OEM vs Compatible Furnace Air Filters

OEM vs Compatible Furnace Air Filters

Claudia PereiraJul 23, '21

When it comes to getting the maximum performance and efficiency out of your furnace two things are key - replacing your filters and regular maintenance. When ordering replacement filters you might ask yourself - should I buy an original or a compatible air filter? Are there advantages to be gained from buying a compatible branded air filter instead of an OEM one?

In this article, we take an in-depth look at the OEM vs. compatible air filters debate, look at the pros and cons of both options, and provide important information and insight that you can use to make an educated choice the next time you purchase replacement air filters. It’s critical to remember how often should you change your furnace filter and feel confident in your purchase when you decide to buy.


What is an OEM Furnace Filter?

OEM is short for Original Equipment Manufacturer. Therefore, when you buy an OEM furnace filter, you are buying a furnace filter that has been specifically designed for your model of furnace by the manufacturer itself. If you are looking to source a replacement air filter for your model of furnace from the brand that manufactured it, you will be getting an OEM furnace filter.

OEM furnace filters are usually designed to the specifications of the furnace model or range of models they are paired with. Since manufacturers execute the product development process from the ground up, they are usually in a perfect position to design and manufacture air filters that work particularly well with their furnace models. In fact, manufacturers recommend the use of genuine parts for better performance. However, there are certain scenarios where you can get a much better deal or improved performance by choosing an aftermarket option.


What is a Compatible or Aftermarket Furnace Filter?

An aftermarket furnace filter is one that has been manufactured by a company other than the OEM to closely match the working specifications of the original. Aftermarket filter manufacturers try to recreate the functionality of the OEM filter by implementing strict standards regarding dimensions, fit and finish, and choice of material. But since aftermarket manufacturers have leeway in product design, they’re able to source similar materials at a lower cost in order to pass the savings to the consumer. 



OEM vs. Compatible Furnace Filters—Differences and How to Choose

Choosing a replacement furnace filter should not be confusing. If you want performance that is consistent with the specifications of the unit and do not want to experiment, go for an OEM filter. However, if you are looking for options, getting an aftermarket filter might be your best bet.

With an OEM filter, you have:

  • The assurance of perfect compatibility with your furnace, along with performance and efficiency that closely matches specifications set out by the manufacturer 
  • The reliability that comes with the brand name of the original manufacturer
  • Warranties provided directly by the manufacturer

However, aftermarket furnace filters also have a lot to offer. Here are some key benefits of buying an aftermarket furnace filter:

  • OEM filters are generally more expensive than aftermarket filters. If you want a more cost effective option, buy an aftermarket filter. 
  • Buying an aftermarket furnace filter can bring a lot of options to the table. If you are looking for variety, take a look at compatible furnace filter options offered by different manufacturers.
  • If you are looking for an upgrade in terms of performance and efficiency, the best way to achieve that is usually through the aftermarket route. For example, if you are looking for a replacement furnace filter with a higher rating according to the MERV rating chart and your OEM does not offer that option, you can purchase an aftermarket replacement filter and enjoy the added filtration capabilities of a higher MERV rated filter.

PureFilters—Your One-Stop Shop for Furnace Filters

When it comes time to replace your furnace filter, PureFilter’s has you covered. 

Skip the hassle that comes with buying filters at a big box store. Order from PureFilter's to get personalized email reminders to replace your furnace filters and get healthy indoor air tips. With competitive prices, quality products, and free delivery of $80, PureFilters is your one-stop shop for all your furnace filter needs.

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