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Community and Q&A

Air Scrubber Plus

Shaun Kennedy | Posted in Mechanicals on

I am considering installing an Air Scrubber Plus system on Zone 1 for my house. I have a coworker who has installed one and says it has worked great for treating indoor air (particularly cooking smells). I was curious if this system is worth the money? Is it worth it given the lifecycle cost – replacement of the bulb (almost as much as the system)?

Just looking for anyone who knows more about UV bulb filtration, the risk vs. reward, and in particular about this manufacturer and their product.

The link to the air scrubber plus is here: http://www.airscrubberplus.com

Thank you!

Shaun Kennedy

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Replies

  1. Richard Beyer | | #1

    Read before you buy...

    http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/residair.html

    There are numerous links to read within the attached link. Be smart about your purchase. There's no one size fits all with indoor IAQ cleaning devices. There's no regulation for these companies to abide by so, snake oil is sold every where!

    FYI... Cooking odors are best ventilated at the source. ie; range hoods

  2. Robert Hronek | | #2

    When it said it cleaned surfaces my mind jumped to ozone. If you look at the green box....HOW IT WORKS, the bottom center shows ozone. You dont want ozone, ozone is a caustic gas at high levels,

    Years ago consumer reports reviewed air cleaners that produced ozone. The article said that ozone at levels below EPA levels would not clean surfaces. Above EPA levels and you cant be in the house and must air out before entering. So either the ozone is at a low level and is not effective and potentially harmful to breathe or it is at high concentrations,

    Ozone at high levels is effective at breaking down organic matter. But at those concentrations it will kill plants and even fish in an aquarium. It will even break down elastic with enough time. Look up Ozone generators and smoke restoration.

    UVC on the other hand is very safe if you are not exposed to the light. Ozone disrupts the DNA of viruses, bacteria, etc, Most of the time is does not outright kill the organism but damages them enough that they cant reproduce. They are used in hospital operating rooms and reduce infection rates. UVC does not produce byproducts, UVC light may be beneficial but the bulbs have a life span of about 12 months, Although the bulbs may produce light for several years the UVC output diminishes to the point they lose effectiveness after a year.

    Ozone is produce by lightening. It sounds like that is what they are referring to when saying JUST LIKE NATURES OUTDOOR AIR SCRUBBERS. Ozone is also a byprouct of electronics. here is a good read

    http://www.propex.com/C_f_env_ozon.htm

  3. Shaun Kennedy | | #3

    Thank you! This is very helpful.

    I have a friend who is an HVAC tech and he has access to an APCO whole house air purifier and also a PURE whoe house UV air purifier. I'm probably going to try one of the two. I hate to basically re ask the same question here, but if anyone knows anything about either of these two products I would greatly appreciate it.

    Mr. Beyer and Mr. Hronek - thank you very much for your info - both very helpful. I am weary of a "snake oil" product myself and the Ozone was a concern right off the bat. It doesn't help that most HVAC companies aren't well versed in how these products work or the TRUE cost/benefit analysis. They are usually just out to sell whatever they have....

    Thanks again!

  4. User avatar GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #4

    Tom,
    If you can point to a third-party study by a university researcher, please provide a link to the published paper.

  5. Robert Hronek | | #5

    This is just a thought and no science behind it. If this product cleans surfaces what about your body. Your eyes and inhaling it, what are the effects. I would think it cant be good. If it is killing viruses and bacteria what is the effect on your body,

  6. Jesse Smith | | #6

    Blinded, randomized controlled trials are the standard by which health interventions should be tested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randomized_controlled_trial

    The EPA link from Richard touches on this:

    "Many studies have associated air-cleaning devices with reductions in airborne indoor pollutant concentrations, but more clinical studies are needed to determine whether air cleaners significantly affect health outcomes."

  7. Richard Beyer | | #7

    Tom,

    I hope your target market is not those living in homes and those with respiratory ailments after learning your machine generates Ozone. "We offer one version of Air Scrubber Plus that uses extremely small amounts of ozone to reduce odors quickly." It's already proven small concentrations are not effective enough to cure a home of problems, but are effective enough to damage lung tissue and cause other ailments.

    http://home.howstuffworks.com/air-purifier2.htm

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2008/02/sharper_image.html

    http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/environmental_health/eoha/pdf/ozone_generator_fact_sheet.pdf

    Just my opinion. Be safe people and read between the lines.

