Washable and Reusable AC and Furnace Filters

Are you looking for a way to save money and considered buying a washable and/or reusable ac or furnace filter? Chances are, if you are like many homeowners, you have considered the use of a reusable ac or furnace filter rather than a disposable. Most often, the motivation is lowered filter cost.

Though the thought of never having to pay filter costs again is appealing, there are some important drawbacks you should consider with using reusable filters.

The first problem with reusable filters is that you have to clean them. And though that may seem simple enough, it is a messy and time-consuming task. Failing to properly clean reusable filters is the biggest reason for not using them!

If you are seriously considering the use of a reusable filter, make absolutely sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, both when installing as well as cleaning and maintaining the filter. The importance of this cannot be underemphasized!

Be sure to use the cleaner the manufacturer specifies due the variety of materials used in the filter. Some cleaning agents do not clean properly or will damage the filter. Equally bad, may leak gaseous chemicals into the air, contaminating the indoor environment.

Once you have obtained the necessary cleaning solution, apply it according to the directions of the manufacturer. Once the filter has been cleaned, it is imperative that you do not reinstall the filter until the filter is thoroughly dry. Again; do not re-install the filter and start the system until the filter is completely dry. Unfortunately, this often necessitates leaving the system off for a day to insure the filter is ready for installation, an inconvenience most families tend to avoid.

Once your filter is properly cleaned and dry, you will want to reinstall the filter, reversing the process you used when removing the filter.

Another significant drawback is the filter material used to make reusable filters. This filter material is very dense in order to hold up to repeated washing. As a consequence, the filter material used in the typical reusable filter does not easily allow air to pass. This creates a significant restriction in air flow. In models we tested, the reduction in air flow was as little as 10% to as much as 70%, thereby increasing the cost of operating your system substantially.

Add up the cost and mess of reusable filters and, no doubt, you will determine the cost does not outweigh the disadvantages of reusable and washable filters:

  1. Sourcing Filter Manufacturers
  2. Purchasing the Filter
  3. Purchasing the Appropriate Cleaning Chemicals
  4. Installing the Filter
  5. Cleaning the Filter
  6. Re-Installing the Filter

Add up all the time and energy expended with reusable filters and we are convinced you are much better off with a disposable filter. At the factory-direct pricing Nordic Pure offers, you can save money, time and improve the quality of your indoor air.

Changing Your Home Air Filter

The quickest and easiest way to maximize the efficiency of your heating and air conditioning system while helping purify your home’s air is by changing your home air filter. It is much easier than you think!

Changing your home air filter should not take more than five or ten minutes. The greatest challenge most homeowners face is finding the appropriate size filter. We have included an article to choosing the proper filter size in “Choosing the Proper AC and Heater Filter Size.”

Once you have the appropriate replacement AC filter or heating system filter, simply go through these 6 simple steps:

1. Turn off your furnace

2. Find and locate your furnace filter

3. Remove the old filter

4. Insert the new filter

5. Turn system on

1. Make Sure to Turn Your AC or Furnace Off Before Changing Your Filter

Make sure you turn the thermostat to the “off” position before attempting to change the ac filter or heater filter. Do this to help protect your HVAC system from loose debris and to prevent the filter from getting sucked into the machine, which could cause damage to your system. Ideally, you should disconnect the power from your AC system or heating system while you are doing maintenance.

2. Find and Locate Your Furnace Filter

Do you know where your AC or heating system filter is located? Here are two suggestions to answer this question.

Begin by locating your operations manual for your AC and/or heating system. If you cannot locate it, you might want to try to locate it online.

Begin by obtaining the manufacturer’s name and model number from the ID plate on the heating and/or air conditioning unit. Then go to the internet and type in the description of the unit. You may find the operations manual online, either through the manufacturer or a distributor of the manufacturer’s products. This manual should tell you what size filter is recommended for your heating and cooling system.

If you don’t have your unit’s operations manual, locate the air filter(s) which can be found in either the blower compartment of the furnace (remove the furnace cover, typically by lifting up), or built into the system before the blower fan.

3. Remove the Existing Air Filter

You will want to install the new filter in the same direction as the old one. Before you remove the existing air filter, note the arrow on the filter frame that shows the correct air flow direction. The “air-flow direction arrow” should point towards your furnace.

