October 31, 2020
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Are HVAC Filters Recyclable in BC?

hvac filter recycle

Everyone wants to breathe fresh clean air. It’s better for your health and should be a priority for every home. Although it can be hard to notice, your HVAC system is what will be supplying you with the air you breathe in your home. Vancouver HVAC professionals suggest changing your air filters every three months to maintain a clean airflow. Considering that you’re going to be throwing away filters a couple times a year, its good to know if these filters can be recycled. 

Can my HVAC air filter be recycled in BC?

 The short answer here is: it depends. You’ll need to first find out what type of air filter you’re using. The first step is to safely remove the filter from your HVAC system. If you’re unsure how to do this, call a local Vancouver HVAC company for advice. Ideally the filter is removed often enough that it does not stick with dust, dirt and grit in your HVAC system. This can cause difficulty in taking the filter out, and is one of the reasons its good to change them regularly.

There are a lot of different HVAC air filters out there and they can be made from a variety of materials. A typical disposable HVAC air filter is made with woven filters that collect the particles for you. These fibers are commonly made out of fiberglass or polyester and are usually encased in a structure made from cardboard. Fiberglass and polyester are not recyclable products. Even though cardboard is, these types of filters should be thrown into the garbage. One of the reasons for that are the health concerns of dealing with a used HVAC filter. They have collected dirt and dust from the air, and even possibly harmful chemicals, and therefore cannot be recycled. By contacting the City of Vancouver or City of Kelowna, you’ll be able to get more accurate information about which types of filter materials may be allowed in the City’s recycling program.

Although disposable filters are the cheapest types of air filters to buy, they’re not generally recyclable and need to be replaced frequently. The cost of them adds up quickly when considering changing them four times a year.

Reusable Air Filters

There are other types of air filters available in Vancouver HVAC shops that are reusable. These are also commonly called washable filters and can be a more eco-friendly option for your home. They have a higher price tag than the disposable options, but they are reusable. They usually last up to about 5 years if they are cleaned and maintained properly. The frame is often made of aluminum or plastic, and they can be washed with water in a sink or bathtub.

Washing a Reusable Air Filter

Safely remove the filter with gloves on to avoid getting dirt and dust on your hands. Make sure that these particles aren’t getting into your mouth or eyes as well. Once the air filter is removed place it in a sink or tub filled with water. You want to be thorough in your cleaning to make sure that your air filter has a long life, and doesn’t have buildups on it that restrict airflow to your home. You can use a mild detergent to help you clean. A good way to remove sticky particles is to use a gentle scrubbing brush that will allow you to scrape the air filter without damaging it. Once the cleaning is complete and it’s looking like new again, shake out any excess water and leave to dry. Most reusable HVAC filters have water drain holes to help with the drying process. It’s important that you allow the filter to fully dry before reinstalling it. Wet and damp areas allow bacteria to grow and the last place you want bacteria or mold forming is on a filter that you and your family’s air flows through.