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How a clean air filter helps farm equipment performance

How a clean air filter helps farm equipment performance

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Keeping farm equipment and machinery at peak performance is always a priority to farmers. A combine or tractor that suffers engine problems at the wrong time can really put farm operations in a bind.

That's why it's critical that farmers and equipment operators maintain a watchful eye over their equipment and make sure all of its components are parts are working their best. One engine component that must regularly be checked is the engine's air filter.

Dirty air filters can hurt farm equipment's performance. You might think that means replacing air filters more often. But what if we told you that cleaning farm equipment and machinery air filters could in fact serve your machinery just as well, boost fuel economy and engine performance, as well as save you money?

Yep. That's right. Continue reading to learn how.

Why clean air filters are important

One of the most important components for farmers to watch carefully as you are operating your equipment are diesel engine air filters. A dirty air filter makes an engine's combustion process less efficient, which then negatively impacts the engine's power and fuel efficiency.

Filters, which are comprised of both primary and secondary filter units, collect all the dirt, dust and other particles that don't sit well with engines, keeping them from creating wear and other problems.

Filters must be checked on a regular schedule to make sure they don't become too dirty from all that they have collected over time and use.

Cleaner air filters, better fuel economy

Here's a breakdown of how air filters can improve your farm machinery and heavy equipment fuel economy.

First of all, it's certainly no secret that the types of engines we're talking about here are incredibly powerful, but it doesn't take a whole lot of dirt or dust to decrease power and send fuel economy plummeting downward.

Air filters work to prevent that grime from entering the chamber, assisting in the combustion process. Better air flow to the engine keeps heavy equipment performing as well as possible. But engines that don't get as much air flow due to a dirty of clogged filter won't have as much power, meaning they are going to end up using more fuel.

That's why it's important to keep the air filter, and the air that feeds into the engine, clean.

Keep on eye on your machinery to know whether its engine is operating with a clean air filter by watching the air flow. Air filters need to be monitored to make sure air flow is not being restricted too much. An air filter restrict gauge can be installed - or it could already be a feature of the equipment - to help signal when it could be time to clean the air filter.

Once the air filter reaches a point where air flow is diminished, then it's time for a cleaning.

Save fuel by cleaning your farm equipment air filter

A cleaner air filter results in better fuel economy for farm equipment. Plus, the bigger the equipment, the more savings you are likely to see if you clean your air filters.

Some large combines will consume three to five gallons per hour more fuel if the air filter is 50% to 75% clogged. Make that a 12-hour day and that means your combine will consume about 60 gallons of fuel. If you're paying $4 per gallon, then that's $240.00 per day. A new filter would push that cost over $300 for the day.

The solution - clean your air filter.

There are other studies that back up our testing, too. One from the University of Missouri showed that replaced air filters improved tractor engine output by 3.5% on average. The air filters in those tractors were replaced no matter how recently they were installed, too. Fuel savings for a 140 horsepower tractor, according to that study, was estimated at 105 gallons per year. Those savings could have been even more with larger tractors.

Plus, if those farmers had cleaned their air filters rather than had them replaced, then it's very likely that they would have saved even more money.

Won't I hurt the air filter by cleaning it?

Many mechanics and manufacturers advise against cleaning air filters because, when done with the wrong equipment, they could become damaged and less effective in protecting your engine from dirt and grime.

With our Filter Blaster, though, you can rest assured that your equipment will be completely safe throughout the cleaning process. That's because we have designed our product so that the distribution of air only allows a maximum of approximately 48 psi to come out of any one air jacket in the Filter Blaster.

The average consumer trying to clean air filters with an air compressor alone are likely using 125 to 150 psi. That could lead to tearing the filter element, causing problems in machinery performance.

The Filter Blaster takes care of that problem. What's more, it seals the filter element, too, preventing dirt and dust particles from entering the filter element.

When should I clean air filters?

It's a good idea to keep an eye on the air filter gauge - install one on all of your farm equipment, if you haven't already - so that you can continually monitor air flow. But it's a good habit to check how dirty an air filter may be at the start of every season.

Aside from cleaning, also be sure the air filter is properly installed and is sealed to the engine intake. Check to see that there are no missing caps on the fuel tank or crankcase.

If you aren't sure, you should be able to get an idea of when an air filter is too dirty from your equipment manufacturer, dealer or mechanic.

Learn more about Filter Blaster

Ready to look further into how you can keep your farm equipment up and running at a higher performance level with Filter Blaster? Read up on our FAQs about cleaning machinery and heavy equipment diesel engine air filters with our product.

If you have other questions, then you can contact us anytime.