Advantages Vs. Disadvantages Of Washable HVAC Filters

reusable hvac air filter

Your indoor air quality (IAQ) can have a significant impact on your physical health. Therefore, making sure that your indoor air is healthy is essential. HVAC filters will assist you in these efforts, but only if you make sure to invest in the right filters and use them properly. You have two options when it comes to HVAC filters: reusable filters and those that are disposable. Disposable HVAC air filters should be replaced once every one to three months, according to the nature of your household and home. Reusable HVAC filters can be cleaned and reused several times. This article will consider some of the benefits and drawbacks of using a reusable or washable HVAC air filter.

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Why Having A High-Quality HVAC Filter Is So Important

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Indoor air pollution can actually be just as harmful as pollution in the outdoor air. Your home may not be the safe haven that you think it is given that this building can make you sick without your even recognizing the actual cause of your illness. Your indoor air could be polluted with mold spores, dander, pollen, dust, and many other particulates that act as irritants to your lungs.

HVAC systems have air filters that are designed to capture and collect these airborne materials. A high-quality or high-rated HVAC filter will be able to remove more particulates than a low-rated or low-quality filter will. High-rated air filters offer the best protection against indoor air quality-related illnesses. They also assist HVAC systems in remaining efficient.

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What A Washable Electrostatic Air Filter Is

An electrostatic air filter is like a magnet that can attract airborne contaminants due to its opposing charges. This type of filter can collect more particulates that flow through it. As time goes on, an electrostatic air filter will reach its saturation point and will no longer be able to do its job. Small particulates will be able to pass through once this occurs, and the quality of the indoor air will drop. If you own a disposable filter, this is the time to remove it and replace it with a new one. With a washable filter, however, you can simply clean the filtration media and use it several times more over the next few years.

The Benefits Of Owning A Washable HVAC Filter

1. Reusable Air Filters Are Better For The Environment

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People who are environmentally conscious prefer reusable filters given that they can keep the same filter for up to five years. This is equal to approximately 20 to 60 disposable filters given that a disposable filter has to be changed at least once every three months. Washing a filter and putting it back to use is obviously far better than taking one out and putting it directly into the landfill.

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2. Less Costly

Although the upfront cost of a washable filter is higher, this unit’s ability to last for years makes the extra spending more than worthwhile. You’ll save money over time given that you’ll only need to buy a filter just once every five to 10 years rather than once every one to three months.

3. Reusable Filters Are Far More Convenient

woman enjoying healthy indoor air due to hvac air filter

With a reusable filter, you don’t have to run out to purchase a replacement every time it gets clogged. Simply take it out, clean it, let it dry, and then reuse it. The more that you do it, the faster and easier these efforts will be.

4. Save Time

Filters are available in a variety of sizes, types, and ratings. If you do not get the right size filter, it won’t fit securely in place and it won’t be as effective as you need it to be. Reusable, electrostatic filters don’t pose this same issue given that they can last just as long as your air conditioner or furnace.

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The Drawbacks Of Using A Washable HVAC Filter

1. An Electrostatic Filter Costs More Upfront

money depicting cost of reusable hvac filter

If your budget is limited, then disposable filters may be appealing simply because their upfront cost is so much lower than the cost of a washable unit. You have to consider the long-term in order to truly appreciate the savings that you’ll ultimately gain.

2. It May Not Be Possible For A Reusable Filter To Improve Your IAQ

The measurement of how effective a filter is in extracting airborne particulates is called its MERV rating. In this case, having a higher MERV rating is best. Sadly, the top MERV rating for reusable filters is MERV 4 while disposable filters can have ratings as high as MERV 12.

3. A Reusable Filter Might Attract Mold

image of mold in hvac air filter

Given that reusable filters have to be washed, they remain somewhat wet throughout the drying process. This means that you will be unable to use your HVAC system until your filter is ready, but you should remain patient. Reinstalling a moist filter can result in mold growth and serious IAQ problems.

4. An Electrostatic Filter Is Not Effective For Removing Certain Contaminants

Even though an electrostatic filter is good for attracting things like carpet fibers, pollen, and dander, it won’t perform well in extracting smaller particulates. Bacteria, mold spores and other contaminants might pass through an electrostatic filter and negatively impact resident health.

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Taking Care Of Your Reusable HVAC Filter

Regardless of which filter type you choose, always be sure to practice proper filter maintenance. Disposable filters are easiest to maintain given that they can be thrown away and replaced with brand new filters. As far as washable filters go, you have to use greater care to preserve its lifespan. Get rid of dirt and other debris and residues with running water. Pressurized water works best, so try using a sprayer if possible. Let your wet electrostatic filter dry thoroughly to avoid any problems with mold development.

Other Options In High-Performance Filters

hvac air filter

Keep in mind that there are other filter types outside of the options that have just been discussed. If you believe that electrostatic filters offer insufficient performance, then think about investing in a high-efficiency media filter or an electronic air filter. These filter types work in very different ways, but both are ranked as superior options given their improved ability to extract nearly all airborne contaminants. With these types of filters, homeowners can reduce the risk of asthma attacks, allergies, and other problems affecting the respiratory system. Moreover, they have long service lives and fairly reasonable prices.



Homeowners have a vast range of air filters to choose from. Which option works best for you will depend upon your priorities and your goals concerning IAQ, your budget, the expected lifespan of the filter, and ease of overall use. Get in touch with a trusted HVAC company for help choosing a new filter type for your home.

Contact Lawes Company For Your HVAC Needs

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Lawes Company provides top-rated services and solutions for HVAC systems throughout the area. Our technicians boast optimum certification and training for providing superior tune-ups, repairs, and total system replacements and installations. All of our techs have the know-how for providing correct HVAC services.

Lawes Company maintains competitive prices for HVAC services. You can invest in our maintenance services for improved energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and home comfort,. Our services also lower home energy costs. If your HVAC system needs a replacement or repair, you can turn to us for recommendations on the best models. Our work always comes backed by a solid guarantee. Call us right now to set up your important. You can get an in-home estimate absolutely free.

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