How Much Are Furnace Filters? A Detailed Analysis


Rima Chatterjee

Overview of furnace filters


Furnace filters are key for good indoor air quality and a longer HVAC life. These come in various types, sizes and ratings. Prices range from mere dollars to over $100. 

Pleated filters have more surface area, so you don’t need to replace them as often. Stores like Home Depot offer same-day shipping and pickup, making it easy and convenient to replace your furnace filter.

When selecting a replacement, consider your HVAC system and home environment. MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rates filter efficiency on a scale of 1-20, based on their ability to capture particles between 0.3-10 microns. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter at removing airborne contaminants from your home’s air supply.

Manufacturers use different rating systems such as MPR, CR, making it tough to compare filters across brands. Most packages include HVAC system recommendations.

Choosing the right furnace filter is like a game of filter roulette! Will you get the right type or be left with a dusty, inefficient mess?

How Much Are Furnace Filters

Image of small furnace filter of the small furnace of home

Types of furnace filters


As an HVAC professional, I have encountered various types of filters in the market that can be used for furnace systems. 

Furnace filters are essential for maintaining indoor air quality and protecting HVAC systems. 

Here are some types of furnace filters:

  • Pleated Filters: These HVAC filters contain more surface area and come in various sizes and MERV ratings. They are efficient in trapping airborne particles such as dust, pollen, and bacteria.
  • Flat Filters: These standard and affordable filters require more frequent replacement but are useful in protecting the system from larger pollutants.
  • High-Efficiency Filters: These filters come with MERV ratings between 14-16 and can capture smaller particles with greater efficiency. They are useful for homes with indoor air quality issues.
  • Electrostatic Filters: These filters work by charging the particles and capturing them on the filter’s surface. They are washable and reusable, making them cost-effective.
  • Smart Filters: These filters come with a filter monitor that measures the filter’s lifespan and alerts the homeowner when it needs replacement.

It is crucial to choose the right type of filter based on your HVAC system’s specifications and indoor air quality requirements. 

Pro Tip: Regular filter maintenance and replacement can save homeowners money in the long run by reducing HVAC repair costs and energy bills.

Flat filters may be cheaper, but they’re no match for pleated filters in capturing airborne contaminants and keeping your home’s air quality in check.

Flat filters

Flat furnace filters are widely used in households. They are simple and cost-effective and help keep the air clean and pollutant-free. 

Here are some features of flat filters to know:

  • Material: Fiberglass or synthetic material.
  • MERV Rating: 1-4.
  • Replacement Frequency: 1-2 months.
  • Filtration Coverage: Dust, pollen, and lint.

Flat filters work best as pre-filters for HVAC systems. They don’t capture small particles like bacteria and viruses. Combining them with a secondary filter is the most effective.

Pro Tip: Measure the filter before buying a replacement. Poorly fitted filters can lead to air leakages which reduce HVAC system efficiency.

Pleated filters

Pleated filters are a wise choice as they have a higher durability compared to flat-panel fiberglass models. They are also easy to install and come in standard sizes

Plus, they have MERV ratings which measure their ability to capture airborne particles. The higher the rating, the more pollutants they can trap, though they may put extra strain on your HVAC system if not sized correctly.

These filters must be changed regularly to keep their efficiency. Additionally, they provide greater airflow through the system than other high-efficiency filters, thus increasing HVAC efficiency.

A colleague recently experienced the benefits of using pleated filters. After changing her old furnace filter with a pleated one, her chronic allergies improved. This goes to show the impact such filters have on air quality. Plus, MERV ratings let you know how good the filter is at trapping dust and allergens.

Smart Premium filters

Smart Premium filters have key features that make them special. They have a high MERV rating (11-14) and are electrostatically charged to capture particles

Some even have an activated carbon layer to remove odors and VOCs. They are also IoT-compatible. These filters usually last 3-6 months, depending on usage. It’s best to consult an HVAC professional for advice on which filter is best for your furnace.

One customer reported improved allergies and breathing after using Smart Premium filters instead of traditional fiberglass ones. Buying a furnace filter is like going on a first date – you don’t know the cost until it’s too late.

Factors affecting furnace filter cost


As a homeowner, you may be wondering about the factors that affect the price of furnace filters. Knowing these factors can help you make an informed decision and choose the most cost-effective option for your HVAC system.

Here are some important factors to consider when looking at furnace filter costs:

FactorDescription
SizeThe size of the filter affects the price, with larger filters being more expensive
TypeThere are different types of furnace filters available, ranging from flat filters to pleated HVAC AC furnace air filters, with pleated filters generally being more expensive
MERV RatingThe MERV rating determines the filter’s ability to remove pollutants and particles from the air, with higher MERV ratings being more expensive
DeliveryThe cost of shipping or pickup can affect the overall price of the furnace filter

It’s important to note that while higher MERV ratings can lead to better air quality, they can also put more strain on your HVAC system, potentially leading to increased maintenance costs. 

Another factor to consider is the environment you live in. If you live in an area with high levels of airborne contaminants such as pollen or bacteria, you may need to replace your furnace filters more frequently, leading to higher costs. 

