Heating and Air Conditioning Articles

Should I Get a Permanent Washable Furnace Filter?

When it comes to your furnace, your filter is one of the most crucial components. Its main job is to trap the debris and pollutants passing through your system. This way, the dirt doesn’t increase wear-and-tear or cause other issues with your HVAC system. With this in mind, it is important to choose your furnace filter wisely.

There are various types of filters in the market. One filter type you may consider is a permanent washable furnace filter. With this type of filter to simply clean the filter rather than replacing it with a completely new one. These filters have various pros and cons. Some HVAC owners like them, while others do not. To help you decide whether or not a washable HVAC filter is right for you, Worcester HVAC has compiled this list of pros and cons.


Here are some reasons to choose a permanent washable filter.

Save Money

Permanent washable filters are initially more expensive than the standard 1” filter. However, they will save you more over time as you don’t need to buy a completely new filter every month. A permanent washable filter can last a few years. With a regular 1” filter you will likely need to buy 25 or more filters in the time it takes you to wear out a permanent washable filter. It is also important to note that the brand and model of filter you buy can also affect how often you need to replace your filter. Contact Worcester HVAC in Mongomery, Pennsylvania if you have any questions.


Due to the fact that permanent filters last longer, you don’t need to go shopping for a new filter every month. Having to buy a new filter every month can get annoying, especially if your furnace uses a size that is difficult to find. While you could just stockpile filters, it can also be difficult to find a place to store all of those filters. Therefore, choosing a permanent filter helps save you some time.

Reduce Waste

We live in a time where it is especially important to think about our environment. If you want a more environmentally-friendly filter option, a washable filter is for you. As mentioned before, a permanent filter lasts much longer than a standard filter. Therefore, it can help you reduce waste over time. Every little bit helps.


Here are some reasons why you may want to choose a different type of filter.

Low Efficiency

One of the biggest downfalls of a washable filter is that most cannot get the same efficiency as some of the replaceable filters. Filter effectiveness is measured using the MERV Rating System. Each filter has a MERV rating with a number 1-16. The higher the number the smaller the pollutants the filter will trap.

Most permanent filters only have a MERV rating of 1-4. This means they only stop the largest pollutants such as lint, large hairs, dirt, etc. If anyone in your family has asthma, allergies, or respiratory issues, you will likely want a higher MERV rating. However, you do not need a 16 MERV rating either. This filter is typically used only for hospitals or clean rooms. Talk to a Worcester HVAC technician to help you figure out what MERV rating to get.

Overall, a permanent filter will not provide the same performance as a good replaceable filter. If you want the most out of your filter, you may want to consider choosing a different option.

More Maintenance

A washable filter also requires a bit more maintenance than a replaceable filter. With a replaceable filter, all you have to do is take the old filter out and put the new one in. With a washable filter, on the other hand, you have to take the time to wash it. It typically takes about 15 minutes to wash a permanent filter. If you don’t want an extra chore to do every month, you will likely want to go with a different filter.

Mold and Mildew

No one wants mold or mildew. It is not good for your family to breathe in the spores and it can be difficult to get rid of, not to mention expensive. Because a washable filter is covered in moisture after you wash it, it does have the potential to attract mold and mildew. This is another important aspect to take into consideration when choosing which type of HVAC filter to buy.


Overall, a washable filter is a good choice if you care about the environment or want to save the hassle of getting a new filter every month. However, if efficiency and cleaner air are your priorities, you should go with another option.

Still unsure if a permanent filter is right for you or not? Contact the professionals at Worcester HVAC. We can help you find what you are looking for as well as recommend the best solutions. To contact Worcester HVAC, visit our website here: https://myhvacteam.com/contact-us/. Alternatively, you can also call Worcester HVAC at 610-287-HEAT.