You may not have given much thought to the air quality in your home, but did you know that indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air? This is where furnace air cleaners come in. These devices promise to improve the air you and your family breathe by removing harmful particles and allergens. But are they worth the investment? Let’s explore the benefits and drawbacks of furnace air cleaners to determine if they’re a smart choice for your home.

1. The Importance of Indoor Air Quality and Its Impact on Health

Indoor air quality is a critical issue that affects the health and wellness of the people who breathe it every day. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the quality of indoor air can be up to five times worse than outdoor air, and it can have a significant impact on individual health.

Poor indoor air quality can cause a range of health problems, including coughing, sneezing, headaches, fatigue, and eye irritation. In severe cases, it can trigger more serious conditions such as asthma, allergies, and respiratory infections. Long-term exposure to indoor pollutants can even lead to more severe health problems such as heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke.

Poor indoor air quality can be caused by various factors, including dust, pet dander, mold, and chemical emissions from common household products. Furnace air cleaners can help alleviate some of these issues by filtering out harmful pollutants and promoting better air circulation throughout your home.

In the following sections, we’ll delve into the benefits of furnace air cleaners and help you decide if they’re worth the investment.

2. How Furnace Air Cleaners Work and What They Can Filter Out

Furnace air cleaners are HVAC equipment designed to improve indoor air quality. They work by filtering the air that passes through the furnace, capturing dust, allergens, and other particles that can contaminate indoor air. The furnace air cleaner pulls in air from the house and traps pollutants on its filter, before circulating the cleaned air back into the indoor environment.

Depending on the type of furnace air cleaner, some can filter out small particles like pollen, pet dander, and mold spores, while others can also remove smoke and odors. The most effective furnace air cleaners can remove up to 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. These types of air cleaners are known as HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters, and they are recommended for people with allergies or respiratory problems.

In general, there are four main types of furnace air cleaners: electrostatic, HEPA, UV light, and electronic. The electrostatic air cleaner works by generating an electrical charge that attracts particles to a collection plate. The HEPA air cleaner uses a dense filter material to trap particles, while the UV light air cleaner kills bacteria and viruses using ultraviolet radiation. The electronic air cleaner uses an ionizer to charge particles and then captures them on an oppositely charged collector plate. Each type of furnace air cleaner has its own pros and cons, and choosing the right one depends on your indoor air quality needs and goals.

3. Benefits of Furnace Air Cleaners: Improved Efficiency and Longer Lifespan

Improved Efficiency

Furnace air cleaners can improve the efficiency of your HVAC system in a couple of ways. For starters, by filtering out dust, pollen, and other pollutants from entering the system, the motor and moving parts of your furnace will experience less wear and tear. This can reduce the need for costly repairs and ultimately help extend the lifespan of your furnace.

In addition, when your furnace is not clogged with debris, it doesn’t have to work as hard to heat your home. This means it will use less energy and result in lower energy bills. According to the US Department of Energy, replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can decrease energy consumption by 5-15%. Furnace air cleaners can provide similar energy savings and help you get the most out of your HVAC system.

Longer Lifespan

As mentioned, when your furnace is not working as hard, it will ultimately last longer. But there are other reasons why furnace air cleaners can help extend the lifespan of your HVAC system. For example, when pollutants are filtered out of the air, they won’t accumulate on the interior components of the furnace. This can help prevent corrosion and other forms of damage that can chip away at the lifespan of your furnace.

Additionally, furnace air cleaners can help improve the overall air quality in your home, which can reduce the amount of dust and debris that naturally settles on furnishings and other surfaces. This can help keep your home looking and feeling clean, and reduce the need for frequent cleaning or maintenance. Overall, a furnace air cleaner can be a valuable investment that can provide benefits for years to come.

4. Factors to Consider When Choosing a Furnace Air Cleaner: Costs, Maintenance, and Filter Replacement

When considering a furnace air cleaner for your home, there are several factors to keep in mind to make the best decision. Along with the type of air cleaner you choose, you’ll also need to consider the costs associated with the unit and ongoing maintenance.


The initial cost of a furnace air cleaner can vary depending on the type of unit needed for your home and the size needed. Typically, electrostatic air cleaners are less expensive than HEPA filters. The cost can range from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand.

It’s important to also consider the operational costs of the unit. Some filters need to be replaced more frequently than others, which can add up in cost over time. Additionally, some filters are washable and reusable, which can save money over the life of the unit.


A furnace air cleaner will only provide optimal performance if it’s well-maintained. Factors to keep in mind here include the frequency of cleaning, the ease of filter replacement, and any additional maintenance tasks required for the specific type of device you choose. For instance, a UV light air cleaner requires regular bulb replacement to maintain effectiveness.

The good news is, many modern furnace air cleaners are designed to be user-friendly. Some models have filter replacement indicators, and others have the option of remote control programming or smart home capabilities for ease of use.

Filter Replacement

Filter replacement plays a significant factor in the life of a furnace air cleaner and its effectiveness. Depending on the type of filter, it may need to be replaced more frequently than others. HEPA filters, for instance, need to be replaced every six months, while washable electrostatic filters can last for many years or more.

It’s crucial to consider the ongoing costs of filter replacement when choosing a furnace air cleaner for your home. Along with the cost factor, making sure replacement filters are readily available and easy to change is also key.

