How to Choose a Smoke Purification System
Smoke purification systems are an integral part of any bar, lounge, restaurant or other commercial establishment that encourages socializing and entertainment. While Hepa air filters remove large airborne particles, smoke contains harmful gases such as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).
A good Smoke purification system should be able to effectively trap these gases and odor molecules using a combination of filtration technologies: carbon, HEPA and 360o filtration.
Whether it’s a commercial or home smoke air purifier, effective operation requires adequate airflow to circulate the contaminated smoke. Look for models with a high cubic feet per minute rating to ensure that your system can clean the entire volume of air in a room on a regular basis.
If your space has high ceilings, consider a smoke eater that’s designed to be mounted flush with the surface of the walls and ceilings. This type of unit has a discreet appearance and is ideal for restaurants, bars, and cigar lounges where cigarette and cigar smoke can accumulate.
Smoke eaters are also suitable for residential use Smoke purification system and can eliminate tobacco smoke, pollen, dust, mold spores, and other airborne contaminants that trigger allergies and respiratory issues using advanced, high efficiency filters. Look for models with both HEPA and activated carbon filters to address the different aspects of smoke.
Industrial air cleaners are an economical solution for businesses that need to reduce the amount of fine, toxic airborne dust and contaminant particles in their working environments. Look for a model with a high CADR rating to find an air purifier that can effectively remove smoke, dry chemicals, mineral dust, metal dust, oil mist and fumes, powders, ceramic and wood dust, and other common industrial pollutants. These units can be used as stand-alone systems or in multiples to create a planned air circulation pattern for regular whole room air exchange and filtration.
Unlike a typical air cleaner that simply moves and circulates air, a smoke eater uses advanced filtering technology to remove pollutants from the air. It is used in restaurants, bars, cigar lounges and other hospitality settings to quickly remove tobacco smoke particles, dust, spores, and allergens. This makes it easier for your guests to socialize and enjoy themselves without being bothered by smoky or unpleasant air.
Using an activated carbon filter, it is possible to remove the harmful chemicals and odor molecules in the air. Tobacco smoke contains many harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, tar and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). This kind of pollution is different from the particulate matter found in smoke. Particulate matter is small enough to clog your lungs and is the main component of wildfire smoke.
The particulate matter in tobacco smoke can be removed with a proper Hepa filter and adequate fan power. But removing the odours and harmful chemicals is more difficult. Odour is a gas that can’t be captured by Hepa filters. It is instead absorbed by a carbon filter that sits directly behind the Hepa. This process is called adsorption. It takes time for the odour molecules to come into direct contact with the activated carbon and be soaked up. The longer it takes, the more odour is removed. The type and size of the carbon filter will affect its effectiveness.
Lingering odors are not only unpleasant to inhale, but may also lead to chronic respiratory issues in some people. They also represent a significant health threat because of the chemicals and cancer-causing particulate matter that are found in smoke.
Fortunately, there are air purifiers designed specifically to address these challenges. These include models with carbon filters that adsorb and neutralize odors. These are generally paired with HEPA filters, which remove dangerous particulate matter and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) from the air.
The most important thing to remember about smoke removal is that air cleaners should never be used as a substitute for direct measures to reduce or eliminate the source of smoke at the point of origin. However, when used as directed, smoke purification systems are very effective at removing airborne particles and gases associated with lingering odors.
Air cleaners that are effective at removing smoke odors typically feature both HEPA and activated carbon filters. The HEPA filter captures fine particulate matter and volatile organic compounds, while the activated carbon filter adsorbs and neutralizes odorous molecules. When selecting a smoke purifier, be sure to check its specifications and filter replacement recommendations, as these can have an impact on performance over time. It’s also wise to avoid those that use UV-C sterilization, as this technology is best suited for killing viruses and mold spores, not removing smoke particles and gases.
A good smoke purifier will also have an energy efficient design that reduces operating costs. This is important in commercial spaces like bars and cigar lounges. For instance, ceiling mounted units are able to tie into existing ventilation systems to save on power usage. Choosing a unit with high efficiency filters will also reduce maintenance costs and extend the life of your air purifier.
Some models use UV-C sterilization to kill bacteria and mold spores. This technology is effective for removing these allergens but does not affect gases or particles from smoke. Additionally, some models use ozone generators. Ozone can react with VOCs to increase fine particles and is a lung irritant.
For VOC and particle removal, look for a model with a carbon filter or HEPA filter that has a Smoke purification system high CADR rating. A higher CADR rating means the cleaner will remove more VOC and particles in a shorter period of time.
To test the purification effectiveness of an air purifier, a sample of smoke was introduced into the test chamber with temperature and humidity controlled at (25 +/- 2)°C and 50% (+/-) relative humidity. The cigarette smoke concentration was allowed to decrease naturally for 20 minutes and the particle concentration of each cleaner was recorded using the TSI 9306-V2 air particle counter. As shown in Fig. 8, the IFD cleaner showed the highest particulate concentration reduction while the ESP cleaner demonstrated lower particle filtration efficiency.