Best Air Purifiers With Washable Filters – 2021 Complete Review

| Last Updated: February 25, 2021

It’s no secret that filters of air purifiers tend to accumulate pollutants and debris. However, in the process, they start losing their effectiveness so much so that they become entirely unusable.

If you want a unit that continues working, you need to invest in replacement filters. However, if you wish to completely get rid of the responsibility of replacing the filters or at least minimize it to an extent, then what you need is an air purifier with washable filters.

In the following article, we’ll see why units with washable filters are better and discover the ones that will be absolutely worth your money.

Our Top Picks for Air Purifiers With Washable Filters

  • Best Overall
  • Noise Level 27.8 dBA
  • True HEPA Filter
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  • Runner-Up
  • For up to 161 Sq. Ft.
  • 1.5 Watts of Power
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  • Best for the Money
  • For up to 500 sq. ft.
  • UV Bulb and Ionizer
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Comparison of the Best Air Purifiers With Washable Filters

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best Overall
  • Noise Level of Only 27.8 dBA
  • Plasma Tech, Carbon Filter, Pre-Filter, and True HEPA Filter
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  • Runner-Up
  • Can Clean up to 161 Sq. Ft.
  • Uses Only 1.5 Watts of Power
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  • Best for the Money
  • Can Clean up to 500 Square Feet
  • UV Bulb and Ionizer Make the Unit Highly Efficient
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  • Best for Large Rooms
  • One Button Operation
  • CADR Rating of 350 CFM
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  • Best HEPA Model
  • Sleek and Attractive Look
  • Comes With the Innovative BioGS Technology
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  • Three Fan Speeds
  • Best by Honeywell
  • Electronic Filter Indicator
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  • 99.97% pollen, dust, smoke, pet dander, and odors removed
  • Operates quietly at just 43.2 dB
  • 5 year warranty on electronic parts
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  • Whisper quiet function for use at night
  • 3 speed settings for versatility and perfect setting
  • 99% pollen, dust, smoke, pet dander, and odors removed
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How We Chose These Top Picks

When choosing an air purifier with washable filters, there are certain factors to remember. To ensure that our list of air purifiers featuring washable filters has only the best of the best, we took into consideration the following aspects:

Size

One essential aspect to remember is the size of the room it will be used in. The suction level needed depends on whether the purifier is meant to cater to large rooms or small ones. Using a purifier in a large room that is meant for a small room will only reduce its efficiency. On our list, we’ve included units that work equally well in large rooms as in small rooms.

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier

Mobility Features

Some units can weigh even up to 20 pounds or more.

When looking for a unit, it’s best to look for mobility features such as handles, wheels, and other ways to help you move it from one room to another. Doing so ensures that you can use the same unit in various parts of the house.

Functionality

Different air purifiers are ideal for targeting different kinds of pollutants. Some are for cigarette smoke or mold, while others are for allergens. We’ve tried our best to choose units that provide all-around performance so that they can handle various needs.

Review of the Best Air Purifiers With Washable Filters

The market is filled with numerous models featuring washable filters. While some of them are great units, others are to be avoided. So, to ensure you end up with the best purifier, we’ve cherry-picked six of the best models available on the market.

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier with True HEPA, PlasmaWave and Odor Reducing Washable AOC Carbon Filter

PROS

  • Best Suited for Large Rooms
  • Plasma Technology Promises High Cleaning Power
  • Smart Sensors Allow the Unit to Work Automatically
  • Sleep Mode Ensures the Unit Works Silently and Doesn’t Disturb You

CONS

  • Heavy and Bulky Design
  • Comes with a Short Warranty

The Winix 5500-2 can be truly called a formidable weapon against various particles, such as VOCs, smoke, germs, odor, and pet dander. It comes with a combination of a carbon filter, a 99.97% true HEPA filter, and plasma technology. In other words, it is a unit full of potential and promise, making it our top pick.