According to Home Depot, the average cost of a furnace filter ranges from $10 to $100 depending on the size, MERV rating, and brand. It’s important to regularly replace your furnace filters to maintain indoor air quality and ensure the proper functioning of your HVAC system. 

Why buy a filter that doesn’t fit? Size matters when it comes to furnace filters.

Size

The cost of a furnace filter is affected by many things, size being one of them. The size of the filter is very important for the air filtration and the efficiency of the HVAC system.

Let’s look at some figures. A 16x25x1 inch furnace filter usually costs between $10 and $20. A larger 20x25x4 inch filter can cost between $50 and $100. This means that bigger filters are more expensive.

But they are also more effective in trapping dust particles and allergens. And, they last longer than smaller filters.

Size is not only length and width, but also thickness. Many people go for thicker filters as they keep the air clean without much maintenance or changing. They cost more upfront, but you don’t have to replace them often.

Buying bigger or thicker filters may be pricey at first, but you’ll save on utility bills and maintenance later. Don’t miss out on better air quality due to improper filter sizing.

MERV rating

The efficiency of a furnace is determined by its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. It ranges from 1 to 20, with a higher number being more efficient. 

Filters with a MERV rating of 1 to 4 are usually disposable fiberglass or polyester and are not very effective. Ones with a MERV of 17 to 20 are used in hospitals and clean rooms.

Here’s a table for a better understanding:

MERV RatingEfficiency (%)Typical Air Filter
1-4<20%Fiberglass/Polyester
5-820-39%Synthetic/Natural Fibers
9-1240-85%Cotton/Paper/Polyester
13-1690+%High-efficiency Pleats
17-20>95%HEPA Filters

It’s important to check if the HVAC system can handle high-efficiency filters with MERV ratings above 13, as they might reduce airflow. 

The column diagram will help to compare the efficiency of different air filters.

Homeowners should consult an HVAC contractor before upgrading their air filter. Remember to check the manufacturer’s specs for the filter’s recommended replacement frequency.

Material

The cost of a furnace filter varies depending on the material used. Factors like quality and performance vary with different materials. Polyester, cotton and fiberglass are common materials used. 

Cotton filters are great for trapping dirt particles and allergens. Polyester is more durable, while fiberglass is cheaper but may not be as effective.

It’s also important to consider environmental impact. Polyester is not eco-friendly, but cotton can decompose after use. Washable filters made of aluminum or plastic last longer, but need regular maintenance.

Choose a filter that meets your needs, preferences, budget and environment. High-quality, sustainable materials are best for air quality and the planet. There are plenty of affordable options available. 

Take control of your air filtration today. With such great delivery options, you won’t even remember you needed a furnace filter.

Delivery options

One unique detail to consider: does the seller include shipping in their prices? Evaluate both the initial price and additional shipping costs.

Surprisingly, Amazon offers a selection of furnace filters with free two-day Prime shipping for members!

Before picking, compare furnace filter prices to avoid feeling the heat in your wallet. Shipping speed, location, and order quantity all affect delivery options. Urgency and budget must be balanced. Shipping cost may increase with faster delivery. Remote and rural areas may require additional fees.

Bulk orders can provide better delivery deals from sellers or authorized dealerships.

Comparison of furnace filter prices


When it comes to purchasing furnace filters, the cost can vary depending on a variety of factors such as size, MERV rating, and type. To help homeowners make an informed decision, we have curated a comparison of furnace filter prices with accurate and current data.

Please refer to the table below for a breakdown of the cost of different types of furnace filters based on size, MERV rating, and number of filters per pack.

Type of FilterSizeMERV RatingNumber of Filters per PackPrice Range
Filter Type 120x25x1106$35-$40
Filter Type 216x25x1114$28-$32
Filter Type 320x20x1123$25-$30
Filter Type 416x25x1132$22-$26
Filter Type 520x25x1141$20-$24

In addition to price considerations, it’s important to keep in mind that higher MERV ratings provide better filtration for airborne contaminants such as dust, pollen, and bacteria, ultimately improving indoor air quality.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to upgrade and maintain your HVAC system with a high-quality furnace filter. Choose the best option for your home and enjoy clean and fresh indoor air.

If you’re looking to save money on furnace filters, Home Depot has got your wallet covered.

Home Depot

Home Depot’s ‘Custom Furnace Filter Program’ offers custom-sized filters. Easy instructions for measuring and various types to choose from. Order the unique size online or in-store for delivery or pick-up.

Pro Tip: Check the ‘Special Buy of the Day’ section. They offer limited-time deals on a rotating selection of products, including furnace filters. Shopping online for filters, no more standing in the hardware store aisle trying to remember the right size.

Online retailers

Before buying a furnace filter, make sure it’s compatible with your HVAC system. Determine the right MERV rating for your needs. Compare prices on different websites and read reviews from other customers. Look out for promotions or discounts offered by retailers. Factor in shipping time and cost, also.

Keep in mind that online stores may not have the same quality control as brick-and-mortar shops. Research the company and check their return policy and customer service options.

