Monday, May 15, 2006

This is how air purifiers work

HEPA Air Purifier Information: HEPA filtration technology was developed by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to remove airborne radioactive particles. In order to be considered a true HEPA filter, it must be capable of removing 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, which is 1/75,000 of an inch, or 1/300 the diameter of the human hair. HEPA filters are used in other places such as hospitals and manufacturers’ clean rooms where clean air is absolutely vital. The HEPA filter maintains its efficiency over it's two (2) to five (5) years of life.

HEPA filtration is rapidly coming into many medical applications such as isolation of patients under treatment involving immunological isolation, care for burn victims, orthopedic surgery, etc.

Ionic Air Purifier Information: Ionic air purifiers contain negative ion generators that charge airborne particles so they become attracted to and settle on room surfaces, effectively removing harmful particles from the air you breathe. However, room activity may stir up and release the particles back into the air. For this reason many ionic air cleaners contain electrostatic precipitators which trap particles on oppositely charged metal plates. The plates need to be cleaned periodically for optimal performance.

Ultraviolet Air Purifier Information (UV): Ultraviolet light is one of the more effective methods to reduce and control airborne pathogens. For this reason ultraviolet purifiers are commonly used in hospitals. As contaminated air is passed through intense ultraviolet light, bacteria, viruses and some organic compounds are destroyed. In short, the ultraviolet light damages the DNA of microorganisms and renders them harmless and unable to reproduce. Ultraviolet light is used in much the same way for water purification systems. Because viruses are too small to be trapped by HEPA filters, ultraviolet light is one of the only ways to eliminate airborne viruses.

Ozone Air Purifier Information: Ozone is popularly known for its ability to filter ultraviolet light in the upper atmosphere. Ozone in the lower atmosphere can be used to reduce airborne contaminants. The basic oxygen molecule in the air we breathe is composed of two oxygen atoms. Ozone is composed of three oxygen atoms. Ozone's extra oxygen atom can become detached from the ozone molecule and reattach to molecules of other substances, altering their chemical makeup and often leaving only carbon-dioxide, oxygen and water. This is the basis for ozone air purifiers. Ozone air purifiers release an ozone enriched gaseous plasma into the air that seeks out airborne contaminants. This purification method does not draw the surrounding air into a central filter, allowing for large areas to be purified efficiently.

Activated Carbon Information: Activated carbon filters behave as sponges and trap most airborne gases and odors. Activated carbon is charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to open millions of small pores between the carbon atoms. These pores adsorb harmful gases and odors. Due to the large surface area of the carbon granules, carbon filters are excellent at trapping gases that pass through traditional particle filters. However, as the pores become filled with trapped contaminants the filters loose effectiveness and will need to be replaced.

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Friday, May 12, 2006

Portable Air Conditioner Questions -- Answered !

How is a portable air conditioner different than a window AC?
A portable AC is a small mobile air conditioner unlike a window AC which must be mounted through-the-wall. Furthermore, portable air conditioners do not require permanent installation. All our portable air conditioners are between 29" and 34" tall and weigh between 65 and 80 pounds. Portable air conditioners also work great in apartment situations where a window unit is unacceptable.

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Is a portable air cooler and a portable air conditioner the same thing?
No they are not the same. Air coolers use water and evaporation to cool much the same way a swamp cooler cools. Only the direct air stream is cooled (10-15 degrees) and generally air coolers cannot cool the ambient air in a room. Portable Air conditioners use a compressor/Freon to cool and are much more effective in cooling rooms and at keeping the humidity low.


Could you explain why and how portable AC's are vented?
Portable air conditioners extract hot air that must be vented. If the hot air is not vented, the portable air conditioner will not be able to cool a room effectively. Window and venting kits are always included with our portable air conditioners at no extra cost. You may also vent the portable AC through a wall vent, into the attic or drop ceiling, or even around a door! You are only limited by your creativity. *** For venting these Portable AC systems through casement windows (windows that crank out), Plexiglas can be used. Simply cut the Plexiglas to the size of the window, cut out a 5" hole to vent the hose, and place this over the open window. not only is the Portable AC vented, but Plexiglas will allow the same amount of light to pass through the window as before.


