Buyers Guide & Information

Best Electrostatic Air Filters Reviewed

These electrostatic air filter brands offer reliability and performance.

Best Washable Model

Trophy Air Electrostatic
Trophy Air Pleated
 

Our Top Pick

Nordic Pure
Nordic Pure
 

Best Heavy-Duty Model

SFC 6 STAGE ELECTROSTATIC
SFC 6 Stage Electrostatic

As air enters your HVAC system, it moves through a filter. This filter removes particulate matter and cleans the air as it recirculates throughout your home. Air filters keep your home free from airborne bacteria, pet dander, heavy dust, lightweight dust, and other airborne contaminants.

Why Use Electrostatic Air Filters

Using an electrostatic air filter has many advantages compared to traditional air filters. Although electrostatic air filters tend to be more expensive than their counterparts upfront, they save money over time for homeowners. An electrostatic air filter is washable and, therefore, reusable.

These filters clean the air via electricity and can be used in an air conditioning system that also operates like a heater (dual HVAC system). Electrostatic air filters are affordable, washable, and are much more effective than traditional pleated filters. Electrostatic air filters have good MERV ratings and help you save money on energy costs (MERV stands for Minimum Efficient Rating Value and measures the efficiency of a product).

Electrostatic air filters, however, do not filter out large, heavy dust particulate matter that affects those suffering from allergies. For allergy sufferers, we recommend using a highly rated HEPA filter.

Choosing a Quality Electrostatic Air Filters

Air Filter Size

Air filters come in multiple sizes. The best air filter size for your home is the one that fits your HVAC system. Take out your current air filter and see if the size is visible. If not, measure the filter space where your new filter will go to determine the best size

Filtration Properties

Electrostatic air filters all target the same type of particles: lightweight dust particles, airborne bacteria, and pet dander. However, electrostatic air filters do not perform well with heavy dust particles.  Check the MERV rating to determine the efficiency of filtration to see which electrostatic filters will remove the most pollutants from your home.

MERV Rating

The MERV rating, also known as Minimum Efficient Rating Value, measures the effectiveness of any given air filter. Most electrostatic air filters will have a 5-7 MERV rating. The MERV rating is on a scale from 1 to 20, with 1 being the least amount of filtration and 20 being the greatest amount of filtration.

Compatibility with HVAC System/Furnace

Not all HVAC systems and furnace systems can work with an electrostatic air filter. Check your system to ensure that this particular type of filter will work. Most systems work well with an electrostatic air filter as long as it is the correct size. Make sure that the sizing is correct before purchasing.

Ease of Installation

Installing an electrostatic air filter is simple. Remove the old filter and slide the new filter into place. Electrostatic air filters are easy-to-install because they are meant to be washed and reused; therefore, easy installation is vital to their overall effectiveness.

Price & Warranty

Electrostatic air filters are relatively affordable, but you must consider that the cost to purchase the filter is an upfront cost. Because these filters are washable, they last much longer than traditional pleated air filters. Warranties are anywhere from one-year to a lifetime warranty. The more extensive the warranty, the greater the price can be since homeowners will be covered if something happens to the filter.

7 HVAC Electrostatic Air Filter Reviewed

1. Nordic Pure

Best Replacement Electrostatic Air Filter
MERV Rating12
Sizes Available2+, 3+, 6+, 12+
Brand CompatibilityStandard Units
Made InUSA
MaterialElectrostatic synthetic material

The Nordic Pure 16x25x1 is the best replacement electrostatic air filter on our list. This filter has a MERV 12 rating, which is one of the highest ratings for an electrostatic air filter.

The company sells its filters in several packs, but we recommend the 2-pack because these filters are both washable and reusable. The antimicrobial filter material is white and housed in a lightweight cardboard frame. As air moves through the filter, the Nordic Pure electrostatic filter removes bacteria, pollen, dust, dust mites, pet dander, smoke particles, and allergens.

These filters capture particulate matter as small as 0.3 microns. These filters are high-quality and will not fall apart. The filter comes in white with white cardboard and white filter material.