While the unit comes with a permanent pre-filter, it must be cleaned every two weeks. Meanwhile, the carbon filter is washable and must be cleaned every three months. Washing this carbon filter significantly expands its lifespan. The company recommends that you replace the filters annually and it has incorporated a filter replacement indicator to assist you with this.

Apart from the impressive lineup of filters, the model also has several extra whistles and bells that are beneficial for the user’s experience. For instance, the smart sensors are highly capable of detecting lighting levels, odor, and VOCs, enabling it to adjust the LED brightness and fan speed automatically to suit the environment.

The unit also comes with a sleep mode, which allows near-silent operation with a noise level of only 27.8 dBA. Aside from a few dedicated controls and indicators, the remote control that comes along with it also adds convenience. Its bulky design can be slightly discouraging for some, but the features this purifier is loaded with make it truly exceptional.

Bottom Line

The Winix 5500-2 comes with a three-stage purification process aside from a pre-filter. Capable of covering up to 360 square feet, it’s an all-around option for all sorts of consumers, especially considering the array of features it comes with.

Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier for Home 3 Stage with Washable Pre-Filter, Particle, Carbon Filter, Captures Allergens, Viruses, Odors, Smoke, Mold, Dust, Germs, Pets, Smokers, Small Room

PROS

  • Extremely Easy to Use and Set Up
  • Comes With Three Fan Speeds Allowing You to Choose Your Desired Level
  • It Comes With a Cool Aesthetic Design that Doesn’t Clash With Your Room’s Décor

CONS

  • Not Suitable for Removing Allergens From the Air

Given the unique aesthetic and design of this unit, you’ll hardly be able to believe that it is an air purifier. With three stages of filtration, the unit can remove up to 99% of airborne particles.

While in use, it hardly uses any energy and due to its low power consumption, it doesn’t make any noticeable noise either. Ideally, this unit is best for small rooms to up to 100 square feet. Plus, it comes with washable pre-filters, so there’s no additional investment involved.

Given its unique design, the unit can draw in air from all sides to provide efficient cleaning. Moreover, its enhanced filtration makes sure that no pollutants escape the unit’s cleaning power. With the capability of cleaning up to 161 sq. ft. and a CADR of 120 cubic ft./min, you can’t go wrong with this unit!

Another reason this is our second favorite is its environmental-friendliness. Many believe that being environmentally-friendly means that you’ll have to spend more to get an efficient unit. However, that’s not the case with this one. By using just 1.5 watts of power, the Blue Pure 411 uses even less energy than that of an LED bulb. In other words, you won’t get a hefty electricity bill!

Bottom Line

The unit’s environment-friendliness and efficiency at getting rid of pollutants make it our second best pick. Plus, it helps save you money too, making it an ideal unit for bedrooms.

Best for the Money:
Envion Therapure TPP240

Envion by Boneco - Therapure TPP240 – Easy to Clean HEPA Type Air Purifier Tower - UV Germicidal Hemispheric Purification - Removes Odors, Smoke, Mold, Pet Dander & More - 343 Sq Ft Capacity

PROS

  • Energy Star Certified, Meaning it Doesn’t Use a Lot of Power
  • Comes With a Sleek Tower Design That Can Be Placed Anywhere Easily
  • Digital Display With the Filter Cleaning Indicator Adds Convenience

CONS

  • Not Suitable for Large Rooms

This Envion unit is packed with innovative and excellent features and is highly efficient thanks to its four stages of purification. There’s a permanent HEPA-type filter which removes allergens, mold spores, pet hair, cigarette smoke, dust mites, and pet dander.

The second line of defense is a UV bulb that works to kill germs and bacteria. Next comes the photocatalyst filter which eliminates VOCs and smoke. Finally, if the filtration power isn’t enough for you, there’s an ionizer which makes the air increasingly fresher.

The combination of patented HEPA filter and UV light, make this truly one of the strongest air purifiers you’ll find on the market. Plus, given its efficiency and power, the TPP240 is the best for the money! Designed for rooms as large as 500 sq. ft., the unit’s CADR rating makes it ideal for places where heavy-duty purification isn’t needed.