How long is the exhaust hose ?
The exhaust hoses are generally between 5 and 7 feet long and are made of high quality 5" flex hose.
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How does the window kit work?
The foam window kit simply is cut to fit most any slider or up-down window in your home up to 4 feet. The window is then closed against the foam to seal the air from the outside, the exhaust hose then is fit through a small cutout in the foam. Installation takes about 5 minutes and this allows for easy portability from window to window. For windows larger than 4 feet, simply purchase extra foam at the local hardware store. As mentioned earlier, for unique window situations ( casement (crank-out) windows), a little creativity is all that is needed.

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How to Vent an Air Conditioner

Portable air conditioners extract hot air that must be vented. If the hot air is not vented, the portable air conditioner will not be able to cool a room effectively. Window and venting kits are always included with portable air conditioners. You may also vent the portable AC through a wall vent, into the attic or drop ceiling, or even around a door! You are only limited by your creativity. *** For venting Portable AC systems through casement windows (windows that crank out), Plexiglas can be used. Simply cut the Plexiglas to the size of the window, cut out a 5" hole to vent the hose, and place this over the open window. not only is the Portable AC vented, but Plexiglas will allow the same amount of light to pass through the window as before.

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HEPA Filter Quality

HEPA Filter Quality is not a strongly regulated item when it comes to manufacturer claims. Items such as the AirSoPure S-980 come with a HEPA filter that removes more that 99% or particulates down to 0.3m microns. Filters that can remove particulates at this rate are considered high quality filters. Other manufacturers claim that they have have high quality HEPA filters but claims might just be that. These filters might very well be HEPA quality but often only to 95% - that's a big difference. Other examples of high quality HEPA purifier makes are AllerAir HEPA Air Purifiers and IQAir HEPA Air Purifiers. For orange county wedding photographer The point is, not all HEPA filters are equal.

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Advertised Square Footage...

Advertised numbers are often exaggerated to make the sale. You can see that with car sales where mileage usage and horsepower are often exaggerated. This is also true of air purifiers.

Most often this is seen with HEPA air purifiers. Remember that these air purifiers must draw the air through to purify. To do this in a large house is difficult, in a two story house - almost impossible. The reason is that the air has to circulate around the house to do this; moreover, if windows are open the volume of air is effectively increased further.

what to do? Use HEPA air purifiers in areas under 1000 sq. ft. and generally under 400 sq. ft. for best results and run the units continuously.

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Airsopure Air Purifier S-980 Review

More than just a simple ionizer or HEPA air purifier the Airsopure S-980 is the multifunction air purifing machine. In my personal test I ran the unit for over one month on various settings. Though the location of the test was 4000 sq. ft. the Airsopure S-980 air purifier worked flawlessly -- Without the use of an ionizer which is key!

As many of you know, ionizers are coming under much scrutiny in recent months mainly due to their propensity to produce ozone. The Airsopure S-980 Air Purifier has an optional ionizer with manual on / off so you are in full control. This is great for asthmatics and the like who do NOT want ionizers producing excess ozone.

Even without the ionizer, the Airsopure S-980 air purifier kept the air smelling great with a rather low noise level. moreover, if needed there are 8 different speed adjustments for those needing more air purification or for areas with higher odors or pollutants.

The control panel give you complete control over this machine and

Has over 8 speed options including a low noise sleep setting

Displays a reading of the indoor air quality

Can be controlled by a remote control

has a motion sensor that can turn the unit on and off if desired

Purifies with Activated Carbon, Photo-Catalytic Oxidation (PCO), UV Light, and a HEPA filter - ALL in the same system.
Filter quality reading to lets you know when to replace the filter (the filter last about 1 year and cost only $89.95 for the pre-filter, carbon portion, HEPA filter, and the UV bulb!)
http://www.air-purifier-home.com/

The PCO technology is the key here and is what sets this air purifier far apart from the competition. Photo-Catalytic Oxidation (PCO) air purifiers draw air into the photo catalytic chamber to be purified. The photo catalytic chamber consists of a high intensity UV-C ultraviolet bulb (254nm) and a Titanium Dioxide catalyst. When exposed to ultraviolet light, the photocatalyst becomes highly reactive and attacks the chemical bonds of the bio-aerosol pollutants, therefore converting the toxic compounds into benign constituents, carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O).

