How to Dispose of Air Filter?

Fiberglass is used in most air filters, and it is not recyclable.

Even if the air filter does not include fiberglass, it cannot be processed at a recycling plant. This is because its role is to absorb pollutants, dust, and debris.

Therefore, you will have to dispose of your air filters. Let’s find out how you can do it today!

Why it is Important to Change the Air Filters?

Your home’s air filter is one of the most critical components of your heating and air conditioning system.

Clogged air filters cause most system slowdowns and failures.

Your old furnace air filter may discharge dirt and debris into your home’s air after changing your air filter, lowering the quality of the air you breathe.

Therefore, changing your air filter regularly is an essential aspect of house maintenance.

How to Dispose of Air Filters

Disposable air filters are great; however, what can you do to keep the airborne debris contained in them from escaping as soon as you move them around?

Here are a few suggestions for proper waste disposal:

Method No. 1

Put Your Air Filter in a Plastic Bag

Get a plastic bag big enough to fit your air filter in it. Large plastic bags work well for filters on furnaces, cars, and air purifiers.

Get a little shopping bag to carry your refrigerator filters in. The bag’s top should be spread open and free of any holes before using it.

Place the old filter in the bag with care. The corners of the filter may tear the bag, allowing dust and grime to pour out.

Furnace, air purifier, automobile, and refrigerator filters all go through the same procedure. These filters are nearly identical in appearance and function, except the refrigerator filter.

Shut the Bag

Keep the dust contained by taping or tying the bag shut.

Assemble and tighten the bag’s handles. Secure your bag if there’s a lot of excess plastic at the top. You can use duct tape to secure the top.

Place the Filter Outside

To dispose of the filter, place it outside in the garbage for collection. Go to your outdoor garbage can and place the bag inside to reduce the chances of it puncturing.

When your trash collector comes to pick up the waste, the bag will be discarded with the rest of the debris.

If you don’t have a garbage can, store the filter on your lawn and wait for the trash pickup day.

Before resuming use of the furnace, automobile, air purifier, or refrigerator, place the replacement air filter in each of those items.

Method No. 2 – Removing the Filter from a Furnace

Turn off the Air Filter

Remove the air filter from your heating and cooling system while the system is off. To switch them off for a short time, press the power button on the thermostat’s control box.

Set the thermostat so it won’t kick on for a while if the heat is on. Keep the air conditioning from coming on if you have central air and it’s hot outside.

You don’t have to turn off the whole system by switching the furnace’s power switch. This will also stop the furnace from pumping air.

Wear Gloves for Caution

Wear nitrile gloves and a dust mask to prevent allergies when working on the system.

A good rule of thumb is to replace your air filter every three months.

Assess the Air Filter

The furnace’s air duct has a filter cover on it. Find the air filter cover by following the huge duct that enters the furnace from the side or the top.

 It could be in the bottom third of the furnace on some models. Use a sliding switch or a set of screws to secure it to the wall.

Vertical or horizontal filter covers are available. If you can’t find the cover, you can always check the panel on your furnace or the instruction manual.

Search the Return Line

If the furnace doesn’t have a filter, look directly behind the vents to find the return line.

The largest vent in the house is the return line, which is nearly often located on the first floor.

Remove the vent cover to see whether there is an air filter behind it, and then replace it.

Locate the Furnace Filter

To get to the filter, pry open the cover with a screwdriver. Once you’ve located the furnace filter, take a close look at how it’s attached.

Grab a screwdriver if the cover is held in place by screws or brackets. Unlock the filter by moving both sliding switches if there are any.

You may need to hold these switches in place to remove the lid.

Find furnaces that don’t have any mechanism to keep the air filter in place. These filters are easily removed by grasping the cover edge and yanking them out.

Hand-Slide the Filter from the Furnace

To remove the air filter from the furnace, you have to grasp the cardboard frame and pull it out. To avoid kicking up dust and pollen, take your time pulling it out of the way.

Make sure that you remove the filter carefully if it has a metal or aluminum frame. If you grab it by the corner, you run the risk of cutting your fingers.

When you remove the air filter, if any debris falls to the floor, wet a rag or cloth to remove it. Wring out the excess water and use a clean cloth to wipe the furnace and the floor.

Pinch the exposed cardboard frame with pliers to remove the filter if you can’t get it out on your own.

Method No 3 – Remove Filters from Vehicles, Refrigerators, and Air Purifiers

Remove the Vehicle Filter

To remove a vehicle filter, lift the hood and pry off the plastic cover. Look for a plastic box attached to a long tube under the hood of your car.

Flip the tabs connecting this box to the vehicle’s frame using your fingers and lift the box’s lid off.

After removing the filter, the air filter box is normally quite dusty. Before putting in your new filter, be sure you vacuum this box.

The plastic box that covers the filter can usually be removed without the use of any special equipment at all.

Depending on your car, you may need to use a screwdriver to remove the box’s three or four screws.

Remove the Refrigerator Filter

Unscrew the filter from the refrigerator’s back panel. Look for a rectangular cover on the back panel of your refrigerator’s top when you open the door.

Some machines require you to unlock this cover. Therefore, you must turn it to the left. Other machines might need to unscrew the filter from the panel.

To find the air filter, remove this lid from the machine and turn it over. It resembles a little furnace filter. Remove the old filter by pushing it out with your fingertip.

The filter may have to be removed by a fridge repair service in cases when there are vents on the rear. Check your refrigerator for an air filter.

 Filters aren’t often included in older refrigerators, especially those without back vents.

Remove the Air Purifier Filter

To get to the filter, just remove the grill on your air purifier. Unplug it. Slide it out once you’ve unlocked the grill by pressing in the two tabs.

 To remove the grill without tabs, locate a recessed lip on the edge of the cover and pull on it.

There may be one to three filters within your humidifier or air purifier, depending on the model. Remove these filters one by one by pulling them out by hand.

The filter of some humidifiers and purifiers can be inserted or removed through a slot on the machine’s top. You can either click a button to unlock the filter or remove it by hand on these machines.

  • If you want to go green, invest in a reusable air filter. If you wash and reuse these filters, they’ll last for a long time.
  • Replace your furnace’s air filter every two to three months or as the manufacturer recommends.
  • Sometimes, selling or repurposing the air filters is out of the question. You have no other choice except toss it in the garbage or dispose of it.       
  • Do not dispose of your old air filter indoors. Instead, dump it in your exterior garbage can. Even though you may be using a plastic bag to keep your filter dust and debris from escaping, it is possible for the bag to be punctured or have holes accidentally poked in it.
  • Some of the dust and debris can be re-inhaled via even the tiniest of gaps. Therefore, you should immediately dispose of your old air filter after installing the new filter.

Final Words

And that’s a wrap on “How to Dispose of Air Filters.” Incorporate these tips and tricks and get rid of the old air filters as soon as possible.

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