How much maintenance is required for the air purifiers and filters?
Air purifiers that clean your indoor surrounding air need proper maintenance promptly on time. The maintenance period for each air purifier type depends on what kind of air filter is being used in them. The maintenance of an air purifier mainly deals with cleaning the parts and keeping the air vents free of any dust or dirt. Clogged air vents do not serve the purpose of clean air to breathe. Replacing the air filters is the next step in the air purifier maintenance. Both these, need to be done promptly from time to time.
When to do the maintenance
Many air purifiers have multi-layers of filters. They most probably will have a pre-filter that catches the larger air particles like hair, dust, etc. These pre-filters will be removable and mostly washable (read the instructions carefully to make sure this). The outer cleaning of air purifiers can be done on a weekly basis for highly polluted areas. Clean the pre-filters every month.
Many air purifiers will have a filter indicator that indicates the time to replace the actual filter. For those air purifiers that do not have this facility, keep a tab on the outlet vent. The usual time to replace a filter will be between 3-8 months depending upon the air quality. If you spot any dirt getting accumulated near the outlet vent, the filter may need a replacement sooner.
How to maintain an air purifier
The washable pre-filters can be washed with soap water and dry it completely before you place it back inside the air purifier. While the pre-filter is drying, use a clean dry cloth to wipe the visible interior parts of the air purifier to remove anything that is sticking to it. The pre-filter is the key to the longevity of the HEPA filter and other inner filters. The larger particles will not enter these layers that are meant to catch the smaller sized particles.
The inner-most cavity of the air purifier can be cleaned when the filter is being replaced. This time you will have to remove the whole thing out and can clean the inner regions thoroughly before fixing the new filter inside.
While replacing the air filters, make sure that you wear gloves and have a larger enough plastic cover handy. Once you take the used filter out, immediately keep it inside this plastic cover, and dispose of it. This will keep the caught air particles inside the air filters and do not cause any air contamination.
Certain air purifiers will have a permanent filter that does not need a replacement. The caring and maintenance tips for those air purifiers will be provided in the manual or label. Read the instructions carefully.
Either way, not all filter layers of the air purifiers are washable. Only a very few offer the same and there will be at least one layer that is untouchable. Know your air purifier well to know how to maintain them for your good. A wrong step can make the device useless.
What happens if the air filters are not changed when the indicator light comes on?
The filter indicator light on the air purifier warns you when it is time to change the filter inside. Replacement filters are available for all brands and all types of air filtering systems. The filter should be replaced within a month’s time once the indicator light starts blinking. Many people do not promptly change the filter as it should be. This is when their air purifiers start to decline in the performance. What does actually happen if the air filters are not changed when the indicator light comes on? Here is a small summary on this account.
Indicator light is an indication
The indicator light is a luxury that is provided by some limited air purifier manufacturers. It is not given in the majority of the air purifiers. Most users will have to do the guesswork as on when to change the air filters. This luxury is being misused by many users. The indicator light indicates that the air filter is almost clogged and cannot do any more air filtration to keep the air fresh and healthy. If the air filter cannot do its job properly there is no point is running the air purifier.
Most users will have to do a rough calculation and estimate the time for the air filter replacement. The usual timing is between 3-8 months depending upon the air quality inside. The indicator shows the exact time when to change to filter and keep the air purifier running fit and fine for a long time. Moreover, replacing the air filter is an integral part of the maintenance of air purifiers.
What happens when the air filter is not replaced?
When the air filter is not replaced promptly, the air quality start decline and the concentration of the air pollutants accumulate. The people who breathe in this air may go back to their previous health condition or may start having respiratory problems or other allergies. The replacement of the air filter is important to keep up the good performance of the air purifier. Since the pollutants would never cease to enter the home or the office, the air purifier is an essential part of the life, especially of it is being used.
People’s body which are now accustomed to healthy air to breathe may react to the sudden change in the air quality drastically. This is not a compulsory bit quite possible. Ultimately the air filter is the heart of the air purifier and it is our responsibility to keep it healthy. Changing the filter is the only way to keep it healthy, as well as for you. Sometimes, the clogged filter could cause damage to the device. The air purifier may cause a lot of noise or it might even stop working.
