February 5th, 2016 | Posted in Air Cleaners, General
A recent trend in the Vape business is that owners are deciding to add air cleaners in their establishments to remove vapor mist from the air. The vape industry is under scrutiny by federal, state and local authorities regarding health issues of people who use or are in environments with e-cigarette vapor. Adding air cleaners could make a significant reduction in air-borne vapor possible.
What is “vaping”. It’s the act of inhaling vapor created by electronic cigarettes which heats the vapor so it can be inhaled. In the process it also releases some of the vapor into the atmosphere, which can be inhaled by other people who may be in the area. Because some of the products may contain more chemicals, nicotine in particular, that may be a reason to limit the amount in the ambient air.
According to Robert Clewell who owns Metro Service Company in Pennsylvania, his customers had significant issues with the amount of air-borne vapor which lead to a cleaning mess. Windows were getting coated with glycol mist and then mixing with dust to make an unsightly view. He also said that there can be additional issues when you have a mixed use venues, like a bar, where tobacco and vape are both in use. Air cleaning can help eliminate the problem in both.
What kind or air cleaners work best? It depends on your point of view, but by some people’s experience, electrostatic room air cleaners are the most cost effective way to go. Why? The overall cost of installation is low compared to other types of air cleaners as well as the annual maintenance costs are lower as you don’t need to replace costly throw away filters. Maintenance is still critical to the overall efficiency and efficacy of the air cleaner. Usually a non-alkaline water soluble detergent mixture is best for cleaning. The electrostatic cell (ESP) is usually made of aluminum and if cared for will last for years and years. In addition, most of these ESP devises are low energy consumers. They generally are powered by 120V circuit and some come with a plug attached. Typically they use about the same amount of electricity as a 200 watt bulb.
From my experience so called HEPA style or media air cleaners aren’t good solutions for Vape mist as the mist will tend to saturate the media and cause premature filter replacement, which will significantly increase annual operating cost.
There are long standing US manufacturers of electrostatic air cleaners which have been shown to reduce vapor in the air. Either flush-mount or below the ceiling versions have the ability to turn the air over multiple times, which is what’s required for best performance.
How are they used effectively? Depending on ceiling height, the air cleaners are placed so as to turn the air over 8-12 times per hour. The more turns, the more cleaning. Some air cleaners use an airflow pattern called Coanda which circulates the air in a way that stirs up the vapor laden air and draws it into the air cleaner. The addition of fresh air into the environment will also help in removing any staleness that may tend to linger.
Shop owners who are interested in a cleaner in-door environment should look at this solution.
Be sure to look for manufactures that have been in business for some time and whatever you do don’t buy something from anyone offering machines that use ozone as their primary cleaning agent. Ozone has been shown to be harmful in large doses to persons with respiratory issues. Read some of the EPA’s research.
If you have a vape shop and want to reduce air-borne contaminates from vaping, look at electrostatic air cleaners as a good solution.
Oh by the way, they also help keep the dust down so you may not have to tidy up as often.