|Selecting an Air Purifier|
There are so many different types of air purifiers on the market. I'm not interested in a huge one or purifying the air in my whole house. I'd like a mobile unit that I could move from room to room. I specifically have one room which has a musty mildew smell that I can't seem to get rid of - not to mention one guest who occassionally visits seems to have breathing problems when she sleeps in the room. I know I must continue to tackle the mildew problem but I'd like an air purifier in the meantime. Can you give me any suggestions? Thanks!
Washington, North Carolina
I just recently purchased a Honeywell from Sears. It has three speeds and is on wheels so it can be moved from room to room. I keep it in the living room during the day and move it to my bedroom at night. I have also left it in the hall between our bedrooms and it helps. I have had terrible allergy problems and this purifier has all but eliminated these problems. I no longer have to take prescription medication for my allergies. I highly recommend this product.
Mold Requires a Dehumidifier
Instead of an air purifier, try using a DEhumidifier. I got one at J.C.Penneys and it works wonderful and really dries out the room and no more mildew smell.
From a Residential Designer
I am a residential designer who is researching this very subject on the internet for a presentation to a builders' association meeting. I found the United states E.P.A. website and a news group about indoor air quality (I.A.Q.). I learned a lot of interesting things:
Don't get those ozone air cleaners. For them to work they have to put out enough ozone to be harmful to your lungs and your home. The experts reccomended electrostatic filters. Some other ways to improve your indoor air: Do not burn scented candles. The majority have lead and solvents that settle with the soot all over your house including inside your air conditioning system. Make sure you have no moisture problems in the walls, ceilings or floors. This causes mold to grow, which is a common source of serious air quality problems. Also, do not smoke in the house. Don't have too many plants in the house because the soil is an excellant mold culture. Use as little pesticides as possible. Many do not break down as fast inside as they do outside in the sunlight. Also, since most homes have a much higher level of pollution inside than is found outside, open the widows whenever possible (except when pollen counts are high).
If you want more specific information I would suggest you search indoor air quality and air cleaners on the internet search engines.
I have had good luck with the Envirocaire air filters made by Honeywell. They seem to do a good job of filtering out dust and molds. They are portable and come in a variety of sizes for cleaning the air in different size rooms. They have a HEPA filter which lasts several years and a charcoal filter which is changed every 3 months. The newer Envirocaires also have another type filter which I think is for odors. (Don't have one of those yet.)
Your musty smell sounds like you either need to run your air conditioner more or use a dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture.
Try Alpine Air
Alpine Air has a purifier that will purify the air in you room. It is portable and can be moved from room to room. This machine also can be used in your automobile when you travel. I love mine. It does a great job. The cost is about $ 239 and is worth every penny.
I suggest Holmes brand, model HAP-240. You can buy it at Wal-Mart for about $50. It is a HEPA filter purifier and is large enough to filter a bedroom but small enough to move easily. The HEPA replacement filters are about $15 at Walmart. I try to replace mine about every 6 months. My kids have allergies so we bought one for each room - three total. The first one we bought was about 5 years ago and we have had no mechanical problems with it so far.
'Borrow' an Ozone Machine
I recently purchased a small mobile home in Washington State that was closed up for several months. It had a lot of mildew and it was very musty smelling. I rented an ozone machine for $10 a day from one of the local motels (the cleaning companies wanted $55 a day). This machine is used by hotels and professional cleaners to take the smoke smell out of rooms and smoke damaged homes.
It isn't recommend that you be in the room when it is running as ozone isn't good for you in large doses. Some machines have a timer and some run continuously, just make sure that you stay out of the room for at least 30-45 minutes after shutting it off or unplugging the machine, this goes for pets also (this allows the ozone to disapate).
I also used the machine for removing the fumes from the sealing job I had to do on the floor after removing the carpet.
When you talk to the Manager of the hotel the idea of renting the machine might be foreign, but if the first one won't, keep trying. They might ask for a copy of your driver's lisence or a copy of a credit card just in case of loss, but it is given back upon return.
Oak Harbor, Washington