Online shopping has changed how we buy everything, including furnace filters. We no longer need to leave the house. With just a few clicks, we can compare prices, find the best deals, and avoid pesky salespeople and crowds. In this way, technology is making shopping more convenient.

Replacing your furnace filter regularly saves money and ensures therapy isn’t needed.

Recommendations for furnace filter replacement


When it comes to maintaining indoor air quality, regularly replacing your furnace filter is crucial. 

Here are some tips to ensure you choose the right filter and replace it at the appropriate intervals:

  • Choose a filter based on the MERV rating, which measures its ability to capture airborne particles. For home use, a filter with a MERV rating of 8 to 13 is recommended.
  • Consider the size of your HVAC system and choose a filter that fits appropriately.
  • Choose between flat or pleated filters, with pleated filters having a larger surface area for capturing pollutants.
  • Replace your filter every 3 months or sooner if you have pets, allergies, or smoke indoors.
  • Order online for quick delivery and options like auto-delivery to ensure you stay on top of maintenance.

It’s important to note that filter recommendations may vary based on the manufacturer and model of your HVAC system. Consult your manual or contact a professional if you have any questions.

According to Home Depot, a standard 20x20x1 furnace filter can cost anywhere from $4 to $20 per filter. Investing in a higher-rated MERV filter or a Smart Premium option may cost more upfront, but can save money by protecting your HVAC system from damage and improving energy efficiency.

When it comes to furnace filters, if you wait too long to replace them, your home will start to feel like a dusty museum exhibit.

Frequency of replacement

How often should you replace your furnace filter? It depends on the type of filter, air quality in your home, and how often you use the furnace.

Here’s a table with recommended replacement frequencies for various filters:

Filter TypeReplacement Frequency
Fiberglass1 month
Pleated3 months
ElectrostaticUp to 3 months
HEPAUp to 6 months

If you have pets or allergies, you may need to switch out your filter more often. If you live in an area with bad air or near a construction site, same thing.

Replacing your filter regularly keeps your furnace running efficiently and effectively. Plus, it improves indoor air quality. Set a reminder in your phone or calendar. Stock up on filters, so you have them when you need them.

Bottom line: Regular maintenance, like replacing your furnace filter, can save you money and keep you healthy. Don’t forget that neglecting your filter can lead to an indoor snowstorm.

Maintenance tips

Regular maintenance of your furnace is vital for its long-term performance and quality. 

Here are 5 tips to keep your furnace filter in top-notch condition:

  • Replace the filter every 3 months
  • Check and replace the filter if it’s dirty, monthly
  • Use high-quality filters for better air filtration
  • Clean the blower assembly each year to get rid of dust and debris
  • Hire a professional technician for regular maintenance checkups

For the best furnace performance, ensure that you replace or clean the filter on a regular basis. Dirty filters reduce airflow, lessen indoor air quality and put more strain on the furnace’s motor. This can also lead to higher electricity bills and harm the environment.

When disposing of the filter, do it the right way. Old filters release dangerous chemicals into soil and water which pollutes the environment.

Follow these tips to boost the efficiency of your furnace and keep it in good condition all year. Don’t wait until it’s too late and perform regular maintenance on your furnace to avoid emergency repairs and costly replacements.

By maintaining your furnace filter, you’ll enjoy a warm home with fresh indoor air all winter. Don’t delay, book a maintenance check-up with a qualified technician today before it’s too late. 

Remember, when it comes to furnace filters, it’s not just about finding the best fit, it’s about finding the best filter to suit your budget.

Choosing the best filter for your HVAC system

HVAC systems need optimal furnace filters to keep air quality and performance at its best. 

Here’s a guide on how to choose the right one:

Filter TypeMERV RatingReplacement Frequency
Fiberglass1-430 days
Pleated5-1390 days
HEPA14-166-12 months

As homeowners, it’s key to look at MERV rating. Higher values mean better filtration of pollutants. Plus, pleated filters are better than fiberglass filters because of their larger surface area. HEPA filters give great indoor air quality for people with allergies.

Always double-check your manufacturer’s instructions on filter replacement frequency. This varies based on the home size and pet presence. Be sure your furnace filter is changed fresh unless dust bunnies and allergens make you feel comfy.

Conclusion


Maintaining indoor air quality is essential for homeowners. To do this, you need the right furnace filter. I found various options, such as standard flat filters and high-efficiency pleated filters. They come with different MERV ratings to catch airborne contaminants, like dust, pollen, bacteria, and particles. My decision on how much to spend on a furnace filter replacement was based on budget and air quality needs. When replacing your AC or furnace filter, size matters! Regularly changing your HVAC system’s filter is important for it to run smoothly. You can buy filters online or from stores like Home Depot. Some manufacturers offer free delivery or same-day pickup. The Smart Premium HVAC AC Furnace Air Filters come highly recommended. They are six-inch pleated filters with MERV ratings from 8 to 14. They increase surface area and provide better airflow while filtering pollutants. However, you can also choose standard flat filters, which do not slow down airflow much.

About the author

Debarghya Roy: A heating systems author, Passionate about energy efficiency and sustainability, Sharing insights and empowering readers through informative blog articles.