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Frequently Asked Questions About Negative Air Machines

Why is negative pressure important to mold abatement, disaster restoration and renovation projects?

How do I create a negative pressure environment using HEPA Filtered Portable Air Scrubbers?

What is a HEPA filter?

Where is a HEPA filter used?

Which particulates can HEPA filtered Portable Air Scrubbers capture?

Why is HEPA filtration required during mold abatement, disaster restoration and renovation projects?

How often do Abatement HEPA filters need to be changed?

Will Air Scrubbers remove odors?

What is the difference between a Negative Air Machine and an Air Scrubber?

How is the amount of airflow that must be removed from the containment zone to maintain negative pressure calculated?

Why do I need to monitor air pressure in the work area during the project?

What if we don't/can't exhaust the filtered air to the outside?

Will HEPA air machines remove odors?

Can negative air machines also be used for positive pressure?

Does The Air Machine Superstore offer any solutions for capturing and removing particles that drop out of the air and land on walls, floors and other surfaces?

How often do Abatement HEPA filters need to be changed?

With all of the performance and quality features, will I be able to afford a negative air machine?

What accessories are needed for negative pressure applications?

Information And Facts:

Air filtration stages

Important facts about anthrax and HEPA filtration

Typical modes of operation (.pdf)

HEPA Facts (.pdf)

Answers

Why is negative pressure important to mold abatement, disaster restoration and renovation projects?

A negative pressure environment will help to contain the mold, dust, particles and odors within the workspace containment barrier. Air always flows from areas of higher pressure to areas of lower pressure. Creating and maintaining negative pressure creates inward airflow direction through any leaks or openings in the containment barrier. This prevents airborne contaminants from escaping into and contaminating other parts of the building.

How do I create a negative pressure environment using HEPA Filtered Portable Air Scrubbers?

In order to create a negative pressure environment, more air must leave the space than enters it. First of all, the project area must be walled off with permanent or temporary construction barriers. Secondly, the Abatement Portable Air Scrubber(s) must be placed inside the construction area. Ductwork should be run from the system to somewhere outside of the project area, preferably to the outside of the building. Since the air is HEPA filtered, it is not mandatory to exhaust air to the outdoors.

What is a HEPA filter?

A filter is a device that traps and blocks small particles from going back into the air. A HEPA filter traps and blocks very small particles from getting back into the air. A certified HEPA filter is required and tested to trap particles as small as .3 microns with 99.97 % efficiency. One micron is 1/1,000,000 of a meter. A 0.3-micron particle is 300 times smaller than a human hair and 30 to 50 times smaller than the human eye can see.

Where is a HEPA filter used?

In medical research centers, Atomic research centers, nuclear power plants, hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturing, HAZMAT service contractor (lead paint, asbestos, Anthrax, mold clean up).

Which particulates can HEPA filtered Portable Air Scrubbers capture?

HEPA filtered Portable Air Scrubbers are designed to capture a wide range of particles, including a HEPA filter tested and certified to remove 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns and larger, to provide "operating room clean" filtered air.

Why is HEPA filtration required during mold abatement, disaster restoration and renovation projects?

HEPA filters are the only type of filter recognized by USEPA, CDC and other government agencies, and by environmental health professionals as effective for capturing these invisible particles and microbial spores that can potentially cause fungal infections.

How often do Abatement HEPA filters need to be changed?

Typical average filter life with continuous operation:
Primary filter: 1 day
Secondary filters: 3-7 days
HEPA filter: 800 hours
However, actual life can vary based on the size and concentration of airborne contaminants, temperature, humidity conditions and duration of use.

Will Air Scrubbers remove odors?

Yes, when equipped with special 2-inch deep Vapor-Lock carbon filters. These high-performance filters provide substantially more odor adsorption (not absorption) capacity than most other carbon filters, and are effective against a wide array of commonly encountered odors.

What is the difference between a Negative Air Machine and an Air Scrubber?

Same thing, different terminology. Here are some other well know terms that are commonly used: Air Mover, Air Cleaner, Clean Air Machine, Neg Air Machine, Air Purifier, Hepa Air Cleaner

How is the amount of airflow that must be removed from the containment zone to maintain negative pressure calculated?

The general rule of thumb is that at least 10% more air must be exhausted from the area than is supplied to it. For example, if 500 CFM is coming into the work zone, then at least 550 CFM must be filtered and exhausted by the HEPA-AIRE PAS. A larger airflow differential will of course add a margin of safety.

Why do I need to monitor air pressure in the work area during the project?

Room pressure conditions should be monitored to ensure that proper pressure relationships are maintained and have not been compromised for some reason. Portable and fixed differential pressure monitors provide a reliable way to continuously monitor and document pressure conditions 24/7.

What if we don't/can't exhaust the filtered air to the outside?

Negative pressure will still be maintained if the HEPA filtered air is exhausted into an adjacent area inside the building. HEPA-AIRE PAS can also be utilized for continuous air cleaning, by recirculating 100% of the filtered air within the containment area. This will boost the ACH in the project zone and provide HEPA filtration, but it will not create negative pressure.

Will HEPA air machines remove odors?

Yes, when equipped with special 2-inch deep Vapor-Lock carbon filters available for all models. These high-performance filters provide substantially more odor adsorption (not absorption) capacity than most other carbon filters, and are effective against a wide array of commonly encountered odors. Special Vapor-Lock filters are also available for capturing certain low molecular weight compounds that are not effectively captured by carbon alone.

Can negative air machines also be used for positive pressure?

All models can be configured to create positive pressure in an area by locating the machines outside of the area and ducting clean, HEPA-filtered exhaust air into that area. This configuration is most often used to protect a room or area from airborne contaminants in other parts of a building.

Does The Air Machine Superstore offer any solutions for capturing and removing particles that drop out of the air and land on walls, floors and other surfaces?

Yes. Surfaces should be frequently cleaned with a HEPA vacuum to further reduce the chance that harmful particles could migrate out of the area and become airborne again.

How often do Abatement HEPA filters need to be changed?

As the filters become loaded with particulate matter, the airflow capacity of the unit decreases and the static pressure differential across the filter increases. All models are equipped with easy-to-read and simple to use filter change indicator lamps that illuminate when filters should be replaced. Unlike gauges, these lamps do not require operator interpretation or calculations.

With all of the performance and quality features, will I be able to afford a negative air machine?

Our units may cost more than some other units initially, but portable air scrubbers are an investment, and cheap products are usually cheap for a reason. As the sayings go, “You get what you pay for” and “You can pay me now, or pay me later” applies in this situation. Unfortunately, too many contractors have learned the hard way how costly a low-priced piece of equipment can be if it does not perform properly, is too big and bulky, and breaks down often.

What accessories are needed for negative pressure applications?

Flex ducting, extra filters and other items are sold as accessory products.