How to clean air filter?

You are here now because you want to know how to clean the air filter, right? The air filters are necessary when you need to filter your home’s air from most contaminants like dust, dust mites, mold, fungi, pollen, pet hair, and pet dander. Due to constantly trapping these pollutant objects, the air filter will be dirty, and you need to clean it. Yes, you can clean the air filters without replacing them.

No matter whether you use air filters in your home air vents, DIY air purifiers, or real air purifiers, you will need to clean them regularly. Most air filters can only work at their best for 2-3 weeks. Cleaning an air filter regularly will make your air filter last longer and improve the efficiency of your air filtration.

In this article, Breathe Quality will show you how to clean the air filter properly.

Air Purifier Definitions: 

How Often Should You Replace Air Filters?

For most of the HEPA filters, you should change the air filter at least once a year. It depends on different brands of air filters, but generally, an air filter needs to be replaced after 6 months to 1 year. For example, the Honeywell air purifier brand requires their customers to change the filter once every 6 months for maximum benefit. However, brands like Rabbit Air guarantee that you can run the HEPA filter for up to 3 years without replacement.

One thing you should keep in mind is that air filters only need to be replaced if you use them frequently, like for 8 to 16 hours per day. This is reasonable because an air purifier needs to run for a long time to keep your air quality safe. You can read more about “Can You Run an Air Purifier All the Time?” to know why you need to keep running your air purifier all day.

With a high frequency of use, there are lots of criteria to decide the lifetime of your air filters. Like the number of your family members or how many pets you have in your house, they all affect your air filters. Especially for a common HVAC air filter (which is slightly inferior to a HEPA filter), sometimes you need to change it every two months.

Some air purifier brands make their pre-filter or HEPA filter permanent, meaning you can use it as long as you take time to clean and vacuum it. Because HEPA filters have better methods for trapping large objects of contaminants, these filters do not wear out over time.If you have these air purifiers, the only thing you should need to know is how to clean the air filters.

Finally, you still need to replace your activated carbon filters. These filters are able to absorb the smoke and other odors. Typically, after 3 months of using a carbon filter, you should replace it.

List of the best air purifiers

How to clean air filter?

Now let’s find out how to clean the air filter. Having clean furnace and air purifier filters not only keeps dust and allergens out of your home, but it also keeps your air filtration system working at its best. Typically, air purifiers use a washable HEPA pre-filter. This pre-filter is reusable, meaning you can simply wash and dry it, then re-install it in your air purifier.

Expert tip: Replace your HVAC air filter instead of cleaning if you use it for a long time.

Sometimes, you need to clean your air filter with hot water. Soaking the air filter in hot (just short of boiling) water might be necessary if it’s very dirty. When you wash an air filter with warm, soapy water, just make sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Other air purifiers restrict their users from washing the air filters and only allow them to vacuum them. So make sure you have read the user manual carefully. Also, you can use compressed air or a stiff brush to clean your air filters.

To clean the activated carbon filter, you don’t need a brush or a vacuum. In fact, this type of air filter is only for adsorbing smells and odors, not for capturing particles. That’s why you don’t have to wash the air filter. The best way to “clean” the carbon air filter is by applying it directly to the sunlight. You can leave your air filter in the sun for about 2-3 hours and it will be fine.

Below is the infographic on how to clean an air filter in your home:


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