General Air Purifier Questions

 
General Air Purifier Questions

1. What is an air purifier?
An air purifier is an electronic appliance that is used to provide cleaner, fresher air. HEPA air purifiers use a fan to draw room air through a HEPA filter. The HEPA filter traps airborne particles passing through he filter, including smoke, dust, pollen, pet dander and mold spores.

2. What is HEPA?
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air (filter). It was a technology developed in the 1940's by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to full-fill a top-secret need for an efficient way to filter radioactive particulate contaminants. HEPA is a type of highly efficient filtration media that removes microscopic particles from air passing through the filter. There are different ranges of efficiencies depending on the particle size. The most efficient form of HEPA removes 99.97% of particles with a size of 0.3 microns that pass through the filter. A HEPA air purifier will not capture chemical gasses.

3. What does 99.97% HEPA mean?
This stands for the filter efficiency or its ability to remove particle matter from an air stream. For every 10,000 particles entering the filter an average of 3 would pass all the way through the filter.

4. What is a micron?
The size of airborne particles that an air purifier captures are measured in microns. A micron is approximately 1/25,400 inch or approximately 100 times smaller than a human hair. Particles that size are not visible to the naked eye.

5. Why are air purifiers needed?
The air inside many homes often is many times more polluted than outside air. Here are some little known facts about the air inside many homes:

? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that indoor air pollutant levels may be as many as two to five times higher than the pollutant levels outdoors.

? Indoor air pollution is one of the top environmental concerns in the country.

? Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors.

? Indoor air pollutants such as tobacco smoke, pollen, mold, dust and animal dander often are associated with asthmatic and allergic reactions in persons.

6. What contributes to poor indoor air quality?
Today's homes often are built energy efficient to "hold" air inside - avoiding heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Of course, what's better for your energy bills isn't necessarily better for indoor air quality. This type of "tight" construction often doesn't allow the home to breathe.

7. What are the primary sources of air pollution?
Tobacco smoke. For years the EPA has reported the link between second-hand smoke and negative health effects.

Pollen comes from trees, flowers and grass, and even opening a door can allow millions of these particles into a home. Some people are particularly sensitive to the presence of certain pollen particles.

People who are allergic to cats and dogs are actually allergic to the dander flakes their pets shed. Dander can remain in a home long after the presence of the host animal.

Mold and mildew, which are typically found in the shower, kitchen or basement, are plant spores that grow any place that's warm and humid.

Dust is a collection of many different types of particles including our own skin cells, dirt tracked in from the outside and other particles from objects in the house.

8. How do I choose the right air purifier?
For general improvement of indoor air quality we recommend an air purifier with an AHAM certified room size that is equal to or greater than the space where the air purifier is used.

9. Is the most expensive air cleaner the best?
Not necessarily. The first step is to make sure that the air cleaner is a HEPA air cleaner. Then you must determine how large of an air cleaner you want to purchase based upon your room size and the CADR rating of the product.

10. What is AHAM?
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) is an organization that certifies the testing results of home appliances such as refrigerators, room air conditioners, dehumidifiers and room air cleaners. The association uses outside labs to test products and rate a variety of appliances.

11. What is a CADR?
Clean Air Deliver Rate (CADR) is an acronym and measurement developed by AHAM. CADR is the amount of clean air measured in cubic feet per minute that an air cleaner delivers to a room. It is tested on its ability to remove smoke, dust and pollen over time. This measurement is usually found on the back of the air cleaner packaging in the AHAM seal. Air purifiers without an AHAM seal have generally not been certified for CADR.

12. What is CFM?
It is the amount of Cubic Feet of air it moves per Minute. The higher the CFM the more air is moving through the unit.

13. Are the HEPA air purifiers portable or do they need to be permanently installed?
Most HEPA air cleaners sold at retailers are portable. They do not require installation by a contractor and can simply be removed from their packaging and plugged in to an outlet.

14. Where can I get a HEPA air purifier?
HEPA air purifiers are readily available at most national retailers like Wal-mart, Target and Kmart. Many regional retailers, home centers and hardware stores also carry HEPA air purifiers.

