Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    171

    Filters for perfumes, odorants...

    I've got a domestic customer who must get rid of perfumed smells, neigbour's dryer vent fumes and such. He's very hyper-sensitive.
    Most filter companies say get charcoal filters, but then they stop and say no more. There are filters kind of gray coloured that contain some charcoal (they look dirty to me), there's filters that have a bit of heavy stuff in the middle, and then there's others that cost $500.

    I don't know what will prevent perfumed smells from entering this customer's house. I intend to install and HRV with HEPA and de-odorizing filters on the fresh air intake.

    So... Anyone have any suggestions on what filter to get? Remember it's smells not small particles that I'm after.
    The poor dude can't work in his office because some people wear too much perfume.

    D.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Lubbock Texas
    Posts
    773
    Check out a term on google photocatalysis or photo catalytic oxidation. There are several companies that produce systems that would meet your needs. I would stay as far away from charcoal as I can the maintenance cost can get very high to properly maintaining the system and a high pressure drop across your HVAC system. And masking the odors with another perfume can agitate your customers chemical sensitivities even more.
    You are battling VOCs. Off gassing from the perfumes.

  3. #3
    Your safest option is the use of carbon filters of some sort. These pull out the VOC's from the perfume, dryer sheets, etc. through a process called adsorption. Basically what this means is that the odor molecules go into the carbon and stay there (until the carbon is loaded). There is no chemical reaction involved.

    No one can accurately predict odor removal efficiency. This is based on air speed, amount of carbon involved, the type of carbon and the odor threshold of the person with the problem. But generally, the pleated carbon filters are a good first option. In many cases these are enough. In your case granular carbon is probably the better option. Genesis is right about pressure drop. It can be a problem with granular carbon. However, it sounds like you will have a fan assist to push the air through the carbon and will not be relying on the HVAC system blower.

  4. #4
    The Lennox Pure-Air is specifically designed to tackle chemicals. The photo catalytic oxidation process it employs is very effective.

    A HEPA with a carbon canister can also be very effective. These are not low-cost options, but they should do the trick .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    906
    Based on the NCEMBT report #061101, photocatalytic products (PCO, Lennox PureAir) are not efficient. They can also produce formaldehyde. You also have to deal with the replacement costs of the mercury bulbs, and they require special disposal. My suggestion is to stay away from PCO products.

    I have installed a Carbonaire cylinder with 40 lbs of activated carbon, with a fantech fan pulling the air through it continuously. I found it very effective -- all the odors disappeared after a few hours of operation (with a room purified with an IQAir HealthPro Plus as a reference, there used to be a big difference between the room and the rest of the house). With 40 lbs, I expect to have to renew it only once/year and the cost is cheaper than the cost of UV bulb replacement in PCOs. Checkout http://www.filtersusa.com/Lennox/ for the price of *one* UV bulb in the PureAir, to be replaced every 12 months under normal operation, and much more often if you run the PCO continuously. Multiply that with the number of bulbs it contains. Compare to a Carbonaire cylinder at http://www.plantlightinghydroponics....er-p-1379.html

    The choice should be easy, if you can hide the Carbonaire away (it's not pretty).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    171

    Update on the dude who couldn't handle perfumes...

    So my buddy who got sick on practically any scented person or chemicals has been at home with a new AC that I installed.

    I replaced the furnace with a Luxaire modulating model, new A-coil, and some ducting. I vacuumed a load of dust from the return duct. Gross.

    I installed an over-sized MERV 11 filter in the return air. On the RA duct I mounted an electrically boosted HEPA/PCO device. The initial smell that came off of it made both of us sick. But the next day all was fine. Put them in the driveway for a day-long burn-in period! prior to installing.

    After 3 weeks he says both he and his wife are feeling much better now.

    I think when I pulled the rusty old furnace off the damp concrete basement floor a lot of mold came up with it. It made me sick for two days and I couldn't eat, even tho' I had to BBQ our family dinners. Once that mold was gone, I mounted the furnace on short legs to allow washing and disinfecting below it.

    So far so good.
    If problems come back or get worse I'll put in an HRV with the outside air going through a charcoal canister into the top of the air scrubber. That way I can pressurize the house with clean filtered air.

    Poor dude can't greet clients in public too much because the colognes and perfumes buckle his knees and his hands go numb. But at least he can recover at home.

    That's my update.
    D.

  7. #7

    Asthma-Like Problems

    I need some help. My wife and I both have asthma-like breathing problems in our 2200' home in South Fl. I'm using a Merv 11 filter on my 4 ton AC intake. I have 2 ultra violet lamps above and below the coils. There is a chemical-like odor that my wife smells in the main part of the house. We use an HEPA air purifier in our bedroom and there seems to be less of a problem there. I recently had our AC (flex) ducts cleaned. I need some advice on how to proceed to fix this problem.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    1,104
    Quote Originally Posted by dickleight View Post
    I need some help. My wife and I both have asthma-like breathing problems in our 2200' home in South Fl. I'm using a Merv 11 filter on my 4 ton AC intake. I have 2 ultra violet lamps above and below the coils. There is a chemical-like odor that my wife smells in the main part of the house. We use an HEPA air purifier in our bedroom and there seems to be less of a problem there. I recently had our AC (flex) ducts cleaned. I need some advice on how to proceed to fix this problem.
    In my opinion, the best way to control chemichals (VOC's) is by bringing in fresh air to dillute them. Energy recovery ventilators (erv) are what I prefer, but a heat recover ventilator (hrv) will do pretty much the same thing. Call your hvac contractor or someone who specializes in indoor air quality.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    171

    better breathing air for you...

    Quote Originally Posted by dickleight View Post
    I need some help. My wife and I both have asthma-like breathing problems in our 2200' home in South Fl. I'm using a Merv 11 filter on my 4 ton AC intake. I have 2 ultra violet lamps above and below the coils. There is a chemical-like odor that my wife smells in the main part of the house. We use an HEPA air purifier in our bedroom and there seems to be less of a problem there. I recently had our AC (flex) ducts cleaned. I need some advice on how to proceed to fix this problem.
    These UV lamps may be a problem. Switch them off for a week and see if things get better?
    You have to ask what else in your home is a problem. Today's homes are built with and filled with 'things' out-gassing all kinds of chemicals. Take a trip for a week or two somewhere far away and see how you feel. high mountains come to mind.
    "Just 'cause some one sells something doesn't mean the quality of your life will improve if you buy it."

    D.

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