Air filters are needed components for almost all heating and cooling systems to capture dirt, dust, bacteria and other debris to keep the indoor air quality of your home healthy. But traditional disposable filters -- which are made from a polyester fiber -- are not recyclable and need to be replaced often. If throwing away filters concerns you, consider investing in reusable filters. While the reusable ones cost 10 times more upfront, they can last several years, which will help you recoup the investment. Reusable air filters are washable and just need to be thoroughly dry before being put back into your heating/cooling system.