Another plus point that makes this stand out is the 24-hour timer, which adds convenience. Moreover, there are dedicated controls for both the UV bulb and ionizer so that users get a seamless experience. Safe to say, when designing this unit, the company didn’t put the user’s ease on the backburner.

Bottom Line

Overall, this unit is a steal since it offers several promising features, as well as excellent value for the money you pay. So, if outstanding CADR ratings aren’t your requirements, then this unit is definitely a strong contender.

Best for Large Rooms:
Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier

Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier 3 Stage with Two Washable Pre, Particle, Carbon Filter, Captures Allergens, Odors, Smoke, Mold, Dust, Germs, Pets, Smokers, Large Room, Blue

PROS

  • Uses Less Energy
  • Provides Cleaner Air
  • Hardly Produces Any Noise

CONS

  • Filter Must Be Cleaned Off

There are only a few units that promise the best results in large rooms. One such unit is the Blue Pure 211+. While the unit claims to only specialize in removing pollen, it can also handle up to 99% of other pollutants such as traffic exhaust, smog, pet dander, and dust.

The purifier comes with an outer sleeve which doubles as a pre-filter capable of filtering out the larger particles. Meanwhile, a combination of filters works on the inside to purify the air. There’s a particle filter that gets rid of the finer pollutants while the activated carbon filter takes care of the fumes and foul odor.

The unit also has a one-button operation which not only gives a simpler vibe but also facilitates ease of operation. While there are some minor drawbacks, the unit promises a quiet and powerful performance. Considering all that the unit has to offer, this is a pretty solid model with CADR ratings for dust, pollen, and smoke at a commendable value of 350 CFM.

Bottom Line

If you’re tired of other purifiers not keeping the air in your large room fresh, then this is your best bet. This is a powerful purifying machine which gets the job done efficiently. If the short warranty isn’t a problem, then this is a unit truly worth considering.

Best HEPA Model:
RabbitAir BioGS 2.0

Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier (SPA-625A Tone Leaf)

PROS

  • Comes With Several Excellent Functions
  • Auto Mode Takes Away the Hassle of Manually Operating the Machine
  • Advanced Filtration System Efficiently Takes Care of Almost All Allergens

CONS

  • More Expensive Than Other Models

RabbitAir is known for putting out one of the highly efficient models on the market. Apart from its mind-blowing functionality, another thing that makes this model a must-buy is its design. Instead of looking like an ugly, bulky box with a filter and ventilation, it resembles more of a robot waiting to collect dust.

Since the manufacturer has a reputation for making futuristic products, this isn’t any simple purifier. Instead, it comes with a plethora of options that can be switched on or off at your convenience. If you don’t wish to deal with the hassle of manually controlling the unit, you can set it on automatic so that you don’t have to bother with the options.

Another feature that makes this purifier stand out is the BioGS filter. This comes with extra power and takes care of allergens trapped on the filter. In other words, this technology ensures that the purifier is not polluted with dust, dander, pollen or any other pollutants. As a result, the efficiency of the unit’s filter is prolonged.

The BioGS filter not only helps with viruses, bacteria, dander, pollen, mold, fungi, and dust, but it can also get rid of pet fumes, odors, and allergens. One other filter that works its magic is the activated charcoal carbon filter, which is quite sturdy and removes VOCs, smoke, greenhouse gases, and unpleasant smells quickly and efficiently.

Bottom Line

People suffering from health problems like bronchitis and allergies can highly benefit from this model given its efficiency. While you’ll have to pay a little more, you won’t get similar purification power from any model at this price.

Best by Honeywell:
Honeywell HFD-120-Q

Honeywell HFD-120-Q QuietClean Oscillating Air Purifier with Permanent Washable Filters

PROS

  • Filter Indicator Adds Convenience
  • Works Silently, Making it Ideal for Bedrooms
  • Tower Design Doesn’t Clash With Your Room’s Aesthetics

CONS

  • Not Powerful Enough for Large Rooms

The HFD-120-Q by Honeywell is one of the best units to add to your bedroom thanks to its quiet air filtration. Even the design of this unit is such that you can place it in any small space without a problem.

