Cigar Filter Options

What's Your Best Cigar Filter Option?

LakeAir offers 3 great cigar filter options to keep the air clean in your cigar business or home.  In this article we will show the differences, advantages  and negative points of each filter type option. Each LakeAir model can use each of the filter option.

3 Options: HEPA / Electrostatic / MERV 15 Media

The three cigar filter options offered by LakeAir are HEPA, Electrostatic and MERV 15 Media. Each of these have their positive and negative aspects.  we will go through each and hopefully you will have a much better idea of which filter option will work best for you in your cigar environment.

The Most Popular: Electrostatic

Electrostatic Positives

Electrostatic cigar filtration outsells both HEPA and Media by more than 4 to 1. The main reasons Electrostatic is most popular are:

  • Washable Filtration: An electrostatic filter is made of mostly aluminum and fiberglass. The smoke and other pollutants are trapped on the collection plates. The filters must be washed often releasing the dirty particles and renewing the effectiveness of the filter.
  • Long Lasting ~ No Replacement costs: The electrostatic filter cell will last 20 years or more. In it’s life cycle the savings when compared to HEPA filtration is approximately $9000.00
  •  High Efficiency: A LakeAir electrostatic filter is 97% efficient in removing smoke from the air. This Higher than MERV 15 and slightly lower than HEPA filtration. 
  • Low Pressure Drop: These cigar filter allow much more air through them with this back pressure. This results in more air being cleaned compared to HEPA filtration.
  • Less Motor Wear: The HEPA filter makes a blower work much harder and therefore we should expect that its life will be shorter. we find that The HEPA air purifier are 3 times as likely to fail compared the electrostatic models. 
  • ECO: Friendly: Over the life of a commercial smoke eater the electrostatic filter will save around 36,000 cubic inches of landfill. It is more eco friendly to wash then throw away filters that cannot be recycled.

Electrostatic Negatives

While electrostatic filters are popular, they certainly have things people don’t like. The following are a list of complaints we most often hear from customers:

  • Bug Zapper Sounds: When an electrostatic filter gets dirty it is likely to start shorting. the electrical short sounds like a bug zapper. This noise can dominate a room, scare pets and be a general nuisance.
  • Dirty Cells are Inefficient: An electrostatic cigar filter depend on good electrical presence. When a filter gets dirty, the dirt insulates the air from the the filtering properties. If you don’t clean this filter it becomes useless.
  • Filter Cleaning Takes time and effort: Unless you  have machines  to clean your filter the job is messy and takes time an effort. This is probably the reason so many people don’t clean the filter often enough.
  • Ozone Emissions: All ecteronic filters produce some ozone as a bi-product of the air cleaning process. Ozone is a dangerous chemical and to much is definitely a danger. (Note a LakeAir Electrostatic Filter when paired with its carbon filter emits NO ozone into the room.)

The Most Effective: HEPA

LakeAir Mini HEPA Filter


HEPA Positives

HEPA Cigar filtration has been known to be the most efficient standard filtering method. Some of the Highlights to HEPA air Filtration are:

  • Super High Efficiency: TRUE HEPA filters remove 99.97% of smoke from the air at a size of 0.3 microns. It is actually more effective on even finer smoke. Nothing removes more smoke in a single filtering cycle.
  • Easy Change out: The time it takes to remove a HEPA filter is just a few minutes in comparison with over an hour of Electrostatic. (including washing the filter
  • Quiet Operation: HEPA filters don’t make any zapping noise. the thick filter muffles some of the sound from the blower.
  • No Possible Ozone Emission: LakeAir HEPA filters are made in the USA. these systems produce no ozone and they do not have any off gassing.

HEPA Negatives

Super clean air isn’t the only thing cigar lovers are looking for. The following is a list of some of the reasons you might not want to opt for HEPA Cigar Filtration.

  • High Cost of Filter replacement: For a commercial smoke eater we estimate you will need to change to the HEPA filter between 1 and 2 times in a year. this could add up to $500.00 of annual upkeep costs.
  • Blower wear and tare: Because a blower has to work extra hard to pull air through a HEPA filter your blower could last a significantly shorter time.(Note: a LakeAir blower is rated to last up to 40,000 hours of continuous use at full speed.
  • Ecologically Unfriendly: HEPA filters cannot be recycled. They should be disposed of as low level hazardous waste. In a comparison to electrostatic smoke eaters, HEPA unit add an additional 36,000 cubic inches to our countries landfills. 

Our New Cigar Filtering Option: High Capacity MERV 15 Filters

High Capacity MERV 15 Air Filter

MERV 15 Positives

We added the high capacity MERV 15 filter to our line to offer a lower entry price with a reasonable filter replacement cost. The High Capacity aspect should offer longer replacement intervals. Some of the  reasons to like this filter are as follows.

  • Good Smoke Capture: This filter will remove 95% of the smoke in the air stream.
  • 1000 CFM  + Through Put: With a lower backpressure  this filter will allow up to 1100 CFM of air filtration.
  • Lower Replacement Cost:  The MERV 15 Media has a price tag 33% Lower than the same size HEPA filter.

MERV 15 Negatives

The MERV 15 Media was introduced as a cigar filter option to lower cost. Lower cost while good also leads to something you may not be so excided about.

  • Lowest Efficiency of al LakeAir Smoke Eaters: MERV 15 filters can’t remove all the smoke from the air. Their rating calls for  only 95% or better removal of fine smoke.
  • Slightly smaller filter size: The New MERV 15 filter is 1/2 inch shorter than the standard filter and will be shipped with foam to fill gaps in filter boxes.
  • Non Recyclable: The High Capacity MERV 15 cigar filter cannot be recycled. It will need to be sent off to the landfill making it a less sustainable product.

Cigar Filter Comparison









Operation cost

$450.00 annual

12 Man Hours

$300 Annual

Pressure drop





54 dB(A) average

45 dB(A) average

51 dB(A) average 

Blower wear

Plus 30%


Plus 18%

Eco Friendly

36,000 Cu In Landfill

0.04  ppm ozone

30,000 cu in landfill