How to Maintain an Air to Air Exchanger

a large ventilation system on a white ceiling
What You'll Need
Soft-bristled brush
Stiff-bristled brush
Vacuum with hose attachment
Soft cloths
Warm water
Mild detergent

An air to air exchanger is a useful device if you want high quality indoor air. It draws fresh air from outside through a port into the house. Filters capture the dust, allergens and other pollutants from the outside air. This air is channeled through a chamber surrounded by indoor air. Special materials extract the heat from the outdoor air and transfer it to the cooler, indoor air.

The fresh air is then distributed throughout the house via ductwork while the warmer air is expelled to the outside. The energy exchange involved may cause condensation of humidity into water. This water is collected in a drain pan housed inside the unit. A well maintained air exchanger not only gives you high performance, it also lasts longer in good shape.

Step 1 – Turn off the Power

Switch off the device and unplug from the power outlet before you undertake any maintenance. This helps to prevent an electrical shock as you work.

Step 2 – Remove the Access Panel

Use a screwdriver to remove the screws that attach the access panel to the unit. Place the screws in a convenient place where you can easily retrieve them later.

Step 3 – Outside Air Intake Port and Exhaust Screen

Check the outside air intake port for obstructions. It is common for dirt and small debris to accumulate on the port. Use a soft-bristled brush to clear away obstructions from the port and exhaust screen.

Step 4 – Remove the Filters

Reach inside the unit for the filters. Carefully detach the filters from their location. Take the filter to a sink. Allow plenty of warm water to run over the filters. Use your brush to clear dirt and obstructions from the filters as you rinse them. Shake off water from the filters and dry with a soft, clean cloth. Place them in a safe place to air-dry. If the filters appear to be excessively dirty, it is best to replace them with new ones.

Step 5 – Clean the Water Pan

Remove the water pan and empty it of water. Wash the pan in a sink. Use mild detergent and a stiff-bristled brush to clear dirt from the pan. Wipe the pan dry and place it to air-dry alongside the filters.

Step 6 – Vacuum the Inside

Use a vacuum with hose attachment to clear dust and debris from inside the unit.

Step 7 – Clean the Housing

Place some warm water in a basin. Add in a little detergent. Mix to create a soapy solution. Dip a soft cloth into the solution and wring to remove most of the water. Use the cloth to wipe the inside of the unit. Rinse the cloth as you wipe to prevent spread of dirt in the unit. Once you’ve cleaned the inside, proceed to clean the outside of the unit in the same manner.

Step 8 – Re-Install Access Panel

Retrieve the filters and water pan. Place them inside the unit. Replace the access panel and secure it with screws. Plug the unit into the power outlet and turn it on.