General Air Purifier Filter Maintenance

15. How often do I need to change the filter?
Under normal circumstances the HEPA filters will last a year or longer.

16. Can I clean my HEPA filter?
We do not recommend vacuuming or washing the HEPA filter. This will damage the filter material.

17. What is Microban? product protection?
Microban? is an antimicrobial agent that is used to treat the HEPA filter. Microban? product protection helps inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew on the filter surface. Microban? does not affect the life of the filter.

18. Where can I purchase a replacement HEPA filter?
Most retailers that carry air purifiers will also carry the replacement filters. If not you can usually purchase the replacement filters directly from the manufacturer via an 800 number or their website.

Homeland Security Questions

19. What does the U.S. Department of Homeland Security suggest?
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security suggests HEPA air purifiers as part of an overall program for fighting dangerous microscopic airborne contaminants that could be released in a terrorist attack.

20. What size of room will the air purifier protect?
Look for the AHAM certified room size rating information on the air purifier packaging. This will indicate the recommended room size in square feet. The room size is determined by the clean air delivery rate (CADR). For "shelter in place" rooms we recommend an air purifier with a room size that is equal to or greater than the space where the air purifier is going to be used.

21. Do I need more than one air purifier in my "shelter in place" room?
Refer to the AHAM room size recommendations on the packaging. This will help you make a determination if more than one air purifier is needed. Using more than one air cleaner will simply increase the amount of air that is being drawn through the filter.

22. How does HEPA filtration protect against most airborne contaminants?
HEPA filters are a tightly woven material that traps extremely small particles as the air passes through them. HEPA filters are so efficient that they trap most microscopic particles.

23. How long will the air purifier help protect my family?
In the event of a natural disaster or terror attack the air purifier will help provide an additional barrier to the occupants of a "shelter in place" facility for at least 3 days as recommended by the government. Whether or not you are completely protected will depend on other factors, such as the air flow into the shelter-area. Under normal conditions, and in the absence to exposure to dangerous contaminants, the filter will last at least a year or as specified by the manufacturer of the air cleaner.

24. Should the unit be run on high speed?
Yes, We recommend running the unit on high to increase the amount of air that is being drawn through the filter.

25. Can the air purifier run all the time ?C will that protect me?
Yes, the air cleaner can run on a continuous basis. We recommend that the air cleaner be set up in the "shelter in place room" and be left on. Aside from providing the benefit in a terror attack, the owner will enjoy the benefit of use, plus be prepared if an actual attack occurs.

26. Where is the best location for the air purifier in my "shelter in place" room in the event of a terror attack?
The air purifier should be in a central location within the room. There should not be anything in front of the intake or exhaust to allow for good circulation.

27. In preparing my "Shelter in Place" room how many HEPA replacement filters should I buy?
In addition to the filter that is included when you purchase the air purifier, at least one replacement filter should also be purchased. The retailer where you purchased the air cleaner will typically offer the replacement filters.

28. Where do you store the filter?
Your spare filter should be kept in its original packaging to keep it protected and clean prior to use. It should be kept in the "Shelter-in-Place" room.

29. Do the HEPA air purifier filters have a have a shelf life?
No.

30. Is the filter contaminated after it has filtered air exposed to contaminants from a terrorist attack?
Yes, we recommend that you change the filter after it has been exposed in a terrorist attack and that it be treated as hazardous waste; wear a respirator, gloves, eye protection and place the filter in two plastic bags and seal. We also recommend that you contact local health and safety officials for further information and instruction about how to ensure proper, safe disposal of the filter and other potentially contaminated items.

31. Will any captured particles be released from the HEPA filter back into the air?
Under normal conditions no. However, if the filter is shaken or disturbed it is possible.

32. Why can't I put a HEPA filter in my furnace or HVAC system and protect my whole house?
A properly prepared "shelter in place" room will have the ventilation system sealed off making HEPA filtration in the furnace or HVAC system of little value.

33. What happens if the electricity goes out?
The unit needs electricity to operate. Note: do not use an air purifier with a generator in a room that has been sealed off with plastic sheeting. The HEPA air purifier does not filter carbon monoxide.

34.Where can I get more information?
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