Are Washable Air Filters Good?

A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system requires air filters to operate effectively. Air filters are placed in the intake vents through which the system draws in air or near the air handler unit. The filter removes dust, dirt, and other particles from the air to prevent them from getting into your HVAC system and ducts.


Most air filters are disposable, but you can purchase reusable air filters that can be washed. Both types of filters have pros and cons. Deciding which type to use depends on your personal preference and priorities. Most Burlington HVAC companies will provide service to your system regardless of your filter choice.


Advantages of Using a Reusable Air Filter

A washable air filter has a few benefits, such as:


  • Less environmental impact. The main advantage of reusable air filters is that they reduce the amount of trash that will end up in a landfill. If you change your filters every 6 months, quarterly, or monthly, that’s a lot of trash that adds up. Most homes have multiple intake vents, so if you’re system has multiple filters you will be throwing away 2 or 3 or even more filters every time you change them.
  • Save money. Disposable air filters are not terribly expensive, unless you buy the high efficiency type. Either way, avoiding the cost of purchasing air filters every time you change them can save you a significant amount of money each year.


Disadvantages of Reusable Air Filters

There are some reasons why washable air filters are not the most common choice, including:


  • Requires time and effort. Washing your reusable air filters does take time and effort. Usually you can wash them out in your tub or a large sink. You can even wash them outside with a hose. They also take some time to dry, so it is best to wash them during mild temperatures where you can go a few hours without heat or air conditioning in your home. Otherwise you can buy a second set to put in your vents while you’re cleaning the others. Never put wet or damp filters back into your vents as it could cause mold to grow in your ducts.
  • Less efficient than disposable. One of the biggest disadvantages to reusable air filters is that some are less efficient than disposable filters. Many washable filters trap significantly lower quantities of particles from the air. This affects the air quality in your home as well as the cleanliness and efficiency of your HVAC system.


Should You Use Reusable Air Filters? 

There is not a definite yes or no answer to this question. It depends on what your priorities are in terms of HVAC filter maintenance. If environmental impact is your number one concern, then reusable filters can be the best choice. If clean air is your biggest concern, such as if you or someone in your family suffers from severe allergies, disposable filters would probably be a better choice for you than reusable ones.


Preventative HVAC Maintenance from Berico 

Regular filter replacement should be a part of your routine HVAC maintenance. At the very least, you should change your filters every 6 months when you have your system inspected and cleaned. It is recommended by Burlington HVAC experts that you change your filters quarterly or even monthly for cleaner air and efficient performance from your system. Berico provides preventative maintenance services along with additional perks for signing up for a Comfort and Protection Service Plan.


Call (336) 273-8663 or schedule service today.