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Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by New Fire Guy, Dec 27, 2010.
Anyone familiar with air purifiers for the home? Any recommendations on makes/models?
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OK, I just went through this.... will try to save you some time while biasing you with my opinion.....
I wanted a air filter. I am always paranoid with wood smoke/ash (even in tiny amounts), my wife has bad allergies, we have a cat, and a little one on the way. So I wanted a air purifier, even if it is just a placebo effect.
1) those ionic filters produce dangerous amounts of ozone, and dont filter worth poop. Skip them!
2) the onyl filter worth anything is a hepa filter
3) filters are expensive to replace, and you know you wont do it on time. Some purifiers have lifetime filters, you can just vaccuume them out (guess you should do it outside).
4) look at the area you want to keep clean. size the purifier correctly! I bought a large purifier for a pretty small area, this way I can run it on low. If you get a purifier that can clean X sqft and put it in a X sqft room, then it needs to run full tilt!A big purifier running on low will probably be quieter than a small one on full power.
I ended up getting a honeywell 50250
There is a really detailed review, with lots of tech specs on amazon, her eis the link to it: http://www.amazon.com/review/RPK089GRGVMP9/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#RPK089GRGVMP9
thats where I bought it. I am pretty happy with it. There isnt any dust in beams of sunlight anymore. I also looked at the black pre-filter, after 3 weeks its pretty grey. So it clearly pulled some nasty stuff out of the air, every bit of dust that goes in ther eis great, because it is better than going into my lungs (I am saving them for the asbestos in the cube farm at work).
Here is how much power it consumes, I measured with my kill-a-watt.
high - 175 watts
medium - 121 watts
low - 83 watts (24/7 at my electricity rates, this is about $9/month)
All air purifiers will make air noise, on low this one is pretty quiet. Some people report that the prefilter smells for a little while after you open the package. Mine didnt, but open it in the garage if you are concerned. I would deffinitely reccomend it!
Hope that helps,
we got the same kind. Like it. Agree with everything you posted. Replacing filters will cost more than the machine sometimes. Our unit is in bedroom where i sleep. Great "white" noise, as i go to bed early, family tries to keep the noise down. Put the unit on medium, and I'm out like a light. Don't hear a thing. ALSO, no dust in the sunlight either!
For removing smoke particles and any other fine dust, you can't beat an electrostatic precipitator type filter that's made to go in the furnace ductwork.
I've been using one I found used, and it does spark like a bug zapper when it gets dirty or after I wash it, but it only uses 16 watts, has extremely little resistance to airflow and the water looks like axle grease when you hose the filter sections off. It does produce ozone smell sometimes also.
We had a Trion electrostatic on our furnace and replaced it after a few years with an Aprilaire HEPA filter - seems to work better than the Trion. We do run the furnace fan 24/7 and change the filters every two to 3 months. It does get pricey, but works well.
The hvac guy I know says the furnace filters really just protect the heat exchanger and dont effect your house air much..... I am not sure how much I believe that, i run a good washable filter in mine.
Watch out for those ozone/electrostatic filters. They do not get good ratings for CADR (clean air delivery rate). And the levels of ozone can bee undesirable (i wont say dangerous), but ozone isnt your friend when it is in your house. This isnt regarding the hvac electrostatic stuff, I am talking about the standalone units. Consumer Reports states that they emits unhealthy ozone (not sure if it is an unhealty amount of ozone though).
Just be careful, read the reviews on amazon before you buy (even if you dont buy from amazon).
Thank you. I was getting asthma issues with my stove, and purchased this. So far I haven't had any issues with the stove being on!!
As others alluded to, the filters can be a major operating cost. They're kind of like printers. They basically sell them at or below cost knowing they'll make money on the ink/toner cartridges.
I would recommend something with washable filter(s). Also, having multiple filter stages is usually more efficient. An easily washable foam pre-filter will save you a lot of maintenance time or money depending on what you buy.
We've had a big HEPA filter, the girls call it the monster, for about a year now. Same thing, too much floating junk in the air and that little nagging thought in your mind that it can't be good to inhale it.
We also removed all carpet in the house and now have only hard surfaces which made a huge difference.
Replacement HEPA filters cost about 30% of the system cost. I vacuum them regularly.
A follow up on my filter, honeywell 50250, had it and used it since 2010. Its working great. The hepa is listed as a "lifetime" filter, and I haven't replaced it yet. I periodically go in and either use the air compressor to blow it and its foam prefilter out. The amount of material it removes from the air is amazing! I am still unsure what it all is, looks like mostly fibers, but I don't have carpets, just limited area rugs. Regardless, it works well, and is on 24/7 fall/winter/spring, if the fireplace is going, this is running. definitely very pleased with this!
The interwebs tell us that 75-90% of household dust is dead skin. What does it taste like?
No, don't really taste it, just kidding.
Chicken, I imagine.
Thanks for the tips. I am looking at buying 1-2 filters when I move (I think the house I will be renting has carpet) and I hate carpet..especially old carpet that has been walked on and lived on by different people over the years. I will try to avoid eating their skin...haha.
This is the one we bought. Seems to do a good job.
Yuk, you know there is stuff in that carpet. I am now carpet free in my entire home after about 40 years of living on carpet. Get a good vacuum. I would offer you my old one since it's no longer needed!
I've observed that the finer material even makes its way through foam carpet padding.