Nine Filters You Should Clean Regularly

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Changing and cleaning filters regularly is very important to your appliances. Cleaning is a must for filters every two weeks or every month. Here the 9 filters you should clean frequently.

Air Purifier

Air Purifier Filter

Many air purifiers have two filters – a pre-filter and a primary HEPA filter. Many pre-filters can be just wiped down and reused, but the main HEPA filter should be replaced every six to 12 months. An indicator light conveniently tells you when to replace the pre-filter, but it’s important to read the manual and know if you are replacing the filter based on a set number of hours or how much you’ve run the unit; knowing this can help you from replacing the filter only when necessary.

Dehumidifier Filter

It’s easy to forget about dehumidifiers, especially when they’re in the corner of your basement. Dehumidifier filters should frequently be cleaned to avoid the growth of dust mites, mold, and mildew on your filter, especially when the humidity is above 50%. It usually only takes a few minutes to clean a dehumidifier filter, and a clean filter drastically improves both the air quality and your machine’s performance.

room air conditioners

Room Air Conditioners Filter

All window units have a filter, and many have an indicator light that tells you when it needs to be cleaned or replaced. The general rule is to clean it monthly during periods of heavy use. To clean, remove the filter and vacuum with a soft brush, then wash the filter using dishwashing detergent. Let dry thoroughly before reinserting.

Central Heating and Cooling System

Central Heating and Cooling System Filter

A dirty filter can block airflow, causing the machine to work unnecessarily harder and possibly shorten the life of your unit. It’s best to follow the filter’s manufacturer’s recommendations on how often to change your HVAC unit filters. In general, the thicker the filter, the less often it needs to be replaced, but if you see a lot of dust on a regular basis, it’s best to buy the filters that require more frequent changing. Also, make sure to read the directions and insert them in the right direction to facilitate proper airflow.

Gas Furnace

Gas Furnace Filter

Just like with HVAC units, a dirty filter can restrict airflow, causing the system to run longer. And as with HVAC filters, follow the filter manufacturer’s instructions on how often to change them and the correct way to insert them.

Range Hood Filter

Range Hoods Filter

If your model doesn’t have filter maintenance lights, then the general rule is to clean your range hood filter every three months, or more often if you cook frequently. A dirty range hood filter means the fan can’t capture cooking fumes adequately, and that can lead to sticky residue on kitchen appliances and walls. If the range hood filter is dirty, place the filter in a sink full of hot water and a degreasing soap or chemical for about 10 minutes. Don’t leave the filter in the degreaser for too long because some degreasers can damage the metal. Then use a sponge or an old toothbrush to remove anything that remains in the mesh, air dry, and replace it. If you clean your filter regularly, a trip through the dishwasher may be all it needs.

Microwave Ovens Filter

Only over-the-range microwaves have filters that need cleaning frequently. Counter-top microwaves and microwaves above ovens do not. Follow the same cleaning instructions as for range hoods.

Clothes Dryer

Clothes Dryer Filter

Lint filters should be changed after every use of the dryer. Dirty lint filters can extend drying time and cause lint buildup in the dryer’s cabinet and duct that may cause a fire. In addition to changing the lint filter after each load, inspect the dryer cabinet and duct every few months to check for buildup, even if your unit has reduced airflow sensors.

carpet being vacuumed

Vacuum Cleaner Filter

Since there are so many different varieties of vacuums, it is important to check the owner’s manual of your unit to make sure you are changing all the filters you are supposed to change on your type and model. Some may be washable, which can save you some money. Dirty filters cause the vacuum to lose suction and spew dirt and dust back into the air. Changing filters regularly is essential even or bagless models.



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