If you’re a pet owner looking for the best furnace filter for reducing odors and dander in your home, look no further!
In this proHVACinfo guide, you will learn the following:
- What are furnace filters for pets? (are they any different?)
- What are the different types of furnace filters for pets? (the right filter makes a big difference)
- How do furnace filters for pets work? (learn what to focus on)
- What do you look for in the best furnace filters for pets? (what separates the best from the rest?)
- Our reviews of the best furnace filters for pets
And much more!
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
January 2, 2022
Filtrete Clean Living Odor ReductionCheck on Amazon
The whole field was full of strong performers, but in the end, we decided to award the overall best furnace filter for pets title to the Filtrete Clean Living Odor Reduction filters.--break--Why?--break--This is a generally great quality filter from a well-known and trusted brand!--break--They are rated to MERV 11, and thus provide fantastic performance when it comes to pet dander, and the activated carbon layer really helps with odor control.--break--In addition to the specific issues that pet owners face, these filters are also solid performer when it comes to dust, smoke, soot, pollen, and pretty much any other common airborne contaminant found in the home.--break--They last for up to 90 days, and Filtrete even offer a countdown feature in their smartphone app that helps to remind you when you’re due for a change.
In a hurry? Below is a quick round up of all of our top recommendations, keep scrolling to learn more!
Our Top Pick
Our Top Pick
Filtrete Clean Living Odor Reduction
|View on Amazon|
Arm & Hammer Max Allergen And Odor Reduction
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Best Budget Pick
Best Budget Pick
Nordic Pure Pleated Furnace Filters
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K&N Washable Furnace Filter
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|View on Amazon|
What Are Furnace Filters For Pets (are they any different)?
Like any other furnace filter, filters for pets consist of a (usually mesh) screen bound in a frame, located at the intake end of your furnace system.
When you’re shopping with your pet in mind, you must address two of the most common issues that pet owners face in the home; control of dander and other pet generated allergens, as well as odors or bad smells.
What Are The Different Types Of Furnace Filters For Pets?
There are a few of different types on the market, let’s take a look at the most common ones:
Activated Charcoal/Carbon Coated
These filters are coated with a layer of activated carbon, which is effectively charcoal that has undergone a series of heat and chemical treatments in order to “activate” it.
Once activated, it takes on a porous chemical structure that allows it to capture and neutralize odors by adsorbing them.
That isn’t a typo – activated carbon doesn’t absorb, it adsorbs, a process by which impurities are chemically bound to the carbon layer, capturing them and changing their structure to effectively remove the smell.
Say goodbye to that smell from the nearby litter box!
Baking Soda Treated
A little less common than activated carbon, but no less effective, are furnace filters that have been treated with baking soda.
Baking soda has been used in households for decades to remove odors from pantries, refrigerators, cupboards, bathrooms, etc. because it’s natural and effective!
If you’re the type that prefers a more natural approach to your home environment, and don’t like the idea of your air passing through chemicals before it’s circulated, you might prefer this option.
Baking soda is a base, and as such it pH neutralizes the typically acidic VOCs that cause odors.
When a filter has been treated with baking soda, it takes this odor destroying power to a whole other level, all through your home’s HVAC system.
High MERV Rating
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and this is an indication of how well your filter is able to capture airborne particles between 0.3 and 10 microns in diameter.
Furnace filters for pets tend to have high MERV ratings (generally anything 10 or above) as they are specifically targeting dander, hair and other allergens that pets in the home are responsible for.
How do Furnace Filters For Pets Work?
By using one, or even better, a combination, of the above technologies in their construction, furnace filters for pets target the allergens and irritants in the atmosphere that your pets are likely responsible for.
They are able to significantly improve the quality of air in your home, and can even reduce symptoms of asthma or allergies like shortness of breath or wheezing, caused by things like pet dander.
If the filters are fitted with odor neutralizing technology, they will have the added benefit of tackling the smells commonly associated with pets in the house.
From damp dogs, to used kitty litter, odors like these can be removed with the right filter.
Even if you believe you don’t have an odor problem in your home, it may not seem this way to visitors!
What Do You Look For In The Best Furnace Filters For Pets?
The qualities of a good furnace filter for pets are reasonably straight forward, keep reading to learn a little more about what separates the wheat from the chaff.
Of course, a good build quality is something we look for in most of our every day purchases, but when it comes to furnace filters for pets, it’s especially important.
Have you ever changed a cheap furnace filter to find that it has bent and buckled under the suction of your HVAC system?
When this happens, large gaps in the mesh are created, where air passes by completely unfiltered.
As air flow tends to follow the path of least resistance, the chances are that almost none of the air going through the system is getting filtered.
Getting a sturdy furnace filter for pets means that your air will be following the correct path through the filter media, which will actually enable it to reduce the airborne dander, hair, and odor causing particles.
One thing that often goes overlooked when purchasing a furnace filter is that you get one with a sturdy frame!
Furnace filters with weak frames are more apt to get sucked into the furnace itself after extended periods of use.
Sturdy frames also make it much easier to remove the frames when it’s time to change them, saving you a headache!
If you’re new to pet ownership, we’re sure you’re already starting to learn about the many expenses involved beyond vet bills and food – furnace and HVAC filters need to be included in that list of ongoing costs!
