Can HEPA Filters Be Recycled?

Finally, HEPA filters are not recyclable and must be discarded after use, causing environmental pollution. The short answer to this question is that it depends on the type of air filter you have. A typical disposable HVAC filter is made with woven fibers, most commonly polyester or fiberglass, that are not recyclable. When it comes to dealing with air filters, remember that you also need to consider your health.

These filters can expose you to dust, dirt, and even potentially harmful chemicals. As such, most cities don't accept them as recycling, but instead have to throw them away. To keep your air cleaner working as it should, you should change the filters regularly (frequency varies by model). But what about used filters? HEPA filters are usually made of fiberglass or a form of polyester fibers and, unfortunately, these materials are not recyclable.

Although there may be other elements of a filter unit that are technically recyclable, removing them will involve tearing apart a dirty filter. And who wants to handle a filter full of all the pollutants they want to remove from the air to begin with?The answer to this question is yes, air filters can be recycled, but the process is not simply to throw the filter into the recycle bin. The frame of a filter consists of recyclable material, but the filter itself can consist of several types of material. The materials used to create a filter include materials ranging from fiberglass, wire mesh, paper and plastic.

Non-recyclable materials in an air filter can contaminate a batch of recyclable materials and complicate the process. A permanent or washable HEPA filter can be cleaned and reused several times as long as it is done correctly without damaging the filter. Most permanent HEPA filters can be gently cleaned with a vacuum, while a washable HEPA filter can be cleaned by rinsing it in cold water. Note that there are no officially defined standards or terms as to what type is considered permanent or washable. If you are not sure if the HEPA filter can be cleaned, look for the “washable” or “permanent” label on the packaging box or on the air purifier's website. Janitized offers the most extensive line of replacement filters for commercial grade vacuum cleaners, along with premium vacuum bags.

The energy spike resulting from inefficient air filters creates a greater burden on both your pocket and the environment. Your home may need to go through four to twelve filters a year, depending on certain factors, such as environment and MERV ratings. Another type of eco-friendly filter are washable air filters, also known as reusable HVAC air filters. The higher the MERV rating, the more filtered the passing air will be and how often it will need cleaning. If there is none, the general guideline is that a True HEPA filter should be discarded and replaced rather than cleaned. Adjust the speed to the minimum, gently vacuum dust, hair and mites from the surface without applying pressure to the filter material.

HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air and is a type of mechanical filter that traps 99.97% of harmful particles in the air as small as 0.3 microns (0.0003 mm). MERV ratings, or Minimum Efficiency Report Value, will tell you what types of particles an HVAC air filter can block. You can also reduce the number of filters you use by purchasing a reusable air filter for your home. When you want to recycle an air filter, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure that materials are properly cared for. HEPA filters are made of a variety of materials, such as plastic polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), nylon, wool, metals, foil, vegetable fibers, or fine glass fibers.