Pre-filters are there to assist your main HEPA filter to do its dirty job so that your machine can function more efficiently. Most people aren’t sure if the same maintenance rules apply for the main HEPA filters and their unit’s pre-filters. A popular concern and frequently asked question is whether or not it’s advisable to clean home air purifier pre-filters?
Unlike the air purifier core HEPA filters, the pre-filters are more flexible and can be cleaned by simply rinsing them. So even if your pre-filter type isn’t reusable, there’s no problem with that. In addition, they’re pocket-friendly, so it doesn’t cost much to buy brand-new replacements when necessary.
To maximize your air purifier, you must learn when and how to clean your device’s pre-filters. This article contains all you need to know about cleaning your air purifier’s pre-filters. I’ll also give you a handful of benefits you’ll derive from using pre-filters in your air purifier.
What Is a HEPA Pre Filter?
HEPA filters in air purifiers are key components of the system, efficient at removing microorganisms and germs from the atmosphere. However efficient HEPA filters are, they can get clogged by various impurities such as pollen and dust.
The function of HEPA pre-filters is to remove airborne particles flowing into the system before reaching the main HEPA filter. The pre-filters are positioned before the main filter, so airflow automatically passes through them into the major filter.
Pre-filter isn’t just effective but also necessary for maintaining the efficiency and soundness of your unit’s HEPA filter. Most importantly, they help extend the lifespan of your unit’s main HEPA filter and ultimately minimize extra maintenance costs.
Note that pre-filters aren’t as efficient as the core filter in trapping airborne nanoparticles in your room’s air. Nonetheless, this doesn’t make them any less important as they relieve the main filter of their heavy filtration.
Pre-filters major in trapping bigger particles from the incoming air. They’re not designed to filter nanoparticles that are left for your main HEPA filter to remove.
What Are the Benefits of Using a HEPA Pre-filter?
Running air purifiers in homes can be expensive, especially when you consider filter replacement costs. This is where the need for pre-filters comes in. Let’s see in detail some of why you should use a pre-filter.
Pre-filters Traps Dust Particles
Your machine’s pre-filters trap dust and several other macro particles from the air pulled into the system. Being the foremost defence, they screen numerous airborne particles before the air reaches the HEPA filter.
These pre-filters also trap dirt crumbs such as pollen and pet dander. This role is essential and beneficial because your HEPA filter can easily get blocked with particles of this nature.
Pre-filters Prolong the Active Life of Your Core HEPA Filter
The pre-filters in your purification device go a long way in prolonging the lifespan of your HEPA filter. Partly because the fibrous mesh of HEPA filters is delicate, which makes them prone to grime and dust clogging.
Using pre-filters, you help prevent macro pollutants from getting stuck in the HEPA filter membrane. This provides the HEPA filter with more room to do the job it was initially intended for capturing ultrafine matter.
Pre-filters Are Affordable and Easy to Maintain
Most filtration system pre-filters are washable and reusable for a longer duration than the main filters. To clean them, all you need to do is rinse out the grime and particles on the pre-filter surface. As a result, pre-filters don’t require a rigorous cleaning process, and cramped dirt doesn’t prove stubborn to remove.
Even if your pre-filter type isn’t reusable, there’s no problem with that. They’re pocket-friendly and don’t cost much to buy brand-new replacements.
On average, pre-filters are less expensive and readily affordable than HEPA filters. This doesn’t in any way imply that they’re produced with inferior filter materials. On the contrary, they’re available at very reasonable prices so that even frequent replacements won’t weigh your pockets down.
Can I Clean Pre Filter Air Purifier?
Usually, air purifier filters are washable except for the core HEPA filters. That said, there are air purifier models that the pre-filters and main HEPA filters are permanent.
The good news is that even if your machine’s pre-filter isn’t washable, you can easily replace them with new ones. Unlike most air purifier core HEPA filters, the pre-filters are more flexible and can be cleaned by simply rinsing them.
In addition, these pre-filters are readily available at quite affordable prices, so you can always buy new ones when needed.
