A Basic Guide To Selecting The Right Furnace Filter

Finding the right furnace filter is important when it comes to maintaining a healthy and clean home. Furnace filters remove dust, dirt, pollen, allergens, bacteria, and other air pollutants. This means that finding the right filter is the way to ensure safe air. 

Note: You also need to follow the guidelines and instructions in your furnace’s manufacturer’s manual so you can guarantee that your furnace system is running as efficiently and effectively as possible.  

Here are the most important things to consider when finding the right air filter: 


The usual sizes for a furnace filter are 16″ x 20″, 16″ x 25″, and 20″ x 25″. There are many other sizes to choose from, though! You can find your furnace filter size on the side of the door on your filter cabinet. It’s important that your filter fit snuggly in your furnace so it’s actually trapping particles and keeping your air clean.  


Thickness of furnace filters varies between 1″ to 5″. A thicker filter will usually last longer and can be more effective, but it’s best to consult your system manual to decide what thickness you need. 

Pleated vs. Non-Pleated 

Pleated furnace filters are usually more efficient and can last much longer than non-pleated. Pleated also contain more surface area to catch contaminants, providing cleaner air. They usually span MERV ratings of 5-12 and have an extended lifespan, compared to non-pleated. They’re also a great solution to help alleviate allergens which is good news for those looking to improve indoor air quality to combat allergies and asthma. The biggest downside of pleated filters is their cost. For better efficiency against small particles, expect to pay a bit more.

Non-pleated air filters are less expensive but they’re most effective against large particles, like lint, dust, and insects. They’re not designed to last, nor are they very sturdy. That being said, one of the biggest pros of non-pleated filters is that they fit any type and model of HVAC system and are relatively inexpensive if you just need a filter replacement ASAP.

For help with replacing your furnace filter or replacing your entire furnace, call the experts at A-Abel. We’ll help you find the right furnace filter or furnace for your individual air quality needs.