How Long Does a Cleanable Air Filter Last? - An Expert's Guide

When it comes to air filters, washable ones may be more expensive upfront, but they have an extended lifespan of between 5 and 10 years. This means that you'll save money in the long run if you decide to invest in a washable air filter. The air filter you choose has a direct impact on the performance of your air conditioning system, as it is responsible for trapping all types of airborne particles that can harm your health and the expensive components of the system. Even if you clean a washable filter every month, over time it will begin to accumulate dirt and particles that remain lodged in the filter can slow down essential air flow in the air conditioning system.

What Affects the Lifespan of a Washable Air Filter?

The electrostatic charge of a washable air filter can decrease over time, so you may need to replace it with a new, fully charged one after 5 to 10 years. Performance is also taken into account in the cost analysis - washable air filters usually have a lower MERV rating and are less efficient, while a high-quality disposable filter could filter the air better. There are a lot of variables at play when you consider cost, so be sure to consider these factors when choosing the best HVAC filter for your home.

Are Washable Air Filters Environmentally Friendly?

If you want to be greener, opt for reusable filters, as they can last five years or more.

This means that a washable filter is equivalent to about 20 or 60 filters, which last between one and three months each. Therefore, washing and reusing the same filter is an environmentally friendly measure that you must consider. Many people have had these washable filters for more than ten years. The only reason you'll have to replace it is if you find a better one or if you decide to do it.

How Do You Care for a Washable Air Filter?

Of course, anything has normal wear and tear. Most washable filters last at least ten years, so it's no problem if you plan accordingly and carefully care for the washable filter when you wash it. Most washable electrostatic oven filters come with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects. To better understand what is the best type of air filter for heating, ventilation and air conditioning for your home, you'll need to understand the different types of air filter technology, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

When cleaning your washable air filter, make sure to place it in your HVAC system (following directional airflow guidelines, if any) and allow the ventilation airflow to completely dry the clean air filter. This type of washable air filter can also be sprayed with a mild household cleaner to remove any grease or smoke residue.

What Are the Disadvantages of Using Washable Air Filters?

A filter with a very high MERV rating will be very dense, and a dense air filter means that your HVAC equipment will have to work harder to get air through the filter. Replacing a wet filter in the air conditioning system creates an ideal environment for mold and bacteria to grow.


Washable air filters are more expensive than disposable fiberglass filters but they are also more environmentally friendly as they can be reused multiple times before needing to be replaced. Make sure to clean your washable air filter once a month and allow it to dry completely before being put back in your HVAC system. Investing in a washable air filter is an excellent way to save money in the long run while also being environmentally friendly.

Simon Genz
Simon Genz

Infuriatingly humble social media practitioner. Incurable communicator. Friendly internet trailblazer. Zombie fan. Lifelong foodaholic.