The device comes with a display which you can use to control the filtration speed. Moreover, you can use the display to also check if it’s time to clean the filters. Since this unit uses washable filters, simply clean these with water when the display lights up, and you’ll be good to go.

Another plus point of this Honeywell unit is that it has been certified by the law of ozone emissions. In other words, you can use it in any living space without worrying about it damaging your health. Other important features include a touch button control panel which allows you to choose from the three speeds.

Bottom Line

Ideal for small rooms, this unit comes with washable filters which make it quite cost-effective if you think in the long run.

Editor's Pick:
Coway Airmega 400

Coway Airmega 400 Smart Air Purifier with 1,560 sq. ft. Coverage

PROS

  • Purifies the air at least twice every hour
  • Five fan modes with minimal to no noise
  • Energy efficient with energy consumption of only 64 watts
  • Has a sensor that tests and communicates air quality in real-time
  • Combined activated carbon filter and HEPA filter captures up to 99.97% of 0.3-micron air particles and 99% of volatile organic compounds

CONS

  • Large size takes up more space
  • Max 2 filters require replacement

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers love this air purifier because it is quiet, has high-quality filters, and does not consume a lot of electrical power. Most buyers recommend it for air cleaning in both small and large spaces. It consumes less electrical energy for lower operating costs. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Coway Airmega 400 has a robust air filtration system. It features a washable pre-filter for larger dust particles and a replaceable filter for airborne particles, odors, and VOCs. The replaceable Max 2 is a combined activated carbon and true HEPA filter.

The unit monitors the air quality in the room, every minute, and gives results in real-time so users can easily gauge air quality within their space. Coway Airmega uses smart technology which enables it to adapt to its surroundings. You can adjust the fan speed depending on the air quality in the room. It has a filter indicator that shows you when the filters need replacing. The indicators also show when pre-filters need cleaning to ensure utmost efficiency.

Bottom Line

Coway Airmega 400 delivers HEPA filtration to remove airborne contaminants from your home. Its dual filters and filtration system enables it to clean the air fast, however, it does have a replaceable filter in addition to the washable and reusable filter.  The unit is energy-efficient to minimize operating costs. The Coway Airmega purifier strikes a good balance between design and technology for a beautiful yet powerful HEPA air purifier.

Honorable Mention:
Hamilton Beach TrueAir

Hamilton Beach TrueAir Air Purifier for Home or Office with Permanent HEPA Filter for Allergies and Pets, Ultra Quiet, Black (04386A)

PROS

  • Washable filter is easy to vacuum clean
  • Permanent HEPA filter that requires no replacement
  • Versatility in speed settings depending on air quality
  • Compact size which makes it possible to fit in any room size
  • Allergen reducing: traps 99% of dust mites, pet dander, mold, and pollen

CONS

  • Becomes noisy at higher speed settings
  • Lacks indicator to show when the filter should be cleaned

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers love this washable air purifier because it efficiently removes allergens like mold spores and pet hair from their indoor air without having to buy a replacement filter every few months. They appreciate its compactness since it enables them to use it in small spaces without compromising its air cleaning efficiency. It is an excellent air cleaner for dust mite control. However, there are complaints about the unit being noisy when operating in high settings. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Hamilton Beach True Air purifier requires low-maintenance and maintains high efficiency with regular vacuum cleaning of its washable HEPA filter. It is very versatile as it can fit anywhere in both small and large rooms. The unit can capture airborne particles and dander that are as minute as 3 microns. This makes it great for cleaning up your space of all the tiny living and non-living pollutants.

The purifier has a three-speed operation mode that gives users greater control. It is also fairly quiet although at high speeds it becomes disturbingly noisy. The permanent HEPA-grade filter makes it quite easy to vacuum clean. The purifier is also energy efficient and consumes less electricity.

