Disposable vs. Reusable Air Filters: The Pros and Cons

Air filters are essential to any HVAC system, as they help to keep the air in your home and business clean and free of pollutants. But there are many things to consider when it comes to choosing the best filter. Here are the differences between disposable and reusable air filters in terms of size and MERV rating, as well as the pros and cons of each type.

Types of Air Filters

When it comes to choosing the right air filter for your home or office, the RentEasy team says understanding the different types of air filters on the market is essential. Depending on your needs, there are several types of air filters available that can help improve indoor air quality and reduce the effects of airborne pollutants.

  • Fiberglass Air Filter – The most common type of air filter is a disposable fiberglass filter. This type of filter provides a low level of filtration and needs to be replaced regularly according to manufacturer recommendations or visible dirt buildup.
  • Pleated Air Filter – Pleated filters are more effective than fiberglass filters and provide higher levels of filtration by trapping smaller particles such as pollen and dust mites. They also require less maintenance than fiberglass filters as they hold more dirt before they need replacing.
  • HEPA Air Filter – HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance) filters offer the highest levels of filtration available; trapping up to 99.97% of particles larger than 0.3 microns in size, including smoke, allergens, mold spores, viruses, bacteria and pollen. These are typically more expensive but offer greater protection for those with severe allergies or asthma symptoms.
  • Carbon Filters – Carbon air filters use activated charcoal which is highly absorbent and can effectively trap odors from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such as smoke or paint fumes that may be damaging to your health if left unchecked. This type of filter removes odors but not necessarily particles so should be used in conjunction with an appropriate particle filter for maximum effectiveness.

Size & MERV Rating

An essential element to consider when choosing an air filter is size. If in case you get a filter that is too small for your HVAC system, it will not be able to perform its job properly. On the other hand, choosing one that is too large can create unnecessary strain on your system. Reusable air filters are generally more versatile than disposable ones because they come in a variety of sizes that can fit any HVAC system.

In addition to size, you also need to consider the MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) when selecting an air filter. This rating measures how effective the filter is at removing particles from the air, with higher ratings indicating better filtration results. Generally speaking, reusable air filters have higher MERV ratings than disposable ones because they are made with thicker material that can trap more particles. However, depending on your needs, disposable filters may still provide adequate filtration.

Pros & Cons

One advantage of using disposable 16x25x5 air filters is that they are typically cheaper than reusable ones up front. They also require less maintenance since all you have to do is replace them every few months instead of cleaning them regularly like you would with a reusable filter. The downside of disposable filters is that their lower MERV ratings mean they may not be as effective at removing airborne particles from your home or business’s air supply.

And since most disposable filters come in standard sizes only, you may not be able to find one that fits your particular HVAC system correctly without having it custom-made—which can be expensive.

Reusable air filters offer better filtration due to their higher MERV ratings but are more expensive than disposables up front due to their thicker construction materials used during manufacturing processes. They also require more maintenance since they must be cleaned regularly; however, this can usually be done at least once per month with minimal effort—and some types even come with built-in cleaning systems.

Why use an air filter anyway?

Using an air filter helps to remove airborne particles, contaminants, and other compounds that can lead to poor air quality in your home. This is especially important if allergies are a concern for you or your family as many allergens like pet dander, dust mites, mold spores, and pollen spores can be largely removed with the use of a filter.

Air filters come in a variety of sizes and types. It’s recommended to choose one that fits the size of your space and is designed to remove specific particles or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from your home’s air. Higher quality systems may contain multiple layers of filtration to ensure maximum removal of particulates, odors and bacteria.

When considering purchasing an air filter for your home, it pays to do some research first. Many products are available on the market today that range from basic filters designed for general air cleaning up to more advanced HEPA filters that are designed for removing very small particles from the air such as smoke and dust. Additionally, there are also combination systems that incorporate both filtration methods in one unit so you can get the most out of your purchase. Knowing what size filter is required for your home as well as what type of particulate you’re looking to remove will help ensure you choose the right system for your needs.

Concluding Thoughts

When determining whether to opt for disposable or reusable air filters, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. Factoring in the cost of replacement filters and the time and effort required to clean reusable filters can help you make the best decision for your home and budget.

With proper care and maintenance, either type can help ensure the clean air quality in your home or business while simultaneously extending your HVAC system’s life span. Ultimately though, it depends on what best meets your individual needs, so take some time to research both options before making a decision!

Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]