Washable Filters vs. Disposable Filters: What’s Best for Your Home?

Your home’s air quality is important for you and your family, and you trust your air conditioner/furnace’s air filters to keep your family healthy and your air conditioner/furnace strong. But are you using the right filters for your needs and maintaining them properly?

Let’s do a comparison between washable filters and disposable filters to understand which type is best for you.


Price points on filters can vary due to material and style, but disposable filters are generally much cheaper than washable filters. Disposable filters can cost anywhere from $10-20 but need to be replaced every couple of months. Washable filters can cost $35 or more but, if properly maintained, can last for several years.

Both options require regular cleaning or replacement, but the preference between a larger one-time payment or smaller regular payments can impact which option is right for you.

Performance & MERV Rating

One of the best ways to measure an air filter’s performance is by checking its MERV rating. MERV uses a rating system of 1-20 to tell homeowners how well the filter is performing. The higher the number, the more debris it is likely to catch and the more efficient your air conditioner/furnace will be.

Because they’re designed to be replaced regularly, disposable air filters can have a very high MERV rating of 16, while the longer-lasting washable filters have a rather low MERV rating of 1-4 and need constant cleaning to keep your air conditioner/furnace in safe working order.


When washing and cleaning your reusable filters, it is critical that you give them enough time to dry properly, as putting them back in too quickly can cause mold to form,  damage your air conditioner/furnace, and lower your air quality.

They are designed to be used for a few months and then thrown away, so disposable filters have very little maintenance involved and can be replaced in just a few minutes.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for convenience and ease of use, then installing disposable filters is the way to go. If your goal is to save money and limit your impact on the environment, though, then washable filters may be the product for you.
Whatever option you choose, Goff Heating and Air Conditioning has the products and services to keep your air conditioner/furnace strong and your air quality safe. Give our technicians a call today at 903-838-6923 or visit us online and find out how we can make managing your air quality a breeze.