Cleaning Your Air Exchanger
Air exchangers can help improve your indoor air quality. They remove stale and polluted indoor air and replace it with fresh outdoor air. This is critical in newer, tightly-built homes that do not have natural leakage of air through the building envelope.
Most air exchangers have an internal “core” that takes the heat from the outgoing air and transfers it to the incoming colder air. This is intended to help recover the energy that has already been put into warming the outgoing air. Around the core are several filters that help remove contaminates and pollutants, thereby cleaning the air as it passes through the air exchanger. The result is indoor air that is cleaner and healthier for you. The filters are also there to keep the core clean, which is responsible for transferring the heat energy.
Over time, the filters at the core will get quite dirty and may even become fully plugged. When the filters are dirty or plugged, the air exchanger will struggle to operate correctly and efficiently. For this reason, it is important to clean the filters and core regularly. Luckily, cleaning the core and filters is not a difficult task. Below are the steps needed for almost all air exchangers. Many air exchangers also have the cleaning instructions printed inside the cabinet door. Another option would be to refer back to your owner’s manual for step by step instructions. Lost your owner’s manual? Don’t worry, most manuals can be found online by searching the manufacturer and model number of your air exchanger.
Steps to cleaning your air exchanger:
- Turn off and unplug the air exchanger.
- Open the front cabinet door (usually two latches on the top or bottom of the unit).
- Remove the filters from the outside of the core.
- Pull the core out of the unit following the instructions.
- Lightly and carefully vacuum the core and filters.
- Soak the filters and core in the bathtub in warm, soapy water for an hour or so.
- Remove the core and filters from the tub and rinse them completely of soap and any leftover debris.
- Set aside the items to thoroughly dry. You may also want to vacuum and wipe down the inside of the air exchanger cabinet at this time.
- Once completely dry, reinstall the core and filters back into the cabinet and latch the front panel door closed.
- You’re done! Have a cold refreshment and enjoy the clean air!
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