how to clean reusable air filter

How to Clean a Washable Air Filter

Over the years, the most common choice in air filters has been the disposable option. However, reusable air filters have grown in popularity as they have become more of a priority to eliminate waste and single-use items. If you’re wondering if you should switch to a washable air filter, you likely have questions about the maintenance involved.

Here’s a guide on how to clean a reusable air filter and other maintenance tips.

How to Clean Reusable Air Filters

Cleaning your reusable air filter is essential in keeping your HVAC system working correctly and efficiently. Plus, a clean air filter is better at trapping contaminants and removing them from your air supply, giving you healthier air in your home.


Follow these steps to clean your reusable air filter:


  1. Shut off the HVAC system, then remove the filter.
  2. Rinse the filter with plain, warm water. It’s best to use distilled water unless you have a water softener installed due to the hardness of Las Vegas water.
  3. Wash the filter with gentle household soap. Dish soap will work best, but hand soap can be used if you’re out of dish soap.
  4. Gently scrub any stubborn grime with a soft-bristled brush. Do this step with care to avoid damaging your filter.
  5. Rinse the filter with warm water until all the soap and debris are gone.
  6. Gently shake the filter to remove excess water.
  7. Allow the filter to dry completely before you put it back in place to avoid mold and mildew. Once replaced, turn your HVAC system back on.

Reusable air filters should be washed as often as you would replace disposable filters. For the average home, your filter should be cleaned every 90 days. However, if you have a large house, allergy problems, or multiple pets, you should clean your filter once every one to two months or whenever it’s visibly dirty.

Are Reusable Air Filters Worth It?

The answer to this question is dependent on your home and lifestyle. Most reusable air filters have a MERV rating of between one and four, though you may find a higher-rated option. A well-maintained washable filter will perform the same as a disposable filter with the same MERV rating. Still, the lower rating means the filter can’t grab as many particles and allergens as higher MERV-rated filters can.

Cleaning filters requires more time and effort than simply replacing them, but buying disposable filters every month can be costly, especially if your home is larger and requires multiple. The initial cost of a reusable filter can be five to six times that of a disposable filter, but adequately maintained washable filters can last up to five years.

Whichever air filters you choose for your home, ensure they aren’t the only maintenance performed on your HVAC system. Contact Elite Heating and AC Repair to schedule regular maintenance today to keep your system working as efficiently as possible.


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