Electronic Air Cleaners Need Maintenance Too — Don’t Forget the Collector Plates
If you have an electronic air cleaner running in your home, you’ll benefit from its ability to target—and remove—dust particles, pollen and more in the air. Electronic air cleaners, however, do require a bit of maintenance to keep them in good operating condition. But don’t worry. Maintenance is easy. All you need to do is keep a close eye on the collector plates.
Whether you employ one or more portable units, or a whole-house electronic air cleaner, the unit uses collector plates to attract and contain electronically charged particles. Over time, particle buildup on the collector plates will meet capacity. To maintain optimal indoor air quality, you’re required to clean the plates. The owner’s manual should instruct you on how often to clean the plates, but generally every three months is sufficient. You can also talk to your HVAC contractor about the frequency of cleanings, as certain conditions in the home such as the presence of pets or home occupants that suffer from serious allergies may mean you should clean the plates more often.
To clean the collector plates, follow these instructions:
- Make sure the furnace or air conditioner is off.
- Shut down power to the air cleaner.
- Wait about a minute, and then open the access door.
- Remove the collector plates and the pre-filter; then shut the access door.
- You can wash the collector plates in the dishwasher or tub, but consult the manufacturer’s directions to choose the best method.
- If using the dishwasher, gently rest the collector plates on top of some glasses to avoid the spokes on the dishwasher trays from penetrating the sensitive components of the collector plates. Instead of using the drying cycle, allow the plates to air-dry before replacing them.
- If using the tub, fill the tub with a few inches of water, and let about a cup of dishwasher soap dissolve. Then, gently agitate the collector plates a few times, after allowing them to soak for about 15 minutes. Completely air-dry the plates, and then replace them.
- Install a new pre-filter.
If you’d like expert help with maintenance for electronic air cleaners, contact Air-Tro. We serve homeowners in greater Pasadena.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Pasadena, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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