Recently, a lot of people in the modern world take cigarettes and tobacco. A lot of these people smoke in their homes. Often times, the smoking of different people are seen as a harmless activity.
However, smoking can be very dangerous to human health especially when the individual is found smoking in his personal living space. The particles from the smoke in the room often times get suspended in the air. These suspended particles are then inhaled into the body. When they gain access into the body, they can become allergens and cause a lot of serious medical conditions.
Besides the smoke from cigarettes and tobacco, the smoke from fireplaces can also be a pollutant for the whole house.
How many harmful particles are there in tobacco smoke?
One can wonder how many harmful chemicals are there in tobacco smoke. You will be surprised to know that about 250 harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke. Despite all the harm caused by smoke from cigarette and tobacco, especially the harm caused by the smoke can be reduced with the use of an air purifier.
Certain air purifier models have been designed to eliminate these harmful particles in tobacco. However, there are still doubts from different members of the society on the effectiveness of air purifiers in eliminating smoke from the house.
Special air purifiers have been built with features that make them perfect for smoke removal.
What are the smoke particles?
Smoke particles are very small. They are of the micro size range. Most of the particles found in tobacco smoke are often between 0.3 microns to 0.5 microns. Regardless of the small nature of the tobacco particles, certain particles are even smaller and are of a microscopic size of 0.1 microns.
These tiny size particles can easily get past different air purifiers. This means that the effectiveness of different air purifiers is under question. Certain particles in tobacco smoke are so small, they would go through ventilation systems unnoticed. These particles from smoke may be small but they are very dangerous to the body.
Can an air purifier actually filter out particles that small?
It is quite important to answer this question because a lot of people go shopping for air purifiers to put an end to the smoke problem in their homes. The simple truth is just that not every air purifier can deal with smoke. Some are built for it while some can’t. To effectively deal with smoke, it is very important for you to pick the right type of air purifier.
There are different types of air purifiers that run on different working mechanisms. However, despite the different types of air purifiers in the market, the most effective are air purifiers with HEPA filter or “HEPA” air purifiers.
HEPA simply stands for High Efficient Particulate Arrestor. Another quite simple truth is that there are different types of HEPA filters in the market and not all of them are powerful enough to deal with the smoke in the home.
Not all types of HEPA filters can deal with the very fine particles in smoke. You will come across different products claiming to be equipped with the best HEPA filter in the market. Some of these air purifiers may be quite affordable while others can take a lot of money to purchase.
How do you determine which HEPA purifier to buy?
To do this, you need to take a very good look at the specifications of the air purifier. The fine print on the air purifier would indicate the size of particles which the air purifiers are capable of removing.
Most air purifiers in the market have a HEPA filter which is powerful enough to filter 99.97% of 0.3 microns. This means it can filter a wide range of particles found in smoke. However, this filter would be ineffective against any particles smaller than 0.3 microns.
The most effective type of HEPA filters is those which can filter particles which are as small as 0.1 microns. It is only with these special types of filters that you can be sure of a high level of filtration against smoke particles.
This doesn’t mean that the HEPA filter capable of dealing with 0.3-micron particles is useless. It can still be a very good tool in the control of smoke in the home but it will not provide the best results. The HEPA particles for 0.3-micron particles are very effective against other air pollutants but not smoke. They can be effective in removing larger air particles such as pet dander, plant spores, and pollens.
Will any air purifier with a proper HEPA filter remove tobacco smoke?
This is not quite true. Not all HEPA filters will remove tobacco smoke. Also, the HEPA filter also presents just a portion of the solution. It is also very important to get the bad air into the air purifier for proper filtration. Then, the smell of the smoke should be eliminated.
The fan of the air purifier is responsible for drawing polluted air into the air purifier. This simply means that regardless of the type of HEPA filter in the air purifier, if the fan is weak to quickly draw in the air, the filter would become quite irrelevant.
It means that the perfect combination would be to get a purifier which has a very good HEPA filter (capable of filtering particles as small as 0.1 microns) and a very powerful fan (powerful enough to quickly recycle the air in the room quickly). It would also be very important to remove the smell of the smoke from the room.
How do you remove the smell of the smoke?
Smell or Odor is quite different from other air pollutants. Odor cannot be classified as a particle. Due to this, it can be quite difficult for it to be trapped by even the most effective HEPA filter. Getting rid of the smoke shouldn’t be the only problem to deal with. To deal with the smoke, the HEPA filter and the fan are considered to be very important.
However, the smoke always comes with different odors and harmful chemicals that may linger in the air even when the smoke has been removed from the air. The HEPA filter will be unable to trap these odors and chemicals. The odor and chemicals need to be absorbed as they go through the filter in the air purifier.
The only feature that can effectively deal with this odor would be a carbon filter at the back of this HEPA filter. This would mean that as the smoke particles are getting trapped in the HEPA filter, the smoke odor and chemicals would get absorbed by the carbon filter at the back of the HEPA filter before they get back into the room. The size and type of carbon filter used in the air purifier would determine how much of the odor and chemicals are absorbed in once. Special air purifiers always dedicate a lot of attention to the carbon filter due to its importance.
Do not opt for air purifiers that do not have very good carbon filters. They solve only half the problem.
Any machine without a good carbon filter would find it very difficult to eliminate any of the odor or chemicals left behind by the smoke. The specifications of the carbon filter in use are as important as any other feature of the air purifier. The carbon filter has to be large enough. Also, the polluted air also has to pass through the carbon filter slowly.
Passing air slowly through the carbon filter would trap a lot of chemicals. In order, to create enough time for the chemicals to pass through the carbon filter, the carbon filter has to be very thick. A thick filter will eliminate more odor, fumes, and gases.
Another factor which you have to think about is the size of the room. It is one of the most common mistakes which users make when choosing an air purifier. The importance of choosing the right type of air purifier for your room cannot be overemphasized. Getting the wrong air purifier would have little or no effect on the conditions in the room.
Look out for an air purifier which would be strong enough to drag in the air in the room into the air purifier. The purifier should be able to recycle or filter the air in the room about five to six times every hour. This is referred to as the value of Air Changes Per Hour (ACPH).
However, it is not uncommon to make a mistake with this value. For instance, Bionaire is manufacturers of an air purifier known as the BAP1700. This air purifier has been advertised as being able to effectively recycle the air in rooms as large as 40 square meters. This makes it seem like a very good option to be used in large rooms. However, Bionaire fails to include the number of times it would take their purifier to recycle the air in the room for an hour. An analysis of the operation of the purifier reveals that the purifier is only able to recycle the air in the room barely two times in an hour. It is only powerful enough to produce 1.6 air changes per hour. That is just ineffective for smoke removal.
Now imagine another air purifier such as the 205 Slim Smokestop produced by Blueair. The wonderful thing about this air purifier is that it is advertised as being able to recycle the air in a room as large as 26 square meters. Due to the superior design of this machine, it is able to recycle the air in the room about 5 times every hour. When kept in a 40 square meter room, it would recycle the air roughly about 2.8 times per hour. That means it is even more effective in a larger space than the other machine.
On a final note, users have to understand that air purifiers are capable of eliminating smoke from a room. For smoke removal, HEPA filter air purifiers are the best and for smell and odor removal of smoke, carbon filter air purifiers are very effective It is important to pick the best air purifier considering the severity of the problem at hand and the size of the room.