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Air filtration

Post in 'The Gear' started by area_man, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. area_man

    area_man Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Messages:
    104
    Loc:
    Oregon City, OR
    My old lady is allergic, my eyes are dry, and one of my kids has dry skin. I've heard the particulate matter around wood stoves can be problematic for any of those conditions. There are several reviews of expensive air filters I've seen here and there. Some are rated very highly. What do you use for air filtration? I have seen one post with somebody strapping an air filter on a box fan to clean the air. Others use air ionizers.

    I'm open to any suggestions. Some have said that $1000 air filtration units have made their homes much more enjoyable, and I'm not totally opposed to investing in a system that will make my dry eyes less irritable. If it can be done with a little home engineering I'd rather go that way and save 99% of the cost to get 80% of the benefit.

    What do you use to clean your air?

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    7,115
    Loc:
    N.E. Penna
    What's the humidity like in the house? Being too dry can increase the kinds of problems you mentioned.

    pen
    PapaDave and ScotO like this.
  3. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Sounds like more of a humidity problem to me. Ever since I modified the top heat shroud on the woodstove to accept a big pan of water (almost 5 gallons) the house is much better in terms of humidity. I fill that pan up every single day..... Before, I had trouble keeping it above 20%. Now it stays around 28-30% downstairs, and 35-38% upstairs. Much, much more comfy...
  4. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    We had a couple of enamel coated steel pitchers full of water on the stove until this winter. I put an old canning pot full of water on the stove this year and the humidity hasn't dropped below 30% since doing that. Not the best looking thing in the world, but it does the job.
    Our son has asthma, so we got an air purifier before one of his visits. Best money we've spent on something in a long time, and I was very skeptical at first. The first night we had it, I quit hacking and the filters are easy to clean too. I'll be getting another this year.
    Lots of dust and dog hair gets caught.
    ScotO likes this.
  5. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Definitely sounds like a humidity issue to me. Pots/pans of water on the stove will do little to help unless you have a very small area to cover. Get a plug-in humidifier with lots of water storage capacity. Mine has two tanks that I fill just about daily.

    Link to the same unit I have.

    [​IMG]
  6. area_man

    area_man Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Messages:
    104
    Loc:
    Oregon City, OR
    These problems have not developed since running a wood stove. I'm new to burning wood, these are problems we bring IN to the situation that I don't want to aggravate. I've definitely noticed particulate matter in the air since firing up the stove, especially while using a headlamp. There is ash floating around in the air. Part of that is due to a dirty hearth and my use of a box fan to circulate the heat, among other things. We have a little construction dust that could be part of the problem. Another part is that my stove doesn't have a gasket... I'll install one this week. That should help.

    I definitely need a humidifier. I woke up with a bloody nose the first day after running the stove. That's definitely due to the lack of humidity. I bought a cast iron tea kettle and put it on the stove the next day in the hopes that it would help. The next morning I didn't have the bloody nose, so it helped a little. Part of my plan is to put a SS stock pot on the hearth next to the stove both as a humidifier and as a heat sink. I have a Lodge cast iron dutch oven I could use for the same purpose. My stove is steel, so it doesn't retain heat the way cast iron does. The cast iron tea kettle stays hot LONG after the stove has gone cold.

    Another idea I had is to install a decorative cast iron wreath of vines above the stove as another heat sink/radiator.

    My house has a furnace that has an almost-HEPA air filter installed, so that helps with air filtration (I assume) but I haven't checked the air filter yet. I'm working a travel job right now so I'm away from home and can't do anything at the moment. My wife is afraid to use the stove so I'm pretty sure it will sit idle until I get home.

    Thanks for the humidifier suggestions, I will make sure to try something to humidify the air.

    Once I try the humidifier and gasket I'll reevaluate and see what needs to be done from there.

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