A few homeowners have said that these filters are flimsy; however, that same flexibility makes them easy-to-install in the home. Other users noted that these filters must be purchased in packs. This can be frustrating for homeowners who intend to reuse these washable filters and won’t need a replacement for several months.

These filters are great for most homeowners and most HVAC machines because they come in the standard size of 16 x 25 x 1. These filters are easy-to-install and slide into place.

Pros

  • MERV 12 rating
  • Antimicrobial filter material
  • As small as 0.3 microns
  • High-quality, won’t fall apart
  • Easy-to-install

Cons

  • Only available in packs
  • Flimsy

2. Trophy Air Pleated

Best Washable Electrostatic Furnace Filter
MERV RatingApprox 5
Sizes AvailableSingle filter
Brand CompatibilityStandard Units
Made InUSA
MaterialElectrostatic synthetic material

The Trophy Air Pleated electrostatic filter is the best washable electrostatic furnace filter on our list. This filter has an approximate MERV rating of 5 and was designed to protect your home from air pollutants. This electrostatic filter is made from a synthetic antimicrobial filter material that is great for filtering out pet dander, pollen, dust, and airborne contaminants.

This Trophy Air Filter is also durable and built with an aluminum frame. Four thin layers of high-quality aluminum are used to construct a strong, reliable filter. One of the benefits of this particular filter brand is that it is easy to clean. Dust won’t get stuck in the filter when cleaning. The synthetic filter material won’t impact the flow of your HVAC unit either so that you can have strong, continuous airflow.

Homeowners have noted that this filter must be purchased individually and cannot be purchased in a package. A metal piece that helps create a sturdy structure for the filter makes removal of the filter difficult later on. This can be frustrating. To avoid this problem, make sure that the filter is installed gently (shoving the filter into place will allow the sheet metal to latch onto your HVAC system, making future removal difficult).

We recommend this filter for homeowners who want a high-quality single electrostatic air filter that is durable and easy-to-clean.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Antimicrobial filter material
  • Easy-to-clean

Cons

  • Metal piece makes removal difficult
  • Single filter

3. SFC 6 STAGE ELECTROSTATIC

Best Heavy-Duty Electrostatic Air Filter
MERV RatingApprox 5
Sizes AvailableSingle Filter
Brand CompatibilityStandard Units
Made InUSA
MaterialElectrostatic synthetic material

The SFC 6 stage electrostatic air filter is the best heavy-duty electrostatic air filter on our list. This filter option does not have an option for purchasing multiple filters; however, we like its heavy frame made of aluminum.

Filters are often made from galvanized steel and do not last because they corrode and rust. The aluminum used on this filter makes for an easy installation and durable product. The heavy frame also comes with electrostatic synthetic filter material that is double layered for maximum filtering of airborne bacteria and pollutants. The filter material matches the aluminum frame and blends seamlessly with most HVAC units.

Homeowners have stated that this product can’t handle high heat and should not be left in high heat situations. This means that after washing and cleaning the filter, it should be air-dried indoors and not left in sunlight. This filter can be both washed and vacuumed when cleaning. This filter comes in a variety of sizes and fits most standard unit HVAC systems. This filter was made in the USA and has an approximate MERV rating of 5.

We recommend this filter for homeowners who want a low maintenance filter that is reusable, durable, and removes most airborne pollutants.

Pros

  • Aluminum frame
  • Durable
  • Easy-to-install

Cons

  • Can’t handle high heat
  • Single Filter

4. CARTER

Best 8 Merv Permanent Electrostatic Air Filter
MERV Rating8
Sizes AvailableSingle
Brand CompatibilityStandard Units
Made InUSA
MaterialElectrostatic synthetic material

The Carter electrostatic filter is the best 8 MERV permanent electrostatic air filter that we’ve found. It has the traditional electrostatic properties, but also comes with added features including a stainless steel mesh filter material.

The filter has been ASHRAE tested for durability, reliability, and superior filtering performance. The gold aluminum frame fits well with some home decor choices and is strong to prevent bent edges. This filter offers strong airflow and won’t slow down your home’s HVAC system. An antibacterial material is used to prevent bacteria and mold from growing on the filter screen. The lightweight filter is undercut slightly to fit most standard HVAC systems.

