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McWinn Air Filter Cleaning Systems is a manufacturer and marketer of air filter cleaning equipment as well as a provider of filter cleaning services in Alberta. Since our inception in 1982, we have been located in Edmonton, Alberta.


Our President and sole shareholder started the company with the idea of developing an alternative to replacing air filters from his construction and farm equipment that was more cost-effective and environmentally friendly. The most popular filter-cleaning process that existed was a “wet wash” system.


Determined to create a competitive alternative, the McWinn Dry Clean Process was developed and the Canadian patent was issued in 1987. The process was later also patented in the United States of America.

The key to the process is the McWinn air filter element dry cleaning machine which took three years of research and development to create.


We can clean virtually any type and size of filter that you might have. Our normal turnaround period is one week; however, we always welcome a challenge.


“Our goal is to distinguish ourselves daily by providing our clients with exceptional service and the highest quality products in meeting with their needs. We will accomplish this by fostering a team environment and consistently striving to excel at all we endeavor to do”

Our Core Values are:

Protect the environment
Keep commitments
Act with integrity
Treat people with dignity and respect


Celebrating Anniversary

We are proud of the fact that, this year, we are celebrating our 38th year in operations - a key milestone for any business. Since our inception, our hallmark has been our cleaning process, our people and our commitment to customer satisfaction.

Poised to Grow

Currently, we are working on a masterplan for the development and growth of the business in the key Southern Alberta marketplace with Calgary as our hub. We have a clear vision of what we want to accomplish, and we are evaluating a few different scenarios at the current moment.

Dirty Appearance

Dirt starts accumulating on the filter surface almost immediately. A filter with a dust cake buildup is a little more efficient at removing contaminants than a clean filter.

Reported by Donaldson Bulletin #1400-13, dated 10/91

Wet Wash Cleaning

Wet washing an air filter element will reduce the effectiveness of the filter by about 50%. A second wet wash reduces the filter’s effectiveness by an additional 50% (a filter element that has been wet washed twice has an effective life of about 25% of a new filter element.)
Reported by Industrial Lub (Lubricating Oil Analysis and Specialized Industrial Testing)

The War on Waste

We are currently researching how we can reduce the number of used air filters that go to landfill each and every year in Alberta. The two main components of an air filter are steel and the paper media which are recyclable products. We will keep you informed on our progress.


While removing your air filters, pay close attention to them and inspect them carefully, because what you see can tell you much about your air induction system.

Old filters are great indicators of possible problems, and could save you from costly repairs and damage to your engine.

Accumulation of black oily soot might mean your intake is too close to the exhaust.
Rust on the metal parts could mean water is being drawn in along with air. Check your water venting ports, they may be blocked.
An accumulation of dirt on the clean side of a filter may indicate a split in the filter media. Also check your end seal, or see if the gasket is leaking. Do not reuse this filter.

A prudent air filter inspection and replacement program will ensure greater operational efficiency and increase engine performance and lifespan.


We clean filters used in the following applications:

Oil & gas industries
Municipal districts
Agriculture, Mining
Trucking, Forestry
Heavy Equipment

In our 38 years of operations, we have cleaned virtually every type of filter manufactured and in use. Here is a list of the types of filters we clean on a regular basis for our customers:

All round and square filters
Inside draft filters
Dust reclamation filters
Industrial vacuum filters
Stationary equipment filters

Industries We Serve:

Diesel engine
Agricultural equipment
Dust/fume collection
Blowers and turbines


Our system is patented and guaranteed.
Once filters are received, they are logged-in and inspected for visible damage.
The filters are placed in a dryer to remove any moisture. This ensures full release of dirt and contaminants in the cleaning process.
Each dried filter is then cleaned by the McWinn process – a machine that combines injected air, vacuum power, vibration and centrifugal force to clean the filter paper of all restricting particles.
The first post-cleaning quality test involves spinning the filter over a 750 W halogen lamp in a darkened room to look for paper separation, tears and any pinholes that may effect the performance of the filter.
Having been cleaned and tested for flaws, the filter is then subjected to an air restriction test on our test bench which is powered by a 15 HP fan producing 3,300 CFM/29” water vacuum.
Now cleaned and twice tested, the filter goes through a final hand cleaning and visual inspection. The filter is tagged, a cleaning cycle sticker is applied, and is packed ready to be returned.

Our patented innovative process and machinery allows us the flexibility of being able to clean virtually filters of any size, shape and type.
We use a cyclone dust collection system to extract 85% of dust particles released during the cleaning process, and filters to remove the remaining 15% of airborne particles.

Our Satisfied Clients

The City of Edmonton
Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties
Husky Oil
Shaw Pipe
Atco Gas
Alberta Public Works
Inland Cement
National Oilwell
Blue Ridge Lumber

“The appearance of the cleaned Cat Filter was identical to the new product” – Hanson Material Engineering


In just five years, Albertans have recovered more than 228 million litres of used oil.
Over 6 million oil filters were recycled last year in Alberta.
Last year, over 40 million air filters where sold in Canada, most ended up in landfill.
A plastic six-pack holder when tossed into the ocean will last 450 years.
Recycled oil filters are shredded, heated to a molten state, and the metals recycled for rebar, nails and wire.
1 single litre of oil can contaminate 1 million litres of water.
Recycled oil is used extensively in asphalt for roads and highways.
25% of Alberta household garbage is paper


Environmentally safe cleaning process
Cost savings will reduce your operating expenses
Extends the useful life of an air filter
Reduces waste and landfill
Does not compromise or deteriorate the paper quality
Better than new filters
Higher equipment performance
Increased equipment performance
A quality filter can be cleaned over and over again until rejected by our quality inspection process Superior, patented cleaning technology
An Alberta-based and owned company


There are clear operational signs that your air filter has become completely plugged. The engine begins to lose power, fuel consumption increases, and black smoke may blow from the exhaust stack. Continued operation with a plugged air filter may very well damage your engine to the point it may have to be replaced.


It is unwise to trust your eyes when looking at an air filter to determine when a change is necessary. An element that looks relatively clean may be totally plugged with ultra-fine particles from exhaust smoke or air pollutants.

On the other hand, a filter that looks dirty may still have many hours of useful life. Remember that until maximum acceptable restriction is reached, accumulation of dirt on the filter actually adds to the efficiency.


We recommend the use of retraction gauges as an integral part of your engine protection and maintenance program. If you are not currently utilizing restriction gauges, you really should reconsider. Typically, a gauge costs less than a new filter. Here are some benefits:

Less filter servicing and reduced labour costs
Reduced risk of damage
Less downtime and longer engine life

A modern diesel engine requires several thousand times as much as air as it does diesel fuel. A normally aspired diesel engine requires 600 cubic feet per minute or more of clean air. Clean air – air that is almost 100% pure – is critical to engine survival and vital to its performance. A hard working diesel engine can require 33,000 litres of air for every litre of diesel fuel.


The air filter element is a barrier for the separation of airborne contaminants allowing only clean air into the engine. Most filters have an initial efficiency of 98.5% or higher, and as the filter loads up with dirt, the accumulative efficiency of the media is normally 99.90% or higher.

Engines operate better and with greater efficiency when they breathe easy.



Contact McWinn for an air filter cleaning company based in Edmonton and offering services across Canada.  

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