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|Part Number:||Lennox X6670|
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|Size:||16 x 25 x 1|
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We all want our homes to be safe places where we can relax and recharge ourselves. Taking simple steps to improve indoor air quality is one way to make our homes healthier. Air filter systems are one of the best ways to detox your space and keep the air inside the home cleaner. Of course, most systems require filter replacements. Since air purity is so important, it’s critical that you know how to pick out the best air filter replacements.
If you’re busy, don’t worry: we have a few top picks for you to check out below. Of course, we also feature an in-depth buying guide. Here at Top10.today, you can learn all about the best furnace filters, recommended products and services to help you accomplish your indoor air quality goals.
Lennox OEM MERV 11 Filter Media tops our list as the best overall air filter replacement. Coming in a 2 pack, these Lennox products boast a respectable MERV-11 rating. This rating means they can catch particles in the air roughly 3 microns to 1 micron in size.* For reference, this includes particulates like lead dust.
The largest drawbacks to these filters are that they won’t fit a wide range of devices, and they come at a hefty price of $53.97 on Amazon. Fortunately, however, the strong design of these filters means that you likely will not have to replace them as often as cheaper ones. Many people who use these filters replace them about every 6 months. So, those who don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of changing their filters more often might like the convenience these products provide. All in all, we give these filters a 9.8 rating.
The Lennox Health Climate Filter boasts the highest MERV rating on our list: a MERV 16. This is the highest rating you’ll see in most homes or other residential areas. Filters with this rating can capture 95% of contaminates roughly 1 to 0.3 micrometers in size.** Particulates of this size include many bacteria and cooking oils. These filters could really come in handy during the ever-sneezy allergy season!
The downside to higher MERV ratings is that the filter will not always work well with all devices, and they might even cause your filter to work harder to push air through its system. These particular filters also don’t come cheap; one filter goes for $64.65 on Amazon. All things considered, though, these products are high quality and can really come in handy for people with allergies or pets. We give these filters a strong 9.6 rating.
The Filtrete Micro-allergen Defense Filter is the best-priced item on our list. A 2 pack will only cost you $23.98 on Amazon! They use electrostatic technology along with pleats to capture pesky allergens. What’s so great about these products is that they are compatible with most furnaces and AC units, so they’ll fit the needs of many people. These filters boast an MPR rating of 1000, roughly equivalent to a MERV-11 rating. As such, the manufacturer recommends these filters for only residential use.
While these filters have a great price tag, they also will not last as long as other filters might. The manufacturer recommends replacing these filters every 3 months. If you don’t mind replacing filters more often, then this shouldn’t be a problem.
(Note that some factors, like the type of system you have in your home or whether you have pets, can drastically alter the lifespan of these products.)
If you’re ready to learn more about air filter replacements, what all of these ratings mean, and what the best way to replace a furnace and air filter is, you’ve come to the right place!
Air filters help remove dust and other contaminants from the air in your home. The result is improved air quality for an overall healthier indoor environment. The better the air quality, the more efficiently your HVAC system (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) will operate, which can mean lower energy costs. Therefore, it is important to periodically replace the filter. We’ll walk you through this replacement process, step by step.
Forced air systems use HVAC filters. These systems require a single filter for both the heating system and the cooling system. With this type of system, air is drawn in through the return vents and then flows through the air filter before flowing through the HVAC system where it is then cooled or heated. The temperature depends on whether you are utilizing the heating system or the cooling system at the time. Since both systems utilize the filter, you will need to replace it throughout the year.
Coming indoors doesn't mean that you're automatically guaranteed fresher air to breathe. Many common allergens make their way into the home. Air purifiers can help trap harmful airborne contaminants to reduce both potential health hazards and sometimes odors.
Professionals recommend that you change your furnace filter at least once every 90 days, or about 4 to 6 times a year for cleaner air and an efficiently working HVAC system. Of course, replacement times can vary, depending on the type and efficiency of the filter. Performing check-ups every 30 days is the best way to ensure the system is running properly and to tell if you need replacements.