Bottom Line

The Hamilton Beach True Air purifier can capture up to about 99% of air particles and pet dander. Even better, it features a true permanent washable filter that vacuums clean, so you never need to buy a filter replacement. Its unique design and compact size make it efficient in any room size. Although it is a bit noisy at higher speeds, the boost in indoor air quality and reduction in pet odor is worth it for most buyers.

Pros and Cons of Having an Air Purifier With a Washable Filter

When you see the price of a replaceable filter which you have to replace after every few months, it’s clear why people prefer buying a purifier with washable filters. Of course, not needing to purchase new filters means you get to save money. On the other hand, while washable filters have several advantages, they have some drawbacks too.

Pros

  • Reusable filters can catch various airborne particles such as dirt, dander, dust, pollen, and spores.

  • By not purchasing new filters, you save a good amount of money in the long run.

  • The maintenance of the filter is pretty fast and doesn’t demand too much time.

  • You can clean these filters as often as you would like. Frequent cleaning only makes them highly efficient.

Coway Airmega 400

Cons

  • Some washable filters can’t remove airborne particles larger than 2 microns. So, capturing viruses, allergens, and bacteria with such filters is quite hard

  • Using washable filters in large rooms means that filters will get dirty faster and will demand regular cleaning.

  • Cleaning the filter often can damage it, rendering the unit not as effective as it was when it was new.

What to Look For When Buying an Air Purifier With Washable Filter

Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for one of these:

Coverage

Air purifiers are designed to clean a specific air volume, which limits the maximum square feet they can effectively clear of airborne pollutants and particles. It is important to check the coverage for an air purifier before buying. You will then be able to know which unit is suitable for your space. The coverage will determine the efficiency of the unit. It is pointless to place an air purifier with lower coverage in a large area where it can't sufficiently improve your indoor air quality.

Cleaning Capacity

An air purifier will be most helpful if it can trap different types of pollutant particles that are in your space. Thus, a good air purifier has to be able to capture all these particles if it is to be useful to you. 

The most effective filter for controlling odor, harmful gases, and air airborne pollutants like VOCs is an activated carbon filter. 

In contrast, a HEPA filter is best for removing airborne particles. A true HEPA removes over 99.97% of particles larger than 0.3 microns, a category that includes common indoor pollution sources like pet dander, dust mite, pollen grains, and mold spores.

Envion Therapure TPP240

Energy Efficiency

It is important to assess the rate of energy consumption of an air purifier before buying. You do not want to have a device that will consume a lot of energy and force you to foot hefty electricity bills. You can check if the purifier has an Energy Certification badge. This will show you whether the product has optimal energy consumption. Even with lower electrical energy usage, you have to ensure the performance is optimal as well.

Air Purifier Filter Comparisons

Here are some filter comparisons to help you decide"

Washable Air Filter vs Disposable

Similarities 

Both filters have a high Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. The MERV rate can go up to 16. This means the filters are very effective in capturing minute particles in the air. 

Differences

A washable filter can be washed using a vacuum and some water and soap. You will have to clean, rinse, and then dry your washable filter in an open space. 

Disposable filters cannot be washed. You can use the disposable filters for up to one year at most, after which you need to buy a replacement filter.

IFD Filter vs Hepa Filter

Similarities

Both an IFD and HEPA filter can capture air particles that are at least 0.3 microns or more. This means smaller particles than this size cannot be captured in the filters.

Differences

A true HEPA filter captures at least 99.97% of air particles that are 0.3 microns or more.

Filtering happens by physically trapping particles present in the air that passes across them. To remain effective, a HEPA filter has to be replaced after a certain duration.

An IFD filter, short for Intense Field Dielectric, is a type of ionic air purifier that traps 99.9% of particles that are 0.3 microns or more. Trapping occurs through charging them while in the air, which causes them to stick on the filter. 

RabbitAir BioGS 2.0

The filters can be washed to remove the trapped particles. They have a leg up on HEPA filters because they trap particles more effectively without ever requiring a replacement filter.

How Often Should I Wash the Filter on My Air Purifier?

You will need to clean the filters after every thirty or sixty days. Regular cleaning will enable them to work to their greatest capacity. It is important to clean the filter to avoid the build-up of dust and any other air particles that could lead to the formation of mold.

