How often should I change the filter in my Blueair unit?
In order to maintain the high performance level you expect from Blueair, we recommend filter replacement at a four-, six- or 12-month interval, depending on the model.
Why so often? The amount and type of indoor air pollution can vary dramatically from environment to environment. Some manufacturers claim an exceptionally long filter life for their units – some as long as 5 years! At Blueair, we tell you how often filters need to be changed in the real world, not under best-case conditions in a laboratory setting.
Clearly, replacing filters every few months increases the maintenance cost of your Blueair system. However, we believe you would rather know up front what it takes to keep your indoor air clean and healthy. Without regular filter replacement, your air cleaner is operating at only a small percentage of optimum performance.
To make maintenance as easy as possible, Blueair offers a convenient Filter Subscription Program in some countries that automatically delivers your replacement filter kit at the recommended replacement intervals.
If you'd rather keep track of filter replacement yourself, you may obtain filters from your Blueair dealer, retailer or order directly from Blueair. With regular filter replacement, you are assured best of class performance for the life of the system.
What type of Blueair filter do I need?
Choose a filter type based on the kinds of pollutants (particles and gases) that may be present in your particular environment. Blueair's standard HEPASilent™ filter is a Particle Filter that provides efficient filtration for environments where particles are the primary concern and gases are secondary. For any environment in which removing gaseous pollutants (including tobacco smoke) is a priority, we recommend the optional SmokeStop filter.
All Blueair systems incorporate patented HEPASilent™ technology, which combines mechanical and electrostatic filtration methods to capture 99.97% of the tiniest 0.1 micron particles and gases.
Blueair systems remove more of the smallest particles, compared to the HEPA systems of other manufacturers. They remove more dust than competitive units. Our standard filters are suitable not only for average homes with family members in good overall health, but also for families who need an extra level of protection for the elderly, small children or those with respiratory or cardiovascular illness.
Blueair's optional SmokeStop filter adds more gas adsorption capability and is recommended for removal of tobacco smoke, and for environments like workshops or workplaces where chemical fumes and gases are present.
For people with chemical sensitivities, and those whose asthma or allergies are provoked by strong odors and fumes, the SmokeStop filter provides an even higher level of protection.
Blueair units are also helpful in fighting the effects of smoke from forest fires.
How does HEPASilent™ technology achieve such high levels of filtration?
Most HEPA filter systems use only mechanical filtration, which as a standard, remove 99.97% of particles at 0.3 micron. Blueair's patented HEPASilent™ filter technology combines mechanical and active electrostatic filtration methods, in order to achieve higher efficiency and capture smaller particles than either mechanical or electrostatic filtration alone.
Mechanical filtration essentially strains out or intercepts mid-range particles (0.3 to 0.9 micron) in much the same way as a colander strains pasta. And just as tiny bits of pasta escape through the holes in a colander, the tiniest particles can float past the filter media and escape an air purification system.
Particles that mechanical filtration alone might miss are captured by the electrostatic component of Blueair's HEPASilent™ system. HEPASilent technology filters out 99.97% of particles at 0.1 micron, when operating at its lowest speed.
Our system moves all particles through a sealed ion chamber, where they collide with negative ions and pick up a very slight electrical charge. As they exit the ion chamber, particles are attracted to the positively charged pleats of the HEPASilent™ filter media. Rather than floating past the filter media, particles are captured and removed from your indoor air.
Most electrostatic systems charge the fibers of the filter media itself, rather than the particles. The charge naturally dissipates over time and renders the filter media less efficient. By constantly charging incoming particles, instead of the filter fibers, HEPASilent™ technology keeps on working effectively and reliably.
Ionization does produce trace amounts of ozone, a gas known to irritate compromised lung tissue. Blueair systems use a very low electrical current to minimize ozone production and a sealed steel housing surrounding the ionization chamber to keep ozone contained. For more protection, our activated carbon filter adsorbs any ozone particles that may escape from the encapsulated ionization chamber.
In fact, testing shows that the ozone concentration in our system's output air is actually lower than in the incoming air. Blueair's electrostatic system is no threat to health, even for those with respiratory illness.
Can Blueair systems remove indoor gases?
Yes. The Blueair air purification system can remove gases and fumes such as tobacco smoke, auto exhaust, chemical fumes, smoke from forest fires and gases released by synthetic building materials.
The standard HEPASilent™ filter is made of polypropylene, which help mechanically filter out airborne particles. To maximize filter effectiveness, particles are negatively charged by the Blueair unit before reaching the filters.
