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Searching for an Air Purifier
There are so many air purification methods out there, it’s enough to make my head spin. I enjoy researching, studying and learning. But wading through the technical specifications & scientific studies can be exhausting.
There are hydroxyl and ozone generators, ionizers, HEPA filters, photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) technology, UV lights, fogging protocols, chemical sprays, and more. Some units mitigate VOCs, most capture mold spores & dust, and a few sit there looking pretty and making noise.
I started looking for a high-quality air purifier in the early months of our mold-avoidance days. We were living in a hotel that was two years old, and there were very strong volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the newer construction materials and cleaning products. I opened the three windows in our suite as wide as possible (which was no more than a few inches, for safety and liability reasons), but we still struggled greatly with lethargy when we were in the room. Bringing in fresh air can be an effective way to lower the amount of formaldehyde indoors, but our fresh air options were limited.
Charcoal’s Purification Powers
Carbon is the first thing I looked into when searching for a product that would adsorb gasses. It is often used in air filtration to capture VOCs. As a side note, the first time I read about this filtration technology, I thought someone was misspelling aBsorb over and over. I eventually realized it was purposefully spelled aDsorb. According to dictionary.com, adsorption happens when something gathers on a surface as a condensed layer.
A block of carbon can do a decent job of mopping up the air that moves through it, but if a shift in humidity or temperature occurs, it can re-release the contaminants it’s supposed to be hanging onto, putting them right back into the air.
That did not impress me, and I quickly became disenchanted with carbon. Since the thicker carbon filters aren’t cheap (you need the carbon to be almost a foot thick to be most effective), it didn’t seem worth the cost ($600+), not to mention the extra work to try to prevent it from dumping its toxic soup back into the air.
Introduction to EnviroKlenz
Shortly before this time, my sister told me about someone she knew personally who had just built a brand new house out of conventional building materials. They were sensitized to mold and chemicals, and upon realizing they couldn’t live in the house without adverse symptoms (due to the high levels of VOCs), they ordered an air purifier and furnace filter from EnviroKlenz, a company I’d never heard of. After several weeks of running the purifier and having the filter in their new furnace air intake, she was able to move into their home with little trouble.
This sounded promising to me. The more I looked into it, the more intrigued I became, and I requested more info from the company.
As I learned about the technology, I realized this was not the average air purifier I was used to. It has two cartridges inside the unit. One cartridge is a HEPA filter, and the other one is called the “EnviroKlenz Air Cartridge.”
The HEPA filter is certified to be 99.99% efficient at capturing particles that are 0.3 microns and larger. This includes bacteria, pollen, pet dander, dust, and mold spores that are floating in the air. That’s fairly standard for HEPA, and you can get a HEPA filter that makes a noticeable difference in air quality for under $200 on Amazon (we like the GermGuardian).
What a HEPA filter cannot do is capture gasses in the air. Chemical smells, smoke, and VOCs from mycotoxins or construction materials go right through a HEPA filter.
In the EnviroKlenz, before air passes through the HEPA filter, it pulls the stream through the “EnviroKlenz Air Cartridge,” which neutralizes chemical pollution and VOCs.
How is this accomplished? The Air Cartridge contains earth minerals that adsorb toxins and noxious chemicals. These “earth minerals” are metal oxides that have a “large surface area to volume ratio,” which “makes them highly chemically reactive”. Timilon, the parent company for EnviroKlenz, says this makes the metal oxides “particularly suitable for chemical reactions involving destructive adsorption.”
The EnviroKlenz doesn’t release chemicals.
In the company’s documentation, they say:
A key benefit to EnviroKlenz technology over other odor removing devices is that chemicals are not released into the environment. Ozone and hydroxyl machines generate chemical compounds and release them into the air to counteract the pollutants. Chemical treatment methods like fragrances and fogging products topically “work” by masking odors. Enviroklenz has the ability to physically and chemically work against the potentially harmful pollutants and chemicals in the environment without releasing chemicals.
Timilon uses a combination of safe and effective proprietary materials that can physically adsorb and chemically destroy obnoxious odors from myriad sources. These materials will not re-release trapped odors like carbon does, and will function in a large range of temperature and humidity conditions. Source: P19, EnviroKlenz Allergy White Paper
Temperature and humidity shifts will not affect the adsorption negatively:
Microbial VOCs which contact the EnviroKlenz formulation are strongly adsorbed and removed from the air stream. Unlike the VOCs adsorbed by activated carbon filters, VOCs bound to EnviroKlenz will not be released by off-gassing later. Source: P2, Technical Information
Here is a chart that compares a charcoal filter with the EnviroKlenz. As you can see, the charcoal releases the VOCs it has adsorbed when temperature shifts occur, but the EnviroKlenz maintains a strong bond.
Our Personal Experience
We have used the air filter in a few different locations, including hotel rooms with high levels of VOCs, and a tent surrounded by campfires.
There was a definite decrease in odor in the hotel rooms, though the filter was not a cure-all for the lethargy we experienced in the environment. It worked amazingly in a tent, and we joked about how we should charge the neighboring campers a fee for breathing cleaner air. 🙂
We continue to use it in our sleeping space, and have been pleased with it. It turns the air over very efficiently. It does need periodic filter changes, and the filters cost $99 each. The company says they should last approximately 4-5 months, depending on use, but we’ve stretched them a little longer.
The EnviroKlenz Mobile Unit is $699, and we were able to get an even better deal for you, our reader – you can get 15% off any of their products by using the coupon code “Journey15” and ordering through any of the links in this post!