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How & When To Change Your Smart Air Purifiers’ Filter

Smart filters
Published 24 December 2021

Last updated on 5 July 2022

Keeping your air clean is one of the most important things for your respiratory health and general well-being. That’s why it’s so important to switch out your filters regularly — you don’t want to put polluted air back into your home. 

This article will explain how and when to change the filter on most models and give you recommendations for which type of filter is best suited for different environments (hint: bigger isn’t always better).

Let’s get started.

How Often Should You Change Your Smart Air Purifier’s Filter?

Filter and air purifier manufacturers will share how often their filters need changing. 

For example, HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arrestance) filters can effectively remove allergens and harmful irritants such as smoke and pet dander. They can also capture 99.99% of very small particles, including mould spores, bacteria, and viruses. When used for approximately 8 hours a day, they can last for around 140 days (4 months) or the equivalent of 1000 hours before they need to be changed. This type of filter is a good choice for larger spaces or homes where you spend most of your time. 

Similarly, activated carbon filters use a vacuum system to trap and remove air pollutants before the air passes through the filter. For optimum effectiveness, you need to ensure that the filter isn’t clogged. This means, on average, you’re changing an activated carbon filter every 18-24 months.

However, these are just guidelines based on testing under controlled circumstances. In the real world, filter life depends on several factors, including:

  • The quality of the filter material used
  • The filter’s efficiency and effectiveness
  • The number of hours per day the air purifier is running
  • The size of the room, home, or space you’re trying to clean 
  • The kind of pollutant your filter is up against

It is important to note that if you or a loved one has a respiratory illness or condition like asthma, the filter needs cleaning or changing every 30 days, irrespective of the manufacturer’s instructions.

Signs That Your Purifier’s Filter Needs Changing

Visual

To determine the condition of your purifier’s filter, simply open the panel and do a visual examination. While most filters will change colour after a few days of use, worrisome signs include excessively dark patches and mould. Dust and other particles collecting on the sides of the air purifier is another indication that the filter isn’t performing as it should.

Air Flow

If it feels like your purifier is not expelling sufficient air or any air at all, then you must clean or change the filter.

Noises

A clogged filter will force your air purifier to work harder, thereby putting excess stress on the motor, fan, and other moving mechanical parts. If you hear any odd, unusual sounds coming from your air purifier, it’s time to check the filter.

Air Quality Monitor

An air quality monitor is a simple gadget that measures particulate levels in the air. The test is as simple as noting air quality with the air purifier switched off and on. Then leave the gadget running whenever you use the air purifier. Within 30-60 minutes, the air quality monitor should show lower particle levels. If there is no change in readings, it’s time to check your air purifier’s filter.

How To Change A HEPA Filter

Let’s walk you through the steps for changing the filter on a HEPA air purifier. 

Step 1

Turn off the power to your purifier and unplug it from the wall socket. It’s best to make sure that the purifier is cool before you move it, so wait at least an hour after you turn it off. 

Step 2

Loosen the two screws at the bottom of the purifier and tilt it backwards so that you can fully open it. 

Step 3

Gently pry open the slats on either side of your filter and use a brush if necessary to remove any dust, dirt, or other debris that is lodged there.

Step 4

Remove the old filter and dispose of it per manufacturer recommendations. If you’re using a washable HEPA filter, just rinse it under cold water and let air dry for a few hours.

Step 5

Place your new (or cleaned) HEPA filter inside the top of your air purifier and push it down firmly until it locks into place.

Step 6

Insert the sides of the purifier back into their position and replace the two screws on the bottom. Secure the front panel and plug the unit in. You’re all set!

How To Change An Activated Carbon Filter

To change your air purifier’s activated carbon filter, begin by switching off and unplugging your purifier. Next, you’ll need to find the filter access door and open it.

Step 1

Remove the plastic railings to easily access your activated carbon filter. They should come off quickly, so be careful how much pressure you apply as they may break.

Step 2

Remove your carbon filter. You’ll want to dispose of it properly and dust the remaining area in your purifier to dislodge any stray dust and debris that may have settled.

Step 3

Position your new filter. It should stay in place long enough for you to position the plastic railings that keep them secured.

Step 4

Snap the plastic railings back in and close your unit. Once you’re done, just plug it in, and you’re all set!

Dealing With Washable Filters

Did you opt for an air purifier with a washable filter? Congratulations. You just reduced your carbon footprint! And yes, depending on the manufacturer, washable filters are made from several materials such as vegetable fibres and coated animal hair that aren’t harmful to the environment. 

So, how do you clean washable filters? If it’s a HEPA filter, you must remember to rinse the filter under cold running water or vacuum to remove dust and particles. It is advisable not to touch or brush the filter as that will release bacteria and particles back into the air. Ensure the filtered air dries properly before placing them back in your air purifier. 

The Takeaway

And there you have it. A simple yet comprehensive guide to smart air purifier filter kinds, cleaning methods, and change cycles. We hope our guide provided you with the information you require to extend the life of your air purifier and keep your home free of dust, particles, and allergens.

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