Air Filter Types, Cost & Merv Ratings: How To Choose The Right One For You?


To keep your furnace performing at its best in the chilly months, regular filter maintenance is key. But with various options out there, picking the right one can be a puzzle. Let’s break it down with our furnace filter comparison, considering types and costs.

At InversionMagazine, our furnace experts are here to help. Whether you’re on a tight budget or looking for top-notch options, we’ve got you covered. Trust us to keep your furnace well-maintained and ready to tackle the cold when you need it most.

How Are Air Filters Rated?

Furnace filters come with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) to show their effectiveness. MERV ratings range from 2 to 16, with higher numbers indicating better particle removal.

Think of your lungs as a MERV 8 filter – anything higher is a plus for you and your family. Filters below MERV 8 mostly keep the equipment clean. But, be cautious: some super-high MERV filters can limit airflow, so finding the right balance is crucial.

How Are Air Filters Rated
How Are Air Filters Rated

What Type Of Furnace Filter Do I Need?

To keep your furnace running smoothly and save on efficiency, picking the right filter matters. Here are five main types:

  1. Flat Filters:
    • Made of fiberglass.
    • Common and thin (2.5 cm to 5 cm).
    • Pleated fiberglass filters offer better filtration.
  2. HEPA Filters:
    • High-efficiency with a three-stage process.
    • Captures dust, 99.7% of particles, and removes odors.
    • Usually, MERV rating of 21-22.
  3. Extended Media Filters:
    • Larger and advanced flat filter versions.
    • Accordion-like woven fibers, 20 cm to 25 cm thick.
    • Installed professionally with MERV ratings from 10 to 16.
  4. Electronic Air Filters:
    • Electrically charged to capture tiny pollutants.
    • Uses an electrostatic precipitator.
    • Requires regular maintenance, around MERV 13.
  5. Ultraviolet Light:
    • UVC and UVA lights neutralize bacteria and viruses.
    • Trusted in hospitals.
    • Often added to other filtration systems.

Getting the right filter ensures your furnace stays efficient.

How Much Do Furnace Filters Cost?

When it comes to furnace filters, the technology behind them affects the price. Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Flat and Pleated Filters:
    • Price Range: $10 – $50 each.
    • Upfront savings but may need more frequent replacements.
  2. HEPA Filters:
    • Estimated Cost: $2,200 to $2,500 each (including installation).
    • High upfront cost but top-tier filtration.
  3. Extended Filters:
    • Price Range: $400 – $700 (including installation).
    • Larger and advanced, offering good filtration.
  4. Electronic Filters:
    • Price Range: $600 – $1,000 (including installation).
    • Electrically charged for capturing tiny particles.
  5. Ultraviolet Light Add-On:
    • Price Range: $600 – $1,000.
    • Neutralizes bacteria and viruses, often added to other systems.

While flat filters are budget-friendly initially, their frequent replacements might add up. Higher-end models may cost more but often require less maintenance and offer superior filtration. Consider your priorities and budget for an efficient and cost-effective choice.

Furnace Filters

Regular furnace cleaning and maintenance are key to efficiency, preventing issues, and reducing bills. Let InversionMagazine professionals handle your furnace upkeep and filter installation. It’s a smart way to save both time and money. Contact us today for reliable service.

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  • Milly

    Milly is a mechanical engineer residing in Canada who loves to disassemble and rebuild the latest tech in her spare time. Her passion for understanding how electronics work combined with her engineering expertise allows Milly to provide in-depth,nuts-and-bolts reviews on everything from smartphones to high-end TVs.

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