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Every 3 months, you begrudgingly visit a store or shop online for that one item. It’s delicate, flat, and light as a feather. If you haven’t guessed, it’s an air conditioning filter, otherwise known as an air handler filter or HVAC filter. 

This thin, wavy sheet of tangled-up fiber catches dust, dirt, and other allergens in the air as it passes through your ducts and vents. But it does more than just clean the air we breathe, it holds an important function for our air handler.

The Function of Air Filters

Recycle sign - Are air conditioning filters recyclable?By catching pet hair and particulate matter before it reaches the fan, an air handler filter protects the air handler and other delicate parts inside your HVAC units, like the evaporator coils in your AC. If not for the air conditioning filter, you would have the disgusting mess you find on your filter in your entire HVAC system. Yuck!

When we change out our AC filter every 3 months, we are doing ourselves and our air conditioner a tremendous favor. Without a clean filter, both our health and the health of our cooling system would suffer.

But what about the health of our planet? 

When we pull out that gross air filter, how can we prevent it from harming Mother Nature? 

You may feel guilty about throwing your used filter in the garbage, especially if you make a habit of recycling and living green. But this question doesn’t have a cut and dry answer. So let’s dive right in and explore the question, “Are air conditioning filters recyclable?”

Are Air Conditioning Filters Recyclable? 

If you think you can just pop your used air handler filters into the recycling bin, think again! It’s not possible for air conditioning filters to be recycled from home, at least not most of it.

As you may know, in order to recycle an item, it needs to be taken apart and organized by material. Glass, plastic, paper, and aluminum are cleaned, reconstituted, and reused in different ways. 

The trouble with a filter is that it is often made from a mixture of multiple materials, including:

  • Fiberglass
  • Metal
  • Fabric
  • Paper

While you can take off the cardboard frame and recycle that, the filter itself needs special attention. That attention can only be given by HVAC specialists like Action Air Conditioning. Professional HVAC contractors have access to specific recycling resources that reuse the materials safely and effectively.

An Alternative to Recyclable Air Conditioning Filters

If you had your heart set on recycling your filters, there is an alternative solution widely available – reusable filters. 

There are a variety of reusable filters on the market that come in a range of MERV ratings and sizes. Many people have reported that these filters last many years and are easy to clean with a garden hose or bucket outdoors. Some can even be thrown into your laundry!

Of course, these are for household use or small businesses. They cannot replace the highest MERV rating filters that trap viruses and bacteria in the air in medical facilities. But they are perfect for the average property owner who wants to keep their HVAC system and family healthy. 

If you have severe allergies or don’t want to deal with the mess, reusable air conditioning filters may not be right for you. But if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and like to live sustainably, this is a fantastic option. 

With a little additional maintenance step every few months, you can have clean air, save money, and save the environment by choosing a reusable air handler filter over the disposable kind.

Air Conditioning Filters, Recyclable In Tampa Bay, Florida 

Think twice before tossing your old air handler filters in the garbage! Air conditioning filters cannot be recycled at home, but they can be recycled. Contractors in the HVAC industry have access to specialized recycling services that allow them to safely and successfully recycle the materials they use in their work.

If you have any questions about recycling air conditioning filters, or you need advice about selecting a quality reusable air handler filter, speak with an Action Air Conditioning representative today!