What's the Best Way to Dispose of an Air Filter with a MERV Rating? Find Out Now!

Are you tired of guessing how to dispose of your air filter with a MERV rating? Say no more! In this article, we will uncover the best ways to dispose of your air filter, ensuring your home's air quality stays top-notch.

First things first, let's start with the basics. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and it measures the effectiveness of an air filter. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter will be at capturing small particles like dust, pollen, and bacteria.

So, what's the best way to get rid of an air filter with a MERV rating? We've got you covered with eco-friendly options, local recycling centers, and even creative ways to repurpose your old air filters. Keep reading to find out!

How to Check if Your Air Filter is Disposal-Friendly

When it comes to disposing of air filters, it's important to know whether your filter is disposal-friendly or not. Follow these steps to check:

Step 1: Look for the MERV rating on your filter. Filters with high MERV ratings (typically over 11) are made with denser materials, which can make them more difficult to dispose of.

Step 2: Check the manufacturer's instructions. Many air filter manufacturers provide disposal instructions on their websites or on the packaging itself. This will let you know if your filter is biodegradable, recyclable, or if it requires special disposal.

Step 3: Check with your local recycling program. Some recycling programs accept certain types of air filters for recycling. Contact your local recycling center or waste management program to find out if your filter is eligible for recycling in your area.

By following these steps, you can determine whether your air filter is disposal-friendly and how best to dispose of it. This is an important step in maintaining a healthy living environment, as well as reducing waste and saving energy.

Eco-Friendly Options for Disposing of Air Filters with a MERV Rating

Did you know that not all air filters are recyclable? However, there are many eco-friendly options for disposing of air filters with a MERV rating. Here are a few:

1. Composting: If you have a compost bin or a composting service, you can put your air filters in with your compost material. The filters will eventually break down into the soil.

2. Recycling: Check with your local recycling program to see if they accept air filters. If they do, make sure to follow any specific instructions they have for recycling. Some recycling programs may require you to remove the metal components before recycling the filter.

3. Upcycling: Get creative with your old air filters! You can cut them into shapes and use them as stencils for art projects, or you can use them as a protective layer between delicate items when storing.

4. Donating: If your air filter is still functional but you need to replace it for other reasons, consider donating it to a local shelter or community center. They may be able to use it in their HVAC system or for other purposes.

Remember, it's important to dispose of air filters properly to protect our environment. By choosing eco-friendly options, you can reduce waste and help keep our planet healthy.

Local Recycling Centers and Regulations for Air Filter Disposal

When it comes to properly disposing of air filters with a MERV rating, it's important to know your local regulations and options. Thankfully, many recycling centers across the country now accept air filters for recycling, but it's important to follow specific guidelines to ensure the materials are properly handled.

Depending on your city or state, regulations may vary, so it's important to research the specific guidelines in your area. Some states require air filters to be disposed of in hazardous waste facilities, while others allow for special recycling programs.

When it comes to recycling air filters, many recycling centers require the filter to be free of debris and other contaminants. This means it's important to properly clean and prepare the filter before bringing it to a recycling center.

It's also important to note that some recycling centers may only accept certain types of air filters with specific MERV ratings. Before bringing your air filter to a recycling center, make sure to call ahead and confirm they accept the specific type of filter you have.

Overall, recycling is a great way to reduce waste and ensure air filters are properly disposed of. By researching your local regulations and finding a reputable recycling center, you can help do your part towards a cleaner, greener environment.

Creative Ways to Repurpose Your Old Air Filters

Don't throw away your old air filters just yet! With a little creativity, you can repurpose them into something new and useful. Here are some ideas:

1. Art projects: Cut up your old air filters and use them for art projects. The texture and color of the filters can add an interesting element to your artwork.

2. Plant supports: Use your old air filters as plant supports for your indoor plants. They provide a lightweight and natural way to keep your plants upright.

3. DIY air purifier: With some basic tools and supplies, you can turn your old air filter into a DIY air purifier. This is a great way to save money and reduce waste while still cleaning the air in your home.

4. Floor protectors: Cut up your old air filters and use them as floor protectors for furniture legs or as a barrier between a rug and hardwood floors.

5. Pet bedding: If you have pets, cut up your old air filters and use them as bedding or lining for their crates. They provide a soft and absorbent material that can be easily replaced.

