Why You Should Not Clean and Reuse a Disposable Air Filter

Air filter is one of the most important parts in the HVAC cabinet

Air filter helps to maintain and enhance the quality of the indoor air.


…if you want to know more about how an air filter save your life, read this article.

Back to the main topic today, I think you will AGREE with me when I say:

It is very important to have a clean air filter for your house to ensure the good quality of the indoor air as well as the well-being of people who live inside the house.

You also MUST know that…

There are 2 main types of air filter, which is disposable and permanent type. These different types require different methods of cleaning and maintaining. The permanent air filter needs to be cleaned after about 3 to 6 months in use while you need to replace the disposable air filter frequently.

Some people might want to save up some money by cleaning and reusing the disposable air filter. This, in fact, brings more problems rather than benefits.


Scroll down to read on about the reasons why you should not reuse your disposable air filter:

You Cannot Clean The Disposable Air Filter Properly And Thoroughly

When the disposable air filter is dirty, it means that all the dirt and pollutants that it helps to absorb over time have built up inside the air filter.

Because these contaminants lie deep down inside the air filter, you cannot take them out completely even with the help of a vacuum cleaner.

You may agree with me that:

When you cannot clean off all the dirt completely, all of the dirt inside the air filter will prevent it from further cleaning the air.

You Cannot Clean The Disposable Air Filter Properly And Thoroughly

Image source: MotorBeam

Also other parts of the HVAC system such as the refrigerant and ductwork connect to the air filter. In case the air filter is not working properly, the other parts will not either, causing damage to the HVAC system in general.

Using A Wet Disposable Air Filter Can Encourage The Development Of Mold

Remember that…

…when you clean the permanent air filter, let it air dry totally before you put it back to the HVAC cabinet so that there is no moist and damp environment for mold and mildew to develop.


…the disposable filter cannot get rid of water properly and become dry after you clean it. Therefore, no matter how long you dry the disposable air filter, moisture will still be kept inside.

And the over humidity, along with dirt and bacteria that the air filter sucks in, will encourage the growth of mold and mildew. Later on, these harmful compounds will spread back into the air, deteriorating the indoor air quality of your house.

In addition…

…it is less efficient and energy saving if the HAVC system functions with a wet air filter. As you can see, you cannot save much money by reusing disposable air filter.

You Will Damage The Disposable Air Filter

Last but not least:

In the process of cleaning your disposable air filter, you might cause damages to it such as tearing a hole on it or making the fiber become loose.

You Will Damage The Disposable Air Filter

Image source: Widman International SRL

These damages will then prevent the air filter  from working effectively and efficiently.

In conclusion

I hope that the reasons above have already explained to you why you should not reuse your disposable air filter. If you want to use an air filter for a long time, switch to use permanent air filter. Otherwise, you need to get rid of your disposable air filter immediately once it gets dirty and install a brand new one.

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