By pulling the stale air from your home and replacing it with fresh air from the outside, you HRV or heat recovery ventilation system works hard to keep your house comfortable and to keep the humidity levels down. HRV systems are unique and energy efficient as they use heat transfer when the inside and outside air cross path. Therefore, it is essential to keep them running efficiently by cleaning them regularly. One of the important components of your HRV system is its filters, so how often should you clean them?
The filters have for primary function to remove many pollutants from the air before it enters your home. They can eliminate even small toxin particles such as smoke, pollen, bacteria, and mould spores. The recommended frequency for the cleaning of your HRV filters is every two months, but this depends greatly on your living circumstances. To determine if you should clean your filters more often, you need to first keep in mind where your house is situated. For example, if you live in a wooded area the number of flying insects will be greater than if you live in a more residential area. The little critters will unequivocally land right into your HRV’s filters and therefore will hamper your system’s normal operation. The same goes with living in a very populated city, the pollution alone will clog the filters rapidly. It will then be crucial for your system and for your health that you keep up this cleaning task more often.
It is also recommended to clean your filters thoroughly when you are doing renovation work in your house as all the dust and debris, that might not be visible to the naked eye, are very much lingering in the air that you and your loved ones are breathing. Also, if you have just moved into a new home, do check your HRV filters to ensure that they have been cleaned recently.
Cleaning your filters may seem a tedious task but generally it only takes a few minutes and should not be neglected. Once you have removed the filters from the HRV system, vacuum off the dirt and debris and then wash them in warm soapy water. Allow for them to dry completely and reinsert them in their proper place. It will come a time when cleaning alone will no longer be sufficient and you will inevitably need to change the filters. If you notice that they are still mucky and dark in colour after a good washing, then that is a sign that you should replace them with new ones. This will usually be necessary once or twice a year.
If dust is settling on your furniture quickly after a deep clean of your house or if bad smells, that can cause various health problems, are more common than not in your home, then cleaning the filters alone will not be sufficient. It is time to find a reputable HRV cleaning company to come and do a thorough clean of your entire system. Make sure that this includes the cleaning of the ducts as well as all the components. It is vital that you do not attempt this task yourself as you could damage your system and must change it completely. A professional clean of your HRV and its ducts only needs to take place every 3 years and will ensure optimal air quality in your home and guarantee you peace of mind.
A Heat Recovery Ventilator or HRV system works by bringing fresh outdoor air and removing the stale air from inside your property. It uses the warmth of the outgoing air to heat the incoming air. It also ensures that the air you and your family breathe is clean and comfortable. These systems can be used in winter as well as during the summer to maintain your desired temperature in your home. The air passes through a complicated meander of ductwork and for that reason, as well as to optimize the quality of the air in your house, it is important to clean it regularly as dust and bacteria will accumulate in the ducts. It is recommended to have your system cleaned professionally at least every three years, but if you have just bought your home or if you have done renovation work, then, have a deep clean done straight away.
As for your HRV filters, it is essential that you clean them every two months as dust, dirt and pollution will build up and could potentially be introduced to the air that you breathe inside your home. Dirty or clogged up filters will also mean that your system will have to work harder and will be less efficient. To clean the filter, start by switching off your system and unplugging it. The open the door by unclipping the fasteners. Once this is done, remove the HRV filter or filters by sliding them out of the middle unit. Now it is time to clean the filter by first thoroughly hoovering all the dirt and dust, then by washing it in warm soapy water. Once you have washed it, make sure to liberally rinse it out with clear running water. You must then let the filter dry naturally and once ready, reinsert it in its place. Now you can safely plug in your HRV and switch it back on.
Did you know that as well as cleaning your filter or filters, you can also clean the filter core yourself? Often grime and dust also accumulate in the HRV’s filter core so it is important to give it a thorough clean too. If your system is in operation, don’t forget to switch it off and to unplug it. Then proceed by sliding out the sidetracks and then gently and carefully pull the mechanism out. You can now wash the HRV’s filter core in warm soapy water and rinse it thoroughly. Again, let it dry completely and then place it back in the machine, along with the sidetracks. Do note that your filters should be replaced at least once a year if not twice in order to ensure that the air inside your home is fresh and clean. If when washing your filters, you notice that even after a thorough clean they still appear dirty and have a dark colour, this is a good indication that you need to change them.
If you notice that a lot of dust accumulates quickly on your furniture even after a seasonal cleaning, it is time to have your system professionally cleaned as washing your filters alone will not be enough to maintain the high quality of air you have become accustomed to breathing. If this is the case, make sure that you employ the services of a highly qualified team of specialists that possesses state-of-the-art equipment. Start by asking them for a quote for the cleaning of your HRV system and ductwork, then ask them about the cleaning process and any extras they might provide, like the fumigation of your ducts with an antibacterial formula. Remember that having your ducts cleaned by professionals regularly is a question of health for you and your loved ones.