BREATHABLE INTAKE CAL20 FURNACE AIR FILTER REVIEW

March 04, 2021

9.7 / 10 Filterstudy Score
PFE1 Efficiency (0.3-1 μm)9.7
PFE2 (1-3 μm)9.9
Permeability / Pressure Drop9.5
Pros
* Best-in-class filtration efficiency at the sub-micron level (PFE1).
* Near-perfect filtration efficiency at the sub-micron level (PFE2).
* Excellent permeability.
* Less frequent replacements. Low filter-replacement maintenance.
* Well built.
Cons
* Requires an aftermarket filter housing.
* Not cheap.

The CAL16 and CAL 20 MERV 16 filters were mainly designed for California but would work just as well in other states where frequent wildfires are a concern. It includes a carbon layer that helps with absorbing VOCs, plus it offers the highest efficiency we have tested at the 0.4–0.7 micrometer particle size range (extremely important during a wildfire).

On top of that, it provides both a high loading capacity (about four times the capacity of most furnace filters) and a low resistance/pressure drop (nearly half the pressure drop of most furnace filters). It’s a beast of a filter! The only issue with this filter is that due to its massive size (five times the thickness of most filters), it requires a very specific filter housing, and installing that housing isn’t a DYI project. You’ll need to hire a pro to modify your return duct to be compatible with this filter, which can cost anywhere between $600-$1,200.

This filter costs about $100, which is considered high for an HVAC filter; however, in the long run, it provides better ROI due to its low resistance and higher loading capacity.

Filter Facts

Advertised MERV rating: 16
Tested MERV Rating: 16
Number of pleats: 70
Dimensions: 20″x25″x5

Filter Facts

Advertised MERV rating: 16
Tested MERV Rating: 16
Number of pleats: 70
Dimensions: 20″x25″x5

Recently tested
9.7 Filterstudy Score
0 0 votes
PFE1 Efficiency (0.3-1 μm)
9.7
PFE2 (1-3 μm)
9.9
Permeability / Pressure Drop
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5.5 Filterstudy Score
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PFE2 (1-3 μm)
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7.3 Filterstudy Score
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PFE1 Efficiency (0.3-1 μm)
8.3
PFE2 (1-3 μm)
9.5
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4.2
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PFE1 Efficiency (0.3-1 μm)
0.3
PFE2 (1-3 μm)
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6.2 Filterstudy Score
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PFE1 Efficiency (0.3-1 μm)
4.7
PFE2 (1-3 μm)
7.9
Permeability / Pressure Drop
5.9
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PFE1 Efficiency (0.3-1 μm)0
PFE2 (1-3 μm)0
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2021 | FilterStudy