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Thread: Air Cleaner for Smoke and Possibly Covid

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Northern Oregon

    Air Cleaner for Smoke and Possibly Covid

    We have the worst wildfire smoke I've experienced. The air inside the house is even getting bad. I haven't been outside for days.
    Anyone have a portable air purifier that works for smoke? The HEPA versions may even work for covid.
    I'd like to find one with a washable HEPA filter or low cost filters.
    "Whether you think you can, or you think you canít - youíre right."
    - Henry Ford

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    New Westminster BC
    Can't answer your question but I can appreciate your situation. We are suffering the smoke up here in B C from Oregon and Washington fires. Our health experts are recommending N95 masks if you need to work outside.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Longview WA
    Blog Entries
    According to one news program this evening most of the air filtration systems have been sold out in western states.

    We should be getting more rain soon. There is a light rain falling right now in SW Washington.

    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    South Coastal Massachusetts
    My local utility is offering rebates on Energy star rated air filters. The link has embedded manufacturers specs as PDF attachments.

    It's a long list, couldn't say if any HEPA filters are washable. Given the particle sizes in question, that seems unlikely.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Longmont, CO
    Hepa does not approve washable designs, but there are filters that are close to hepa specs that are washable.

    we have 2 of these in the house and they have helped a lot with the smoke.

    a home air filter has no covid to filter out, unless you have it already. its not spreading long distance by air.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    If you're desperate, as a temporary emergency measure try hanging wet bedsheets in the rooms. Years ago this was mentioned in a class I took sponsored by a branch of the American Lung Association. I'd do it in your situation. Maybe hang some in places where air is likely to be infiltrating from outside.

    A decent HEPA filter can last a long time and many units have pre-filters than can be blown out or replaced cheaply. I would be suspicious of anything electronic. Something else mentioned in the Lung Assoc. class is that the ozone-generator type of air cleaner that was popular a few years back may work as an air cleaner but the ozone is not a good trade-off for your lungs.
    Last edited by Alan Rutherford; 09-15-2020 at 11:46 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Tippecanoe County, IN
    HEPA or not HEPA should not be a consideration when choosing an air cleaner. What counts is the actual performance of the system, not the specs of the individual parts. That performance is indicated by the Clean Air Delivery Rate. The reference linked by Jim doesn't even mention filter efficiency because it's unimportant.

    AHAM AC-1 is the test method for room air cleaners. That spec defines smoke, dust and pollen and how to test the CADR for each. It also defines how to determine the room size rating and power efficiency.

    If someone wants you to buy their air cleaner because it has a "True HEPA" filter they're blowing smoke, not filtering it.
    Beranek's Law:

    It has been remarked that if one selects his own components, builds his own enclosure, and is convinced he has made a wise choice of design, then his own loudspeaker sounds better to him than does anyone else's loudspeaker. In this case, the frequency response of the loudspeaker seems to play only a minor part in forming a person's opinion.
    L.L. Beranek, Acoustics (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1954), p.208.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Okotoks AB
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Herman View Post
    Hepa does not approve washable designs, but there are filters that are close to hepa specs that are washable.
    Onieda uses GE HEPA filter media and it is washable. See the data sheet here:

  9. #9
    on 8/2 I started a thread about the air purifier we got. Rather than link to it---
    My wife visited our Granddaughter about a month ago, and told me that their' place smelled much better (dog and cat in a hotel suite) than it did previously. They'd recently bought a small air purifier, and it really seemed to help. So that meant I had to get US one

    Not hawking brands here, just 'purifiers' in general, but I will mention what I got, an Alen BreatheSmart, larger unit for up to 700 sq ft of space. Granddaughter has a smaller unit.

    First thing I thought was, 'how am I going to know if this even works?' - With an engraving shop running 17 hours a day, the dust generated is horrible. So I figured we'll just keep an eye on dust buildup.

    So ours has been running a month now, and dust is way down. And I don't know if it smells better, but likely yes

    But the sure fire evidence this thing works, is because of our Malte-poo, Daisy. We got her 2-1/2 years ago when she was about 4 years old. One of the issues she's ALWAYS had, like many dogs, is her eyes goop up with whatever it is they goop up with, it hardens up and starts bothering her, so about once a week we have to fight with her in the kitchen sink with warm wet towels to remove the guck. We even pay the groomer extra to do it when she gets trimmed.

    In the month we've had this purifier running, her eyes have remained dry and clean, hardly a hint of goop, all the fur around her eyes is still soft and dry.

    The wife has also had a lot less stuffy-head/allergies days. But Daisy's eyes staying clean, that amazes both of us. And I cleaned the pre-filter a couple of days ago, it had caught a lot of dust and whatnot.

    The dog has proved to us that it works, and works well! If you've been thinking of getting one, I'm now an advocate
    So, a month & a half later, the wife has cleaned Daisy's eyes once. I run the thing 24/7, on '3' speed during the day, and '4' (high) while we sleep. On high it 'whooshes' pretty good, pretty noticeable from my recliner 3' away. Not LOUD by any means, the TV drowns it out for the most part. On '3' it's about half as loud, I can just hear it, most times I don't notice it. On '2' speed you can barely hear it standing next to it, and it still moves a fair amount of air. On '1' speed you have to check to tell it's on. I checked the filter again (finally) about 2 weeks ago and the pre-filter had about a half inch of crap caked to it. So it's definitely catching the crud! The hepa filter is pretty good size, 11x14" and about 2" thick. It's a bit discolored on the dirt side but looks real good still. It has a 'filter change' set of idiot lights that I assume is based on run time.

    Here's some pics I just took, and it's pretty gucky again already

    DSC08901.jpg DSC08904.jpg DSC08905.jpg DSC08906.jpg

    I really don't know it's 'true' filtering capability, supposedly 99.97% of airborne particulates. I just know the dogs eyes tell a big story, basic dust is down big time, and as far as I know the wife hasn't taken any allergy pills since we got it. We're sold

    Filters ain't particularly cheap, but the 'Life Supply' aftermarket filter is $55 on Amazon. At 8 months of life that's around $7 a month, some vitamins cost more than that
    Last edited by Kev Williams; 09-16-2020 at 2:21 AM.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Vancouver Canada
    Iím responsible for a large pair of buildings for my religious non-profit.
    Iíve been going nuts trying to get filters even as high as MERV 11 for the HVAC systems. Our maintenance supplier had to special order them, theyíre in such short supply. Iíve even scheduled a special order filter change before Friday nightís start of the ďseasonĒ with hugely increased attendance (in shifts) - we DO follow social distancing and person limits.
    The price for my furnace filters has also increased.
    Iím waiting for the winter winds and rains.
    Young enough to remember doing it;
    Old enough to wish I could do it again.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Northern Oregon
    I like this video. He tests a DIY filter and fan.
    When I you buy filters again I'll make one.
    "Whether you think you can, or you think you canít - youíre right."
    - Henry Ford

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