1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

July 5, 2008

:187 Sizing Purifiers

Filed under: :187 Sizing Purifiers — Tags: , , , , — John Banta @ 12:14 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:187 EcoTip: Choosing an appropriate size for an air cleaner depends a lot on the air quality problems you are trying to overcome.

A good analogy is baling water out of a boat. The amount of baling you have to do depends more on how much water is coming into the boat, than the actual size of the boat. When you have a lot of water flooding the boat you either have to bale faster, or use a bigger bucket. If the amount of water entering the boat exceeds the capacity and speed at which you can bale, the water level increases until the boat finally sinks.

The more “Well-Tuned” your home, the smaller the air cleaner can be. We usually do not need an air purifier in our home because we try to use low VOC products, have no carpet, and use a HEPA vacuum cleaner. The smoke from the fires that are raging throughout California continue to affect our area even though they are all a distance away. Since our home is fairly air tight we usually bring fresh air in – but with the smoke outside – we are keeping the house closed up and using a portable air cleaner with a HEPA filter and activated carbon. The unit we are using has the capability of moving about 300 cubic feet of air per minute (cfm) on high speed, but we are finding low speed at 100 cfm is working fine for us. Of course with smoke, it is easy to evaluate, because we can smell the difference when it is off or on.

We are filtering our air at a rate of about 2 Air changes per hour (ACH), but leaky homes may require 6 or more ACH to get the same effect.


 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :179, :180, :181, :182, :183, :184, :185, :186

To calculate the CFM you want to use – figure the cubic footage of the room or area and decide if you need a low (2 ACH), medium (4 ACH), high (6 ACH) or extra high (8 ACH) amount of filtration. Multiply the cubic footage of the area by the desired ACH. This will give you the cubic feet of air filtration needed in an hour.  If you divide this number by 60 (sixty minutes in an hour) you will have the number of CFM needed.

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