You’ll come across some technical terms and ratings when shopping for a replacement filter for the home, including:
Air filters range in size, thickness, and materials, which is expressed in MERV. MERV, or the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, is a rating system developed by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers). The system ranges from 1 to 20. The higher the MERV rating, the more contaminants the item can remove from the air. In other words, a higher MERV rating means the system is more efficient. Typically, residential areas will only go up to MERV 16.
Air filters also have a micrometer rating – also called micron – that measures the size of particles it can capture. The better the micrometer or micron rating, the better the air filter is for trapping smaller, potentially more harmful contaminants that can affect your health. As such, a better micron rating typically means the air filter is of a higher quality. Many harmful particles are fine and small, typically smaller than 2.5 micrometers.
Other rating systems exist, but these are two of the most common ones.
Okay, let's put those ratings into perspective. There’s plenty of small airborne particles and pollutants in the air we breathe, including allergens like dust, pollen, mold, spores, pet hair, and cigarette smoke. Many of these particles can be quite small, and only certain types of furnace filters can catch them.
For example, according to the EPA, the lowest MERV ratings (1 to 4) can catch only larger contaminants like pollen. Pet dander, mold, and spores are a little smaller and usually require a more standard 6 to 8 MERV rating. More dangerous particulates are quite small and require something with a high MERV rating. 13 to 16 is the highest standard rating common in residential areas, capable of catching dangerous items like bacteria. Viruses can be removed by only the best air purifiers with filters between 17 and 20.
If you’re looking to clean the air inside your home, an air purifier best suited to your needs will depend on many factors, including:
A simple way to know what type of air filter to buy for your HVAC system is to remove the old filter. Then, look to see what kind it is. The filter is typically located between the HVAC system and the return duct. Once you have it removed, check the dimensions labeled on the edge. You can also measure the filter itself to get the right dimensions. Either way, you should get three numbers for the filter’s thickness, width, and length.
Next, check the MERV rating on the filter. Note, however, that some filters may not include a MERV rating. Instead, they may include numbering using a different system of rating. Some of these other ratings include the Microparticle Performance Rating (MPR), which is the 3M Company's own rating system, or the Filter Performance Rating (FPR), which is The Home Depot's system that was created for brands retailed in their stores. No matter the rating system used, the general rule is that a higher rating denotes a more effective filter.
However, you should avoid simply purchasing an air filter with the highest MERV rating. While this might seem counter-intuitive, some HVAC system fans are just not built to handle such a thick air filter. If the system isn’t built for the filter, it can result in restricted air flow and cause the system to work harder to operate. That’s why it’s always important to check you’re your system can handle before purchasing a new filter. Besides the methods listed above, you can check your owner's manual for the correct type, or ask an HVAC technician to recommend something.
Most residential HVAC systems use disposable mechanical air filters. These filters are generally made of man-made fibers that capture dust, debris, and other tiny fragments. This will prevent them from circulating throughout your home, where they can be inhaled or disturb your HVAC air filter and heating and cooling systems. As a general rule, the cheaper the filter, the more frequently it will need to be changed. So, while the short-term price might be nice, these varieties might cost you more money in the long run.
Some of the most common types of indoor residential air filters (along with their MERV ratings) include:
Flat panel filters are exactly what the name implies: flat, slim panels that capture airborne fragments. They typically have incredibly low MERV ratings of generally 1 to 4, according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). This rating means they offer little protection against smaller fragments under 5 micrometers, although they do well in screening out larger particulates.
Therefore, they are generally not recommended for capturing smaller, more harmful contaminants. Instead, they are usually only recommended as minimum protection against large fragments that may prevent the HVAC system's components to deliver maximum airflow.