By repurposing your old air filters, you can give them a new life and reduce waste. Get creative and see what other uses you can come up with!

Final Thoughts on Properly Disposing of Air Filters with a MERV Rating

Now that you know the different ways on how to dispose of air filters with a MERV rating, it's important to emphasize the importance of proper disposal. Remember, air filters play a crucial role in keeping the air clean and healthy, so it's essential to handle them with care until their end of life.

Improper disposal of air filters can cause several environmental problems, including air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Not to mention, it may also harm our health, especially when hazardous materials leach into the soil and water.

While it may take a little more effort and time to dispose of your air filters properly, it's definitely worth it. You not only help protect the environment and human health, but you also promote a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

So, always make it a habit to check the MERV rating of your air filters and follow the recommended disposal method. By doing so, you're not only keeping your indoor air clean and healthy, but you're also contributing to a better and greener world.


In conclusion, when it comes to disposing of an air filter with a MERV rating, it's essential to follow the proper guidelines to prevent environmental hazards and health risks. The best way to dispose of them is by contacting your local waste management or recycling center. They will provide guidelines on how to refrain from contaminating the environment while disposing of the filter properly.

There are many benefits to using proper air filters in your home or office, and it is vital to understand how to use them correctly and dispose of them properly. By following responsible disposal methods, you can ensure a safer environment and protect the health of those around you.

Remember, it's hazardous to dispose of MERV rated air filters in regular garbage or incinerators, and it's essential to follow the guidelines provided by the waste management center. Now that you know how to dispose of air filters with a MERV rating correctly, you can appreciate the benefits without any safety concerns or worries.

Frequently Asked Question

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value - a scale created by ASHRAE to measure the effectiveness of filters in removing different sized particles. For example, a MERV-13 filter is designed to catch 90% of particles 3-10 µm in size, 85% of particles 1-3 µm in size (PM2.5), and 50% of particles 0.3-1 µm in size. Generally, filters with higher MERV ratings are better at catching higher percentages of particles, including the smaller ones.

When you install a filter in the airstream, it will create resistance. The amount of resistance depends on the type of filter material and the amount of area it covers. Standard fiberglass filters don’t generate much resistance, though it increases as the filter gets dirtier. To remove more pollutants from the air, you can use a filter with a different material such as a high MERV filter. These filters have smaller pores, which allow them to catch more pollutants, but also create higher resistance.

The problem with this is that the blower and furnace are only designed to handle a certain amount of pressure drop. Too much resistance means the air flow is low, making the heat exchanger get hotter and potentially crack. On the plus side, low air flow can result in better dehumidification in humid climates, as long as the air flow isn’t so low that it turns the condensate to ice.

So, the answer to the question is: yes, higher MERV filters are better, but you need to find the right balance between air flow, resistance, and effectiveness.

Air filters are designed to capture airborne particles, which can be anything from dust and pollen to mold spores and bacteria. The filter works by drawing air through itself and trapping the particles in the web of fibers that make up the filter.

What are the types of air filters

There are many different types of air filters available on the market. The type of filter you need will depend on the specific needs of your facility. Some common types of air filters include MERV, HEPA, activated carbon, and ultraviolet (UV) germicidal irradiation.

MERV: MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. MERV ratings range from MERV-0 to MERV-16. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter is at capturing particles.

HEPA: HEPA filters are a type of air filter that is designed to capture very small particles. A true HEPA filter has a MERV rating of 17-20.

Activated carbon: Activated carbon filters are designed to remove gases and odors from the air.

UV germicidal irradiation: UV germicidal irradiation is a type of light that is used to kill bacteria and viruses.

There are pleated filters and panel filters. MERV 13 filters are pleated, while MERV 16 filters can be either pleated or panel. Pleated filters have more surface area because they are made up of multiple layers of filter media. The pleats create more space for the air to flow through, and the more layers of filter media there are, the more particles can be captured.

HEPA filters are usually pleated, but they can also be panel.

What are the differences between MERV 13 vs HEPA filters

While MERV 13 and HEPA filters both remove particles from the air, they work in different ways.

MERV 13 filters are designed to remove particles that are larger than 0.30 microns, while HEPA filters are designed to remove particles that are smaller than 0.30 microns. MERV 13 filters are often used in commercial and industrial settings, while HEPA filters are often used in hospitals and other medical settings.

