Washable Air Filters

Can I Wash My Air Filter?

filtersSome people try to wash or vacuum their furnace filters to extend the life. Washing your furnace filter with water is generally a bad idea. Many filtering materials do not hold up well when wet, and washing your furnace filter significantly increases the risk for mold or microbiological growth on the filter itself (which will release those mold spores into the air that is circulating throughout your home).

Vacuuming your furnace filter is a healthier alternative to washing your furnace filter, but is still not recommended. Although you may slightly prolong the life of your furnace filter, you will probably make a mess doing it, and a vacuumed filter will release a lot of dust and particulate into the ductwork when you first re-install it. Additionally, most furnace filters are made from a delicate filtering material and are prone to ripping or tearing, which will render the filter useless.

There are certain filters that are intended to be washed called washable air filters. Make sure your filter is truly a washable air filter before you attempt to wash it. If you’re not sure what type of filter you have, we recommend you err on the side of caution and replace your existing filter.

Do Not Wash Furnace Filters

2 thoughts on “Can I Wash My Air Filter?”

  1. I have never tried to wash a furnace filter unless it was meant to be cleaned that way. However….since installing a thicker-4″ filter with my new furnace, I decided to take my vacuum to it just to remove the larger balls of dust I found on it. I was gentle with it and it did not tear.
    Can’t say that it will prolong the life of my filter from doing this, but I will see in a few months time.
    A tech had told me in my last home, that I could vacuum the media filter once in a while to extend it’s life. He also told me that although the manufacturers recommend changing filters either within 6 months to a year or year and a half for some, I should let my filter get a bit dirty and not to rush changing it because the filter actually worked better if it was slightly dirty and they should last an extra 6 months or so if I took care of it by vacuuming it once in a while.
    So all in all, I decided to take a chance. I’ll try it this once and if it helps prolong my filter without damages or loss of efficiency, I will continue to do it. If not, I’ll spend the money to change the filter out when it says to or when I can see it needs it.

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