Best Washable Furnace Filters (2021 Review)

Are you looking for the best washable furnace filters available today?

Awesome – you’ve landed in the right spot!

In this proHVACinfo guide, you’ll learn:

  • Why is it important to have clean furnace filters in your home?
  • What size furnace filters do you need?
  • What is the difference between disposable and reusable furnace filters?

And much more!

proHVACinfo | Best Washable Furnace Filter (2021 Review)

Below is a quick list of all of our top recommendations, keep scrolling to learn more!

Our Top Five Washable Furnace Filters

1. K&N HVAC Furnace Air Filter (Our Top Pick)

2. Venti Tech Washable Permanent Electrostatic Furnace Filter (Best Budget Pick)

3. Carter MERV 8 Lifetime HVAC & Furnace Filter (Best High End Pick)

4. All-Filters Electrostatic Washable Permanent A/C Furnace Air Filter

5. Trophy Air HVAC Furnace Air Filter

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

K&N is probably the biggest name in air filtration worldwide, and their furnace filters definitely live up to the hype.

Why?

This is a brand with decades of experience in high performance air filtration in the automotive world, and they’ve brought all of that know how and famous quality over to their line of home filter solutions.

These filters are guaranteed to last a lifetime, and the cleaning process couldn’t be easier.

We loved the sturdy build quality, the superior engineering, and the confidence that comes with owning a product from a world-renowned brand.

What Is A Washable Furnace Filter?

A washable air filter is a reusable version of the traditional disposable paper filters that HVAC units have in place to prevent the passage of dust, mold and other allergens through the system.

Washable filters need to be taken down and rinsed with low pressure fresh water at least once a month.

What Are The Different Types Of Washable Furnace Filters

Washable furnace filters typically use an electrostatic material like polypropylene as the filtration media. It is non absorbent, and takes advantage of static electricity to attract and capture airborne particles.

Air filters are rated on the MERV scale. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values, and is an indication of how effective a filtration media is at capturing large airborne particles.

The MERV rating provides a level playing field to compare different filter types against one another.

How do Washable Furnace Filters Work?

As previously mentioned, the majority of washable furnace filters make use of woven electrostatic fibers, typically made from materials like polypropylene.

The fibers themselves are static prone, so, as high flow air passes through the filter media, large particles are attracted to the fibers, where they become trapped.

The filter is fitted at the intake end of your HVAC system, meaning that dust and debris from your home is trapped at the earliest opportunity, limiting the amount that can be recirculated through the ducts and back into your home.

Washable filters can be reused over, and over, making them both economical and environmentally friendly.

To clean them, simply remove them from their slot, and rinse with water at low pressure.

Some companies, like K&N also offer furnace filter cleaning solution to help you deep clean the filter with ease.

Washable filters must be thoroughly dried before being reinstalled, so we tend to recommend having a second unit in standby so that you can replace your furnace filter immediately when removing the dirty one.

The key difference between a washable and a disposable filter is that the disposable filters use a paper media. Paper is effective, but cannot be washed and reused, meaning they have to be replaced every few weeks.

What Do You Look For In The Best Washable Furnace Filters?

Washable furnace filters are relatively simple items, so the core differences between them are few, but there are still some things that separate the best filters from the rest.

Warranties And Guarantees

Because washable furnace filters are intended to be used repeatedly, having a guarantee of service life is important. If you purchase a reusable filter and it fails or falls apart after just a few months, naturally you’ll want a refund as the product was clearly not fit for purpose.

The best washable furnace filters come with lifetime guarantees, which provide assurance that the manufacturer will replace the unit if it fails prematurely.

Construction Quality

As most washable furnace filters are constructed with aluminum housing, they are inherently quite sturdy, but not all filters are created equal.

Good reusable filters will have no movement or play in the frame, and the corners will join up nicely. There should be no sharp, exposed edges – something that is often found on low quality filters. Anybody who has been unfortunate enough to unexpectedly experience a sharp piece of aluminum will tell you just how painful that can be!

MERV Rating

Look for the highest MERV rating that your system is rated for. If you exceed this value, you can put undue stress on your system components, leading to failures and breakdowns elsewhere.