MERV 13 filters are more efficient at removing large particles from the air, while HEPA filters are more efficient at removing small particles from the air. MERV 13 filters can remove up to 99.97% of particles from the air, while HEPA filters can remove up to 99.99% of particles from the air.

MERV 13 filters are less expensive than HEPA filters, and they can be used in a wider variety of settings. However, HEPA filters are more effective at removing small particles from the air, and they can be used in settings where MERV 13 filters cannot.

MERV and HEPA filters both work to capture airborne particles, but they do so in different ways. MERV 13 filters are designed to capture particles larger than 0.30 microns, while HEPA filters are designed to capture particles smaller than 0.30 microns. MERV 13 filters are more efficient at removing large particles from the air, while HEPA filters are better at capturing small particles. 

MERV 13 filters are less expensive and can be used in a wider variety of settings, but they can only remove up to 99.97% of particles from the air. On the other hand, HEPA filters are more expensive but can remove up to 99.99% of particles, making them ideal for medical settings. In short, MERV 13 filters are great for everyday use, while HEPA filters are better for specialized environments.

Your HVAC system includes a furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump. It's essential to keep these systems clean and efficient by regularly replacing the air filters. To do this, you'll need to know about MERV ratings.

The air filter in your HVAC system serves two key functions: it protects your system from dust, and it helps clean the air in your home. When the filter is clogged, dust can build up in the system, and the equipment may overheat and fail.

How often the air filter needs to be changed depends on your home's size, where you live, and if you have pets. Inspect it every month, and replace it when you can't see the filter material through the dust.

When choosing an air filter, refer to the specifications of your HVAC system to determine the size. The MERV scale is used to measure the filter's ability to remove particles from the air, and ratings range from 1 to 20, with lower ratings meaning lower-quality filters.

Remember to balance air cleaning with air flow when upgrading your filter to a higher MERV rating. Too dense of a filter can cause air flow restriction and harm your system. Ask your HVAC technician for advice when in doubt.

Replacing the air filter is easy. Open the blower compartment located between the air return and the furnace or air handler. Put the used filter in a plastic bag, then insert the new filter with the arrows pointing in the direction of the airflow.

MERV 11 filters used to be thought of as air flow restrictors, but this is no longer necessarily the case. Home Energy's 2009 experimental test concluded that the pressure drop of high-MERV filters isn't as severe as it used to be. If you're renting and don't have any special needs, then a standard, cheap fiberglass filter with a cardboard frame is fine to use every three months. But if you own your home, then it's worth investing in a more durable filter.

Pleated filters with more pleats per foot are the better option and should be more effective at improving indoor air quality. However, the price can be an issue. A standard 16x25x1 11 MERV filter will cost around $5, but you can save a bit if you buy them in packs of 12. Filtrete, Purolator, and Nordic Pure are all trusted brands.

If you plan to buy washable filters, be aware that cheaper models may have loose filter media after washing and won't perform as well. Disposable filters are also more hygienic since they remove all the dirt from the air. Keep in mind that the more pleats per foot, the better the filter will be.

So, when it comes to MERV 11, the issue of air flow restriction isn't as big as it used to be. With the right filter, you can improve your indoor air quality without having to worry about a pressure drop. Make sure to replace your filter every three months for the best performance.

MERV ratings are used to compare filters to determine which is most effective for eliminating pollutants in a home or office. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) developed the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) system to measure how well an air filter captures common airborne particles. There are 16 MERV values, ranging from 1 to 16, and the efficiency increases with the MERV number.

Filters are tested against 12 size ranges of particles, with the smallest being around 0.3 microns and the largest around 10 microns. To give a sense of the size, a micron is one millionth of a meter and a strand of human hair is approximately 75 to 100 microns.

The MERV rating is determined by measuring the particle count upstream and downstream of the filter being tested over six intervals, beginning with a clean filter. Afterward, a special ASHRAE test dust is added for five additional measurement cycles. The filter’s performance is determined by calculating the particle density before and after passing through the filter, and then assigning a MERV rating.

The MERV 8 filter is the most common filter in the U.S. Understanding how MERV ratings work can help you understand why it's so popular and how to choose the most beneficial filter for your needs.