If you have one or more electronic air cleaners operating in your Indianapolis area home, it’s important to recognize that the system’s efficiency and air-cleaning capacity largely depend on maintenance. Ensure your air cleaners perform to their potential, and include maintenance on your spring cleaning agenda.
The “why” behind maintenance
Electronic air cleaners trap particles such as pollen, dander and molds in the outdoor air that make their way into the home, as well as allergens that originate from within the home. Electronic air cleaners generally employ collector plates or cells to attract particles into the system. The system charges particles as they enter the unit via ionizing wires, and the collector plates capture the particles using an opposite charge. If you were to never clean the collector plates, they eventually would become too full for proper operation, and you’d see a reduction in the air cleaner’s ability to capture particulates.
Performing electronic air cleaner maintenance
Before you begin, find the owner’s manual that came with the system. If you no longer have one, look online for a copy, as it should include specific instructions with regard to how to clean your particular model of air cleaner. Otherwise, follow these general instructions, and give the system a good cleaning every three months:
- Shut down the system to avoid electrical hazards.
- Open the access panel, and find the collector plates.
- Remove the plates
- Check the pre- and post-filters, if the system employs them. Some manufacturers use a filter before and after air hits the collector plates to boost capturing capabilities. Don’t wash these filters, unless the owner’s manual instructs you to do so. These filters are generally disposable. Purchase replacements, and install them.
- You can clean the collector plates in the dishwasher or tub, using dishwasher detergent. For dishwasher use, run a regular cleaning cycle, and then air dry the plates. Otherwise, fill the tub with warm water, add the detergent, mix the two, let the collector plates soak, and then air dry.
For more advice about cleaning electronic air cleaners, or to schedule professional maintenance, please contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing today. We’ve served homeowners in the Greater Indianapolis area since 1970.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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