How to Clean an HVAC Filter?

The HVAC unit does not need a lot of preventive maintenance, but to retain your system in a good condition it is important to clean or reinstate the HVAC unit's air filters on a regular basis.

What is an Air Filter?

An air filter is an appliance made up of porous materials (like a semi-permeable membrane) to remove solid particles such as dust, pollen, and bacteria from the air.

Why Do Air Filters Matter?

Air filters are used to clean the circulating air through the central air system and remove the impurities like dust, dirt, debris, bacteria, pollen, viruses that could be harmful to your health. Regular cleaning and replacing air filters on time will help to improve your indoor air quality as well as the system's performance

What Are the Different Kinds of Air Filters?

Following are the main kinds of filters, perhaps your HVAC unit may utilize;

  • Pleated filters:

    A pleated air filter is prepared from a layer of polyester, paper, or cotton assembled into pleats to enlarge the surface area. These layers help the filter to catch contaminants such as dust, dirt, or human hair which can harm the fan and could clog the AC coils. Pleated air filters are cost-effective and provide a highly efficient indoor air quality.

  • Fiberglass filters:

    Fiberglass filters, also known as disposable filters primarily created to maintain your HVAC system. These filters are made up of 15–60 μm glass fibers with high porosity. They are available at a very low cost but they need to be changed after30 days which can raise your cost.

  • Electrostatic filters:

    Electrostatic air filters also known as electrostatic precipitators are efficient filtration utensils. It uses electrostatic ions to evacuate fine particulates such as dust or even smoke from the air. They are available in variety of sizes. They are often disposable and replaced by every 3 months. Electrostatic filters are more costly than pleated and fiberglass ones.

  • HEPA filters:

    HEPA filters are incredibly sufficient to clean the air. They are able to remove allergens as tiny as 0.3 microns. They can remove the tiniest particles like cigarette smoke, viruses, bacteria, and other contaminants. It ensures to breathe comfortably and is ideal for asthma patients or people having respiratory issues.

  • Washable filters:

    They are also regarded as reusable or permanent filters because they are 10 times more productive than basic disposable filters. It may cost you for instance but you can easily preserve your money in the long run because they can be easily removed, washed and cleaned.

  • UV filters:

    UV filters are beneficial for removing viruses and bacteria roaming around your central air system.

Why Should You Clean Your Air Filter?

It is necessary to first check the maker's guidance for cleaning purposes. Keeping your air filter clean will enhance your indoor air quality as well as the excellence of your HVAC system. Cleaned air filters provide you almost dust-free air with lesser allergens or other impurities. If the filters are not timely cleaned they will make the unit less productive and increase the workload on it which will increase the maintenance cost.

Several aspects can decrease the lifespan of HVAC equipment , including:

Dirty filters will pressurize your HVAC unit to work harder and will require more energy consumption and affect the life of the unit.

How Often Should You Clean Your Air Conditioner Filter?

As your AC unit doesn't need much maintenance but to maintain the efficiency of the system you are required to clean the air filters by each month and this may be possible if you live in a pollutant area you'll need to clean it more often.

How to Clean Your HVAC Filters?

To clean your HVAC system's air filter you need to follow these steps;

  • Turn off your HVAC unit:

    Whenever you conduct any sort of examining/repairing of your air conditioning unit, it’s a better idea to switch off/unplug the unit for the safety of your own and the system.

  • Remove the Filter:

    Uncover the filter by searching the service panel and all the vents in the system. Take the air filter out while making sure no dirt or debris falls inside the airbox.

  • Vacuum:

    First, tap the filter to remove excess dirt, and then make sure to vacuum dirt and debris as much as possible. The air filters could be caked with dust and debris. You need to do the vacuum efficiently. You can moreover vacuum the sides of the filter.

  • Washing:

    If your filter is water-friendly you can wash it either for effective cleaning. You can also dip your air filters in a solution made up of water and vinegar with a 50/50 ratio for an hour to clean every pore of the filter, but for this, you need to be sure to check the guideline of the unit.

  • Drying:

    Let the filter completely dry with a clean towel and you can also leave the filters to dry before reinserting.

  • Reinstall the filter:

    When you assure that no dust or dust particles are remaining on the filter it's time to reinstall the filter. Most of the filters have arrows to indicate which side to be positioned in the direction of airflow.

The filter enhances the performance and durability of the HVAC system by safeguarding it from dust and harmful particles. It is a thus essential part to look up these parts of the system. To attain the best results, you need a proper cleaning of the air filters monthly and should replace them by every 6 months.

Author

AJ Milbes

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