  8. Richard Beyer | | #8

    In my opinion, fabric style filters are proven to capture and reduce indoor particulate when sized correctly to the home. Activated carbon, Alumina, Potassium Permanganate and/or blends used by the "pound's" is proven to reduce a host of VOC's safely. The down side...these minerals and machines to house the minerals are very expensive and require change out's quarterly to annually depending on the nature of the VOC's in question. In some cases, the waste may need to be disposed of in a hazardous waste facility costing more money.

    There is another machine used commercially on the market with questionable supporting science known as a Hydroxyl generator. It's believed that when installed and left to operate indefinitely it will destroy indoor air pollutants safely without harm to the body. Ozone manufacturer's claim there's no method to capture and measure hydroxyl's due to it's extremely short shelf life therefore, it's snake oil. Can we believe anyone and are we willing to risk our health to learn after the fact it's harmful? That's best left up to you if you think your health is worth the risk.

  9. Tom Lozano | | #9

    I am the Executive Director of Air Scrubber Plus and appreciate the opportunity to respond to your post.

    Regarding Ozone: We offer one version of Air Scrubber Plus that uses extremely small amounts of ozone to reduce odors quickly. The ozone levels on these units comply with all of the following governmental agencies: EPA, FDA, OSHA and California Air Resources Board.

    We also have an ozone-free version of the Air Scrubber Plus available. This version also reduces odors, but not as quickly.

    As far as reducing germs on surfaces with ozone, the other poster is correct. You cannot reduce germs on surfaces unless you use extremely high levels. Ozone is not what is cleaning surfaces with our product. What Air Scrubber Plus technology uses to reduce microbes and contaminants on surfaces is a minute amount of hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyls, and superoxide ions. This has nothing to do with lightning or ozone.

    Validation: This product has been tested and validated more than any other IAQ product in existence to my knowledge. There are over 1500 pages of studies in 5 different languages done on this technology. Two of those studies are the highest level of validation and cost a million dollars to complete. These are university tests that are then peer reviewed (tests must be verified by scientific authorities in other areas) before being published in a respected scientific journal.

    Costs: The cost of the cell replacement, which includes the light, is much less than the cost of the unit itself.

    Technology: An early version of this technology was developed by NASA for use on the international space station, and is far more advanced than a PCO (a unit that uses titanium dioxide only.)

    Please feel free to contact me at our corporate office for any additional questions about our product: 803-424-0103

    Sincerely,

    Tom Lozano
    Executive Director
    Air Scrubber Plus
    803-424-0103
    http://www.airscrubberplus.com

  10. Todd W | | #10

    I want to share a brief response on behalf of Air Scrubber Plus and try to address several of the questions and comments above.

    The key oxidizers created by ActivePure Technology to clean the air and surfaces are the following:

    • Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2)
    • Hydroxyls (OH-)
    • Super Oxides (O2-)

    According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), exposure to one part per million (1.0~ ppm) of hydrogen peroxide is considered safe throughout the day. ActivePure
    Technology produces only 0.02 ~ 0.04 ppm, well below the OSHA limit.

    The Hydroxyls produced by ActivePure Technology are the same as those produced naturally in the earth’s atmosphere by the reaction of UV rays and water vapor. Hydroxyl ions are completely safe for
    human, animal and plant exposure indoors

    ActivePure Technology utilizes a UVC light source, naturally occurring O3, humidity and a photo catalyst to create super oxides. In the process of creating super oxides, the technology actually reduces the amount of ozone (O3) that naturally exists in the air.

    ActivePure Technology has been proven to create only minuscule amounts of ozone, at levels over one thousand times lower than the EPA safeguard levels. ActivePure Technology actually converts and lowers naturally occurring ozone into super oxides. A non-ozone version is also available.

    ActivePure Technology has consistently proven its ability to safely control and neutralize contaminants such as viruses, bacteria, mold, fungi and VOCs in numerous tests and studies.

    We invite anyone who would like to continue this conversation offline or learn more about our products to contact our executive team at 1-800-864-6585 or visit our company website at http://airscrubberplus.com/.

