Air filters are one of the simplest components in your entire HVAC system. Yet, simply neglecting to replace it can bring complete destruction and chaos to your system.
To be fair, we’re only slightly exaggerating. A clogged air filter can tank your efficiency, cause short cycling, airflow issues, and in the case of a furnace, can cause it to overheat. Before calling in for AC repair issues in Miami, we almost always recommend changing the air filter first.
If you hate having to go out and buy a new filter, however, you might want to invest in a washable one.
The Problem with Disposable Air Filters
Most systems are set up with disposable filters by default. You install them in your HVAC system, you let them do their job for about 3 months, and then you throw it away when it gets too dirty. They’re generally inexpensive, so it’s not a huge pain to buy a new one. However, getting a new filter every few months can be a financial burden for some. In that case, a washable air filter might be just what you need.
Why Use a Washable Filter?
It’s all in the name. Washable filters don’t need to be replaced, simply because you can wash out all the dirt and dust that collects in them. They’re a bit more expensive upfront, but you’ll be saving yourself all the trouble of having to make the drive to go to buy a new one every few months. Plus, finding a well-priced filter can outweigh the cost of several disposable filters by far.
As for a washable filter, you might need to clean it about once a month. You can tell by taking out the filter, holding it up to the light, and seeing if any light comes through. You can keep using the filter as long as you can still see light.
How Do You Clean Them?
When it does come time to clean the filter, it’s a lot less trouble than having to buy a new one.
- Remove the filter.
- Rinse out the filter. Depending on the size of the filter, you can do this in your sink, the bath tub, or outside with a garden hose. Make sure to consult the instructions to see if there are specific instructions on rinsing.
- Using a brush and a mild detergent, you can remove stubborn stains left by pet hair, grease, and smoke.
- Give the filter time to dry.
- Put it back into the system and you’re good to go.
How Long Do They Last?
Depending on the situation in your home, a disposable filter will need to be replaced anywhere from 60 days to half a year. Once it’s done, you’ll need to buy a new one.
A washable filter, on the other hand, isn’t going to wear out nearly as soon. They may need cleaning more often, but overall, you’re looking at a lifespan of nearly 10 years. Most people replace their washable filters simply because they want to invest in a better one.