This filter is sold as an individual, single filter purchase. It is also one of the more expensive electrostatic filters on our list. However, this filter does have a high 94% dust removal rating and is washable, therefore reusable. These filters are easy to wash, and we recommend removing and washing your filter once per month. Homeowners will also enjoy the lifetime warranty on this made in the USA product.

We recommend this filter for homeowners who want a high-quality electrostatic reusable filter with a high MERV rating, stainless steel mesh interior, and a lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • MERV 8
  • Stainless steel mesh
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Single filter

5. AIRCARE

Best Cheap Electrostatic Air Filter
MERV Rating8
Sizes Available1
Brand CompatibilityStandard Units
Made InUSA
MaterialElectrostatic synthetic material

The AIRCARE 20x20x1 A/C Furnace is the best cheap electrostatic air filter. If you are a homeowner on a budget, we recommend this electrostatic filter. It has a MERV rating of 8, which is high for an electrostatic filter and is made in the USA.

It is lightweight at slightly over 2 lbs. and comes in several standard HVAC sizes. The lifetime warranty protects against defects, and the cheap price point is affordable. The filters are reusable and built to remove pollen, bacteria, mold spores, and dust. Simply slide this filter into your HVAC unit to install and upgrade your filter system. The antibacterial film prevents bacteria and mold growth.

The aluminum frame is silver in color and is accompanied by a silver thin metal mesh screen. The filter comes in the 20x20x1 size, which is one of the most common filter sizes for HVAC systems. However, make sure that you measure your HVAC system before purchasing to ensure proper fit. These filters are easy to wash and can be vacuumed as well to speed up the cleaning process. Homeowners have said that they wish they could buy these filters in packs (only sold as a single filter) and that these filters are not good at filtering out pet dander.

Pet owners should choose from one of our other electrostatic recommended filters.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • MERV 8
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Not good for pet dander
  • Single filter
  • One size: 20x20x1

6. Air Care ULTIMATE

Self-Charging Electrostatic Air Filter
MERV Rating6
Sizes Available1
Brand CompatibilityStandard Units
Made InUSA
MaterialElectrostatic synthetic material

The Air Care ULTIMATE Furnace A/C Filter is a self-charging electrostatic air filter. This filter has a removal rating of 88, which is a standard MERV 6 rating. Pet owners will love using this filter because it traps pet dander and fur efficiently.

To clean, simply remove and vacuum the pet dander and fur before washing the filter. Homeowners have also reported that this electrostatic air filter has a perfect fit for most HVAC systems. With dozens of different filter sizes available, homeowners can get an exact fit for an easy installation. The high-quality aluminum frame is made in the US, and the electrostatic filter material is self-charging. The silver mesh filter is also antibacterial and is protected against the development of mold or bacteria.

Users have said that the filter can pop out of the corner and may need to be adjusted. This can be fixed by moving the mesh back into place with pliers or screwdrivers. Another user said that the tabs used to pull the filter out of the HVAC system are made from tape. These can be flimsy to hold and make removing the filter more challenging. This filter comes with a limited lifetime warranty from Air Care.

If you want a high-quality electrostatic air filter that efficiently traps pet hair and offers a perfect fit, this is a great product.

Pros

  • High-quality
  • Perfect fit
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Pet Hair Trap

Cons

  • Mesh Can Pop Out
  • Tape tabs

7. Aerostar

Best Electrostatic Air Filters For Home Pets
MERV Rating11
Sizes Available4+, 6+
Brand CompatibilityStandard Units
Made InUSA
MaterialElectrostatic synthetic material

The Aerostar 16x25x1 MERV 11 is one of the best electrostatic air filters for home pets. This filter has a MERV rating of 11 and comes in either a 4-pack or a 6-pack.

This filter is made from 100% synthetic materials and captures pet dander as well as pet fur. The screen also traps airborne allergens such as pollen, dust, lint, and mold spores. These white filters are affordable and made out of a sturdy cardboard frame. They are easy to install and slide into place. These filters have additional pleating to help remove airborne particles as well as contribute to a sturdier frame. These filters are efficient and won’t restrict airflow in your HVAC unit.

