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Furnace filters are devices that protect the mechanical system of a furnace from particulate materials. While a fiberglass fiber filter provides enough protection for most furnaces, higher quality filters also help clean the air to protect the health of the home occupants.


The best furnace filter options are the disposable pleated and disposable electrostatic filters, according to Bob Vila. The Family Handyman also lists disposable pleated filters with a MERV rating of 7 or 8 as a good compromise between efficiency and cost.


Furnace filters have an arrow that point to installation towards the evaporator coil, fan and blower motor located inside the air handler. If there are no arrows on the filter, install the filter with the sturdiest side as the back.


Hardware stores, such as Ace Hardware and The Home Depot, and general retailers, such as Amazon.com, carry furnace filters. Furnace filters should match the airflow recommendation from the manufacturer to ensure a long lifespan for the furnace motor and to be energy efficient.


Any type of furnace filter can be used, but the most popular furnace filter option is the disposable pleated type that blocks some particles and remains inexpensive. Other furnace filter options include disposable fiberglass, disposable electrostatic, permanent electrostatic and high-efficiency plea


Furnace filters are available in a variety of stores, including hardware, home improvement, department and even drug stores. Individual manufacturers sell replacement filters for their own furnaces, and retailers list filters with online platforms such as Amazon.com and eBay.


As of March 2015, furnace filters are available in stores such as Walmart, Ace Hardware and Home Depot. These stores also sell filters online. Furnace filters are also available through websites such as Amazon.com.


In general, paper or fiberglass furnace filters should be replaced either monthly or every two months. Depending on circumstances, electrostatic or HEPA filters should be cleaned or changed every two to four months.


Replace an oil furnace filter by unscrewing and removing the filter housing, taking out the old filter and installing a new one of the same size and type. If the furnace is equipped with a permanent filter, clean it according to the manufacturer's recommendations before reinstalling it.


To determine the size of a furnace filter, measure the current filter and the filter slot. You may find a furnace filter's measurements printed along one edge of the current filter.