When considering which furnace air cleaner to buy for your home, keep in mind the costs, maintenance needs, and filter replacement requirements of the unit. By carefully reviewing these factors, you can make the best choice for your home and budget.

5. Do You Really Need a Furnace Air Cleaner? Determining Your Air Quality Needs and Goals

If you are wondering whether or not you need a furnace air cleaner, the answer will depend on your personal air quality needs and goals. Here are some factors to consider:

Allergies and respiratory issues: If you or someone in your household suffers from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues, a furnace air cleaner can help significantly. It can filter out microscopic particles such as pollen, dust mites, and pet dander that can trigger allergies and respiratory problems.

Pet ownership: If you have pets, a furnace air cleaner can help reduce pet hair and pet dander in your home. This can improve your indoor air quality and reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do.

Indoor air quality goals: If you have specific indoor air quality goals, such as reducing the amount of airborne bacteria or viruses in your home, a furnace air cleaner with a UV light can be beneficial. A UV light can kill bacteria and viruses that may be circulating in your home’s air.

Living in a high-pollution area: If you live in an area with high levels of outdoor pollution, a furnace air cleaner can help protect your indoor air quality. It can filter out pollutants from the outdoor air that can make their way inside your home.

Overall, a furnace air cleaner can be a worthwhile investment if you have specific air quality needs and goals. However, it’s important to do your research and choose a unit that meets your needs and fits within your budget. Don’t hesitate to consult with an HVAC professional if you need help determining the right furnace air cleaner for your home.

6. Types of Furnace Air Cleaners: Electrostatic, HEPA, UV Light, and More

Furnace air cleaners come in various types with different technologies used to filter out contaminants from the air. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common types of furnace air cleaners available on the market.

Electrostatic Air Filters: These filters use an electrostatic charge to attract and trap airborne contaminants. They are washable and reusable, making them a cost-effective option in the long run. Electrostatic filters can capture large particles and pet dander, but they are less effective at trapping smaller particles like smoke and viruses.

HEPA Filters: High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are highly effective in capturing particles as small as 0.3 microns. They can remove allergens like pollen, dust mites, and mold spores, making them a great choice for those with respiratory issues. However, they can be costly and require regular filter replacement to maintain their effectiveness.

UV-C Lights: These air cleaners use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria, viruses, and mold in the air. They are usually installed near the furnace, ensuring that air passing through the ductwork is treated. UV-C lights are low maintenance and easy to install, but they do not remove particles from the air.

Activated Carbon Filters: These filters use activated carbon to absorb chemicals, gases, and odors from the air. They are ideal for homes situated in areas with high air pollution or near industrial zones. While they are effective for absorbing fumes, they are not efficient against particles.

By understanding the different types of furnace air filters available, you can choose the best option for your home based on your specific needs and goals. Consider factors such as air quality, allergies, maintenance requirements, and cost before making a decision. It’s also crucial to choose a reputable brand and check user reviews to ensure you’re investing in an air cleaner that delivers optimal results.

7. Making the Decision: Top Furnace Air Cleaner Brands and User Reviews

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits and factors to consider when choosing a furnace air cleaner, it’s time to dive into some of the top brands and user reviews. Below are some of the most popular furnace air cleaners on the market today:

1. Honeywell

Honeywell is a well-known and trusted brand in the HVAC industry. Their air filters come in different sizes and styles, including electrostatic and HEPA options. Users praise Honeywell for their high-quality filters, ease of installation, and improved indoor air quality.

2. Lennox

Lennox offers a range of air purification products, including electronic air cleaners, HEPA filters, and UV germicidal lights. Users appreciate the variety of options and the ability to customize their air cleaning system.

3. Aprilaire

Aprilaire is known for their air purifiers and humidification systems. Their air cleaner line includes electrostatic and HEPA filters, and users appreciate the improved air quality and reduced allergies and asthma symptoms.

4. Carrier

Carrier’s air filters come in a variety of sizes and styles, including electronic air cleaners and UV germicidal lamps. Users appreciate the improved air quality and ease of maintenance.

When considering a furnace air cleaner, it’s important to read user reviews and do your research. Ultimately, the right furnace air cleaner for you will depend on your specific needs and goals for indoor air quality.

People Also Ask

What is a furnace air cleaner?

A furnace air cleaner is a device that removes particles and contaminants from the air that flows through a furnace before it’s heated and distributed around your home.

How does a furnace air cleaner work?

A furnace air cleaner uses filters, electric fields, or other technologies to capture and remove airborne particles from the air that circulates through your furnace and home.

What are the benefits of using a furnace air cleaner?

A furnace air cleaner can improve indoor air quality, reduce allergy or asthma symptoms, extend the life of your furnace, and lower your energy bills.

Are furnace air cleaners expensive to operate?

The cost of operating a furnace air cleaner depends on factors like the type of technology used, the size of the unit, and how often you run it. Some models may add a small increase to your energy bills, while others only require occasional maintenance.

What types of furnace air cleaners are available?

There are several types of furnace air cleaners available, including mechanical filters, electrostatic filters, ultraviolet (UV) germicidal lights, and photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) systems.


If you’re concerned about indoor air quality, suffer from allergies or asthma, or want to extend the life of your furnace, a furnace air cleaner may be worth the investment. The type of furnace air cleaner you choose will depend on your individual needs and budget. It’s important to research different models and technologies to find the right one for your home.