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Are Air Filters Recyclable? How To Dispose of Old Furnace Filters

The indoor air quality is dependent on your consistent replacement or cleaning of your household filters. The type of air filter you use for your home will dictate how frequently your system needs maintenance. Your home may need to cycle through four to twelve filters annually, depending on certain factors like environment and MERV ratings. Are air filters recyclable? Before you start throwing the air filters away, you should consider recycling them. However, the air filter recycling process is more complicated than just throwing old air filters into the bin.


A typical air filter is made of recyclable such as a simple cardboard frame or plastic frame and non-recyclable components such as polyester, fiberglass, or other types of synthetic fibers. While these materials may not all be recyclable, with some diligent efforts, you can still dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way by contacting an HVAC company or supplier for more info. Another environmentally friendly filter type is washable air filters, also known as reusable HVAC air filters. These filters are made of aluminum frames (plastic frames are sometimes used). While these filters are a little more expensive than other types of filters, they can last up to five years with great care and can be worth the price in the long run for some people. Word of caution, however, these kinds of filters are not recommended for people with asthma, allergies, and other health concerns that require absolutely no exposure to high levels of pollution or airborne pathogens. To address such health concerns, you may want to consider Filter King's MERV 13 air filters.

MERV and Dirty Air Filters

You will need to check and see if your filters are in need of maintenance first. A maintenance schedule usually depends on the MERV rating of a filter. MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, ratings will tell you what types of particles an HVAC air filter will be able to block. The higher the MERV rating is, the more filtered the air passing through will be and how often it will need cleaning.

The downside of higher MERV ratings is that airflow will need more energy in order to pass through a system. The energy needed can have a toll on both billing and the environment. The situation is worse with a dirty filter, causing the ventilation systems to use even more energy. When you maintain your air conditioner, it can help you lower your monthly bills and environmental impact.

Are Air Filters Recyclable?

The answer to this question is yes you can recycle air filters, but the process is not simply tossing the filter into the recycling bin. The frame of a filter consists of recyclable material, but the filter itself may consist of several types of material. The materials used to create a filter include materials ranging from fiberglass, wire mesh, paper, and plastic. The non-recyclable materials in an air filter may contaminate a batch of recyclable materials and complicate the process.

Are Furnace Filters Recyclable?

Furnace filters are most often lower rated on the MERV scale and maybe a mix of recyclable and non-recyclable materials. Furnace filters need maintenance in order to stop any issues with airflow, which means that they can begin piling up over time.

Ways to Recycle a Dirty Air Filter

When you want to recycle an air filter, there are some easy steps that you can take in order to make sure that the materials are suitably taken care of. Your options include:

Contacting your filter supplier and asking if the local recycling branch is capable of disposing of filters.

Using the mail-in prepaid mailers that recycling companies offer for used air filters. In some cases, a recycling program will even provide return a new filter made from recycled materials.

Replace Dirty Filters With Reusable Filters

You can also reduce the number of filters that you use by purchasing a reusable air filter for your home. Reusable filters are washable filters before reinstallation. The whole filter cleaning process needs to take place every few months to avoid any blockage problems. A reusable filter is often made from durable materials that last longer than disposable air filters. It may be easier to purchase reusable filters, but they require consistent maintenance to benefit from them. Reusable air filters are commonly more expensive than disposable air filters.

Environmental Impact

Your environmental carbon footprint ties directly into the amount of energy your home uses to carry out the simplest of tasks. The air flowing through the ventilation system requires more energy as more obstacles block its path. High MERV rated or a dirty air filter often causes the HVAC system to require additional energy in order to keep the air flowing. The spike in energy resulting from inefficient air filters creates a larger burden on both your wallet and the environment.

Buy Furnace Filters at Low Prices

If you want to lower your environmental footprint, then speak to an air filter company that provides the appropriate air filter disposal services. Filter King provides air filters for any home at prices that go easy on any budget. We also provide air filter subscription services where filters come in before any airflow problems or extra energy costs can show up on a bill! Start lowering your environmental impact today and see how you can help the earth by recycling one filter at a time.

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