Smoking can be a major source of air pollution in the home, and it's important to take steps to reduce the amount of smoke and other pollutants in the air. The best way to do this is to use a furnace filter that is designed to trap smoke particles and other contaminants. Our top picks for the best furnace filter for smokers are CAL16 and CAL20, which include an absorbent carbon layer and offer the highest efficiency in the 0.4—0.7 micron particle size range. To get these particles out of the air, you'll need a filter with a MERV rating of 13 or higher.
Gas-phase filters are more effective than standard fibrous filters at eliminating tobacco odors, as they work by adsorption or chemisorption. Adsorption filters contain a layer of activated carbon or other sorbent to capture gaseous contaminants, while chemisorption filters contain a sorbent that undergoes a chemical reaction with tobacco smoke, transforming smoke pollutants into harmless materials such as carbon dioxide or water vapor. Gas-phase filters are not as common as fibrous filters for residential furnace systems, so it's important to consult an HVAC professional to help you choose one that works with your heating and cooling equipment. The Filtrete AC oven air filter is our best overall oven replacement filter, as it has a high-efficiency MERV-12 rating and is available in more than a dozen sizes.
Many oven filters need to be changed every 2-3 months, so many options come with 4-6 filters per purchase. Permanent options have a removable, machine-washable oven filter that can be reused for six to eight years. The AirX ALLERGY MERV 11 pleated air filter is another great option, as it is 1 inch thick and available in a variety of sizes. It is designed with additional density to trap airborne allergens that can trigger allergy symptoms.
It's normal for air filters and air ducts to become clogged and dirty over time, so it's important to replace the filter along with the change of season as regular maintenance. The Filtrete Smart AC oven air filter is the best choice for a replacement oven filter, as it has Bluetooth technology to monitor filter usage. The FilterBuy oven filter is another economical selection, as it has a disposable electrostatic design and a MERV rating of 8, which can trap 90 percent of contaminants and filter media. A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter blocks up to 99.7 percent of airborne particulates of 0.3 microns or greater, but is not available in sizes that comply with standard ovens. For the best air quality, use these furnace filters in conjunction with other allergen reduction measures such as vacuuming with a HEPA filter and using an air purifier to keep airborne allergens at bay.
Be aware that some companies offer fake carbon air filters, so it's important to buy from reputable sources.