Many pets shed, and most of them spread dander into the air when they shake, scratch, run around, etc.
This all leads to hair and fine particles collecting on your filter media at a significantly higher rate than a non-pet owner would experience.
It therefore stands to reason that you will need to change your filters at shorter intervals, too.
A good filter for pet owners will still allow good air flow through, despite the debris it captures, allowing you to squeeze extra life out of the filter, and lower your ongoing costs.
Some homeowners don’t want to deal with the expense and hassle of replacing furnace filters every few weeks. If that’s you, you might prefer a washable furnace filter.
Check out our review of the Best Washable Furnace Filters!
Of course, you want your furnace filter to capture as much airborne debris as possible. If it could actually be done, you’d want your filter to capture all of these contaminants!
While we wait for the scientists to develop such a media, we suggest you look at getting a furnace filter for pets that captures over 99% of particles smaller than 10 microns.
Our Reviews Of The Best Furnace Filters For Pets
Filtrete Clean Living Odor Reduction (Our Top Pick)Check on Amazon
Filtrete is a household name when it comes to furnace filters. They’re readily available, which makes replacement an easy proposition.--break--They are rated to MERV 11, and perform very well against airborne contaminants and particles, particularly allergens like pollen, and most importantly, pet dander.--break--Of course, they have the added odor prevention that comes with the activated carbon layer.--break--This combination of solid filtration and smell neutralization really does make this filter a superb choice for most pet owners.
- Excellent odor reduction performance--break--Noticeable drop in allergens--break--Subscribe and save filter replenishment available
- Carbon scrapes off easily--break--Multipack filters are not individually wrapped
Arm & Hammer Max Allergen And Odor Reduction (High End Pick)Check on Amazon
Offering something a little different to the usual odor neutralizing filters, this product from Arm and Hammer brings the power of baking soda, carbon granules and a proprietary unscented odor reducer to your HVAC system.--break--Not only is it an odor killer, but it also performs beautifully against airborne particles, too, thanks to its MERV 11 rating.--break--It’s available in a range of standard sizes, and offers easy installation.
- Class leading pet dander prevention--break--Metal wire reinforcement--break--3 stage odor neutralization
- Frame can be weak if mishandled--break--Very expensive
Nordic Pure Pleated Furnace Filters (Best Budget Pick)Check on Amazon
Nordic Pure are renowned for their simple, yet highly effective products.--break--These simple pleated filters don’t have flashy packaging, or any kind of proprietary technology, just good, solid engineering.--break--They feature US made, MERV 12 rated, electrostatic, pleated filter media that actively attracts airborne contaminants like hair, dust, dirt, pollen, and pet dander.--break--What they sacrifice in odor neutralizing technology, they more than make up for in pure particle filtering ability – so if you genuinely don’t believe you have odor issues, and want to solely focus on reducing allergens, the Nordic Pure Pleated filter might be a good choice for you.
- Extreme filtering efficiency--break--Recycled frame materials
- No additional odor control--break--Can last as little as 30 days per filter
K&N Washable Furnace FilterCheck on Amazon
K&N got their start in performance automotive air filtration, but now they’ve carried that knowledge into home applications with their range of furnace and HVAC filters.--break--Like all K&N products, it’s washable and reusable, making it a great value proposition for pet owners looking for easy maintenance and to keep ongoing costs down.--break--It has exceptional filtering properties, with a MERV rating of 11 – something not too common amongst reusable filter media.--break--It has a lifetime guarantee, too, so you can be sure that it will continue to perform for years to come.--break--It easily captures dust, dirt, hair and dander, making it a great choice for pet owners.
- MERV 11 Rating--break--Lifetime Guarantee--break--Excellent airborne contaminant removal
- Needs K&N Cleaning Spray--break--Smaller than standard filters (can cause poor fit for some filter boxes)
FilterBuy GoldCheck on Amazon
The Gold filter line from FilterBuy is their range of allergen protection products, making them an ideal choice for anybody with large, heavy shedding dogs, for example.--break--The MERV 11 rating ensures strong performance in filtering dander, and any other pet derived irritants known to exacerbate conditions like asthma.--break--FilterBuy’s Gold furnace filters for pets feature strong construction, boasting synthetic filtration media, and beverage board framing.--break--In combination, this allows them to stay strong through changes in humidity, and extremes of temperature.
- Large surface area for particle capture--break--12 Pleats per foot--break--Made in the USA
- Filter media can be restrictive to air flow--break--Some users reported inconsistent construction among multiple orders
Final Thoughts On The Best Furnace Filters For Pets
Pets can make our lives better in so many ways, but their dander, shedding fur, and ‘interesting’ odors can put a strain on our relationships with our furry friends!
Choosing the right furnace filter can make an enormous difference to the air quality in your home if you do have pets.
Keeping your home clean is a great start, but if you’re not cleaning the air, your work is for nothing, and those allergens just end up recirculating through the air, and winding up on surfaces, causing health issues for the whole family.
We hope that this proHVACinfo guide to the best furnace filters for pets has given you some insight into the importance of proper air filtration in homes with pets, and how this can make a difference to the air quality, and the health, of your entire household – no matter how many legs they have!