Normal cleaning of electrostatic air cleaners is done by running the filters
through the dishwasher. This should get the crud out of it. Does the filter
work properly? It should have a test button which causes a spark zap
if the electronics are good.
Ah, but Bob, you're assuming this is a NORMAL electrostatic cleaner.
This cleaner was made by GE, who says they haven't made something like
this in a couple decades. My guess is it's been non-functional for at
least 5-10 years. GE provides absolutely ZERO, zilch, nada support for
this unit because they don't make household HVAC cleaners. It took 'em
six hours longer than forever to figure out they even made this unit at
one time. Geniuses, the bunch of 'em, God bless 'em all.
The unit is much larger than a standard air filter assembly, and there
is a metal triple-layer frame. The outer layer on each side hinges open
to accept a layer of some sort of special filter material in addition
to there apparently being a small static charge run through the middle
layer. The previous owner just had what looked like fine fiberglass
mats sandwiched in between the metal layers.
My wife has scrubbed the metal assembly first with Dirtex (which did a
fabulous job getting the tobacco crud off the metal window frames in
the house) and then with hot water and bleach. Then I've cut a larger
piece of HEPA filter material down to sandwich in the assembly.
Next step: an HVAC company we've used in the past and trusted is coming
in to clean the AC coil - they're betting there's a nasty build-up
God, this is costing waaay too much. And smokers like drawing this
nasty crud into their lungs because...?
I have an old GE "electronic air cleaner" that functions like, and looks
similar to the commonly seen honeywell units. I assumed that was what
you had. If I were you, I'd get a honeywell or similar unit installed, and
keep your tenants.
Is it possible to get furnace and ducts treated with ozone? It would seem like
this would be a good option in your case.
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