Upon buying your Honeywell air purifier, it would be good to know exactly how often you need to change its HEPA filter so that you can continue to enjoy cleaner and healthier air in your home. That's what we will talk about today. We've asked the experts about this, and here's what they have to say.
Honeywell HEPA filters need to be changed at least once a year, but it could be sooner depending on their usage and the presence of contaminants inside your home. The more pollutants in the air, the more particles are trapped in the HEPA filter in a shorter period. This means that you need to change your filter earlier than the recommended schedule to maintain the air purifier's efficiency and performance in cleaning your indoor air.
Keep on reading as we explain further how often you need to change the HEPA filter in your Honeywell air purifiers. We'll also answer if you can clean and reuse HEPA filters, what happens when you wash these filters, and if all HEPA filters are the same. Let's get this started!
How often should Honeywell HEPA filters be replaced?
Air purifiers with HEPA filters have become the standard of efficiency when it comes to ensuring the highest quality of indoor air in homes today. HEPA filters are not your ordinary filters. These are made of hundreds of thousands of microscopic fiberglass fibers that have been interwoven tightly to trap contaminants in the air.
They can catch pollutants with a size of 0.3 microns or bigger. These include dust, mold, pollen, pet dander, and smoke. When these contaminants are present in the air we breathe indoors, we are prone to breathing problems and eye, nose, and skin irritations.
This is a concern, especially amongst those with allergies, asthma, and respiratory problems. HEPA filters can remove 99.97% of pollutants in the air, which means that you'll be able to breathe cleaner and healthier air inside your home.
But of course, pollutants are present all the time. So, air purifiers with HEPA filters always work hard to provide us with the best indoor air quality. Since they trap the contaminants floating in the air, they would accumulate in the filter over time. Once they are near-maximum capacity, they would clog the filter. Thus, the air purifier won't be able to perform its job efficiently even if it has a HEPA filter.
That's why it is essential to change the HEPA filter in your Honeywell air purifier regularly. Manufacturers recommend replacing these filters once a year. Their air purifiers also come with pre-filters for catching larger particles. These have to be changed every three months. They're one of the reasons why HEPA filters can last longer.
Check out these Honeywell pre-filter replacements on Amazon.
Factors to Consider for Frequent Filter Changes
But take note that these time frames are just meant to give users a guideline regarding the schedule of replacing their filters. If there are more contributing factors to indoor air pollution inside your home like:
- if you have pets,
- live near a busy street,
- or have someone in the family who smokes,
you would need to have your filters replaced earlier since they work harder to contain the pollutants in the air.
Another indication to have your HEPA filter changed is when you begin to experience allergy-like symptoms such as a stuffy nose, sinus headache, itchy skin, and sneezing. When these conditions become more frequent, it is a sign that your HEPA filter is no longer effective in doing its job and needs to be replaced already.
Click this link to find this Honeywell HEPA filter replacement on Amazon.
Filter Change Notification
The good news is that most Honeywell air purifiers are programmed to notify you when it's time to change your filters. The light on the "Filter Check/Reset" button is lit to alert you regarding the filter status. It will continue to light up until you have the HEPA filter changed.
When buying replacement HEPA filters, make sure you purchase genuine and certified Honeywell filters as these air purifiers are designed to work well with their specific filter types. Otherwise, you might not achieve the best indoor air quality that the manufacturer promised.
Can you clean and reuse a HEPA filter?
Yes, you can clean and reuse a true HEPA filter, but only if it is the washable or permanent type. Check the product information or owner's manual regarding the cleaning instructions.
Washable HEPA Filters
If the manufacturer has indicated that the filter is washable, you can remove the filter from the air purifier. Run it over the faucet to give it a good cleanse. Do not use a brush when doing this. Just gently rinse it with tap water to remove the dirt that has accumulated through the weeks.
If it's too dirty, you can soak it in warm water to help loosen the dirt. You can also use a mild dishwashing liquid and a soft microfiber cloth when needed. Just be careful not to damage the fibers while cleaning.
Air-dry the HEPA filter before putting it back inside the air purifier.
Permanent HEPA Filters
If it states that the HEPA filter in your air purifier is permanent, do not attempt to wash it with water. Instead, open the air purifier and run a handheld vacuum over the filter to remove as much dirt and debris as possible.
You can also take this opportunity to vacuum the interior of your air purifier to catch any loose dirt. It's best to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter as well to catch the smallest particles.
By cleaning the HEPA filter on your air purifier regularly, you will help it perform its job more efficiently. You will also extend the lifespan of your filter, so it's a win-win situation for you.
What happens if you wash a HEPA filter?
We want to reiterate this: Remember to follow the instructions in the owner's manual to avoid damaging your HEPA filter. If it's not labeled as washable or permanent, don't attempt to do anything with it. You might end up doing more harm than good to your HEPA filter.
These filters are made of a fine mesh of fiberglass fibers. They are fragile and sensitive. Washing them will potentially damage these fibers, especially when they're not designed to handle this.
That's why even if it states that the filters are washable, you're advised to do so gently and carefully. A little amount of pressure, whether intentional or not, can tear or stretch them out. The gaps will be bigger, or the fibers will shed, and you'll end up with a clean-looking mesh but one that'll no longer be effective in trapping microscopic particles in the air.
You also have to take care of the frame of the air filter. It shouldn't be deformed or you will compromise the airflow in your air purifier.
It's just good to know about these risks when you do decide to clean your HEPA filters. Some would rather replace the filters than clean them, while others recommend addressing the source of pollutants in the room instead.
Clean your house regularly. Have the smokers smoke outside of the house. If you have pets, you might want to assign a separate room for them to contain pet dander in one area. By doing these things, there'll be less contaminants in the air, and your HEPA filter won't easily be clogged with dirt.
Are all HEPA filters the same?
As you would realize by now, not all HEPA filters are created equal. There are washable HEPA filters, and there are non-washable ones. You might also have come across true HEPA, HEPA-like, or medical-grade HEPA filters.
First of all, beware of filters that are labeled HEPA-like and other similar terms. These are not true HEPA filters, although they do try to come close to the standard.
True HEPA filters are the real deal. These filters have met industry standards regarding the performance of HEPA filters as set by the US Department of Energy. You can count on them to remove 99.97% of contaminants floating in the air and catch pollutants with a size of 0.3 microns or bigger.
Medical-grade HEPA filters are used in hospital settings because they can catch particles as small as 0.1 microns in diameter. This is also good to use for those with asthma and respiratory issues.
Even then, true HEPA and medical-grade HEPA filters are still not created the same. The quality of materials used and the density of fibers would depend on the manufacturers and the air cleaning technology that they use. It is best to read customer feedback regarding these products to know what to expect regarding their performance.
Although it is recommended to change your HEPA filters every 12 months, you should check if they are still doing their job effectively and efficiently. If not, they might be clogged with dust and debris that are keeping them from accomplishing the task of providing you with clean and healthy indoor air. When this happens, it might be time to clean or replace your HEPA filters already.
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