Can Air Filters Be Cleaned & Reused?

by | Jun 29, 2023 | AC Maintenance

Climate control is an element of modern life for which we are all truly grateful. Keeping us cool in the summer and warm in the winter, HVAC units save us a lot of discomfort and strife.

But that doesn’t mean our relationship with them is always easy. At Classic Services Air Conditioning & Heating, we’ve seen it allthe breakdowns, meltdowns, and more.

One of the most common causes of frustration? The simple air filter. A dirty air filter can cause a lot of problems and do a surprising amount of damage to your home cooling or heating system. Making sure it’s clean is crucial.

One of the most common questions we get asked is, “Can I clean my air filter myself?

The simple answer is an emphatic no, though reusable air filters are the one exception and, in fact, should be regularly cleaned.

Let’s break it down a little further:

Signs That You May Have a Dirty Filter

If you’ve been sniffling and sneezing, shivering or sweating, or noticing an accumulation of dust around your home, it may be time to investigate the status of your HVAC filters. Indeed, dirty air filters can be the culprit of many suspicious issues on the home front.

Here are a few more tell-tale signs to watch out for:

  • Increased allergy symptoms
  • Poor air quality in your home
  • Ice on your evaporator coils (AC units only)
  • Dust collecting near air vents
  • Higher than normal energy bills
  • HVAC system isn’t as effective overall (a clogged filter prevents airflow)

Disposable Air Filters

Cleaning Conundrum

Under no circumstances does the team at Classic Services recommend attempting to clean and replace a disposable air filter.

A vacuum cleaner may remove large pieces of debris but will never be able to fully suction out the particles that are preventing optimal airflow.

While washing a filter in the sink may seem like a logical solution, this can result in persistent dampness that acts as a magnet for mold and mildew (which is subsequently blown all throughout your house).

Best Practices

  • Invest in a new air filter routinely every three months or so (more often if necessary).
  • Keep your home as clean and free of dust and contaminants as possible.
  • Respond quickly if you notice warning signs that your air filter may be dirty (see above).

Reusable Air Filters

Reusable filters, also known as washable air filters, are entirely different from disposable filters and are meant to be washed on a regular basis (usually about once per month). Typically, you just remove the washable filter, rinse it thoroughly, allow it to dry completely, and replace it.

About The Author

John Magninat

John Magninat

Owner John Magninat is a third generation air conditioning repair man. Classic Services Air Conditioning & Heating is a family company with family values and our customers are our top priority.

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