Can the HEPA filter be washed or will it reduce the cleaning efficiency of the filter?
HEPA filters claim to remove particles like dust, allergens, and mold spores from the air, but they lose their effectiveness when clogged with debris. Because HEPA filters are used in vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and HVAC systems, replacing them can be costly.
The answer is not as simple as it might seem. In this short article, we’ll take a look at what HEPA filters are made of, as well as take a look at the different types of HEPA filters to better understand if they can be cleaned, and if so, how to do it the right way. way to make sure the filter continues to function properly. with your insurance claims.
These filters are made disposable, washable or permanent.
Permanent HEPA filters are very easy to store, but remember that permanent filters cannot be washed. In fact, if you wash a permanent HEPA filter, it will deteriorate. Before attempting to clean the HEPA filter, read the manual to avoid damaging it.
What is HEPA filter made of?
HEPA filters or High Efficiency Particulate Air Filters are defined precisely by how well they’ve been rated for particle filtration, not by how they’re made. To meet the HEPA criteria, the filter is estimated to remove 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns (or micrometers) from the air that passes through them, although this indicates that particles as small as 0.3 microns may exit through HEPA filter.
In practice, HEPA filters are made from a range of products, including “durable fiberglass, coated pet hair, vegetable fibers, synthetic fibers (such as polyester or nylon), man-made foams, metal wool or foam foils, and metals.” according to the agency. Manufacturers can add other components to a HEPA filter, such as a pre-filter to weed out larger particles, activated carbon to get rid of odors and gases, or chemical therapy to stick particles to fibers.
Where are HEPA filters used?
Initially, HEPA filters were used in research and industrial centers, due to the fact that they were created specifically to get rid of radioactive particles from the air in nuclear screening laboratories. Today, HEPA filters are used in many consumer products.
Ventilation and air conditioning systems
How is the HEPA filter used?
Indoor air quality is a major concern, especially for people with sensitive immune systems such as infants or the elderly. Particles such as the allergen (and their feces), mold spores, and various other airborne allergens can cause signs and symptoms of health and wellness, such as allergic reactions or asthma, and people are looking for a way to remove them from the air using filter material in a portable air purifier, unique vacuum system or HVAC system. One type of filter is the HEPA filter.
The HEPA filter in your HVAC system, air purifier, or vacuum cleaner is only designed to filter particles (not gaseous pollutants such as smoke) from the air to improve air quality. Minimal research has actually shown that air purifiers with HEPA filters can help reduce airborne particulate matter to improve overall air quality (Laumbach, Meng, & Kipen, 2015). However, some harmful pollutants, such as chemicals in the air or smoke particles, are much smaller than a HEPA filter can capture. There is also the possibility that if all the particulate matter (dust) that collects on the HEPA filter could provide the right conditions for mold and mildew to develop. In a study in Korea, it was documented that mold can spread on a HEPA filter (Kim et al., 2014) and also potentially re-enter the air.
Can the HEPA filter be cleaned?
If your HEPA filter is not labeled washable or permanent, the answer is no. You can rinse the filter in water, shake off excess dust, or get rid of some of the dust with a vacuum cleaner, but this can absolutely damage the mesh of fibers that allows the filter to remove particles from the air. Even if the filter looks intact, a few fibers are bound to be damaged or elongated. You will end up with a fairly clean filter that refrains from the task of properly filtering the system.
What allows a HEPA filter to satisfy its insurance claims is the “weave” consistency of the glass fibers. If the fibers are stretched or torn, spaces large enough for particles to pass are bound to form in the filter.
If the filter is marketed as being washable, than it is possible that you can wash it or cleanse it off and also it will still work. There is no requirement for washable HEPA filters, and there have actually not been researches examining just how well these filters job after they have been washed. It is possible that the producer has found a method of making filter fibers that will not be harmed by cleaning, yet there really is no way of knowing for certain, so you are taking your risks.
Exactly how to Clean a Permanent HEPA Filter
1. Remove the Filters
Permanent HEPA filters are normally discovered in air purifiers. Non washable hepa filter ought to not be cleaned with water as itmcan damage the filter.
Prior to removing the filters, think about covering the floor in plastic or old sheets. You could even take the device outside. Since HEPA as well as pre-filters can hold a considerable amount of dust and also dirt, these may after that drop or get in the air to the ground.
Start by switching off the appliance as well as disconnecting it to guarantee it’s secure to remove. If you’re uncertain how to remove it, read the manual for directions. The majority of air purifiers have a back cover that you can open up to access the filters conveniently.
