Activated charcoal filters: when should they be replaced?

Activated charcoal filters: when should they be replaced?

How often should activated charcoal hood filters be replaced? Find out how to know when it’s time to change them.

The filtering hood uses a system of filters to purify air and then recirculate it back into the environment. Grease filters are present in all types of hoods, both duct out and filtering ones, but activated charcoal filters are specific only to filtering hoods: these filters work to remove odors and organic substances released when cooking and must be maintained to guarantee that the hood operates at its best.

For efficient filtering levels, it is necessary to know when activated charcoal filters need to be cleaned or replaced: here are some tips to find out when it’s time to change your filters.

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Activated charcoal filters: How they work

It is important to know if your filtering hood’s activated charcoal filters are still working properly, or if it’s time to regenerate or replace them. But how do activated charcoal filters work?

Activated charcoal is a special material that is used in odor filters to retain organic substances: extracted air is first cleaned of greasy substances by going through the grease filter, and then passes through the activated charcoal filter, which holds on to the organic substances that cause bad odors.

Activated charcoal filter filtering efficiency depends on the technology used and on the condition of the filter itself: a new disposable filter with simple technology can filter 50% of the substances that cause odors, while the latest innovative technologies, such as long-life or regenerable ceramic filters, can reach filtering efficiency levels of over 80%.

Needless to say, filter cleaning is fundamental for top air quality and very high filtering efficiency. Over time, activated charcoals accumulate organic substances, removed from the air, on their surface, which then build-up without regular maintenance and replacement, therefore they progressively loose efficiency, thus compromising the quality of air recirculated back into the environment.

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Activated charcoal filter cleaning: how and when

Standard charcoal filters cannot be washed or regenerated; therefore, once their first filtering cycle has ended (3-6 months), they must be replaced. Standard filters have been designed to be easily interchangeable, thus facilitating replacement operations.

Long-life and long-life HP filters are special regenerable filters that can reach odor filtering efficiency levels of over 60% and 80%, respectively. They have a lifespan of up to 3 years, and require maintenance every 2/3 months, by washing them in the dishwasher at a low temp or by hand, after they must be dried in the oven at 100 degrees to remove any residual humidity.

Activated charcoal ceramic filter cleaning

The presence of a lingering odor in the recirculated air is the first sign in knowing that it’s time to regenerate the filter. The most modern hoods have integrated systems with filter saturation indicators, signaling when they need to be cleaned or replaced.

If latest generation activated charcoal ceramic filters can be fitted on your hood, having filtering levels of over 80%, then it is possible to regenerate them. By placing them in the oven, every 2/3 months, at 200 degrees for about 45 minutes, you can restore the filter to proper operation for a considerable number of cycles (lasting up to 5 years).

However, it’s always best to check the instructions found on the filter box: here you will find all information on when to replace them, if it is possible to regenerate them and how to do so, without the risk of damaging the appliance.