorites, so here’s what you should know about them. They are a valid choice for people who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars each year by purchasing new and disposable filters. By opting for electrostatic furnace filters that can be cleaned, you can save a lot of money in the long term. Choosing a furnace filter that’s made from high-quality materials can actually cause it to outlive your HVAC system.

Another important reason why people prefer washable filters over disposable one is that they are eco-friendly. In fact, every time that you replace a household item that’s disposable with one that’s permanent, not only are you not contributing to creating more waste, but you’re also discouraging production that’s not necessarily sustainable and eco-friendly. Since washable filters can basically be cleaned at a frequency of your choice, you can make sure that you’re always breathing the cleanest air possible. By keeping a spare filter, you can remove the dirty one and immediately slide in the new one, while the previous filter is being cleaned. This way, you will keep your furnace system working at optimal levels and won’t have to shut it down until the dirty filter has been cleaned and is ready to be put back into place.

As you may already know, there are several different types of furnace filters currently available on the market. Some of them are better than others, but today we’re going to focus on the ones that can be reused. Permanent filters are easy to install and while the cleaning process can be a nuisance to some people, it’s just a short and not-that-demanding chore that’s definitely worth the money you’ll be saving.

How Do They Work?

Furnace filters work based on quite a simple principle. The air that’s sucked into the ducts passes through the system. The filter blocks all sorts of fine contaminant, depending on the filter’s surface density (which is measured according to a MERV rating). This filter was mainly designed to keep these contaminants out of the system to prolong its lifespan, but they additionally bring health benefits because they keep contaminants stuck to the filter instead of allowing them to be released into the air you breathe.

Electrostatic filters have several layers of filtration media. The air filter media on the product creates friction between its surface and the finest contaminant particles to make sure that they stick to the filter. It’s all about electrostatic power. Basically, the technology is as follows: when airborne particles pass through the filter’s media, they are embedded with a positive charge.

Because of this charge, they will stick to the next layer of the filter. It’s just like iron filling sticking to a magnet. As these contaminants are stuck to the filter, the recirculated air is now clean and ready to return to the room. The result is fresh air, free from contaminants such as pollen, allergens, dust, debris, pet dander, dust mites and more (the list of contaminants that can be blocked by a filter is determined by the MERV rating). The higher a filter’s MERV rating is, the bigger the variety of contaminants it can block.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Thinking business woman looking up on many bubbles with question mark on grey background

The frequency for cleaning a reusable air filter depends on a lot of factors.

  • The area where you live highly determines how much dust, debris, and other contaminants find their way inside your home. For example, if you live near a dirt road, your home is automatically more exposed to high levels of dust.
  • Whenever you’re renovating, the furnace filters will require more frequent cleaning. That’s because, aside from dust, there are other chemicals and contaminants that find their way into the ducts and clog up the surface of the filter.
  • People that own pets will have to clean their furnace filters more often compared to homeowners that don’t. Pet dander is one of the most common contaminants that pose a problem for pet owners.

A lot of people must be wondering if there is ever the need to replace reusable filters. Well, there are two things to consider here. First off, people live with the same permanent furnace filter for more than 10 years and have never experienced any problems. Of course, other prefer to upgrade to a better filter, but they don’t need to do it, they just want to. Second, always remember that all products are eventually subject to wear and tear, so there are chances you will need new filters at some point.

Top 6 Reusable Furnace Filter Reviews

Electrostatic Air Filter Replacement

Electrostatic Air Filter Replacement in white background
      • MERV Rating: 5
      • Ease of Cleaning: medium
      • Material: Aluminum
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This is a great example of an efficient reusable furnace filter. It’s available in a wide variety of sizes, but you need to measure your previous filter to make sure you purchase the right one. Each one of these filters is created with four layers of aluminum. In addition to that, the filters have two more layers of electrostatic media, to make sure that the product is highly efficient and won’t allow any contaminants to pass through.

Installation is as simple as it should be, as all you have to do is slide the filter into its designated slot. The durability of the filter is outstanding, as it can resist the pressure of a garden hose when cleaning. During the colder winter months, it’s advisable to clean the filter indoors, to prevent water frost when drying.

Pros

Cons

  • Made from strong high-grade aluminum.
  • Available in a wide variety of sizes.
  • Can easily be cleaned in and outdoors.
  • Easy to install.
  • The corresponding MERV rating of this filter would be 5, which means it’s not efficient against small particles

Trophy Air Permanent Air Filter Replacement

Trophy Air Permanent Air Filter Replacement in whitw background
      • MERV Rating: 6
      • Ease of Cleaning: Needs mild detergent but easy to clean
      • Material: polyurethane and aluminum
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The Trophy Air filters seem to gather all the features needed from a product of its kind. This permafoam permanent filter has the capacity of blocking unwanted contaminants, but we’re not totally convinced by its power since the corresponding MERV rating would be about 6.

However, the combination between polyurethane and the quad-layer aluminum frame should be enough for the average airborne particles that are found in a home with regular traffic. Washing the filter requires a mild detergent and a water source with good pressure, like a shower or a garden hose. The holes that are placed at the bottom of the filter will allow good drainage and the filter will dry out accordingly. Whenever you clean the filter, it’s always a good idea to have a replacement one, so you won’t have to keep your furnace turned off until the cleaned filter is completely dry.