Overall efficiency is directly related to the number of pleats per foot they contain. More pleats mean more surface area per filter, which means there is more material with which to filter particulates. Pleated AC and furnace air filters are available in various material options. The EPA says that these varieties typically range from a MERV rating of roughly 5 to 13. Higher MERV ratings for these types of filters exist.
High-efficiency air filters have a MERV rating above 13, and they are made with different materials to capture various irritants. They can be quite useful for individuals with allergies.
A true HEPA air filter is pleated and has a MERV rating around 16, and it is one of the most energy-efficient air filters out there. In fact, they can effectively remove up to almost 98% of air pollutants .03 micrometers in size, according to the EPA. Sometimes, it may be necessary to update or modify the existing system in order to use higher efficiency filters. This installation will require professional help.
Portable air cleaners are specially designed to filter the air in just 1 room or area. They also provide varying degrees of air filtration. For instance, some portable cleaners are designed to only remove odorous gases, while others are designed to only filter particles. There are also some portable cleaners that contain two filters to remove not only pollutants but also gases with strong odors. Those who smoke or did so in the past might, therefore, benefit from a portable air purifier, as some can reduce undesirable smoke odors.
The EPA recommends a portable cleaner with an activated carbon filter to filter specific gases. If you want an odor eliminator, choose a filter with activated carbon. Otherwise, to just remove particles, select a cleaner with a clean air delivery rate (CADR), which helps ensure maximum performance.
A portable air cleaner can be used alone or along with an HVAC system for greater efficiency. Small spaces like the home office might benefit from a compact air purifier. Air cleaning will be harder in a large room. An air purifier specifically designed to handle the strain of greater airflow and large enough to hold bigger filters would be better suited for these spaces.
When purchasing a filter, it is important to select one that is backed by a certifying agency for quality assurance. Some of these agencies are Energy Star, the Air Resources Board (ARB), or the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).
Backing from a certifying agency means the item:
You can find air filters online as well as in many home good and retail stores. Many online places will feature at least one air purifier review, so you can get better insight into a particular one. However, unless you are familiar with types and quality brands, you run the risk of purchasing a poor-quality filter. After all, many air purifier reviews are written by those without professional experience.
Many retailers and filter delivery services provide air filter subscriptions for convenience and quality assurance.
Since air filters in your home are out of sight, they can become out of mind. As such, it can be easy to forget changing them on time. Furthermore, ensuring the proper size of air filter for your system can also be a problem. This may result in many trips to the store until you find the right one.
Air filter subscriptions make it easy for you to continually receive high-quality certified filters. They also make it easier to remember to change your filters. After all, the company automatically sends out a shipment of filters on a set schedule. Subscriptions can also ensure you receive a correctly sized filter – including custom-sized filters – because the information is stored for future shipments.
Some of the best benefits to getting an air filter subscription include:
When you sign up for a filter subscription, you will get the exact number of filters you need for your home and in all the right sizes, including custom sizes.
As part of your subscription service, you will automatically receive your filters on a set schedule. If you're not a fan of running to the store, don't worry! No trips to the store are necessary with a subscription, so you can relax and enjoy your free time.
Since your filters are automatically delivered, it can remind you to change your air filters on time. Changing filters on time helps keep your system running efficiently, thereby preventing expensive repairs.
Changing your air filters on time every time helps keep your system operating efficiently. Efficient systems help keep your monthly energy costs low.
Automatic filter deliveries help ensure you continuously replenish your air filters, which helps remove toxins from your home and keeps them from building up for cleaner, healthier air.
In short, subscriptions can:
In the end, neglecting to replace your air filter in a timely manner can result in various issues with your HVAC system. These issues can include burnt-out motors and controls as well as faulty coils and blowers due to a clogged air filter. A clogged filter can cause your system to work harder, causing premature wear and costly repairs. Making the switch to a subscription service can help remind you to regularly change your filters, provide you with the correct size and type of filters, and save you time and money.
*General reference to MERV ratings of 9 to 12.
**General reference to MERV ratings of 13 to 16.