Best AC Furnace Filter for Odor

Have you been racking your brain trying to come up with a way to eliminate kitchen odor, pet odor and that mildew & musty smell from your home? If you haven’t considered an AC furnace filter, you are missing out on one of the most effective ways to eliminate household odors. 

In the following article, we will give you some insight into these filters and review 3 of the best AC furnace filters for odor.

The Best AC Furnace Filter for Odor

Best Price

  • Comes in Various Sizes
  • Absorbs all types of odor
  • Improves allergies
  • Affordable

Best Performance

  • 20x25x1
  • Breathe easier 
  • Reduce Odor at Home
  • Capture allergens
  • Affordable Price

Filtrete Size Variation

  • 16x25x1
  • Capture Odors
  • Improve breathing
  • Sleep better
  • Affordable

Best AC Furnace Filter for Odor Reviews

Best Price: Filtrete Allergen Defense Odor Reduction


These filters feature an active carbon layer that helps eliminate airborne contaminants. We found that these filters were very effective for eliminating cooking smells and kitchen odor. They were pretty easy to install in our wall unit and a 2 pack is reasonably priced. If you want odor elimination and better overall air quality, these filters are a great buy.

Rather than need to buy new filters every 3 months, these ones are washable. Simply spray them down, let it dry, and reinstall. The activated carbon layer will work to eliminate odors from pet smells, cooking, mildew, and cleaning chemicals. A great choice in the home or the office, it will also capture lint, pollen, dust, and pet dander.


  • Washable
  • Captures lint, pollen, dust, pet dander, and many odors
  • MERV 11 rating


  • Does not hold its shape well
  • May reduce airflow 

Trial Results

These filters were easy to install and we saw quick results. Although they did not hold their shape well, once they are installed everything was fine. They worked great at reducing smells from cooking and reducing the amount of pet hair that usually floats around our home.

Best Performance: Arm & Hammer Max Allergen & Odor Reduction

These filters are great because they offer 3 layers of air purification. They contain baking soda, a proprietary odor reducer called Onguard II and carbon granules. They come in a variety of sizes so you can surely find one that fits your furnace or AC unit. Ours were very easy to install and definitely helped reduce pet odor (dogs & cats).


  • MERV 11 rating 
  • Lasts up to 90 days
  • Great for reducing allergies


  • Flimsy construction, can get bent out of shape easily

Trial Results

When these arrived they were bent out of shape, but because of their flexibility it was easy to rework them. Installation was quick and within a day we noticed a difference, as our cooking smells quickly dissipated instead of lingering for an hour or more. 

Filtrete MPR 1200

The same product from Filtrete at a different size and quantity – This filter features an activated carbon layer. These came in a 4-pack and effectively eliminated pet odor (dogs & cats) for about 2 months each.


  • Very easy to install
  • Affordable
  • Suitable for multi-pet households


  • Does not hold it’s shape well
  • May reduce air flow

    Trial Results

     We have both a dog and cat so these filters had to work extra hard. We installed these on a central air unit and the fit was perfect. We quickly noticed a reduction in airborne particles like pet hair, and our allergy symptoms were greatly reduced. 

    Why use an HVAC Furnace Air Filter for Odor?

    It may seem like a hassle to install filters and then replace them every few months. But they can drastically change the atmosphere in your home. You are likely living with odors that you don’t even notice anymore. Adding a filter to your AC or furnace will make your home more inviting and healthy. Here are just a few benefits the offer:

    1. They eliminate airborne allergens
    2. They can improve respiratory health
    3. They are useful if you cook a lot and need to get rid of kitchen odor
    4. Minimize the amount of pet hair and dander floating around in your home
    5. They present an affordable way to improve indoor air quality

    What to Look for in an HVAC Filter

    While AC and furnace filters offer a number of important benefits, you shouldn’t just buy any old filter. You are going to want to get filters that have a MERV rating of 11 or higher. MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. The higher the MERV rating, the more effective it is at filtering out airborne contaminants. You will also need to buy one that fits your HVAC unit. You can see what size you need by removing your current filter and looking at its dimensions.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do higher MERV filters restrict airflow?

    – Yes. You can get MERV 20 rated filters which will restrict airflow and reduce air pressure in your HVAC system. However, this is true of only the higher echelon MERV filters. MERV 11-15 should work just fine for your home.

    Are washable air filters good?

    – Washable filters are typically less effective at capturing airborne contaminants. They are also more expensive. Depending on your level of need and budget, disposable filters may be the better option.

    Do Filtrete air filters restrict airflow?

    – Filtrete filters (like the ones on our list) will not significantly reduce airflow in your home since they are MERV 11 rated.


    Furnace and AC filters are not just for eliminating odors in your home; they can be very beneficial for your health as well. The filters we reviewed above are great options whether you need to eliminate pet odor (dogs & cats), kitchen odor, smoke odor and more. Even if you are adamant about your cleaning regimen, these filters will help rid you of those lingering odors that you can’t seem to abolish. They are also rated to trap a decent amount of airborne pollutants. If you can carve out a few minutes to change your filters every few months, they are definitely worth the effort.

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