House Air Cleaner Advice Sought for Allergy, Dust, Odors, Chemicals
We live in an apartment, which offers a honey of a deal, except that is, the apartment is over a custom frame-manufacturing site. Below our apartment the company cuts “poly*” molding for frames; cut wood frames with various polyurethane finishes; cut, shape and hand apply varnish and stain finishes on moldings. They also have mice that inhabit the stacks of moldings — and lots of sawdust and fumes from the saws as they cut through the materials, etc, etc.
Most of the folks in the building cannot notice any particular odor or report just a mild smell of stain as the manufacturers work to hand restain wood corners with tiny 3/4″ to 1″ brushes dipped in tints or thinned stains.
We also seem to have an intermittent propane leak in our apartment (sometimes you can smell it around our stove, sometimes you can’t). We also have a cat and a bird that we are planning on getting rid of. Can you recommend a preferred machine for this application?
It would appear you are dealing with three things, which are dust and particulates from the cutting process, odors and chemicals from the applied finishes and wood cutting, and gases from the propane leaking.
First of all I would address the possible propane leak in the building. This could be very dangerous if it becomes strong enough because the risk of it exploding. Propane is a gas that cannot be removed readily through physical adsorption into activated carbon or oxidation through chemical absorption with chemisorbers like potassium permanganate and alumina oxide. Therefore, you need to have this leak removed.
I would recommend an air cleaner with a good pre-filter for the larger particulates that could be airborne from the cutting process and a HEPA filter for the smaller particulates that are probably from the fumes created by the cutting process. These particles will be extremely small ranging from 1 micron to .01 microns.
In addition, you will need an efficient gas filter to remove the gases, chemicals, and odors resulting from the finishes being applied onto the moldings. Most of these gases are VOCs which are volatile organic compounds, like paint, varnishes, polyurethanes, etc.
The best unit would be the IQAir GC VOC series. This unit has a HEPA grade filter in the bottom of the unit, which is 97% efficient at removing the fine particles. This particle cleansed air then passes through four gas filter cartridges consisting of coal based carbon pellets, which will physically adsorb the VOCs from the air into the micro pores of the activated carbon pellets. The final phase of this air cleaner are post filter sleeves that go over each of the gas filter cartridges in case any of the carbon debris breaks off so no particulates are sent back into the room.
The QuietPure Home AirPurifiers with VOC Filter would be another good choice. It consists of a pre-filter for the larger particulates, a HEPA filter for the finer particles, and a carbon filter for the VOCs.
Another thing you need to take into consideration is how large of an area are you looking to clean. The IQAir GC VOC will clean an area of 600 to 900 square feet with an average ceiling height of 8 to 8.5 feet. The QuietPure Home will clean an area up to 880 square feet.
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