Can I Recycle a Dirty Air Filter?

Learn the how to manage your air filters when they have expired their use

While your home's air quality benefits from your diligent efforts to change your air filters monthly, you might be piling up used air filters, which takes up a generous amount of space in your trash can.

If you're someone who maintains your HVAC unit according to the manufacturer's instructions, you're accumulating anywhere from four to twelve used HVAC air filters per year.

Can you recycle a dirty filter?

Recycling used air filters is a bit more complicated than simply setting them out with your weekly cardboard pickup. Sure, the frames may be composed of simple cardboard, but the filter itself? Not so much.

Depending on the types of filter you buy, they may be composed of anything from fiberglass to plastic to wire mesh, or a combination. This makes them inappropriate choices for the recycling bin. Luckily, there are places to recycle air filters for the home, but you may have to do a little research to find them.

Ways to recycle air filters:

  • Contact a HVAC company or supplier. Some will accept used filters for disposal.
  • Use a mail-in recycling company that sends you prepaid mailers to send off used filters for recycling
  • Purchase reusable filters as opposed to disposable ones. They'll cost more up front, but last much longer.

Kudos to you for trying to eliminate your environmental footprint, hopefully one of these suggestions will work for you.

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