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If you are thinking about buying a top-rated air purifier, you have no doubt wondered how to clean an air purifier filter or how to clean a HEPA filter, which is a little different but not much.
It does take a little time to ensure the filter is fully cleaned before reusing it. If you want better indoor air quality, make sure you clean it well without damaging the filter itself. Otherwise, the filtration strength won’t be as good as it was.
After all, these filters are the actual mechanism that purifies the air, removing dust and allergens.
No. We strongly advise you to check the instructions that accompanied your air filter to see if the integrated filter should be cleaned, disposed of, or replaced.
Why is that, you may ask? The reason is that certain filters are designed to catch different allergens, such as larger particles, pollutants, pet dander, and more. If you don’t have washable filters, you’re merely damaging the dirty filter.
In those cases, replacing the filter with a new one is best. You can do air purifier maintenance by cleaning the device with canned air, but nothing more.
Generally speaking, HEPA filters must be replaced while activated carbon and electrostatic filters should be cleaned. However, this is not an absolute rule, as some HEPA filters can be cleaned, and some electrostatic and carbon filters must be disposed of.
It’s not a good idea to use vacuum cleaners with air purifiers. One reason is that the suction power might be too much for the filter, and could ruin it. Smaller vacuums, such as keyboard vacs might work better with cleaning air purifier filters. They can remove gunk from the filters that reduce air flow without damaging the filter.
Moreover, as you learn about what are volatile organic compounds, you’ll want to keep your air purifier clean and replace it frequently. On the other hand, if you want to know how to clean an air purifier, we have a guide for that, too.
HEPA filters must be replaced while activated carbon and electrostatic filters should be cleaned.
These metrics may vary depending on your specific make and model, so we again recommend you check with the instructions. Purifiers for larger spaces will operate differently than models designed for cars, for example. Having said that, HEPA filters tend to need disposal and replacement every six months to one year. Activated carbon filters and electrostatic filters should generally be cleaned once a month. Another indicator that it may be time to clean the filter is when you start noticing that your air purifier smells bad.
And, as you clean these filters, ensure you remove any pet hair or dust particles you can see. You may also want to clean any pre – filters in the unit, if those are present. Let a filter air dry thoroughly before returning to the machine.
The process will vary depending on the type of filter and the specific design of the filter. Check your instruction manual for details. However, we have assembled some general tips to consider for each type.
HEPA filters tend to need disposal and replacement every six months to one year. Activated carbon filters and electrostatic filters should generally be cleaned once a month.
Activated carbon filters, otherwise known as charcoal filters, are actually quite simple to clean. Here are the steps to take.
Electrostatic filters are a common type of air purifier accessory and should be washed every month. Here are the steps to take.
Why should you clean your air filter?
Air filters can get really dirty and filled to the brim with unhealthy contaminants, allergens, mold, and other icky substances. You don’t want to breathe that stuff in. If it’s too dirty, you m right need air purifier repair.
How often do you need to change an air purifier’s filter?
Generally speaking, change a HEPA filter every six months to one year. Charcoal filters and electrostatic filters should be cleaned once per month. These figures could vary though, so check the instructions.
What if the filter is hard to reach?
If the filter is hard to reach it is likely that it is not intended to be hand-cleaned, unlike most easy-to-clean air purifiers. Check with the instructions that accompanied your air purifier before proceeding.
STAT: A purifier with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter is designed to remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, and bacteria, plus all airborne particles 0.3 microns or larger. (source)