General Question

andrew's avatar

Can I rinse and reuse a furnace air filter?

Asked by andrew (16461points) September 5th, 2008

I have an 1982 furnace/central air in my home. About a month and a half ago, I replaced the (original?) filter with a high performance allergen one—and already it’s filthy. I’d hate to spend $30–40 every other month for a new filter.

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6 Answers

Snoopy's avatar

It was probably filthy just a few days after you started using it…...You purchased this hyper-expensive air filter for a specific reason. This “high performance allergen” air filter was purchased b/c you really want (or hope) that it will get your air clean. There is no way you will get it completely clean….AND you could be making it worse by setting up a nice moist place for mold spores to grow and be circulated through your home.

We change our filters every 3 months. We use $10 3M brand. They seem to work fine.

I would decide if it is more important for you to save money or try and tip the scales to decrease the allergens. Attempting to clean the filter is self defeating.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t know whether they’re reusable, but I’d think that after the first few they wouldn’t get dirty so quickly. As all the “old” crap in the air in your home gets repeatedly filtered out, I think you’d have less and less crap to filter.

marinelife's avatar

I have never tried it. If that is the way you want to go, I would suggest buying one of the rinse and re-use filters. it is around $80, but you only have that outlay once, and it was made to work that way.

Knotmyday's avatar

My AC repairman told us (the last time the HVAC broke) that the expensive HEPA filters are actually bad for the unit: Decreased airflow puts more strain on the blower motor and other components.
He suggested that we use the cheapest fiberglas filter available.

For allergen removal, I have strategically deployed air purification/ionizer units thoughout my domestic theater of operations. They are currently meeting objectives.

andrew's avatar

@knotmyday: I’ve actually heard that as well. I’m planning on replacing the whole thing come fall, so my thoughts were, “Make it pay!”

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