Are Washable Furnace Filters the Best Option for Your Home?

Learn about the pros & cons of using washable furnace filters in your home. Understand different types of air filter technology & how to choose.

Are Washable Furnace Filters the Best Option for Your Home?

When it comes to improving the indoor air quality (IAQ) of your home, the type of HVAC filter you choose is an important decision. There are two main types of filters available: disposable and reusable, or washable. Disposable air filters need to be replaced monthly or quarterly, depending on several factors, while a washable HVAC filter can be cleaned and reused several times. But which type is best for your needs and budget? To help you make an informed decision, let's take a closer look at the pros and cons of washable oven filters.

We'll also discuss the different types of air filter technology and how to choose the right filter for your HVAC system.

The Benefits of Washable HVAC Filters

One of the main advantages of using a washable HVAC filter is that it's more environmentally friendly than disposable filters. That means that a washable air filter, conservatively, could replace between 20 and 60 disposable air filters. Washable filters are also more cost-effective in the long run.

While they may be more expensive upfront, the cost you save by using them still translates into big savings.

The Drawbacks of Washable HVAC Filters

One of the drawbacks of using a washable air filter is that particles can remain lodged in the filter over time, which can slow down the essential airflow of the HVAC system and cause costly problems. Another thing to keep in mind is that the electrostatic charge of washable filters can decrease over time. This means that they may not be as effective at trapping particles as they were when they were new.

Choosing the Right Filter for Your HVAC System

When choosing an HVAC air filter, it's important to understand the different types of air filter technology available. Most home HVAC systems are not designed to support HEPA filters, so you'll need to choose a different type. Disposable air filters are much more efficient at trapping the smallest particles, and their MERV ratings can be as high as 16. Keep in mind that this is a one-time expense compared to replacing your oven filter on a monthly basis, so it's still a good deal even if it seems a little high at first. Washable air filters are generally made of woven polypropylene media and are electrostatically charged to capture more particles.

Functioning as a magnet, debris particles adhere to the filter media as air flows through the filter layers. No, most washable filters consist of stacked layers of various filter media with metal or plastic support. Like traditional disposable filters, washable filters will become clogged with dust and dirt, and will need to be cleaned routinely, once a month, to ensure that the system continues to operate smoothly.


When it comes to improving your IAQ, choosing the right type of HVAC filter is essential.

While disposable air filters are less expensive upfront, washable filters offer more long-term savings and environmental benefits. To make sure you have the best filter for your HVAC system, it's important to understand the different types of air filter technology available and their benefits and drawbacks.