How do I clean my smart air purifier?

Among all smart home devices, one thing that makes a particularly big difference for users is a smart air purifier. These purifiers can measure air quality and use a variety of filters to help remove allergens and pollutants inside a building. They can also trap annoying odors, help humidify, and more, while still being too quiet to hear in an average room.

There’s only one problem: these smart air purifiers can get dirty and need to be cleaned regularly to work properly. If you buy one of these air purifiers, you need to know how to clean it. Here’s how to take care of your air purifier when it needs a little maintenance.

Monitor filter alerts

Smart Air Purifiers Use Indicators, Messages, and Alerts to Inform Homeowners when it’s time to change the filters. This is a great opportunity to give your purifier a thorough cleaning. Always consult your owner’s manual for more information on when to clean filters and what specific alerts or light colors to look out for.

Remove all filters

Air purifiers tend to use several different filters at once to help filter a variety of particles from the air, trap odors, etc. Check your owner’s manual for exactly how to remove them. Some filters can be removed from the top of the purifier without issue. Others are kept behind a locked panel that you must disconnect to remove the filter. Make sure you have removed all filters from the purifier.

Check if filters are disposable and replace them

Some air purifiers use disposable filters designed to be thrown away, others use permanent filters that you can wash, and many use a combination of the two. Next, examine each filter and consult your owner’s manual to find out which are disposable and which are not. If the filter has a product number, you can search for this filter online quickly to find more information.

Ideally, your purifier comes with a few extra filters that you can use to replace disposable models. This doesn’t always happen, so you’ll have to order more online if needed. This may delay cleaning for a few days while you wait for the filters to arrive, but it’s a good idea to order enough filters to last a year or two so you don’t end up without any.

Opening LG Puricare Air Purifier Review

Jenny McGrath/Digital Trends

Rinse and dry your permanent filters

Permanent filters are generally designed to be rinsed and dried. Take the filter to the sink and wash it in warm water until the water runs clear and the filter is clean. You can use a light spray setting on your faucet to clean the filter, but don’t use more powerful jets or modes – filters can be tricky.

After washing them, put your filters out to dry. Filters must be completely dry before returning to the purifier. Otherwise, the remaining moisture can hinder the operation of the air purifier and increase the risk of mold or mildew. It often takes filters a full day to fully dry out.

Give your carbon filters some sunshine

A common option in smart air filters is the carbon filter, which uses carbon to trap odors. These filters do not need to be washed and do not always need to be replaced. Instead, find a sunny spot and leave them outside for a day or two. This will help dissipate any odors trapped inside.

Otherwise, there is not much you can do with these filters except replace them if necessary. Carbon filters need to be replaced very often, about every few months, which may be too frequent for some users…which is why sunshine is a potential life extender.

Drain and clean the air purifier

Once the filters are out, it’s time to clean the purifier itself. Many purifiers have reservoirs to hold water for humidification or water drain containers for dehumidification. Start by emptying these containers if necessary. Next, take a clean, slightly damp cloth and wipe down the air purifier on the outside and inside. Pay particular attention to corners where dirt can accumulate. If possible, access the ventilation system and wipe down the fan blades to remove any dust buildup.

Let your air purifier dry with your filters, and when everything is completely dry, you can reassemble the model and start using it again.

A hand rinsing a Dyson filter under running water.

What if you have a HEPA filter?

HEPA filters are designed to filter very small particles from the air, and a variety of air purifiers use a version of them. Some HEPA filters are permanent and designed to be washed out, but true HEPA filters are usually disposable and need to be replaced, so it’s important to stock up if needed.

How often should an air purifier be cleaned?

This partly depends on the type of filters he uses, as filters have different lifespans. As a general rule, you should clean permanent filters every three to four months. If your purifier only uses disposable filters, perform a general cleaning at least once a year.

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