If you do not clean it on time, then you risk spoiling the filter and its efficiency will be reduced. The situation may be worse for users who suffer from asthma and extreme allergies as the accumulation of debris may aggravate these conditions. 

Are Washable and Permanent Filters The Same?

Both permanent and washable filters require low-cost maintenance and help save money. However, there are some prominent differences between the two.

Washable

Washable filters can be cleaned with soap and water to remove all the dirt and pollutants stuck to it. After cleaning, the filter must be completely dried for at least an hour before putting it back.

Permanent

Meanwhile, permanent filters must not come into contact with water at all. However, they can be cleaned with a vacuum. Once you’ve vacuumed it, you can just put it back, and it will be ready to use.

Photo credit: bestkitchenbuy.com

How to Clean the Washable Air Filter in an Air Purifier

Be sure to follow the process below to clean the washable air filter.

  1. Unplug the purifier from the power socket

  2. Wash or vacuum-clean the pre-filter

  3. Pay keen attention to the kind of filter that your air purifier has. Check whether you need to wash, vacuum or both

  4. Vacuum all the debris from the filter

  5. After cleaning the pre-filter, remove the pre-filter mesh and vacuum-clean it to remove any debris

  6. If you opt to wash the filter, use warm water and soap. Clean it thoroughly to remove any debris

  7. You can use a clean cloth to wipe the water off the filter or leave it in the open to dry completely, after which you can replace it

  8. Do not reinsert a wet filter because it will not work effectively and may also result in the formation of mold spores.

Be sure to refer to the video below for a comprehensive overview of the process we have just described above.

Conclusion

Everyone is aware of the benefits that owning an air purifier brings along. However, not many are familiar with units with washable filters. These are thrifty, eco-safe, and promise excellent air quality. Overall, buying one of the units listed above will ensure that you get clean air without the hassle of constantly replacing the filters.

Quick Recap: Best Air Purifiers With Washable Filters

To recap, these are our recommendations for the best air purifiers with washable filters:

  1. Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier
  2. Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier
  3. Envion Therapure TPP240

People Also Ask

This section provides answers to some of the frequently asked questions from which you can obtain more information about air purifiers. If you have any burning question that has not been answered here, feel free to send it over to us.

Can You Clean a HEPA Filter?

You can clean a HEPA filter using cold water. You should take care not to directly touch the filter material. It is important to rinse thoroughly and wipe off the water with a soft cloth. You can also leave it in the open for some time to dry. 

For a HEPA filter labeled as 'permanent', you can clean it using a vacuum cleaner to remove the debris from the filter's surface.

When Often Do I Wash My Washable Filter?

Some air purifiers will alert you when the filter needs washing. If your purifier does not have these alerts, ensure that you clean it every thirty to sixty days for the greatest efficiency. However, there is no harm in cleaning your filter earlier than 30 days.

Photo Credit: AirGenius.ca

Are Washable Filters Safe?

Washable filters are safe. You can use it in your house or working space without the risk of any health complications. They are as safe as the replaceable filters. The major difference is that one needs to be washed and the other disposed of. There are differences in the size of particles that they can capture. The only risk with washable filters is reinserting them when wet since this can lead to the formation of mold.

What Are Washable Filters For Air Purifiers Made Of?

Washable filters for air purifiers are made of activated carbon granules. It's these granules that help in eliminating some of the common odors within your space. Such odors may be caused by pets, smoking, VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), and the common dorm room smells. The carbon granules in the carbon filter also play a role in trapping the allergens in the air.

HEPA filters are made of a variety of materials including glass fibers, metallic wool, vegetable fibers, synthetic fibers, metals, and foils. 

How Many Times Can You Wash a Filter on an Air Purifier?

If you regularly wash and dry your washable filters then they can serve you for up to 5 years. The recommended usage period is between 5 and 10 years. But note that this can only be possible if the filters are cleaned, reinstalled when dry,  and reused as stipulated.

My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.