Many equipment, such as vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and respiratory masks, employ HEPA filters. True HEPA filters are the most effective of the numerous varieties of HEPA filters available.
These filters are available in three different types: disposable, washable, and permanent.
Reusable HEPA filters are simple to care for, but you should bear in mind that a permanent filter cannot be washed. In fact, washing a permanent HEPA filter will destroy it. So, before you try to clean your HEPA filter, make sure you read the instructions to be sure you won’t harm it.
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How to Clean a Permanent HEPA Filter
In most air purifiers, permanent HEPA filters are used. The filter should not be cleaned since water might harm it.
Consider covering the floor with plastic or old sheets before removing the filters. It’s even possible to carry the equipment outside. This is due to the fact that HEPA and pre-filters may store a lot of dust and debris. These may then be released into the atmosphere or fall to the earth.
To make sure the appliance is safe to remove, switch it off and disconnect it. Refer to the handbook for instructions if you’re not sure how to remove it. The back cover of most air purifiers may be opened to conveniently access the filters.
Remove Pre Filters
Permanent HEPA filters are rarely sold by themselves. A pre-filter and an activated carbon filter are frequently included. These should also be taken out and disinfected.
Water can be used to rinse the pre-filter; do so under the faucet until the water flows clean. Cleaning fine wire filters using a soft-bristled brush is recommended. You may also clean both sides of the filter using a wet sponge.
To remove dust and debris from the activated carbon filter, gently vacuum it. Using horizontal vacuum movements, clean both sides. You can keep the carbon filter in direct sunlight for an hour or two if it has absorbed a large number of smells.
If you wash foam or carbon pre-filters, towel dry them and let them air dry for at least 24 hours.
Before washing any filters, always consult the owner’s handbook.
Vacuum HEPA Filter
After the pre-filters have been cleaned and dried, go on to the permanent HEPA filter. You may use any sort of vacuum for this, but we recommend a handheld vacuum for simplicity of usage. When cleaning the filter, use a nozzle or a soft brush attachment. This will prevent the suction from causing harm.
Vacuum in a horizontal motion until all dirt, debris, and possible dust bunnies have been removed. Vacuum gently; do not force the attachment into the filter. Set the vacuum to a higher suction setting to get rid of deeply entrenched dirt.
Put It Back Together
It’s time to reassemble everything once the permanent HEPA filter and pre-filters have been cleaned. Reassemble by first inserting the HEPA filter, then the activated charcoal, and finally the pre-filter. If you’re still unsure, see the handbook for further instructions.
If your pre-filters need to be washed and dried for a long time, wrap the HEPA filter in plastic to keep it clean while the others dry.
How to Clean a Washable HEPA Filter
Refer To Manual
Air purifiers and vacuums both employ washable HEPA filters. Read the instructions before attempting to clean a HEPA filter.
Check to see if it’s washable; some will specify how it should be washed, such as with soapy water or just rinsing. Some washable HEPA filters may even be put in the dishwasher.
You can look for the manual online if you can’t find it or don’t have one. Locate the manufacturer’s website and enter in the model number; you may be able to download a copy as well.
Avoid utilising information from sources other than the unit’s maker. In rare situations, washing a non-washable filter can void the guarantee.
You might wish to cover the floor or take the appliance outside before turning it on. Filters that are large enough may retain a lot of dirt and dust that would otherwise be discharged into the air or fall to the ground.
Always begin by shutting off and disconnecting the equipment. Any potential electrical shocks will be avoided as a result of this.
Then look for and delete the filters. Refer to the handbook for instructions if you’re not sure how to access to the filters.
Clean Pre Filters
If there are any pre-filters, clean them first. These may be gently cleaned with a brush or washed with water. Before attempting to wash them, check the instructions to make sure they’re washable. Washable pre-filters are included in most appliances with washable HEPA filters.
Rinse them under the sink until the water runs clean if they’re washable. Pre-filters generally hold all of the bigger dust bunnies and grime, so start by brushing debris off if it’s really unclear. This will also make it easy to rinse.
