Air filters offer cleaner air to breathe to keep your family members healthy. You can quickly improve the air quality by simply installing high-quality air purifiers around us. They help capture any Volatile Organic Compounds in the air, keeping them as pure as possible. These air trap these harmful substances each time; therefore, you need to replace or clean them regularly.
This helps them perform their intended purposes in the best manner. They trap various substances such as dander, dust, and many other polluting agents that cause respiratory illness. Most appliances used at home are well known to use air filters that need regular cleanup or replacements. These appliances include dehumidifiers, clothes dryers, oil diffusers, and so on. Below is all the information you need to know for easier maintenance of these air filters.
You need to follow some simple steps to keep your HVAC system running efficiently. Depending on your needs, you can either opt to clean or replace them. These HVAC systems keep the home’s air as clean as possible. They trap pollen, dust, germs, and many other harmful contaminants. They collect all these contaminants until it compromises the effectiveness of the unit. Therefore, you can opt to clean them as part of regular maintenance. This keeps the air filters working as expected by keeping the air around us always clean.
Cleaning the air filters is best when the units are not significantly damaged. So, if the torn filter has more dirt or damage, it is wise to replace them. It would help if you kept in mind some disposable air filters do not necessarily need to clean up but rather replaced when dirty. It is ideal for cleaning reusable filters such as AC filters.
Cleaning HVAC air filters
To achieve better results, you need to clean your air filters at least once a month. You can as well replace them once every six months. These filters usually come with the manufacturer’s instructions to aid you in cleaning them. You will need several items such as hot water, hose, screwdriver, sink or bucket, distilled white vinegar, and a vacuum with a soft brush attachment. For reusable filters, you can follow the steps below to clean them.
- Turning off the power and locating the filter
Before you start, you need to switch off the HVAC unit. This helps prevent any unfiltered air from entering your home as you clean up this unit. Using a screwdriver to open this unit, you can try locating the filter’s position. Other systems are usually equipped with different vents, each having a filter. This means that you should be very keen to ensure that you clean all of them. You can remove the filter and check it through for any damages when done. If there are severe damages, you can replace them. If not, then you can continue vacuuming them.
- Vacuuming the air filter
Here, it would be best if you took the filters outside to avoid filling your room with dust or any contaminants as you vacuum the filters. The vacuum with a soft brush attachment is a great help in this step. It helps to remove any debris and particles trapped in the filter. You need to run this brush through the filter to remove any stuck debris.
- Cleaning the filter using water and vinegar
Some air filters may need some extra or deep cleaning. Here, you need to fill your bucket or sink with a mixture of distilled white vinegar and hot water. You will leave the filter to soak for about one hour before you can rinse it with clean water. If you have a larger filter that does not fit your bucket or sink, you can use a garden to clean it up. All you need to do is ensure that the water is running through the filter in the opposite direction of the airflow for thorough cleaning. It is suitable to use a lower pressure setting to prevent any damage to the air filter.
- Drying the filter and replacing it
Before replacing the air filter, you need to let it dry completely. If you return a wet filter, it will support the growth of molds within the HVAC. Therefore, it should be dry to avoid such scenarios. You can then return the filter inside the unit while installing it facing the right direction to prevent malfunctioning. It would be best to keep in mind that it should face the right direction for better airflow. Most filters have arrow markings to aid you as you replace these filters. The arrows should point the direction of the furnace in the direction of airflow. When done, you can return the vents and switch the unit on. This assures you a highly efficient unit since the air filters will trap any contaminants in the air.
Factors that make filters last longer
Several factors determine the lifespan of your filters. These include;
You should consider the type of filter you want to use at home. Most people prefer using mechanical filters equipped with fibers that trap air particles before they are released to the surrounding. Most people prefer disposable mechanical air filters because of their cheap costs. This is not the best because it does not capture all the contaminants. In addition, you can also pick washable filters because they are highly effective and last longer. This requires cleaning once a month to improve their lifespan.
- Daily habits
It would be best if you considered the habits of your family members because this has a direct impact on the lifespan of the air filters. For those who smoke regularly, the smoke particles will sometimes get through the air filter, thus harming others while decreasingly but its lifespan. Better still, if you have more pets, you will need regular replacements because the pet’s fur and dander highly accumulate on these filters.
- Periodical changes
Different parts of the country experience different seasons throughout the year. Those who experience all four seasons may need to replace the air filters regularly. It is wise for those who don’t to replace them for 4-6 weeks. This helps prevent excessive buildup that lowers the lifespan of the air filters.
- Home size
The size of your home will determine how long your air filters will last. Air filters in smaller homes do not require much energy when dispersing clean air; therefore, they will last longer. Larger homes need better filters since they need more power to clean air. Without so, your air filters won’t last long, and you will find yourself replacing them more often.