Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Barbara Staib, President of Safe Home Products, is an expert on child safety, emergency preparedness, pet training and even pest control. She has personally helped thousands of customers since SHP started in 1999. Here you can find Q&A with Barbara to foster safer, healthier and simpler living.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Maintaining an Amaircare Roomaid HEPA Air Purifier

Question about the Roomaid Air Purifier.

Q: "I am interested in purchasing the Roomaid since I understand the unit can be operated both in a motor home or car on a 12VDC power adapterand also on standard AC power. My concern is maintaining the unit. What is involved with that? Do you have any personal experience with the unit? Thanks. Mary

Answer: The Roomaid is made in Canada by Amaircare. I've run a "white" ( it is really cream colored) Roomaid in my home office continuously (except for when I wash the prefilters) for over 9 years. I've changed the HEPA once and the pre-filter maybe 4 times. By the way, I have allergies and have run an Amaircare 3000 continuously in our bedroom for 9 years as well. Original motors still purr along quietly. (German motors.)

Both units are especially needed since Buddy the Siamese cat joined the family a year ago. Since Buddy likes to sleep in his cat bed right next to my monitor, the Roomaid prefilter does pick up a lot of cat hair over the course of a month (don't believe everything you read about Siamese shedding very little). The annual filter kit includes both pre and post filters There is also an optional VOC carbon filter if you are sensitive to formaldehyde or other volatile organic compounds.

To maintain the unit, turn the unit off and wash the prefilters in soapy water, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry. Remember that HEPA filters can become a source of mold or bacterial growth if air does not move through them nearly continuously. Never have an air purifier with a HEPA filter sit idle for more than 3 or 4 days or you need to replace the HEPA.

To change the snap on HEPA replacement filter you just jank a bit (or maybe use a knife for leverage) and pull off the entire top of the unit which is the HEPA. There are 4 or 5 little peg inserts that snap into the bottom of the Roomaid where the motor is. Then push the new unit on and put on the new prefilter. The post filter sits in the middle of the HEPA unit.

You could add a scent to the top of the HEPA unit. There is a little round container for scent. I choose not to since I am allergic to begin with.

For use in the car, there is a seat belt clip included with the optional 12volt power adapter.

In my opinion, there is not a sturdier unit available in this price range. And certainly maintenance is simple as well.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Friday, May 1, 2009

UV Air Purifiers Help Reduce Risks of Swine Flu, Colds & Virus

Question about portable air purifier units such as the MiracleAir PM 600 and the Air Pura UV600 for waiting rooms, waiting areas in restaurants, etc. that can help reduce exposure to viruses and bacteria.

Q: "For those of us who work in offices, medical clinics, etc, exposure to viruses, colds, etc. is part of every day. What air purifier do you recommend to reduce the "air pollution" in waiting areas from coughing and sneezing? I don't want to wear a mask or stay home. Thanks. Dave."

Answer: HEPA air purifiers with UV germicidal lights are the best proactive option for those areas. Do continue to take those actions recommended such as the University of Connecticut website: cough and sneeze into an arm or elbow, not into hands; wash hands often with soap and water, especially after a sneeze or cough; sing the “ABC Song” while washing to make sure hands are thoroughly washed; use alcohol-based hand sanitizers; avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth; avoid contact with others who are ill; stay home from work or school and avoid contact with others if ill; get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

We recommend you consider either of these two quality portable air purifiers with UV germicidal lights:
  1. MiracleAir. Made in USA. The Black MiracleAir PM600 or the white MiracleAir PM600 both feature twin double UV lights plus three filters including a potassium permanganate filts
  2. AirPura. Made in Canada. The AirPura Black Air Pura UV600 features the UV light inside the HEPA cartridge. Colors: black, cream or white.
We recommend that one or more units be placed in patient waiting areas, employee lounges, restaurant waiting areas or other areas where groups congregate. This is one of the better proactive measures for maintaining good health.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Friday, August 11, 2000

Whole House Envirosept Furnace Panel Questions

Q: "Before I buy an EnviroSept furnace filter panel, I need some questions answered.
  1. Can this unit be used in a heat pump forced air unit?
  2. With a gas pack unit?
  3. Is there a reduction of air flow through the filter? How much?"

Answer: The answers to questions 1 and 2 is "yes." The answer to question 3: yes the air flow is reduced somewhat. A clean fiberglass filter has an airflow reduction of .05 and this restriction with the Envirosept panel is .20.

Please let us know the size of your current fiberglass filter so we can help you choose the correct unit.

Sincerely, Barbara

Comments: The Envirosept comes in sizes to fit all HVAC units. Maintenance is minimal: polywool filters need changed every month for most homes. Once a year or so, the panel needs wiped off with a microfiber or lint-free cloth.

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