Electronic Air Cleaner

How to Maintain Your Electronic Air Cleaner

Electronic air cleaners are very common in the Toronto area. These units produce up to 15,000 volts of electicity to “zap” any dust particles that pass through the cells, and it is quite common to hear an arcing sound for a second or two any time the air cleaner “zaps” another dust particle.

These units normally come in sets of two cells, and have two prefilters as well. Electronic air cleaners need to be cleaned on a regular basis, and the frequency of cleaning is slightly different for each house.The rule of thumb is that you should remove and clean both the cells and prefilters at least once every three months, and more often if you are seeing that your cells are getting dirty more quickly.The air cleaner cells when new, look shiny and silver, but over time the collector plates in the cells become black. That happens because every time the air cleaner zaps a dust particle, that particle is turned into carbon, which collects on the plates of the cell. So over time, the cells get black even when the air filter has been properly cleaned and maintained.

As the cells collect more and more carbon, the cells lose efficiency. The only way to bring the condition of your air cleaner cells to brand new again and get it back to its ultimate efficiency is to have the cells acid-bathed from time to time.

The manufacturer recommends that your electronic air cleaner cells be acid-bathed at least every three years, and it seems like very few people are aware of this fact.

At City Duct Cleaning, we provide an air cleaner maintenance plan where we will visit your home, remove the cells (they are cleaned off-site), and then deliver them back to your home when they are ready. And when they do come back, they have been cleaned so thoroughly that they look like brand new again. When we remove the cells from your furnace, we also install a temporary air filter that stays there until we return, usually in about 10 days.

When we clean any air duct system, we always clean whatever air filter is there, and this also applies to electronic air cleaners. With our duct cleaning equipment on site, we use compressed air to clean all four items and this does a very nice job of removing all the dust.

There are a few ways that air cleaner cells can be cleaned by the homeowner. The easiest way is to take them outside, spray them with some type of cleaner such as Mr. Clean, etc., and then rinse them off thoroughly with a garden hose. Do both the cells and both the prefilters.

Some people place the cells into their dishwasher, and this also cleans the cells quite thoroughly too. Even with regular cleaning, air cleaner cells still do require a periodic acid bath.

If you have not yet had your air cleaner cells cleaned in this manner, then call us for a free estimate.

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