What are House Filters? (You HAVE To Know This!)

If you look around your house, you’ll probably find a lot of filters. The purpose of these filters is the same, although they work differently.

Filters are used for a lot of things in your home. From filtering water to using coffee filters every day to brew your favorite drink. So, what are filters? And which ones can you find in your house? Keep on reading to learn more about this topic.

What are Filters?

By definition, a filter is a porous device that blocks impurities or solid particles to allow a liquid or gas to pass through. They typically remove dirt and dust. In the house, you can find different filters in the AC unit, dryer, humidifier, and furnace. Some filters are simple screens, while others are more complicated.

We’ll talk about the most common types of filters in your house. All of them need to be cleaned regularly and eventually replaced to perform the job right.


The window screen is actually a filter because it keeps the bugs away from your house. Screens are usually made of aluminum or fiberglass in a mesh-like material to block the smallest insects from entering your house while allowing the fresh air to pass through.

You need to clean these screens regularly using a mixture of dish soap and water. You should also check them for looseness and tears and replace them when necessary.


The furnace filter is essential for maintaining indoor air quality inside your house. It blocks airborne particles and prevents them from circulating through the HVAC system. This is why a good and functioning filter is essential if you want a comfortable home. Cleaning your air ducts can help as well.

Cleaning the furnace filter regularly won’t only keep the air clean, but it’s also energy efficient because the clean air passes through easily. You can simply wash the filter using water and soap and let it air dry before installing it one more time.

If you have an HVAC system, the filter will be working all year long, and you might have to clean it and eventually replace it more often. However, if you only use the furnace in winter, remember to replace the filter every year before the temperature drops.


The dryer’s filter traps any objects from loose hairs to lint and prevents them from going into the duct. Without the filter, these objects will block the duct and eventually damage your dryer because it’s overworking.

Bird nests usually represent the biggest hazard to dryer filters. Vegetation, dirt, dust, and other debris can also clog the filter, preventing it from allowing the cool air to pass through. If you go outside the house near the exhaust vent and notice that it’s too hot, this might be time to clean your dryer filter.

To clean this filter, you need to remove it, soak it in hot water, and then use a soft-bristle brush to remove any residue that might be clogging the pores on the filter. The duct between the dryer and the exterior should be cleaned at least once a year, even if you clean the filter regularly. It is also important that you clean your dryer vents often.


The humidifier maintains an adequate and comfortable humidity level to allow for a more comfortable house.

This appliance has a filter that cleans the air by clogging the airborne particles. As a result, cleaning and replacing this filter will be necessary after a while, especially if you use it more often. In most cases, your humidifier will come with extra filters to facilitate the replacement process, or you can buy them separately.

To extend the life of the humidifier filter, you need to wash it using soapy water and use a soft-bristle brush to remove all the trapped dust. Don’t clean the filter aggressively, or you might cut the mesh screen.

Heat Recovery Ventilator

This is an addition to the HVAC system and provides a source of fresh filtered air into the house while expelling the stale indoor air away. The HRV improves the air circulation in your house by reducing the need for cooling or heating the air, so it’s an energy-efficient addition.

The filter blocks the airborne particles that prevent the cooling and heating units from performing their jobs efficiently. When it functions properly, the HRV will control the humidity, condensation, and temperature levels inside the house.

Cleaning the HRV filter requires disassembling the unit to access it. You should follow the manufacturer’s manual on how to clean and replace the filter of this unit.

In most cases, you can simply vacuum the filter without even removing it to absorb all the trapped debris. If you want to remove it, washing it with soapy water will probably do the trick.

Air Conditioner

Two types of air conditioner filters can be found on your unit. The first one is located on the outdoor unit, so it’s prone to a lot of buildups that might affect its functionality.

You can guarantee that your filter will last for a long time by trimming the vegetation around the outdoor unit. When you don’t clean it often, the filter will affect the overall performance of your AC unit, causing it to overwork without cooling the air enough. You can hose the filter once a year to remove the dust buildup, plants, and other particles that might block it.

The air conditioner also has an indoor filter that does the final step of blocking all the debris from getting into your house. This should be removed, washed, and left to dry every two to four weeks to keep the air clean.

Kitchen Range Hood

The kitchen range hood filter is usually made of metal to filter the grease and dirt. The kitchen range hood expels the stale air and improves the indoor air in your kitchen after cooking. As a result, your kitchen will smell cleaner and fresher because this appliance will remove odors, smoke, grease, and fumes.

The buildup of grease and dust clogs the filter and prevents the smoke and fumes from traveling outside. Soak the filter in boiling water to help loosen the grease, and then use baking soda and dish soap to scrub it clean. You can also place it in the dishwasher if the manufacturer states so.

Range hood appliances sometimes have carbon filters to absorb odors. These filters usually last for a while and then have to be replaced whenever they stop doing their job.

Water Filter

Water filters work in different ways to block impurities, chemicals, and even bacteria to make your drinking water safer and healthier. You can clean a water filter by soaking it in a solution made of vinegar and water. You can also scrub it using a soft-bristle brush and dish soap. However, water filters aren’t meant to last forever, and eventually, you’ll have to replace yours.

Wrap Up

Filters are found everywhere around us, and there are currently plenty of filters in your house.

Know when and how to clean the filters and replace them as necessary, so they can always work the way they should.