It’s a good idea to place a sticker in a prominent place showing the airflow direction arrow and the AC or heating system filter size (i.e.: 20x25x5 Airflow→)

Take out a garbage bag and pull the old filter out, placing it directly into the garbage bag to avoid any mess.

4. Insert the New Air Filter

Begin installing the new filter by writing the install date on the filter. Nordic Pure filters have a place already marked for you to put the date.

And DO NOT forget to note the direction of the arrow on the old filter frame to insure the correct air flow direction. Remove the old filter and insert the new one so that the airflow direction remains the same.

HVAC filters are designed to filter air from one direction so as dust and dirt accumulates, the filter will not collapse or fall apart. Nordic Pure filters have a screen wire support system to insure our filters remain intact throughout the life of the filter.

5. Turn System On

The last step in replacing your ac or furnace filter is to turn the system back on. This may include turning the entire system’s power back on or simply the thermostat depending upon how you shut the system off.

You are now ready to use your furnace again! PLEASE make sure you included the install date for the new filter on the actual filter itself for easy reference.

Once your new filter is installed, be aware of the importance of routinely changing out your AC or HVAC filter on a regular basis to enjoy the cleanest air and to protect your expensive HVAC system.

Nordic Pure offers a free reminder service  to make it simple to be reminded it is time to change your filter.

How to Determine the Correct Size Filter for Your HVAC System

The simplest solution to finding the proper size of your HVAC filter is to check your system’s Operations Manual to get the proper size to buy.

If you cannot find the manual, you might want to check online, either with the HVAC system’s manufacturer or a distributor who has posted the manual online. You can likely use your browser and put in the make and model number of the unit to find the information you need.

If for some reason, you cannot find a copy of your HVAC systems filter size, remove the existing filter and look for its dimensions. The filter’s dimensions are usually printed on the filter’s frame. The size you find printed on the filter will be slightly larger than the actual filter’s dimensions due to the need for space to insert the filter so don’t let the dimensions confuse you.

For example, let’s take a look at the dimensions of a filter that is 20” x 25” x 5”. According to the dimensions on the filter’s frame, one would assume the filter size is 20” wide x 25” long x 5” thick. Despite this, due to the need for a small amount of additional room in the compartment that holds the filter for proper insertion, the actual dimensions of the filter are: 19-7/8” x 24-7/8” x 4-3/8”.

If you are confused as to the proper size of the filter for your heating and/or air conditioning system, we invite you to consult with our team of Nordic Pure professionals to solve your questions.

Is Your AC Filter Stealing Money and Comfort From You?

When is the last time you changed your ac or furnace filter? Chances are, unless you are pretty diligent, you likely forget to change your ac or furnace filter as often as you should.

We recommend changing your AC or furnace filter at least every 90 days, or if you or anyone in your family has health issues, allergies to dust mites and pollen or other irritants. To make it really easy to remember when to change your filters, you can use Nordic’s free reminder service so you never forget, ask one of our customer service associates when you order next!

AC and furnace filters work by trapping particulates that are suspended in your indoor air in the filter material, a sheet of polyester fabric that is woven for strength and performance.

As air flows through the system, particulates are trapped in the fabric of the filter. As particulates build up over time, they residually “plug” the filter. The resulting reduction in air flow forces the HVAC system to work harder to push the same amount of air through the system. This results in increased operating costs. Further, as the filter gets “plugged” with contaminants, the ability to purify the air that is flowing through the system is diminished.

An even better way of keeping up with the filter in your HVAC System is to install an Air Gauge that tells you the condition of your filter.

gageOur preferred system is the General Air Gauge. The G-99 Air Filter Gage provides a visual indication of the need to replace the air filters in forced air heating and cooling systems thereby eliminating any guesswork about the condition of your ac or furnace filter.  The gage is installed between the blower and the filter where a slight vacuum exists due to the air flow resistance of the air filter.  Air flowing into the gage, around the calibration screw, lifts a vane in proportion to the negative pressure in the blower compartment.  As the air filter loads, the vacuum increases, raising the vane to indicate a filter change is necessary.

The gage may be calibrated in a negative pressure range from 0.1 to 0.4 inch w.c.  When properly calibrated in this range a vacuum increase of 0.10 to 0.15 inch w.c. will indicate a filter change is necessary.

If you are looking for the perfect solution to maintaining optimum efficiency of your heating and/or cooling system, please consider the GeneralAire Air Gauge.