We have a furnace that has wire mesh air filters, will it function/be safe to replace those filters with paper filters?

The current filters

  • 1
    wire mesh air filters ... please post a picture ... are you talking about an electrostatic dust collector?
    – jsotola
    Jul 31, 2020 at 2:42
  • No, it also has that above the wire mesh filters.
    – Davidw
    Jul 31, 2020 at 3:05
  • I added a photo.
    – Davidw
    Jul 31, 2020 at 3:15

1 Answer 1


If the filter you posted is a 1" wide filter then yes, you may be able to replace that filter with a strong paper filter . Make sure that the paper filter is not pulled into or too close to the metal of the electronic air cleaner cells when the blower fan is running. If that filter that you show is less than 1" wide then no, you will have too keep the metal filter since a narrower filter will not have the strength to resist being flexed when the blower fan is running. If you have the desire to install a paper type filter upstream of an electronic air filter then you should call an HVAC company or a duct fabricator an have them install a filter rack in the duct work.

Wire mesh filters are among the least efficient filters on the market. If you are looking for a filter system that stops and collects the smallest dust and debris particles, are advertised to collect mold and bacteria, and works great for people with breathing problems like asthma, consider a correctly sized electronic air cleaner. I installed one in my home and one for my sister who suffered immensely from asthma and this gave her relief and provided her with a safe place to go when pollen counts were very high and her asthma was at it's worst. No other filter type could provide her with the same relief.

  • Unfortunately, they are about 3/16" thick, and there's no interest/money for making such a change (I was hoping they would just be a drop in replacement). Thanks!
    – Davidw
    Jul 31, 2020 at 16:34
  • I may be wrong, @Davidw, but I believe you simply pull this metal filter out, hose the gunk off and put it back in. If finances are tight, that's about as money saving as it gets...
    – FreeMan
    Jul 31, 2020 at 17:23
  • I was mostly looking at some of the benefits of the paper filters (allergen control, for example).
    – Davidw
    Jul 31, 2020 at 19:41

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