Can You Wash and Reuse an Air Filter?

Learn how to clean & reuse an air filter for improved energy efficiency & indoor air quality! Find out if your AC unit requires a disposable or reusable filter.

Can You Wash and Reuse an Air Filter?

Washable air conditioning filters are incredibly easy to clean and maintain. Unlike disposable filters, you can simply take them out of your HVAC unit, rinse them with water, and they're ready to use again. Reusable filters can be washed and replaced, but disposable filters aren't designed to be washed and reused. The moisture that the filter retains can encourage mold growth over time, and the HVAC system could spread mold spores throughout the rest of the house.

Plus, wetting a disposable filter makes it much less effective, so you'll see decreases in energy efficiency and indoor air quality. Cleaning and reusing a car's air filter is acceptable practice. High-performance air filters are durable and designed to be reused. Standard air filters can be cleaned, but they are not as durable and will need to be replaced at the next service. A reusable air filter is made of more durable materials.

Every one to three months, you can remove this filter and wash it thoroughly to remove accumulated dust, irritants, and contaminants. Although your system works the same with both types of filters, it's important to know which one you're using. Washable filters provide a reusable alternative to disposable filters with their own unique qualities. You can use washable filters until the moment they break. The cleaning process is quick and easy, but requires a constant program.

Air filters need maintenance every 3 to 5 months to avoid airflow or quality issues. Disposable air filters allow you to skip work and simply have a new air filter in place. You can even have the new filters delivered right to your door. Here, we'll discuss how to keep your reusable air filter clean. However, you must ensure that it is an air filter designed to be reused.

Disposable air filters can't be cleaned enough, and attempting to clean them could lead to AC efficiency problems or even mold. Homeowners should note that both reusable and disposable air filters are available. With reusable air filters, they can be cleaned and replaced in the air conditioner. Careful and thorough cleaning of these filters is a must. Of course, the owner must ensure that the filter is reusable.

Playing guessing games can be disastrous. Fresh air that passes into your home cannot pass through dirty air filters and the effects are evidenced by problems in indoor air quality. In addition to the process being inefficient, placing a wet filter inside an air conditioning system is counterproductive. There are certain types of air conditioning filters that are specially designed to be reusable, but unless you are sure that the air filters in your cooling system are of this type, you should not assume that it is safe to clean and reuse them at the time of maintenance. Your home air filters are tools used to keep the flow of incoming air clean and comfortable to breathe. No matter the cleaning process, whether vacuuming or water, you should allow the air filter to dry long enough before inserting it back into the air cleaner. You can order disposable air filters for your home that only require you to periodically change the old ones. Over time, air filters become so clogged with smaller particles captured that their efficiency will decrease.

Washable air and oven filters consist of a mesh fabric, the tightness of which determines the MERV rating. Disposable air filters are made of soft mesh and other flexible materials that simply can't withstand the wear and tear of a good wash. Your cleaning efforts can leave the surface of an air filter damp, as they are not designed to remove moisture that enters it. The air passing through the washable air filter can contain a wide range of problems depending on the surrounding environment. Electrostatic filters and activated carbon filters can usually be cleaned and reused, as can some HEPA-type filters.

The main reason you'll want to clean an air filter regularly is to improve its overall effectiveness and efficiency. This will depend on your individual air filter, but the general rule of thumb is to clean most air filters once a month. Households in areas with high levels of allergens, pollutants, dust mites, mold spores and debris have a washable air filter that constantly captures particles in the air.

Leanne Legorreta
Leanne Legorreta

Professional bacon aficionado. Passionate tv practitioner. Proud internet guru. Twitter evangelist. Devoted music guru.