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Air Conditioning Checking

Washable Air Filters vs Disposable

Updated: Feb 10, 2023

Air filters are one of the most important factors when it comes to your air conditioning system. After all, air filters help to stop dander, dirt, dust and other icky debris from infiltrating the rooms within your home. But when it comes to air filters, picking the right one can be a daunting task. Between MERV ratings, size and shape, there are lots of factors to consider.

One of the first decisions you should make, however, is whether a washable air filter or a disposable air filter is right for you. If you’re not sure, read on to learn the pros and cons of each before making a purchase.

Washable Air Filters

Washable Air Filters


Washable air filters are more expensive than disposable air filters. However, you will not need to purchase washable air filters as often. The average cost of washable air filters is between approximately $40 and $100.


One of washable air filters greatest weaknesses is that they are simply not as effective as disposable air filters. Despite regular cleanings, washable air filters eventually become bogged down with enough dirt to render them useless. Another factor to keep in mind is that most washable air filters only have a MERV rating between one and four, which is not great for homes with multiple people, pets, or in an environment where someone has a compromised immune system.

Overall Convenience

Washable air filters can be good or bad convenience-wise, depending on your lifestyle. While some homeowners don’t mind the routine cleanings washable air filters require, others dread the life. Whatever the case, it’s important to keep in mind what it takes to get a washable air filter truly clean. As a washable air filter ages, it becomes increasingly difficult to clean. While you won’t have to make a trip to your local hardware store as often, you will need to wash and wait for the air filter to dry completely before putting it back in your AC.

Disposable Air Filters


Disposable air filters are cheaper than washable air filters, but you need to replace them more often. Although it will depend on the size and MERV rating, a disposable air filter will typically cost you between $10 and $20.


Disposable air filters are more efficient than disposable air filters, but only if you replace them on a regular basis. For the cleanest air, we recommend changing your air filter once every month. Another thing to keep in mind is that while washable air filters only have a MERV rating up to four, disposable air filters are rated up to 16 and higher. This means cleaner air.

Overall Convenience

Disposable air filters should be replaced once a month, and doing so is relatively easy. Swap the old, dirty air filter for a clean air filter, and you’re set. Some homeowners buy air filters in bulk, so they aren’t running to the hardware store each month.

Find the Right Air Filter for Your Orlando Home

If you’re still not sure which air filter is right for your, the HVAC professionals at Energy Air can help. Our friendly and knowledgeable technicians are always here to help you find the air filter for your AC system and home. Give us a call or schedule your next preventative maintenance appointment online today.

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Contact Energy Air

Whether you need a single air conditioning unit installed or a complete air conditioning system retrofit, our team of HVAC experts will handle it. Have questions or would like to discuss your project? Give us a call today to talk to one of our friendly team members, or schedule your appointment online.

Orlando: (407) 501-6275 | Tampa: (813) 314-7261

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