Go too low and you’ll let more potentially dangerous particles pass through the filter and into your home.

Our Reviews Of The Best Washable Furnace Filters

1. K&N HVAC Furnace Air Filter (Our Top Pick)

The K&N HVAC Furnace Air Filter is a revolution in washable air filters.

This MERV 11 rated filter provides a direct replacement solution to disposable paper media, and it offers amazing performance as well.

For these reasons, it took the number one spot in our list.

The lifetime guarantee is one you can rely on with K&N products. With over 50 years in the business, this is a name that’s been around for decades, and will be around for many more years to come.

It’s very easy to clean, and is one of the lightest filters on test, making it extremely easy for anybody to replace, even in ceiling vents.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Big brand name
  • Excellent particle capturing ability

Cons

  • Requires K&N Cleaning Spray
  • Slightly smaller than standard disposable media

2. Venti Tech Washable Permanent Electrostatic Furnace Filter (Best Budget Pick)

This washable furnace filter from Venti Tech is simplicity done right.

There are no bells and whistles, and you simply can’t argue with the price.

It provides a good, solid air flow, while capturing a lot of airborne contaminants, exactly what you want to have in your system.

It’s built well, and while Venti Tech aren’t a big name, they offer great customer support, and are quick to replace any defective items with no questions asked.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Galvanized frame resists corrosion
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Not MERV rated
  • Rough handling can bend frames

3. Carter MERV 8 Lifetime HVAC & Furnace Filter (Best High End Pick)

While your furnace filter isn’t typically something you can see on a day to day basis, it shows real craftsmanship and attention to detail when it is built in such an aesthetically pleasing way.

The Carter MERV 8 filter stands out from the crowd with its hard wearing, gold anodized aluminum frame.

This is a premium filter made with the best materials around. It features two layers of anti-microbial polypropylene fibers surrounding an extra capacity, self charging electrostatic sheet.

Carter have built a high performance filter than can trap more contaminants and continue operating at close to full capacity.

Pros

  • Looks great
  • Standard 1” depth
  • USA Made

Cons

  • Premium price
  • Can be difficult to clean

4. All-Filters Electrostatic Washable Permanent A/C Furnace Air Filter

This is another super simple washable furnace filter.

It’s made in the US by All-Filters, and it offers a lifetime guarantee against defects.

It’s nice and easy to install, and it’s free of burrs and sharp edges, which is definitely a plus.

Like all of the filters on test, it uses an electrostatic polypropylene mesh to capture particles as they flow through.

To clean, it only requires a backwash with a low pressure hose, so it couldn’t be easier.

Pros

  • Super easy setup
  • Great price
  • Traps up to 95% of airborne particles

Cons

  • Blue mesh isn’t discreet
  • No official rating or certification

5. Trophy Air HVAC Furnace Air Filter

Trophy Air have produced a quality product here. This reusable furnace filter boasts a dual electrostatic layer for great performance, while still allowing high volumes of air to flow for exceptional HVAC efficiency.

It comes in standard sizes, making it a straight forward drop in replacement if you’re already used to disposable paper filters.

Pros

  • Strong, quad layer aluminum frame
  • Low resistance design

Cons

  • Less dust capture than other filters on test
  • Requires some force to insert/remove

Final Thoughts On the 5 Best Washable Furnace Filters

Moving to a washable filter does have both pros and cons.

Paper filters may capture more dust and particles, but they restrict air flow and can lead to higher energy bills as your HVAC system struggles against a component that is supposed to help it.

A good quality washable filter provides all the protection you need against large airborne contaminants, while allowing large volumes of air to flow, making them a great choice if you’re looking to overall extend the life of your system.

As well as the furnace and HVAC performance benefits, you’ll save money in the long run, too.

Yes, buying one or two washable furnace filters initially costs quite a lot more than an equivalent disposable unit, but because you don’t have to purchase a new unit every month or more, this investment will pay for itself quickly.

You’ll save money over time, and you won’t be sending dirty paper filters to landfill – a win-win!.

Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

Leave a Comment

Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

About proHVACinfo

You’ve got HVAC questions. We have the best answers from a network of seasoned pros.

Recently Published Guides