Homeowners have said that these filters are true to size and should be measured before installation. Check the fit before purchasing. Homeowners have also said that these filters can be delivered with a bent corner. If this happens, use your hands or a plier to straighten the corner before installation. This filter was made in the US and should be cleaned every 60 to 90 days.

If you want a durable filter with a high MERV rating to tackle pet dander, this is an excellent choice.

Pros

  • MERV 11
  • Pet Dander Trap
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Corner bent
  • Check fit

Understanding Electrostatic Air Filter Sizes & Ratings

HVAC filters are sized depending on the HVAC system. The best way to determine the size of the filter needed for your home is to look at the current filter. Most filters have the size printed on the edges of the filter. All HVAC filters, including electrostatic filters, are ranked by efficiency using the MERV system. The MERV rating is from 1-20, with 20 being the highest and the best at filtering out air pollutants.

Electrostatic air filters tend to be in the MERV 5-7 range, but there are options in the 10-12 range as well. Electrostatic air filters are cost-effective and work well with most HVAC systems. They are easy-to-install, and the electrostatically charged particles are an environmentally friendly way to clean your air.

Electrostatic air filters tend to come in the following sizes:

(16 x 20 x 1)

(16 x 25 x 1)

(20 x 20 x 1)

(20 x 25 x 1)

(24 x 24 x 1)

(10 x 20 x 2)

(12 x 24 x 2)

(16 x 20 x 2)

(16 x 25 x 2)

(20 x 20 x 2)

(20 x 25 x 2)

(24 x 24 x 2)

Electrostatic Air Filter vs. Disposable Filters

An electrostatic air filter is a type of disposable air filter. However, disposable filters are made to be used and then thrown away when finished. An electrostatic air filter can be washed and reused rather than thrown away.

Non-reusable disposable filters must be thrown away. Electrostatic air filters are perfect for homeowners who want to save money while still cleaning airborne particles such as pollen, bacteria, smoke, and dander out of the air.

How to Change Electrostatic Air Filters

It is important to change your electrostatic air filter regularly. These filters are meant to be reused but must be washed periodically. We recommend cleaning your electrostatic air filter monthly. Start by removing the filter box from your air handler.

Then, take your filter outdoors and use a garden hose to spray down the filer at an angle. This should be sufficient for most cleanings; however, we recommend using dishwashing soap two to three times per year.

After soaping down the air filter, simply rinse again. The final step is to wait approximately thirty to sixty minutes to allow your filter to dry before re-installing.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Do higher MERV filters restrict airflow?

A higher MERV filter should not restrict airflow. Modern HVAC units are built to work with higher MERV rated filters. However, if you have a dirty filter that has not been cleaned, the buildup may create airflow problems. Clean or replace your electrostatic filters every 60-90 days.

What is the best MERV rating for HVAC filters?

The best MERV rating for HVAC filters is 20. MERV ratings range from 0-20, with 20 being the “best.” We recommend choosing an electrostatic filter with at least a MERV rating of 5 to ensure that most air pollutants are properly filtered out of your home.

Is it advisable to wash and clean reusable electrostatic air filters?

Yes! When you purchase a reusable electrostatic air filter, you can easily wash the filters and reuse them. These filters were designed to be washed and reused.

What happens if an air filter is installed backwards?

If an air filter is installed backwards, the air will still be cleaned, but the airflow will be compromised. The air will have a difficult time moving through the electrostatic filter. This means that your energy bill will be higher, and the HVAC unit will have to work harder. Make sure that your air filter is installed correctly.

Where is the air filter in my AC unit located?

Most air filters are found in the return air duct. Typically, the filter is closest to the outside of the unit. Use your HVAC manual to locate your air filter if you are not sure where it is located.

Furnace Filter vs. AC Filters: Are They the Same?

If you have an HVAC unit, then your furnace filter and AC filter are the same. However, if you have separate units (a separate furnace and a separate AC unit), then you will have two different filters.

Conclusion

An electrostatic air filter is a cost-effective way to clean the air in your home and eliminate airborne pollutants. We recommend the Nordic Pure for most homeowners. This electrostatic filter fits in most HVAC systems, has a MERV 12 rating, and eliminates particles as small as 0.3 microns.

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