Conserving with Swamp CoolersBy now, you’re probably really familiar with recycling common items such as paper, plastic and glass. You may even know where to recycle less common items such as batteries and electronics. But what about those strange items that don’t cross your mind more than twice a year? As most of the country embraces the sweltering summer heat outdoors, citizens crank up their air conditioning indoors to compensate. And, in the effort of examining every little nook and cranny of our lives for efficiency and sustainability, the warmth had me wondering: Is it possible to recycle my air filter? Alabama-based Filta-Tec offers to clean and recycle air filters for its clients. According to the Filta-Tec website, a brand new air filter doesn’t immediately work at maximum efficiency. After 15% to 20% of its lifespan is complete, the filter has built up enough “pre-coat” to work its best. The folks at Filta-Tec claim that a recycled air filter is superior to a standard air filter, that it will lower your costs and that it will last longer than other filters. The recycled air filters you receive from Filta-Tec are cleaned in house, tested, bagged and sent back to you. Their recycling program can save you money and unnecessary waste. The Fresh Air Club takes your old air filters for recycling and sends you new ones. This is good for the environment, as air filters are made from cardboard, fiberglass and metals that can be reused. The Fresh Air Club will send you a new air filter made from recycled materials, and the organization has pledged to plant one tree for each air filter it receives for recycling. According to the club’s website, its filters are also made in the U.S. Wyoming-based American Filter Clean will also clean old air filters of any size and return them to you. This company not only accepts all round and square filters for cleaning, but it also cleans industrial vacuum filters, HEPA filters, dust reclamation filters and more. Before you toss your old filter in the garbage this summer, try an option that saves it from the landfill. Have you found any way to reuse your old air conditioning filters?