Smokes coming from wildfires and cigarettes are awful for health. It affects the respiratory system and can cause liver and kidney problems, heart attacks, and strokes. Using a portable smoke eater to remove them from your home is essential to maintain good health—preventing premature aging.
Portable smoke eaters and air purifiers with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can capture 99% of ultrafine particles, reducing viral concentration in the air, according to the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS).
Now, the question is, how do you choose the best air filter for your home?
Many filter types improve indoor air quality, some of which are only effective for problems like mold and mildew.
The most effective air purifiers for cigarette smoke are HEPA and activated carbon filters, and here’s why.
Mechanical filtration systems use high-efficiency particulate air filters to catch and remove airborne matter that is more than 0.3μm.
The best HEPA air purifier for smoke is the True HEPA (H13) filter—filtering out 0.3μm smoke with 99.97% of particles. Some of the best air purifying units can filter out 0.1μm in size.
Activated carbon filters remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in a gaseous state, including a smoke smell. They can remove airborne particles that are 0.1μm.
The bigger the carbon filters, the more effective they are. Some manufacturers use a thin filter sheet that barely removes any particles. Thick carbon filters, on the other hand, are better because particulates spend more time going through the carbon, which removes the maximum of particulates. Some air-purifying brands use about 2.2 lb of carbon.
The most effective air purifiers use HEPA and activated charcoal filters. The former removes the smoke particulates, and the carbon filtration system removes the smell.
The clean air delivery rating (CADR) is essential in choosing a smoke eater for welding or home air purifiers. It measures the speed at which air purifiers clean the air of particle sizes. The measure is the volume of air in cubic feet per minute.
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) determines the CADR rating for air filters. The higher the rating, the better the unit is at removing small particles—including smoke particles. In addition, a CADR rating of 100 is sufficient for smoke.
A filter that removes particles that are 0.1μm is useless if there is no airflow. That’s why a good purifier has a strong fan that circulates air in the room and feeds the air to the HEPA filters.
The speed at which a fan circulates air around the room is important. As far as smoke filters are concerned, air should be circulated inside five times per hour or air changes per hour (ACPH). This exposes the filter to almost all the air in the room, meaning all the air is cleaned.
The fan speed also forces more air through the activated carbon filters behind the HEPA filters. They remove the larger particles, leaving only the smaller particles for the carbon filters to deal with.
Room size is important because fans are made to work in rooms of different areas. A fan designed for a small space which is in square feet or square meters—will be utterly inefficient in a large room. However, a fan designed for a large room will be very efficient in a small room.
Room size is essential to work out an accurate ACPH rate. Some specifications look impressive, but when you actually work it out, ACPH might only be once or twice, a far cry from the recommended five times.
Noise level is also a factor you should consider. You may need to run your air purifier all day, every day, and you don’t want to have to raise your voice or keep asking others in the house to repeat themselves.
Noise is often directly related to speed, so the faster the fan, the more noise it will make. In general, a fast-speed setting produces 60 decibels, and the lowest setting is about 30 decibels.
Your needs will essentially determine how loud your fan is. If you need a fast fan setting throughout the day, you’ll have to get used to a bit of noise.
Some are only available on certain portable smoke eaters and air purifiers. They don’t affect your unit’s ability to remove cigarette smoke, but they are nice to have.
Sensors on air filtration units constantly measure how much cigarette or wildfire smoke and other particulate pollution is in the air—and will either adjust the setting to cope with the current situation or alert you to the change so you can adjust the setting yourself.
Air quality indicators can be simple, like a display light that goes from green to red to indicate a deterioration in quality. Alternatively, air quality sensors on a smart air purifier can be connected to a smartphone app on your phone. You can check the air quality for harmful particles and make adjustments remotely.
Some purifying units have an auto mode, which switches itself on and off according to air quality levels in the room.
You can set your purifier to switch on and off as necessary. You can set it to switch on when you leave work so that the air is already clean when you get home.
Filters don’t last forever, and you will need to clean and replace them regularly. Some air filtration units signal that it’s time to replace filters with an indicator light, while those connected to your phone will send you alerts on your app. Replace or clean the filter immediately, or the quality of air in your home will deteriorate.
Some filtration units specify a specific timeframe; for example, you must replace filters every six months. The recommendation may be based on continuous use, so you may have some leeway if you only run the filter at certain times of the day.
Some filters are designed to wash them so you can extend filter life; for example, many carbon filters are washable.
HEPA filters are generally not washable, although you might be able to brush or vacuum the surface. Just make sure you do it very gently.
Moreover, replacement filter costs vary, but you can work on an average filter replacement cost of $100 per year.
No one wants to take a chance with the air quality in their homes, workshops, or garages, especially if there are people in the house with existing respiratory illnesses, struggle with shortness of breath, or are prone to severe allergies from airborne allergens.
We have a range of smoke eaters that improve the quality of air in your home, keeping you and your family safe. To learn more about how a smoke eater for welding and a smoke eater for garage work, contact us at 800-558-9436 at LakeAir today!