A disposable HEPA filter is most commonly crafted with fibreglass, polyester, or woven fibres, so they are not recyclable. High-efficiency particulate aerosol (HEPA) filters are most commonly used to remove dirt, dust particles, and allergens. They can also remove some forms of bacteria from the air.
You should replace the HEPA filter regularly. Besides replacing the HEPA Filter, you need to discard it properly. If you do not know – how do you safely dispose of a used HEPA Filter, this guide will help you to dispose of the HEPA Filter safely with proper precautions.
How Do You Safely Dispose Of a Used HEPA Filter?
HEPA is the international gold standard for filtering particles. It means – 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in diameter are trapped.
HEPA filters do a good job of getting rid of harmful particles in the air. HEPA air filters are used for home and commercial uses.
They are not considered to contain toxic waste. While replacing the HEPA filter, you can throw it in the garbage. But the HEPA filter is used for radioactive isotopes or other toxicants, so you need to wear a hazmat suit.
Here, We Will Share 2 Easy Methods Of Safely Disposing Of a Used HEPA Filter.
Method – 1: Throw Away the HEPA Filter
This is the first and easy method to dispose of the used HEPA filters. So, following the instructions –
Things You’ll Need:
- Plastic or paper bag
- Duct tape
Step – 1. Use a plastic bag to keep the HEPA filter. Do not use a small plastic bag; use a large plastic bag. You can also use a paper bag.
Step – 2. If the bag has handles, then you can easily tie them together. If the bag has enough space, you can twist it up and tie a knot. You can also use duct tape to wrap it up.
Step – 3. Then you need to keep the bag in the outdoor trash can. Because if you leave it in the indoor trash can, it can get punctured. If you do not have an outdoor trash can, you can simply keep the filter in your garbage area for trash pickup.
Method – 2: Remove Vehicle, Fridge, and Air Purifier or Humidifier Filters
Here, we will explain how to remove the vehicle, fridge, and air purifier or humidifier filters.
Things You’ll Need:
Why Should You Not Clean And Reuse a Disposable HEPA Filter?
It is recommended not to use the reused HEPA filters. They should not be cleaned. Always keep in mind that so many reasons are behind this. Vacuuming the filter is not a good idea.
Important Steps You Should Follow While Disposing Of The HEPA Filter!
- As the HEPA Filter can be extremely toxic and dirty, you should always wear protective clothing, gloves, and a pollen mask or respirator.
- Before you start working, you should switch off and unplug the device where the HEPA filter is installed.
- Then you should remove the filter housing and any pre-filters from the device.
- By grasping the outer corner of the unit, you can remove the HEPA Filter. After that, you can place it in a large, sealable bag and seal it.
- Keeping the bagged HEPA Filter in the outside waste container is recommended.
Read more: Can Air Purifiers Clean Concrete Dust? [source]
First, you have to open the hood to remove the plastic cover. The air filter will become dirty after removing the filter. So, it is better to vacuum the box before you install the new filter.
– To remove the filter, you need to unscrew the filter cover in the back of the refrigerator. Some refrigerators do not contain any air filters. If your fridge is an older model, and you do not find any vents in the back, it does not contain a filter.
Air Purifier or Humidifier –
First, you must remove the grill on your air purifier or humidifier. Few purifiers and humidifiers contain a place on the machine’s top where the filter can slide in or out. So, you can hit a button to unlock the filter. You can also pull it to remove it using your hand.
More info: Do Air Purifiers Cool The Room? [source]
Exclusive Tips For You
You can get a reusable air filter if you want a greener option. Also, you can reuse these filters for several years before they need to be discarded.
You should also check the air filter, and you need to change it every 2-3 months, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations. No air filter recycling program exists, so you can not reuse them. That’s why – the only available option is to throw it in the trash bin.
Here are some tips for you –
- Never shake a dirty air filter
- It would be best if you taped the plastic bag
- You have to dispose of the old air filter in the outside trash can
- Always keep in mind that you should not leave the HVAC system without a filter
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are the HEPA filters hazardous waste?
HEPA filters are used to remove biological material. After the gas decontaminates as solid waste, the HEPA filters can be disposed of. Though the HEPA filters are contaminated with antineoplastic medicines or certain chemotherapy, so due to their toxicity – they should be disposed of as hazardous chemical waste.
- Are HEPA filters effective against Covid-19?
Using air cleaners and HVAC filters properly can reduce airborne contaminants such as viruses in a small area. But it would be best if you always kept in mind that only air cleaning or air filtration is not enough to protect you from covid-19.
- How often do HEPA filters have to be changed?
Generally, you should change the HEPA filter every year. The pre-filters can last around 30 days. The carbon filters last 3 to 6 months.
- How many times can you reuse a HEPA filter?
It is suggested to wash the HEPA filter once every 3 or 6 months. Though, you can wash it more than once. There is no specific limit on how many times you can wash the HEPA filter.
- Are Washable HEPA Filters As Effective?
Yes, washable HEPA filters are as effective. They are 99.7% effective. But still, there is not enough documentation to prove that the filter will be as effective as before after washing it.
By now, you will know how to dispose of a used HEPA Filter safely. Following the steps and tips, you can easily dispose of the used HEPA Filter.
Nowadays, HEPA filters are commonly used in household vacuums, construction, air purifiers, carpet cleaners, and other units that help filter the air in your home or business area. It is also very essential to properly dispose of HEPA filters.