We all love our furry companions but managing their shedding cycles and dealing with various pet odors can be challenging. One virtually maintenance-free way of minimizing the pet hair and odors that come from cats and dogs is using high-quality air filters. While most people don’t pay attention to their furnace unless something goes wrong with it, changing out the furnace air filter is one step to eliminating pet dander, pet hair, and any odors.
Today we will be highlighting a few of the best AC furnace air filters for pets.
Best AC Furnace Filter for Pets Comparison
Best HVAC Furnace Filter for Pets Reviews
The Filtrate furnace filters feature a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) 11 filtration factor. They have a factor of 1200 MPR which estimates the number of microparticles that can be effectively filtered out.
There are nearly a dozen sizes to choose from, all of which are 1″ thick: 14 x 20, 14 x 24, 14 x 25, 14 x 30, 16 x 20, 16 x 25, 18 x 24, 20 x 20, 20 x 25, 20 x 30. They come in either 2-pack, 4-pack, or 6-pack, with the 6-pack offering the best savings.
This model of Filtrate furnace filters is 25 times more effective than standard home air filters and outperforms fiberglass, washable, and non-electrostatic filters in regards to odor elimination. The reason this filter is colored black is due to the carbon in the filter. The active carbon works as an odor eliminator for a variety of smells, from pet odor to cooking, cleaning products, and mildew.
These filters have a life span of 3 months and are easy to install. Using technology from 3M, they capture unwanted air particles as it flows through the filter while letting the cleaner air flow out.
One of the issues to note with this filter is the restriction of airflow. Because of the dense activated carbon, this filter can restrict airflow in your home. Some reviewers have complained of not being able to cool their home down in the summer months due to the lack of airflow. Additionally, these filters are fairly dirty. The activated carbon can fall off of the filter and get on your clothes and carpet.
- Effective for reducing the amount of pet odor in your home
- Helps eliminate smoke
- Attracts and captures lint, pollen, and dust
- Can reduce symptoms caused by allergies
- Comes in many sizes and multiple quantity options
- Certain online marketplaces have counterfeits, make sure to buy from a reputable source
- Does not trap bacteria and viruses or other micro-particles
- Restricts airflow
After installing the Filtrete filters, we noticed a change in air odor within an hour. The musty smell of the basement apartment that we installed them in was gone, as was the lingering smell of smoke from our neighboring tenants. However, we did notice that the airflow was restricted in comparison to the other filters we have used.
Coming from the reputable Arm & Hammer, there is an inherent trust that follows their product line and this odor-eliminating filter is no exception.
Arm & Hammer fuses their world-famous, odor-eliminating baking soda into every filter, combing that with carbon granules and a proprietary odor-reducing ingredient. The results are an electrostatic filter that draws fine particles like pet dander and pet hair, to them.
Pleated for a wide surface area and enhanced ability to capture microparticles, these filters have a MERV 11 rating which makes them good for trapping dust mites, mold spores, pollen, and volatile organic compounds. The filters come in many sizes, all of which are 1″ thick. They range from 10 x 20 to 24 x 24.
It’s important to note that these filters are not built to be put under any stress. The outer frame of the filter is poorly constructed and will collapse under small amounts of weight. Some reviewers have even complained of the filters collapsing due to their high-powered AC units. In addition, due to the weak construction, it’s possible that they could break during transportation if now handled with care.
- Comes with 4 filters
- Available in a variety of sizes and are easy to install
- Captures pollen, dust, pet dander, mold spores, and microscopic allergens
- The cardboard that makes up the filter framing may be too weak for stronger furnaces
- The filter is higher priced than the Filtrete
The Arm & Hammer Max Allergen and Odor Air Filter for Pets work well at reducing the smell from smoke, pollution, and pets while cleaning the air of hair and dander. Our pet allergies were greatly reduced 30 minutes after filter installation and completely eliminated within an hour and a half. With 4 filters per pack, one purchase will last you a year.
The Filtrete Healthy Living filters feature a pleated, electrostatic design that draws and holds many fine and ultrafine particles. A MERV 14, this filter has a higher MERV rating than the other items in our list.
Additionally, when compared to the Arm & Hammer, this filter is constructed much better. The Filtrete Healthy Living will not collapse under a strong AC furnace.
It can filter out pollutants such as pet dander, lint, and pollen, as well as exhaust particles, bacteria, and viruses. Because these filters can eliminate smaller particles than the others on our list, this makes them great for eliminating allergies. That’s why they are a great choice for homes that have people with severe allergy symptoms and multiple pets. The filters have an 81% small particle capture rate, based on ASHRAE 52.2 which tests for .0 to 1-micron particles.
The Filtrete Healthy Living filters come in a wide range of sizes, all of which are 1″ thick: 14 x 20, 14 x 25, 16 x 20, 16 x 25, 20 x 20, 20 x 25, and 20 x 30. They come in a 2-pack, with the option to buy a bundle pack, which is two sets of different MERV-rated filters (2 MERV 13 filters and 2 MERV 14 filters, for instance).
Some reviewers have complained about these filters not fitting properly even when ordering the correct size.
- Highly effective, with a MERV 14 rating
- Best choice to reduce pet allergies and keep bacteria and viruses at bay
- Great for reducing airborne mold and mildew
- Certified asthma and allergy-friendly
- More expensive than other filters on our list
- Because of their fine mesh quality, they may need to be changed more often than standard filters to achieve desired results
- The sizing can be a little off and might not fit perfectly into your AC furnace opening.
It was easy to see why these are one of the top-rated filters on the market. This filter performs at a higher rate than the others on our list. The reduction in air contaminants was quick and severe, with a visible reduction within 30 minutes. We went from seeing dancing dust particles in the sunbeams, to a clean room very quickly. Tested during allergy season while all the trees and flowers were in bloom, the reduction in seasonal allergies was immediate. After 1 week of use, the difference between indoor and outdoor air quality was significant.
Benefits of HVAC Furnace Air Filters for Pets
Using a furnace filter is not only about your health and convenience; it helps your pet too. Having a furnace filter installed is almost like having an air purifier running at all times in your home – only, it doesn’t cost you anything extra in electricity bills.
- Keeps your home cleaner
- Eliminates pet odors effectively
- Makes the air you and your pets breathe healthier
- Requires very little maintenance
What to Look for in an HVAC Filter for Pets
When it comes to shopping for a furnace air filter for pets, you are going to want to opt for a product that has a MERV rating of at least 11. This will ensure that larger particles like pet hair and pet dander are trapped and that some smaller particles that could cause pet allergies and other irritations are at least minimized.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of filter is best for HVAC?
For residential HVAC systems, Filtrete makes some of the most reliable and HVAC safe products on the market.
Do Higher MERV filters restrict air flow?
The higher the MERV rating, the more particles are caught. This means your filter may get dirtier quicker which could restrict airflow.
Do pleated air filters restrict airflow?
They can if they get too dirty too quickly or if they are not changed at proper intervals.
You don’t have to break your back and spend your precious weekend hours cleaning pet hair off of every surface in your house. Let a quality furnace AC air filter like the ones listed above do most of the work for you. Remember that if you are more/also concerned about pet odors, you should opt for a filter with an activated carbon layer. But any of the filters mentioned above will help you and your pets live a healthier, more comfortable life.
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Frank is the chief editor and director at Specialty Air, where he oversees testing, research, and editing for all air quality-related articles. Frank is an expert in the air quality space with extensive experience testing, researching, and reviewing air purifiers, air conditioners, air filters, air fresheners, fans, and more. He also has over 4 years of experience with issues surrounding mold remediation, radon mitigation, moisture management, air duct systems, HVAC, and insulation.