Author Topic: Washable furnace air filters  (Read 10408 times)

mustachian.acolyte

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Washable furnace air filters
« on: April 13, 2013, 09:29:35 AM »
I am tired of buying disposable air filters for my furnace. I usually get the cheap ones from Home Depot. A 3-pack costs either $7 or $15, I forget which. Sometimes I'll alternate with high-quality (or overly expensive, depending on your point of view) filters, on the theory that it will cut down on allergens. I check the filter every few weeks and change it out when it's dirty.

I want to try washable / reusable air filters. I figure if I can save ~$5-$10 per month (on average) then going washable will be more than worth it.

Here are two I've identified off Amazon that look promising:
American Air Filter (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00002NCNX/)
Superflow Blue (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003YDMURG/)

Does anyone have experience or advice with respect to washable furnace air filters? Thanks in advance.

mikefixac

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 09:57:04 AM »
In my opinion, the best filters to buy are the cheapest throwaway filters at Home Depot. They are cheap, but they do filter the air while keeping the static pressure low.

The more expensive filters raise the static pressure. http://customhvaconline.com/2010/10/static-pressure-basics/

 

Dynasty

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2013, 01:49:49 PM »
Yep, use the cheapo disposables.

I have two large filters in my furnace that get changed out once a year.


GoStumpy

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2013, 02:05:30 PM »
My wife sells filters at the wholesale level, and agrees that the cheap throwaways are your best bet.  Washable filters don't filter well at all, they only catch LARGE particles, like bugs, lol. 

If you can find a filter warehouse, if you're really nice and bring dougnuts they'll sell you a dozen for ~$50

I'm surprised you can find 3-packs that cheap??  They must be crap!

-edit-

Browsed Homedepot.com, I see the one you're talking about... WOW you guys get cheaper stuff in the US!  Here in Canada the cheapest 16x20 filter is $16 at Home Depot!
« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 02:12:11 PM by GoStumpy »

tooqk4u22

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2013, 06:14:01 PM »
I have used one of those in the past, they suck....primarily because they really don't clean as well as advertised and as others have said restrict the  air flow.  Cheapos are best, just change regularly.


GuitarStv

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 06:35:17 AM »
When we bought our house it came with electronic air cleaner/filter.  They're big metal bricks filled with fins, and you take them out ever month or two and hose them down.  I have no idea how expensive they are, but ours works better than any filter I've used before, and you don't have to keep buying filters.

mustachian.acolyte

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2013, 08:58:07 PM »
I'd love to know what kind your electronic filters are. Any chance you can take photos I can try to identify the model?

SavingMon(k)ey

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2013, 05:59:07 PM »
I'd love to know what kind your electronic filters are. Any chance you can take photos I can try to identify the model?
+1

I looked but can't find any that can be washed.

Awenthomas

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2015, 06:30:09 AM »
Hi,
Washable Furnace Filters are designed to be permanent filter by using static electricity to trap airborne particles. These filters are easy to rinse, clean and replace. Electrostatic filters will also save your time and money.

GuitarStv

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2015, 10:08:30 AM »
I'd love to know what kind your electronic filters are. Any chance you can take photos I can try to identify the model?
+1

I looked but can't find any that can be washed.

Ours looks almost exactly like this (but is Lennox branded):



It is installed in the plenum that provides air to the furnace unit so all you can see is the front panel in the picture.  To wash it, you turn it off then open that panel and pull out two big metal boxes filled with fins and two thin mesh screens.  They all get dusty.  I take them upstairs to the bathroom and hose them off with the shower head, then wait an hour or two until they dry and pop 'em back in every couple months.

Jack

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2015, 10:21:52 AM »
I use the relatively expensive disposable filters (e.g. 3M Filtrete 1500 for $15 each) but only change them once every three months. Am I doing the wrong thing?

(By the way: unless somebody convinces me otherwise, I'll be using the 3M 1900 filter when I change it out in June. I saw a good deal on a 3-pack of them for $40 at Costco, which is cheaper per filter than the 1500s at Lowes.)

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2015, 11:29:56 AM »
I use the relatively expensive disposable filters (e.g. 3M Filtrete 1500 for $15 each) but only change them once every three months. Am I doing the wrong thing?

The answer tends to be "it depends".  The role of the filter is to remove dust from the air for two reasons.  First, to improve the cleanliness and health of the home by removing allergens and crap from the air.  Second, to improve the effectiveness of the evaporator by reducing the amount of dust/contamination that ends up on the evaporator, thus reducing its effectiveness.  The less that the home air is running, the more that dust will simply settle on the floor/carpet and get vacuumed up instead of ending up in the filter.  For example, in a hot desert climate the system may barely run at all in the spring and fall, but will run a fair amount in the winter and seemingly non-stop during daylight hours in summer.  I replace my filters whenever they are visibly discolored.

As for cheap versus expensive, I'm not sure those really tiny particles will make a difference in evaporator effectiveness, but if you have someone in the home who's health is particularly sensitive to allergens, especially if you live in an area with a lot of pollen, it could be worth it for the health of yourself or that person to use the better filters, especially during pollen season.  I suppose a compromise would be to only use the high-end filters from March through July, then switch back to cheap filters from August through February when pollen count is lower.

terran

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2015, 11:37:32 AM »
I bought these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LR8H9A/ They were $10 cheaper at the time, but I think at $62 for 12 they're still a good deal. They're the same thing the company that serviced our furnace put in, so hopefully they're at least decent.

Numbers Man

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2015, 04:55:29 PM »
I have been told by a couple of HVAC guys that the cheap filters do the trick and your're wasting your money on the high end filters. Any HVAC pros that will weigh in on this topic?

Bob W

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2015, 07:34:36 PM »
I've used the same filter for 2 years.   I wash it with the hose in the drive and let it sun dry.   It doesn't say "not washable"



kathrynd

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2015, 07:44:59 PM »
Our mobile homes (rentals) all use washable filters.
These filters are very similar to the material used in a pot scrubber
Rinse them with a hose ppr in the bath tub.

...the trouble is..the tenants don't both cleaning it

Numbers Man

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2015, 09:37:51 AM »
I've used the same filter for 2 years.   I wash it with the hose in the drive and let it sun dry.   It doesn't say "not washable"

Genius!

ammywilson

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2015, 11:19:00 PM »
I use united filters from last 5 years and they are easy to  washable .
 

Bob W

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Re: Washable furnace air filters
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2015, 02:38:40 PM »
I've used the same filter for 2 years.   I wash it with the hose in the drive and let it sun dry.   It doesn't say "not washable"

Genius!

The sun kills mold and most bacteria and viruses as well.   I just realized I made this post in April and haven't changed since then.  Whoops!  WTF.