Pros

Cons

  • Filter frame is made of strong aluminum.
  • Construction allows air to flow through the surface.
  • Good at capturing most common home contaminants.
  • Frame may be too rigid to slide properly into some slots.
  • A lot of confusion about ordering the right size (always measure your existing filter for reference).

Air Care Furnace A/C Filter

The ULTIMATE Furnace A/C Filter! Washable, Permanent, Reusable. Electrostatic - Traps dust like a magnet in white background
      • MERV Rating: 8
      • Ease of Cleaning: easy
      • Material: Aluminum and Metal mix
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This self-charging electrostatic filter doesn’t require any additional electricity to capture (as the manufacturer claims) 95% of the airborne contaminants found in a regular household. The appropriate MERV rating for this filter would be 8, which means it’s automatically more efficient compared to the previously-reviewed models in this roundup. In fact, 8 is just about the best MERV rating for a household, as anything above that would have a surface that’s much too dense and may cause problems by overusing the furnace.

Pros

Cons

  • Is the equivalent of a filter with a MERV 8 rating.
  • Doesn’t require electricity to function.
  • UV light resistant.
  • Can restrict airflow depending on your home furnace’s model.

Air-Care Silver Electrostatic Washable A/C Furnace Air Filter

Air-Care 20x25x1 Silver Electrostatic Washable A/C Furnace Air Filter in white background
      • MERV Rating: 8
      • Ease of Cleaning: Easy and not as frequent as others
      • Material: Electro-static polypropylene mesh Polyester
      Check The Price

With a MERV rating of 8, this is solid competition for the aforementioned filter. This product uses the power of electrostatic to trap about 88% of the dust that finds its way into your home. Depending on the quality of the air inside the house, the filter will require cleaning every one to three months. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty that should have you covered in case of damage caused by the manufacturing of the product.

Since it doesn’t have any harmful ozone emissions, the air released back into the room is cleaner and fresher. The filter’s surface is EPA registered and anti-microbial, to make sure that it won’t allow the apparition of mold or bacteria that forms on the surface of other types of filters.

Pros

Cons

  • Made with EPA registered anti microbial material.
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • Has the equivalent of a MERV 8 rating.
  • Depending on the air quality, it can be cleaned as seldom as once every three months.
  • Not compatible with all furnaces, due to the high-density surface.

WEB Eco Filter Plus Adjustable Air Filter

WEB Eco Filter Plus Adjustable Air Filter in white background
      • MERV Rating: 8
      • Ease of Cleaning: Easy
      • Material: recycled plastic
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Aside from being washable and reusable, this filter is also adjustable, which is a new feature brought to the table and we wanted to explain how it works. The word “adjustable” actually refers to the fact that you can trim the excess material and therefore obtain the filter size of your choice. To do so, you will have to use your older filter for reference. Simply lay the black plastic grid on the old filter so you’ll know exactly how much to cut.

Some people may find it painful to have to go through the process, but since we’ve read hundreds of comments of other products that were ordered in the wrong size, we can’t help but wonder if this isn’t the ideal solution for never ordering the wrong filter ever again. It seems quite ingenious to design a filter that you can tailor to the size of your furnace.

Pros

Cons

  • Manufacturer promises a lifespan of up to 10 years.
  • The filter frame can be adjustable to cover a lot of different sizes.
  • Has the equivalent of a MERV 8 rating.
  • Doesn’t cover all the possible filter sizes.
  • Trimming process is a nuisance for some.

CAS MaxMERV9

MaxMERV9 - HIGHEST RATED WASHABLE PERMANENT ELECTROSTATIC Furnace AC Air Filter in white background
      • MERV Rating: 9
      • Ease of Cleaning: Proceed with the care of the pleats
      • Material: rust-proof aluminum
      Check The Price

A bit on the expensive side of things lies this filter with the equivalent of a MERV 9 rating. I know what you’re thinking “MERV 9, that’s awesome. I’ll order one because it must be better than the others.” But a high MERV rating doesn’t guarantee a better filter, because your furnace system might not get the amount of air circulation needed of the filter is dense and blocks the air from passing through. So, instead of doing good by your furnace, you may actually damage it.

Thankfully, your furnace should specify what the maximum MERV rating for its filters should be. Leaving all problems aside, this is, indeed, the reusable filter with the highest MERV rating we’ve seen so far. It’s constructed with a pleated design and doesn’t require any additional electricity to work. Instead, the airborne particles will naturally be charged and trapped on the filter’s surface.

Pros

Cons

  • Has the equivalent of a MERV 9 rating.
  • Doesn’t require electricity to work.
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • Features a pleated design for better contaminant capture.
  • MERV rating may be too high for some furnaces.

The Bottom Line

Before going on a shopping spree for new washable filters, it’s important that you understand that while they are good, they do have some downsides. Probably the biggest downside of all is the fact that their MERV ratings are very limited and due to their construction, they are not able to capture all possible types of contaminants. In other words, small particles like the ones that cause odor or mold spores will pass through the surface of most washable filters. In the end, it really depends on what types of airborne particles are common inside your household. You may not even need filters that can capture mold spores after all.

Leaving that aside, washable filters are environmentally-friendly products and help homeowners save money in the long run. Not to mention that remembering to buy new disposable furnace filters is something that slips our minds ever so often.

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