It can be confusing to know exactly how to clean your chainsaw air filters. Especially if you’ve never done it before! But as the old saying goes, ‘prevention is better than a cure’.
Blocked, dirty or damaged filters are one of the main reasons many people experience issues with their chainsaws overheating, performing poorly or pumping out excessive emissions.
So by keeping your filters in the best possible condition, you’ll enjoy many years of reliable and uninterrupted usage of your chainsaw, helping you take on the most challenging cutting situations without any hiccups.
Do All Chainsaws Have Air Filters?
All petrol-powered chainsaws are fitted with air filters. They may not be the same on all machines, but the ways to clean them are. Everything from the age of your chainsaw to its power source and regional differences can result in filters being in different places - but they’ll be there, and need to be cleaned the same way.
How To Tell If My Air Filter Needs To Be Cleaned?
Noticed you’re using more fuel than normal, but your working conditions haven’t changed? A dirty or damaged air filter is likely to be the main culprit. Overheating and performance drop-off is another telltale sign that it’s time to give your filter some TLC. Basically, you’ll typically notice a difference in how it sounds and handles as the filter becomes dirtier and clogged up.
TIP: Always use a sharpened chain. Blunt chains produce higher levels of wood dust and that can lead to more frequent dust contamination on the air filter.
When’s Best To Change My Chainsaw Air Filter?
A chainsaw air filter will always work best if cleaned after 10 hours of constant use. However, this isn’t set in stone and depends largely on your working conditions and the type of wood you're cutting. For homeowners, this means you’ll need to clean your filter twice a year on average. Professionals may need to do it weekly, and sometimes even more frequently.
The best time to clean or replace the air filter on a chainsaw for most people is at the start of the cutting season. Again, it will depend on how often you use it and the conditions you are working in. As a conservative estimate, most people will find replacing the air filter annually to be beneficial.
Do You Need To Clean A Chainsaw Fuel Filter?
As a general rule of thumb, chainsaw fuel filters are best replaced rather than cleaned. Cleaning a fuel filter can be tricky and as they are so affordable, it’s easier to just change it. On some chainsaw fuel filters, there’s a sponge insert that can be removed, washed, dried and replaced - but this isn’t the case for all chainsaws and some have a different setup.
Husqvarna fuel filters take just moments to replace. Simply pull off the old one, twist on the new one and then feed it into the chainsaw housing. It really is that simple.
Step-By-Step Chainsaw Air Filter Cleaning Process
To help you change your filter like a pro, the steps below will guide you. If you’re not confident with doing it yourself, drop it into your local Husqvarna dealer and they will take care of it for you.
- Remove cylinder cover.
- Remove the air filter.
- Give the air filter a once over, looking for any external dirt build-up, damage or wear.
- If there is a lot of dirt, wash the filter with a soft brush in warm soapy water and rinse until the water runs clear.
- Allow the air filter to dry completely, and then reassemble the air filter to the chainsaw
- If the filter is broken, replace it with a new filter. A felt filter is best for dusty and dry conditions.
While it may be tempting to try and clean your filter with pressurised air, this can not only drive dirt deeper into it - but could also cause damage. For best results, cleaning with soap and water is always preferable.
What If You Don’t Clean Or Change The Air Filter?
Your chainsaw will get worse and worse. The dirtier and more congested your chainsaw air filter gets, the less air it is able to draw into the engine. This can cause the engine to start cutting out, and eventually, fail to start. With battery chainsaws, a blocked air filter can lead to overheating and poor performance. Ultimately, the longer a damaged or blocked filter is ignored, the more likely you are to experience other issues, including engine damage and a shorter service life.
Start Your Journey Towards Better Performance & Output
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Find your perfect match here or visit your local Husqvarna dealer to discuss your preferences and see them in action, today.