If you’re still uncertain whether or not your pre-filter is washable, check your air purifier’s accompanying manual. Or, check your manufacturer’s website for more details using the specific pre-filter model and number.
How Do You Clean a Pre Filter?
Never attempt to remove or clean your air purifier filter when the machine is on and running. Instead, ensure your machine is switched off and disconnected before you proceed.
You may also want to take your air purifier a good distance away from your indoor space, somewhere like a garage. If that’s not feasible, you can clean a sink with running water.
You may risk wasting the efforts of your machine if you go about the cleaning process carelessly. Delicate parts like the machine’s filters should be handled properly to avoid redistributing germs and bacteria into the air.
You’ll need to gather the following tools and materials to perform a pre-filter cleaning. These items listed below are readily available in a home, so you don’t necessarily have to go shopping. They include:
- Hot water
- Cleaning solution or liquid dishwasher
- A vacuum cleaner
- A clean and dry napkins or rag
Step 1: Uncover the Filter Casing
More recent air purifier designs have pre-filters enclosed in a latch or filter cover. With the help of a screwdriver, loosen the cover or latch. Not all filter casings will require you to use a screwdriver.
There are some that you’ll only need to uncover their lid to reveal the filter.
Your filter encasement will also need cleaning as part of your cleaning routine. You can quickly clean it using hot water and a foam or sponge.
Step 2: Locate the Specific Pre-filter
After uncovering the filter casing, the next step is to locate the pre-filter you intend to clean. Some machines are designed with multiple filters, so you may have to remove all and pick the specific dirty filter.
Quickly wipe the dust and dirt at the bottom before you unleash the filter jacket or drop it on the floor. This is a vital precautionary measure to avoid messing with your floor and discharging dirty contaminants into your living area.
Step 3: Take Out the Filter for Vacuuming
Gently pull it out of the jacket when you locate the right air filter. Then, carefully inspect the amount of dirt present to determine whether it’ll require a moderate or thorough cleaning.
However, thorough washing is recommended at all times, except you perform frequent filter cleaning and maintenance. You should clean your entire pre-filter system as often as possible. Another factor determining the level of cleaning is your pre-filter model and make.
Step 4: Cleaning The Pre-filter Proper
Now that you’ve accessed the cleaning your filter needs, it’s time to do the actual job. First, pour some of the cleaning solution or liquid dishwasher into a bowl of hot water. The water should be hot enough to handle germs effectively but mild enough to allow you to dip your hand inside it.
Use your hand to gently lather the hot water and liquid soap mixture to make your cleaning a smooth process. Afterwards, take the sponge or foam and dip it inside the hot water. Then using the foam or sponge, thoroughly scrub both sides of the filter, dipping it occasionally to keep it wet.
After you’ve washed off every visible dirt and stain, rinse the filter until the water running through it is pure. The next step is to dry out the filter.
Step 5: Keep the Filter Where it Can Dry Completely
Use the clean and dry napkin or rag to wipe and dry excess water all around your fiter surface. After dry cleaning your filter with the piece of cloth, place it in a well ventilated and dirt-free spot.
It would help if you allowed your air purifier filter to dry completely before reinstalling it inside the machine. Wet filters will not only reduce your machine’s purification efficiency but can also ruin the entire filter compartment.
It’s also important to let your wet purifier dry with natural air. Avoid all artificial forms of drying, like using laundry or a hairdryer. Instead, keep your fiter standing erect and allow it to air-dry for up to 24 hours.
Step 6: Reinstall Your Pre-filter Into the Machine
Once you’ve confirmed that your filter is adequately dried, you can proceed to reinstall it inside the air purifier. Again, reassemble all the parts you initially took off and let your cleaned filter go in last if possible.
Ensure that your filter is fixed correctly. If you don’t remember exactly how it was initially fixed, follow the guide in your product manual. Remember that any slight mistake or carelessness could negatively affect your machine’s ideal performance.
The quality of your indoor air depends on the soundness of your machine. Hence, your air purifier requires all the possible care and attention it can receive.