It’s time for the HEPA filter once the pre-filters have been cleaned and dried. Smaller filters can be rinsed in the kitchen or bathroom under the faucet. Larger filters may need to be rinsed in the shower with a handheld shower head or outside with a garden hose.
When rinsing, use low pressure to avoid damaging the filter. Instead, use a low- to medium-flow setting and lightly rub your fingertips across the surface to remove debris.
Some manufacturers suggest using soapy water, while others suggest using cold or lukewarm water. Specific requirements may be found in the handbook.
To eliminate all dirt and pollutants, they should be cleaned on both sides. Avoid getting the inside of the cylinder wet by simply rinsing the exterior of the cylinder.
Before reinstalling washable HEPA filters, allow them to air dry fully. After you’ve washed the filter, give it a short shake to get rid of any extra water. Place the filter against a wall or a chair outside so that it may get fresh air from all sides.
Using a blow dryer or clothes dryer to speed up the process is never a good idea. The filter will be damaged, and a warranty may be invalidated as a result. Allow the washable HEPA filter to air dry whenever possible.
Put It Back Together
It’s time to replace the filters once they’ve dried fully. Begin with the HEPA filter and work your way down to the pre-filters. If you’re unsure, consult the instructions.
How to Maintain a HEPA Filter
Maintaining your HEPA filter helps guarantee that it is always operating at its best. Cleaning a reusable filter on a regular basis will help the filter and appliance last longer. Here are some suggestions for keeping your HEPA filter in good working order:
Tip #1: Clean When Recommended
Air purifiers with washable or permanent filters should be cleaned every three to six months, on average. Following this advice will assist to maintain your filter clean and in good working order.
Tip #2: Clean When Necessary
Although the preceding suggestion should be followed, you may wish to use your own timer. Consider how frequently you use your air purifier or vacuum with HEPA filtration. The equipment will become dirtier the more you use it, necessitating extra cleaning.
If you use your air purifier in a dusty room, it will grow dirtier than if you use it in a clean room. We strongly advise that you inspect the filter on a regular basis to see how dirty it is and clean it if necessary.
Tip #3: Cleaning the Filter More Frequently Is Safe
Don’t be scared to clean the HEPA filter more frequently than the manufacturer recommends. If it’s unclean, clean it – as long as you use the proper procedures, it’ll be OK. Additionally, keeping your HEPA filter clean will aid in the appliance’s efficiency.
Tip #4: Set a Reminder
Many air purifiers have an automated filter cleaning reminder built in. Some are more technologically advanced than others, having sensors that detect how filthy the filter is. Others might be as basic as a wheel that you can set to the month when you need to clean.
Although a reminder is useful, you should not rely on it completely.
Tip #5: If it’s not absolutely necessary, don’t clean.
You won’t have to clean the appliance as much if you don’t use it as regularly. It’s possible that once every three months is excessive.
Check the filter when it’s time to clean it; if it’s not dirty, you may save yourself the bother. If you believe it’s essential, you may give it a short try with the vacuum.
Tip #6: If Needed, Replace
Even the term “permanent” does not imply “forever.” The HEPA filter will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. When you see a decline in the efficiency of your appliances and cleaning the filter isn’t helping, it’s time to make a change.
Cleaning the filter on a regular basis will help it last longer, maybe for years. Neglecting your filter for an extended period of time, on the other hand, will cause it to swiftly degrade and wear out.
When the HEPA filter gets discoloured or damaged, most manufacturers recommend replacing it.
Keeping The Filter Clean
When you want to save money on your appliance’s operation, permanent or washable HEPA filters are good options. In the long term, replacing disposable filters can become prohibitively expensive, which is why many people choose reusable filters.
Cleaning a HEPA filter is simple, but you must first determine if the filter is washable or permanent. Permanent filters should only be vacuumed or brushed when they need to be cleaned. Washable filters, on the other hand, may be washed with water without harm.