As wildfires continue to burn in multiple states, millions are turning to air cleaners (sometimes called air purifiers) to manage the effects of smoke on the air quality in their homes.
How an air cleaner is maintained and operated can affect its performance. If you are using an air cleaner in an area affected by wildfire smoke, take these steps to ensure that your air cleaner continues to operate at a high level:
Change the filter regularly: Your air cleaner’s use and care manual will recommend how often to change your air cleaner’s filter. These recommendations are based on the manufacturer’s testing, but can vary depending on how often you use the filter and the level of pollutants in the air. Extended operation in an area affected by heavy smoke may require more frequent filter changes. If the filter is changing color or if the level of air coming out of the air cleaner drops, it could mean the filter should be changed. Keep extra filters on hand, especially during wildfire season.
Some air cleaners do not require filters, relying instead on an electrostatic precipitator (ESP), which charges particles and attracts them to a plate. Clean the plates regularly. Check your use and care manual for specific cleaning instructions.
Clean the outside: Some manufacturers recommend using a vacuum to remove dust from the outside of the air cleaner. Vacuum or gently clean the dust from the outside of the air cleaner when you notice a buildup. An air cleaner that is…