Are you concerned about the cost of replacing your furnace filter and unsure where to start? Many homeowners ask this question when it comes time to change their filter. Still, with a few critical pieces of information and some creative shopping strategies, you can make switching out your old furnace filter for a new one far more affordable than you may have imagined.

Read on to learn more about the costs associated with purchasing furnace filters. From understanding what affects pricing to finding ways to save money, we’ll provide all the information you need to ensure you get the best deal on your new furnace filter.

Average Cost of Furnace Filters

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the cost of furnace filters can vary widely depending on several factors, including the size of your HVAC system, the type of filter you choose, and where you purchase it.

Generally speaking, disposable furnace filters can range in price from $1 to $20, while higher-end filters, such as HEPA filters, can cost anywhere from $20 to $100 or more.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Furnace Filters

As previously mentioned, several factors can affect furnace filter costs. The following are some of the most significant factors:

Filter Type

Many types of furnace filters are available today, including disposable fibreglass, pleated, washable, and HEPA filters. Disposable filters are the most common type and are typically the least expensive, while HEPA filters are the most expensive due to their advanced filtration capabilities.

HVAC System Size

The size of your HVAC system can also play a role in determining the cost of your furnace filter. Larger systems require larger filters, which can be more expensive than smaller filters used in smaller systems.

Retailer Selection

Retailers can also impact the cost of furnace filters. Some retailers offer lower prices, while others may offer higher prices. Additionally, purchasing filters in bulk or through a subscription service can often lead to lower costs per filter.

Tips for Choosing the Right Furnace Filter

Choosing the right furnace filter is essential for maintaining optimal indoor air quality and ensuring the efficient operation of your home’s HVAC system. With so many options available, selecting the right filter can be daunting. In this article, we’ll provide helpful tips to help you choose the right filter for your needs.

Determine the proper filter size for your HVAC system.

The first step in choosing the right furnace filter is determining the correct size for your HVAC system. A filter that’s too small won’t effectively capture airborne particles, while a filter that’s too large won’t fit properly and may cause airflow issues. To determine the correct filter size, refer to your HVAC system’s owner’s manual or check the existing filter for size information.

For example, if your furnace filter has 16″ x 20″ x 1″ dimensions, you’ll need to purchase a filter matching those dimensions. If you’re unsure of the correct size, consult an HVAC professional or bring your old filter to a home improvement store for assistance.

Consider the MERV rating of the filter.

Another essential factor to consider is the MERV rating of the filter. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, which measures the filter’s effectiveness in capturing airborne particles. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter’s efficiency.

However, a higher MERV rating also means the filter may be more expensive and require frequent replacements. Choosing a filter with a MERV rating of at least 6 or 8 for basic filtration needs and 11 or 12 for those with allergies or respiratory issues is recommended.

For example, a MERV 8 filter might not capture all the pet hair and dander particles if you have pets. A MERV 11 or 12 filter would better capture smaller particles and improve air quality.

Look for filters with a high dust-holding capacity.

One crucial factor to consider when choosing a furnace filter is the filter’s dust-holding capacity. The dust-holding capacity refers to the amount of dust and other particles that the filter can hold before it needs to be changed. Filters with a higher dust-holding capacity can last longer and require fewer replacements.

Filters with a high dust-holding capacity are typically made from polyester, pleated paper, or electrostatically charged fibres. These materials are designed to capture and hold onto more airborne particles, including dust, pet dander, and pollen.

For example, Filtrete filters from 3M have a high dust-holding capacity due to their pleated design and electrostatically charged fibres that attract and trap airborne particles. As a result, these filters can last up to three months, reducing the need for frequent replacements.

Consider the frequency of filter changes.

The frequency of filter changes is another important factor when choosing a furnace filter. Cheaper filters may need to be changed more frequently, while higher-end filters may have a longer lifespan.

Most furnace filters should be changed every 1 to 3 months, depending on factors such as the amount of dust in your home, the presence of pets, and the number of people living in the space. You may need to change your filter more frequently if you have pets or allergies.

Choosing a filter with a longer lifespan may save you money in the long run, as you’ll need to buy fewer filters over time. For example, an electrostatically charged filter can last up to three months, while a disposable filter may only last one month.

Determine your budget

Budget is an essential factor to consider when selecting a furnace filter. Generally, disposable filters are less expensive than reusable or higher-end filters. However, higher-end filters typically have a better efficiency rating, resulting in better air quality and less strain on your HVAC system.

When determining your budget for a furnace filter, consider the cost of replacements over a year. Cheaper filters may need to be replaced frequently, resulting in more frequent expenses, while higher-end filters may last longer but come with a higher upfront cost.

For example, if you have a 1-inch standard disposable furnace filter, you can buy a 12-pack for around $30. It means each filter costs roughly $2.50. However purchasing a higher-end electrostatic filter may cost around $15 per filter, but it can last up to three months, potentially saving you money in the long run.


When choosing a furnace filter, there are several factors to consider. Look for filters with a higher MERV rating for better air quality and filters with a high dust-holding capacity that can last longer. Also, consider how frequently you need to replace the filter depending on your home environment and budget. With these tips in mind, you should be able to find an affordable yet efficient furnace filter that meets your needs.