2. Clean the Pre-Filters
Permanent HEPA filters seldom come alone. There’s typically a pre-filter and an activated carbon filter. These ought to be removed and also cleansed.
The pre-filter can be rinsed with water- do this under the tap and also proceed up until the water runs clear. Great wire filters should be cleaned up gently with a soft-bristled brush. You can likewise use a damp sponge to clean both sides of the filter.
The activated carbon filter need to be vacuumed carefully to get rid of dust and dust. Tidy both sides with the vacuum using horizontal movements. If the carbon filter has actually taken in a substantial amount of smells, you can leave it in direct sunshine for an hour or two.
If you wash foam or carbon pre-filters, towel dry them and also allow 24 hrs to dry totally.
Always read the manual before cleaning any filters.
3. Vacuum the HEPA Filter
Once the pre-filters are cleansed and drying, transform your focus to the permanent HEPA filter. For this, you can make use of any type of kind of vacuum– we prefer a handheld for simplicity of usage. When cleaning the filter, use a nozzle or soft brush attachment. This will certainly protect against damage caused by the vacuum.
Vacuum making use of horizontal motions and maintain going up until all dirt, debris- and possible dust rabbits– are gone. Be gentle as you vacuum; do not press the add-on into the filter. Instead, set the vacuum to a more powerful suction so it will certainly eliminate deeply embedded dust.
When the permanent HEPA filter as well as pre-filters are tidy, it’s time to place whatever back. Reassemble by placing the HEPA filter in first, complied with by the triggered charcoal and also last but not least the pre-filter. Once more, if you’re unsure, describe the handbook for specific instructions.
Cover the HEPA filter in plastic so it will certainly stay tidy while the others dry if your pre-filters are washed and also need to dry for an extended period.
Just how to Clean a Washable HEPA Filter.
1. Read the Manual
Washable HEPA filters are used in air purifiers along with vacuum cleaners. Prior to trying to wash a HEPA filter, read the manual thoroughly.
Ensure it’s washable, some will certainly also state just how it needs to be washed, as an example, with soapy water or only washing. Some washable HEPA filters are also dishwasher secure.
If you can not locate the manual or you simply do not have one, you can search online. Locate the maker’s site and also enter the model number, you might be able to locate a downloadable copy also.
Bear in mind
Stay clear of utilizing any kind of information from any kind of resource aside from the manufacturer of the unit. Cleaning a non-washable filter can invalidate a guarantee in many cases.
2. Remove Filters
Before opening up the home appliance, you could want to cover the floor or take it outside. They can hold a considerable quantity of dirt and dust that could be released right into the air or fall to the ground if the filters are large.
Always begin by turning the home appliance off as well as disconnecting it. This will protect against any kind of possible electrical shocks.
Locate the filters and also remove them. If you’re unclear just how to reach the filters, refer to the guidebook for assistance.
3. Wash Pre-Filters
Start by cleaning them if there are any kind of pre-filters. These can either be washed with water or delicately cleaned with a brush. Refer to the manual to ensure they’re washable before trying to do so. A lot of home appliances with washable HEPA filters will additionally have washable pre-filters.
If they’re washable, rinse under the sink until the water runs clear. Pre-filters usually hold all of the larger dust bunnies and dirt, so if it’s really filthy, start by cleaning debris off. This will certainly make it much easier to rinse.
After the pre-filters are cleaned up and also drying, it’s time for the HEPA filter. Smaller filters can be washed under the tap in the kitchen area or bathroom. Larger filters might require to be rinsed outside using a garden hose, or in the shower utilizing a portable shower head.
When washing, stay clear of utilizing high pressure as this can damage the filter. Rather, use low to medium flow and clean your fingers across gently to aid loosen dirt.
Some manufacturers recommend soapy water while others suggest using either warm or chilly water. Refer to the handbook for certain demands.
Apartment HEPA Filters
These must be cleaned on both sides to remove all dust as well as contaminants. Cylindrical filters need to just be rinsed on the outside– avoid obtaining the within the cyndrical tube wet.
Washable HEPA filters need to air dry completely prior to being reinstalled. After washing the filter, you can provide it a fast shake to eliminate excess water. Establish the filter up outside versus a wall or chair so it can get fresh air from all sides.
Keep In Mind
You should never try to quicken the procedure by using an impact clothes dryer or clothes dryer. This will harm the filter as well as may also nullify a service warranty. Always enable the washable HEPA filter to air dry.
When every one of the filters are completely dry, it’s time to re-install them. Start with the HEPA filter and also adhere to with pre-filters. If you’re unclear, refer to the manual.