  11. Malcolm Taylor | | #11

    Todd, If I could offer a couple of suggestions that may help you convince people of the efficacy of your product in the future.
    When an executive of your company comes to a website like this and says that the Airscrubberplus has been proven effective by results published in scientific journals and is then asked to provide references, it's probably best to either do that or disappear. Choosing the third option of simply returning to restate earlier claims doesn't get you very far among a group of people with an interest in building science.

  12. Jesse Smith | | #12

    Malcolm - you're over-thinking it. He specifically said "numerous tests and studies." If that's not really good evidence, I don't know what is.

  13. Richard Beyer | | #13

    Well said Malcolm.

    Todd,

    Using OSHA as a basis to sell "safe" is a huge mistake on your part when your potential client is a private homeowner. OSHA has zero jurisdiction in the home and does not publish anything related to the safety of a homes air. Their jurisdiction ends with the employer - employee relationship. Should OSHA publish anything it will be limited to the 8 hour workforce exposure. The exposure in a home does not fall within their published limitations. Man made ozone in any amount is hazardous to health as published by numerous Department of Public Health documents illustrating lung damage. Hydroxyl as you should know can not be measured due to its limited shelf life. There's no bonafide science to use safe as a claim which potentially could be setting your company up for a a violation of the federal marketing laws to consumers.

    Please put up your evidence to support your claims and I would be very interested in the safety of your product around maturing children and that data to support it.

  14. Malcolm Taylor | | #14

    Jesse, I stand corrected.

  15. Carter Kellington | | #15

    Richard,
    You know the very first URL posted in the question? You should just try clicking on it before you start typing away and try to make your intelligence heard. We get it, you're a negative skeptic and you don't believe anything that you don't know. They reference Kansas State University for reduction of harmful air contaminants, and University of Cincinnati for health. Not to mention it's NASA certified. I don't know what you're trying to accomplish, but you should take a break from the comment posting. We hear you and all your opinions, bud.

  16. User avatar GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #16

    Carter,
    My favorite comment: "Not to mention it's NASA-certified."

    Whenever advertisers of building products start mentioning NASA, hold on to your wallet and run the opposite direction, fast.

  17. Carter Kellington | | #17

    Oh and "snake oil" is a term for salesmen that are knowingly aware that their product is fraudulent. I'm pretty sure they are very aware that their product definitely works, and yes there are videos and studies that demonstrate the reduction of diseases and other harmful pollutants. You can just edit/delete all your posts now, because they are "knowingly" aware their product is certified by NASA.

  18. Carter Kellington | | #18

    Lol thanks Martin. Very helpful.

  19. Dan Kolbert | | #19

    Remember Tang?

  20. Malcolm Taylor | | #20

    Carter,
    Ignore the naysayers. I'm also interested in the reduction in diseases, which are the scourge of mankind. Any chance you could send me an Airscrubber to try in return for an endorsement?

  21. Carter Kellington | | #21

    Haha sorry Malcolm. I actually don't work for the Airscrubber guys nor am I affiliated with them at all. I've seen a first-hand presentation so I just know that it works. As far as it being harmful to our health, I don't see how much worse it could be than breathing in harmful contaminants. I'd rather take my chances and die from it's side affects than any serious disease any day.

  22. Mike Schafer | | #22

    What makes this product different than the RGF Reme Halo? It seems like the exact same technology to me. Does this work better than the Fresh Aire APCO?

    I'm looking to install something in both of our units and want to make the correct decision for my family. We are plagued with DSS when our heat pump enters defrost and also when we just have the fan running in our system. Smell is bad that I never do that anymore. The smell does go away eventually after the heat/cool is running for a little while.

  23. Ben H | | #23

    Are they still in business or their website is down ?

    I'm also curious to read these reports of it's efficacy. I'd love to see some independent evaluations if they're there. For an average home how many harmful contaminants exist ? Anyone know a good source of independent testing for this type of product ? Certainly more modern homes with better sealing envelopes may be more prone to stale air but I'd want to see a real test (where people actually open doors and let in occasional fresh air) with and without an air cleaner product.

  24. User avatar GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #24

    Ben,
    This is an old Q&A thread -- it started in 2014. Since the thread started, I wrote an article on this topic that answers your questions. Here is the link: "All About Air Purifiers."

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