At initial glance the price tag might seem more than you want to spend but after a deeper look at the technology it becomes the obvious choice

The Airsopure S-980 Air Purifier gets my highest review for performance and cost.

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Air So Purifier S-980 Air Purifier

Perhaps the most advanced air purifier for the price. This purifier has several techniques to purify the air but separates itself from the rest by using PCO technology. Next week I will follow up with a complete product review after I personally test it out.

This process utilizes low energy, ultraviolet light focused on a titanium catalyst in the presence of water vapor which generates hydroxyl radicals that destroy microbes in the air. Destroys airborne bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Ultraviolet Light attacks airborne viruses, fungi and bacteria by destroying the RNA and DNA complex. PCO also breaks down volatile organic compounds into benign constituents; such as water and carbon dioxide.

Below are manufacturer details, over the next week I will test this myself and report back with a complete write-up.

Here are the 6 steps that the S-980 uses to purify the air

Step One: Purifies the Air of Macro Particles

A treated (5) micron pre-filter removes a particles from the air larger than (5) MICRONS, extending the life of the HEPA filter and protecting the gas absorbing media from dust coating and fouling.

Step Two: Hospital Grade HEPA Filter Removes Allergens

A hospital grade HEPA filter removes allergens so small that they can only be seen with a microscope. Pollen, mold, fungal spores, dust mites, cockroach dust, tobacco smoke and bacteria are but a few examples.

Step Three: Absorbs Toxic Chemicals and Gases

A specially formulated gas absorption media absorbs automobile exhaust fumes, organic hydrocarbons, formaldehyde from particle board used in home construction, paint solvents, chlorine, cleaning chemicals and other fumes until the Photo-Catalytic converter destroys the pollutants.

Step Four: “Photo-Catalytic Oxidation” Destroys Toxic Chemicals and Eliminates Odors

Activated carbon, zeolite and potassium permanganate can rapidly absorb large quantities of toxic fumes however this media quickly becomes saturated and slowly releases pollutants back into the air stream. Photo-Catalytic Oxidation converts toxic compounds, even carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide, into benign constituents such as carbon dioxide and water without wearing out or losing its effectiveness,

Step Five: Ultraviolet Light Kills Disease Causing Germs on Contact

Ultraviolet light 10,000 times the intensity of sunlight kills viruses and bacteria too small to be filtered out by a HEPA filter, Ultraviolet technology combined with Photo-Catalytic Oxidation is the most important feature in air purification since germs are easily spread from one person to another by central heating and air-conditioning system..

Step Six: Negative Ions Improve Sleep and Keep Air Fresh

Oxygen in the air reacts with ultraviolet light to produce email amounts of negative ions and activated oxygen.

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Air Purifier Comparison: Biozone Air Purifiers

Comparing air purifiers has become a sort of oxymoron these days as everyone attempts to do the same thing. But, most of those sites are trying to sell you something, I am here just for the information. Ill break down Biozone Air Purifiers with the pluses and minuses to help you make a better decision in your air purifier purchase.

Biozone Air Purifiers: i.e. Biozone 500, Biozone 1000, Biozone 2000, Biozone 3000, and the rest of the Biozone home air purifiers. As you can see, these air purifiers are made for a specific square footage. For example, the biozone 1000 air purifier is designed to purify the air in areas up to 1000 square feet in normal conditions with 8 to 10 feet ceilings. If there is heavy smoke such as in a bar, then double the output and the biozone 2000 air purifier is recommended.

Biozone air purifiers work by producing a "Purifying Plasma" which is a combination of negative ions and a small amount of ozone. They are not termed ozone air purifiers but do produce some ozone which about 2% of the population is sensitive to. Biozone air purifiers do not filter the air and do not work in the same manner that HEPA air purifiers do. Many people are opposed to air purifiers that work in this manner since they introduce new components / molecules into the air unlike a HEPA air purifier that filters and draws the air through it. But unlike HEPA air purifiers that must have powerful fans and produce noise, Biozone air purifiers are silent - almost.

Biozone air purifiers use a UV lamp / bulb that at a specific range produces the "purifying Plasma" which then enters the room and oxidizes and removes contaminants with the ozone. The negative ions produced also remove contaminants. As you can see this is a totally different method of purification as compared to HEPA air purification.