Is it expensive to use an air purifier?
Air purifiers run in electric power and that is very much part of your electric bill. So yes, an air purifier could be expensive for both to buy and to use. The air purifier si recommended to run continuously. Many people do not do the same and they opt to run it for as long as they are inside the homes of offices. Either way it runs for a good number of hours in a day. That is sure to reflect in the monthly bills. The choice is to have an energy efficient air purifier that is lighter on the monthly burden.
Power usage by an air purifier
A good air purifier uses about 50 watts on average when running at the lowest speed. The power consumption increases with the fan speed and that could go up to 200 watts depending upon the air purifier. Owing to the fact that an air purifier will be running at any speed for at least an hour in each, the energy consumed could be much higher. There are energy-efficient air purifiers that uses less power than others and help save you money on the bills.
Operating cost for air purifiers
The air purifiers do not come cheap and the initial cost itself is higher. The additional cost comes in every 3-6 months on the replacement filters. An average life period of the air filter is a minimum of 3 months to a maximum of 8-10 months. The lifespan is also dependent on indoor air quality. The poorer quality air will make the filter wear out faster as the concentration of the pollutants is higher. This will clog the filter surface sooner and one may have to find the replacement sooner.
The cost of the replacement filter starts from $70 or above. If the air filter needs a replacement every 3 months, the yearly cost of running an air purifier could be much higher than you expect. Moreover, the cost of the air filter depends on the type of filter as well. HEPA air filter costs much more than other types that are using to eliminate the smoke, odor, asthma, etc.
Type of air filter matters
HEPA filters do cost more but could run for a longer period if the air purifier has some effective pre-filters. The pre-filters reduce the burden on the HEPA layer. Activated carbon filters have better longevity than others but here also the catch is the presence of pre-filters. The pre-filters will catch the larger air particles and only the minute ones enter the core filtering layer. It is this core filtering layer that needs frequent replacement.
Replacement packages help
There are replacement filter packages for many manufacturers that offer more than one replacement filter in a single pack. This saves money on discounts as well as on the shipping charges. Using air purifiers could be expensive but with some smart choices and moves, one can reduce the expense and make it pocket friendly.
How much space will an air purifier cover?
An air purifier cannot filter the air of the whole house. It has its limitations with the space it can reach out to. It all depends upon the type of fan that is attached inside. Every air purifier has a circulatory fan inside and that fan has maximum reachability depending upon the CFM.
Air purifier work mechanism and coverage space
What an air purifier does is to draw the air from the surroundings and pass the air through the filter layers. The amount of air that is drawn depends on the power of the circulatory fan. The coverage space of an air purifier is measured in a square foot area.
One must get an air purifier that has the same or more sq ft area than the room intended to be purified. Measure the room in sq ft to make things easier and see the label of the air purifier to know how much space it can cover. Sometimes a single air purifier cannot cover the entire home but just a single room or a portion of the home.
If you need a complete coverage, you may need more than one air purifier or connect the air purifier to the dust of the central air conditioning system. There also are portable air purifiers that can be carried from one room to another.
CFM and ACH also matters for space coverage
CFM stands for cubic feet per minute that measures the amount of air that the air purifier can draw in. the CFM value indicates that much amount of air passes through the device in every minute. The air purifier will have better coverage with more CFM value.
CFM value should be proportionate to the area of the room. It is affected by the speed of the fan, the natural air flow of the room as well as on the pollutants and the furniture kept in the room.
ACH is air changes per hour, that is the number of times the air purifier draw the air in, purify it and expel it out. The number of ACH indicates that many times the air in a room is filtered in a room per minute. The ACH value of 5-6 is considered healthy for good indoor air quality.
Size of the air purifier affects the space coverage
The size of the air purifier affects the space coverage as they can accommodate smaller fans inside. Most often small air purifiers will have maximum space coverage of just over 100-150 sq ft area only. As the size increases the coverage also increases and that can go up to 1500-2000 sq ft.
Open room and filled room
An air purifier can do better in an open room like a hall better than a room filled with furniture and other things. The air circulation is affected by the various obstacles in the room and the air purifier will not be able to do its maximum.