How efficiently your air purifier removes dust and debris from your home depends on how regularly you clean it.

If you strive to keep the indoor air quality of your home clean, you likely have an air purifier. The device pulls in allergens, toxins, and pollutants from its surrounding area, leaving you with cleaner air. While purifiers are efficient at removing nearby contaminants, their efficacy depends on how regularly they're serviced. To ensure the device runs properly it's important to clean not only its exterior, but the internal air filter as well. Ozone purifier

How to Clean an Air Purifier With a HEPA, Disposable, or Carbon Filter

This highly efficient filter is able to remove the majority of contaminants from the air and is a popular option for air purifiers. "HEPA air purifiers work by drawing air through an extremely fine filter that helps to capture mold, dust, and pet dander," says Lane Dixon, vice president of Aire Serv, a Neighborly company. "The more particles that have been captured, the less effective the purifier will become—this means regular cleaning is key." If you have a HEPA filter, check whether yours is washable or non-washable before cleaning.

Permanent HEPA filters that aren't water-safe should be cleaned with a vacuum. "These types of filters are not designed to come into contact with water," says Austyn Hoelter, air conditioners, fans, air quality, and floor care merchant for The Home Depot. "Cleaning these permanent HEPA filters with water can cause damage."

Washable HEPA filters can be rinsed with water and used for years to come. Always check the manufacturer's instructions before cleaning to make sure your model can withstand water cleaning.

Unlike HEPA filters, disposable air filters are designed to stand up to frequent water or vacuum cleanings. For these models, it's best practice to buy a replacement filter.

Made from activated carbon and typically used to filter out gases released by common household products, carbon filters vary greatly depending on the model. Some can be lightly vacuumed to remove larger debris and reused for up to a year, while other iterations need to be disposed of and replaced more frequently.

How to Clean an Air Purifier With a HEPA, Disposable, or Carbon Filter

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