Overall the reviews I have read on the Biozone 500, Biozone 1000, Biozone 2000, and the rest of the Biozone home air purifier family have been mixed but positive. Most Biozone air purifier reviews have been favorable highlighting the low noise level and the ease of operation. The price also seems to fit most budgets.

So should you buy a Biozone air purifier? Well, if your application is a bar or bingo room, this air purifier would do a great job. If on the other hand you are putting one in your newborns room, the jury is still out on ozone production for air purification (see my Feb 19, 2004 article).

If you have a review please send them to me at luke@blogmyair.com - next time we will discuss the HEPA air purifiers, I guess you could call them the antithesis of ion air purifiers like the Biozone ones we have discussed.

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New Technology Can Deactivate Airborne Viruses, May Work Against Corona

An air purifier that can kill airborne viruses and bacteria? Read on, looks like Sharp Corporation is thinking they have a solution.

More than just viruses this technology can deactivate a range of microbes - "The technology has been shown to deactivate airborne viruses such as influenza, mite allergens — which are responsible for most cases of asthma — and MRSA, a strain of bacteria resistant to conventional antibiotics".

The technology works very similar to current ionizers with a twist: "Plasmacluster Ion Technology is unique as it generates large numbers of both positive and negative ions, unlike other devices which only use negative ions. These ions form clusters around micro-particles and react chemically with them, rendering airborne fungi and viruses inactive."

Hospitals may be the first revenue stream for sharp as "the technology has been shown to deactivate airborne viruses such as influenza, mite allergens — which are responsible for most cases of asthma — and MRSA, a strain of bacteria resistant to conventional antibiotics."

This seems to be the most legitimate step in what has long been a promise of air purifiers - to free the air of pathogens and increase the quality of air purifiers. Most HEPA air purifiers promise to clean the air of bacteria and viruses but only in the air they actually filter. Since HEPA filters have to draw air through the filter to purify it, it has really become a fallacy to believe that they can sterilize a room. But a technology like this one has more promise since the air being purified does not have to travel through the purifier allowing for the purification of larger areas.

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Air Purifiers?? Air Cleaners?? What Should I Buy?

We have all heard the claims - "perfect clean air" "safe for anyone anyware" "No filters needed".

How do you tell if the air purifier you are buying is going to work or do the job it is intended or guaranteed to do. Will that Ionic Breeze Air Purifier really purifier and clean the air? In the past 10 years a great deal of new technologies have entered the market. Consumers can still purchase traditional HEPA air purifiers but now have the option to buy UV air Purifiers, Ionic Air Purifiers, PCO Air Purifiers and more.

We hope to make your decision a bit easier by providing the information below.

An article written by the EPA concludes that "Recent research showed that efficiency of filters with permanent electrostatic fields (electrets) drops significantly when the filters become dirty. The filters show this drop in efficiency when collecting particles in both ambient (outdoor) air and indoor air".Moreover this report has questions regarding air purifiers intended to remove VOC's concluding that "it appears that the useful life of organic vapor air cleaners is a strong function of the chemical composition and indoor concentration of the organic vapors being collected and the relative humidity and temperature of the indoor environment. Lifetimes of typical commercially available air cleaners, under typical indoor conditions, are less than 1 year; under conditions of high pollutant concentration, they are less than 1 month."

Does this mean that VOC air purifiers or Active Carbon Air Cleaners do not work? Not really, it just means that we need to make better decisions as consumers look for true quality when purchasing air cleaners and air purifiers. Look for testimonials, don't by the least expensive system that just happens to promise the world. We are working right now on setting up a consumer comparison reference to help you out, in the meantime keep reading and send us your comments.

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Too Much Ozone is not a Good Thing

Although many manufacturers are now producing air purifiers that emit ozone, this may be more of a cost saving feature than quality addition. Read below what the EPA has to say regarding ozone air purifiers.

"The same chemical properties that allow high concentrations of ozone to react with organic material outside the body give it the ability to react with similar organic material that makes up the body, and potentially cause harmful health consequences." Read More?

Looks like "old" HEPA and Carbon technology may not be outdated yet...

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