Those who follow manufacturer recommendations in terms of filter changes on an annual basis may have found themselves with an accumulation of old filters clogging their air conditioner units and collecting dust over time. Air conditioner filters serve to trap unwanted debris before it enters your house, so regular servicing or replacement must take place to keep them functioning effectively.
Filters, due to being composed of multiple materials, can be difficult to recycle. While their frames may be easily recyclable cardboard, their actual filter itself typically features non-recyclable fiberglass or polyester components which recycling facilities simply don’t want to deal with disassembling and categorizing individually – leading them to end up in landfills instead.
While it may be tempting to just throw dirty air filters in with your recycling, this is often not recommended due to several issues. First off, they could possibly contaminate other recyclable products, and secondly your local recycling center may lack capacity to handle this volume of air filters.
Filthy filters often end up in landfills when they should be recycled instead. But there are ways you can lessen your environmental impact while using old AC filters in good ways.
At first, it is important to carefully inspect your filter to ascertain if it can be recycled or needs replacing. Before taking this step, however, your AC should be turned off so the filter can be safely removed without disrupting its functionality. Reusable filters must be cleaned thoroughly and allowed to dry before being returned back into service; disposable ones can be washed by adding some white vinegar into water in your sink before submerging them for around an hour before rinsing with fresh water before returning them to their air conditioning units for storage until needed again.
Your clean filters can also be put to good use in DIY projects and recycled at local recycling centers if they’re dry and clean – check with your waste management provider or HVAC supplier first on how best to dispose of them in your region.
If your old or dirty AC filter doesn’t qualify for any of the recycling options listed above, it may be wise to throw it out in the garbage. Filters covered in dust, dirt or mildew may become breeding grounds for mold and mildew that contaminates air you and your family breathe, potentially leading to respiratory ailments and health problems for everyone in the household. Furthermore, dirt trapped within an old filter could damage its blower fan, leading to costly repairs down the line.