Advantages Vs. Disadvantages Of Washable HVAC Filters

image of a washable hvac air filter for an hvac system

Maintaining good indoor air quality is vital because it impacts your physical health. HVAC filters can assist your home with this task if you use the correct ones properly. Two options are available for your HVAC system: reusable filters and disposable filters. The former can be washed and reused several times, while the latter must be replaced every one to three months. Keep reading as we look into the pros and cons of a washable HVAC filter.

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The Importance Of High-Quality HVAC Filters

Indoor air pollution can be as harmful as outdoor pollution. Our homes aren’t always the safe spaces we think they are because they can cause sickness without us realizing it. The air may contain mold spores, dust, dander, pollen, and other things that can damage our lungs. HVAC systems have air filters that can catch these particles. Top-quality HVAC filters can catch more of these pollutants than cheap alternatives. They provide better protection from illness and maintain excellent HVAC unit efficiency.

What Are Washable Electrostatic Air Filters?

Washable Electrostatic Air Filter For HVAC System

Electrostatic filters are like magnets attracting air contaminants due to opposite changes. They catch more particles as air passes through the filters. As time passes, they may become so saturated that they cannot operate effectively. Particulate matter will only pass through, and indoor air quality drops. If you use a disposable filter, it might be time to replace it with a new one. If you use washable ones, you can clean the filtration media and reuse it several times over a few years.

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Advantages Of Washable HVAC Filters

image of hands around heart depicting eco-friendly washable hvac air filters

Here are some of the advantages washable HVAC filters bring:

  • Reusable Air Filters Are Eco-Friendly: Environmentally-conscious homeowners like using reusable filters as they can use one unit for around five years or so. This equals approximately 20 to 60 disposable filters that can last for one to three months. Cleaning and reusing are clearly better than mindlessly adding more into landfills.
  • Save Money: Washable filters may be costlier, but they can last longer, so they are worthy investments. You still save money down the line since you only need to buy these filters once every 5 or 10 years instead of every month.
  • Washable Air Filters Offer Better Convenience: When you use washable filters, you don’t need to buy a replacement every time they get clogged. All you need to do is remove, wash, dry, and use the filter again. The process becomes quicker and easier the more you do it.
  • Electrostatic Filters Can Save Time: Filters come in varying sizes, types, and ratings. If you don’t find the correct size, it may not fit the slot or work as effectively as you wished it would. Electrostatic filters allow you to be free from this issue as it lasts for as long as your air conditioner or furnace.
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Disadvantages Of Washable HVAC Filters

Below are some of the cons of using a washable HVAC filter:

  • Electrostatic Filters Are More Expensive: If your budget is tight, you may be tempted to buy disposable filters because they cost much less per piece than washable filters. You can appreciate the savings you get from washable units if you consider the long term.
  • Reusable Filters May Not Improve Home Air Quality: The MERV rating measures a filter’s effectiveness at capturing airborne particles. In this case, higher is better. The bad news is that reusable filters likely only reach up to MERV 4, while disposable units can go as high as MERV 12.
  • Reusable Filters Can Potentially Attract Mold: Washing reusable filters means that they will be wet for a while as you wait for them to dry. You cannot use this on your HVAC system while damp but don’t get impatient. Reinstalling the filters while still moist encourages mold growth, leading to poor indoor air quality.
  • Electrostatic Filters Aren’t Effective Against Some Contaminants: Electrostatic filters can effectively attract dust, carpet fibers, and pollen. However, they don’t work as well with smaller particles. Bacteria, mold spores, and other contaminants can still go through to the detriment of people’s health.

How To Care For A Washable HVAC Filter

Modern airconditioner unit service cleaning the filter

Ensure that you conduct satisfactory maintenance processes, whichever filter you choose. It is easier to do with disposable filters because you only need to throw away the old unit and replace it with a new one. Washable filters require more care since you want to stretch their service life. Use running water to remove residues like dirt. Pressurized water is more effective, so utilize a sprayer if possible. Let the wet filter air dry completely to keep mold from growing.

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Other High-Performing Air Filter Options

Keep in mind that options aside from these two filter types are available. If you feel electrostatic units lack performance, consider high-efficiency electronic air and media filters. They operate differently, but they are both considered to be premium options as they have the incredible ability to get rid of almost all air contaminants. With these filters, homeowners can reduce the risk of allergies and respiratory tract issues like asthma attacks. They are reasonably priced and have a long lifespan.

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Homeowners have many choices when it comes to air filters. The correct choice depends on an individual’s priorities which may be air quality, household budget, ease of use, and unit longevity. Consult an HVAC contractor to help you select the best air filter for your home.

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Wilcox Energy provides excellent heating and cooling services in the southern Connecticut shoreline. We have the best professionally certified technicians who can conduct high-quality HVAC services, including boiler tune-ups, furnace repairs, AC replacements, and more. Each of our friendly techs has the experience, skills, and knowledge to service your HVAC system correctly.

Our company guarantees the area’s most competitive heating and cooling service costs. Our maintenance services can help improve your home’s comfort, energy efficiency, and air quality while reducing energy expenses. If you need to get your HVAC system replaced or repaired, we can recommend the best solutions for your home while keeping your budget in mind. We back all our work with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. Book a service appointment by calling Wilcox Energy today and receive a free, in-home estimate.

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For more information about our HVAC services, be sure to contact Wilcox Energy. You can click here to contact us, or you can call us at (860) 399-6218 to find out more. We offer a full line of heating and cooling repairs, maintenance services, and installations. Click the link to view our service area.