1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

September 10, 2008

:254 HEPA-Less Dust Control

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

1:5:10:254 EcoTip: If you don’t have a HEPA vacuum cleaner – as an alternative – you can still control fine dust indoors by setting your vacuum cleaner outside and bringing only the hose inside. This technique can be very effective when you are using the vacuum for remodeling or trying to remove fine dust – provided the hose is long enough and the vacuum has enough suction. The dust that escapes from the vacuum cleaner will be exhausted outside. Make sure that wind and air currents aren’t blowing it right back in.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :247, :253

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

Advertisements

September 9, 2008

:253 Dust Controlling Power Tools

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

1:5:10:253 EcoTip:  A variety of power tools are available with a dust collection bag. This bag is ineffective for controlling small particles of dust, but can frequently be removed and adapted so that a HEPA vacuum cleaner can be attached to the power tool so that small particle dust control results.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :016, :247

When purchasing power tools look for a vacuum cleaner attachment such as shown on the saw above. Dust bags such as are present on the sanders shown above – can frequently be removed and a vacuum cleaner nozzle attached. Many manufacturers are now supplying the adapters or building them into the tool for easy attachment.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

July 6, 2008

:188 Purification Media

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

1:5:10:188 EcoTip: A variety of types of purification media are available for portable air purifiers. Some people find they must use an alternative media because they do not tolerate the standard type of activated carbon, which is usually made from coconut shells.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested review: :179, :180, :181, :182, :183, :184, :185, :186, :187      

Available activated carbon alternatives include: wood carbon, lignite and zeolite. Some types of activated carbon are treated to help increase their ability to adsorb chemicals and odors. If you find you are not tolerating your air purification unit, try the you can try the following scientific approach to figuring out the problem by testing one thing at a time. (Caution, if you are severely sensitive (MCS, multiple chemical sensitivities, EI, environmentally ill …) – you should consult with your physician before trying the following):

1). You may want to do this outside and wearing old clothes and gloves since the activated carbon can leave black marks.

2). Remove and set the filters aside on a clean surface. If the unit is used, then this is a good time to plan on replacing filters and their media. If you want to reuse the filters make sure you note which way they came out so they can be reinstalled in the same way.   

3). Make sure the inside of the purifier is clean.

4). Close the unit – with the filters out – and smell it to see if it is okay. If it has an odor, or you don’t react to it well, then trying different media probably won’t help. You may want to try a different purifier.

5). If the unit smelled okay when it was turned off, then try turning it on and operating it without the filters. If it still seems okay, then trying different media may help.

6). Before inserting any of the media or filters – try smelling each of them to see if they are okay. If they aren’t okay outside of the unit, they won’t be okay inside the unit when it is running.

7). Insert the filters one at a time. Turn the unit on and see how it is. If it is okay add the next filter. Keep doing this unit you find a filter that is not acceptable for you. Remove the offensive filter and keep adding the rest until the unit is operating with filters you tolerate.

8). Decide what substitute filters to try base on which ones are not acceptable for you.

Allermed is a manufacturer of a variety of air purification devices for people with chemical sensitivities. They have a variety of types of filters, activated carbon and zeolite available. They also have stainless steel purifiers for those that don’t tolerate plastic housings.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

June 30, 2008

:182 Filtration Height

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

1:5:10:182 EcoTip: The placement height of portable air filters is important. Try to set portable air filtration units so the filtered air is released at a height well above the floor. Breathing zone height is a good choice. Air that is released near the floor will disturb the dust particles that have settled causing the airborne particle concentration to rise.

It is much more effective to collect settled dust from the floor with a HEPA vacuum cleaner than to blow it up into the air in hopes of the filter collecting it.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :016

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

 

June 28, 2008

:180 Portable Air Filtration

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

1:5:10:180 EcoTip: Portable HEPA Filtration can help reduce airborne particulates. If your home is a “Well Tuned Home” as I discussed in yesterdays post, additional spot filtration can improve indoor air quality even more.

Over the next several days I will provide tips for choosing a portable purifier.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :110, :179

Yesterday I brought a portable particle counter home from work to check the airborne particle levels. This is a device that can be set to measure the quantity of different sized particles. The smoke from the California Wildfires that are burning wasn’t quite as bad as the night before, but the outdoor smoke odor was still quite pronounced. Here’s what I found when I averaged the 1 micron sized particle counts in several places:

Outdoor air – 2500 particles/cubic liter

Indoor air (most rooms) – 250 particles/cubic liter

Indoor air (supply registers) – 100 particles/cubic liter

Filtered Air (at the machine) – 1 particles/cubic liter

Indoor air (room with portable HEPA air filter) – 50 particles/cubic liter

In addition to the things I mentioned in yesterdays EcoTip (:179), we also have a 1 inch pleated MERVE 11 filter in our air conditioner (EcoTip :110). By having our home Well-Tuned and the upgraded furnace filter, the particle level inside was ten times lower than outside.

The HEPA filtration in the portable unit was filtering out almost all the particles I was measuring at the machine – which means it was working the way it is supposed to and was reducing the indoor particle level even further.

I’m unwilling to test this while the outdoor air quality is so bad, but its my guess that the most important factor in excluding the smoke has been having our home “Well Tuned”. The pleated furnace filter and the portable filter reduced it further. If the home weren’t well tuned the filtration wouldn’t be able to keep up.

Over the next several days I will be talking about other factors to consider when choosing and setting up a portable filter or purifier unit.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

 

May 1, 2008

:122 HEPA Filters

Filed under: :122 HEPA Filters — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

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

1:5:10:122 EcoTip: A recent Danish study has shown that when HEPA filtration is used to reduce airborne particle levels in the homes of elderly participants their vascular blood flow was increased. The HEPA filtration reduced particle levels by about 60%.

***********************************

 Additional Information

Suggested Review – :041, :042, :043, :110

I like portable HEPA filters better than those that are installed in HVAC systems. Portable systems allow you to focus the filtration in the area being occupied, and are much more serviceable and affordable.

Preventing infiltration (:041, :042, :043) and using a more efficient filter in the air handling system as described in :110 provides a pre-filtration of the air, which then can be further scrubbed by the HEPA filter.

 More information about the Danish study is at:

http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/02/15/hepa-filters.html#skip300x250

  Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.