The optional SmokeStop filter uses activated carbon media to trap gases and odors. We recommend the enhanced SmokeStop filter for removing tobacco smoke and for any indoor environment where gaseous pollutants are present. Such environments might include work or hobby rooms (where strong glues and paints are used) and kitchens.
How do gases find their way indoors? The use of chemical-based household and personal cleaners, indoor pesticides, and aerosols of all kinds has dramatically increased our exposure to gaseous pollutants, which often linger inside today's tightly sealed, energy-efficient homes.
Other gases may be introduced into your indoor environment when the plastics, binders and glues in synthetic building materials, carpets and furnishings release particles into the air in a process called outgassing. Combustible gases from heating systems may also be present.
Outgassing can be a particular problem with new synthetic carpets and upholstery, paints and interior wall treatments, and even the pressed furniture that is popular today. All may produce noticeably strong odors and correspondingly high levels of gaseous contaminants, which diminish over time. Installing a SmokeStop filter during and after remodeling can temporarily increase your unit's air cleaning power when outgassing is a problem.
These irritating gases may be a factor in a host of illnesses related to indoor air pollution, from respiratory disease to chemical sensitivity. Even strong odors are known to have a significant effect on asthma. Blueair offers two levels of protection from the potential health problems associated with gaseous pollutants.
Standard HEPASilent™ filters incorporate non-toxic polypropylene filter media to trap particles and activated carbon filter media to remove gases. The optional SmokeStop filters offer added gas adsorption capability and are otherwise identical to standard Blueair system filters in terms of particle filtering ability, filter life and size. You simply replace the standard filter with the enhanced SmokeStop.
You can order any Blueair SmokeStop filters directly from this site by clicking here
Can Blueair systems trap airborne bacteria?
The answer is a qualified "yes." Bacteria and viruses are trapped in Blueair filters.
No air filtration system is 100% effective at removing 100% of all bacteria and viruses. However, Blueair's combination of mechanical and active electrostatic filtration provides exceptionally high levels of protection. Our HEPASilent™ technology traps and removes 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.1 micron.
Airborne bacteria and viruses are a common source of respiratory infection and a particular threat to infants, the elderly and those with compromised immune or cardiovascular systems, including people with allergies, asthma, AIDS and heart disease. Some serious infectious diseases are spread through airborne bacteria or viruses, including whooping cough, meningitis and anthrax.
How large are the bacteria and viruses that threaten human health? According to the Pennsylvania State University Department of Aerobiological Engineering airborne pathogens database, health-threatening bacteria and viruses range in size from .018 micron to as large as 1.325 microns. Airborne pathogens larger than 0.1 micron include:
- Chickenpox virus (Varicella zoster) at 0.12 to 0.2 micron
- Smallpox virus (Poxvirus variola) at 0.14 to 0.3 micron
- Whooping cough bacteria (Bordetella pertussis) at 0.2 to 0.3 micron
- Pneumonia bacteria (Mycoplasma pneumoniae) at 0.2 to 0.3 micron
- Bronchitis bacteria (Chlamydia pneumoniae) at 0.2 to 0.4 micron
- Meningitis bacteria (Haemophilus influenzae) at 0.2 to 0.3 micron
- Tuberculosis bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) at 0.2 to 0.6 micron
- Diphtheria bacteria (Corynebacteria diphtheria) at 0.3 to 0.8 micron
- Scarlet fever bacteria (Streptococcus pyogenes) at 0.6 to 1.0 micron
- Otitis media bacteria (Streptococcus pneumoniae) at 0.8 to 1.0 micron
- Anthrax bacteria (Bacillus anthracis) at 1.0 to 1.25 micron
Does Blueair's ionization process produce dangerous levels of ozone?
No. The most stringent government standards for indoor ozone are those of the Food and Drug Administration for indoor medical devices, which specify that ozone output be no more than .05 ppm. In a closed test room with the Blueair 501 in operation, probes measured ozone levels at .003 ppm-a tiny fraction of the amount deemed hazardous to human health. Our design safeguards against excessive ozone production, and then removes ambient ozone particles from the air.
Specifically, the Blueair 501 system was subjected to the Ozone Test outlined in section 37 of the Electrostatic Air Cleaner Standard, UL 867. The unit was positioned in the center of a closed 100 square foot room. The unit's ozone output was tested continuously throughout 24 hours of normal operation. The test demonstrates that HEPASilent™ filter technology reduces ozone in a sealed room, despite the trace amounts of ozone produced as a by-product of ionization technology.
For more general FAQ's about air purification visit our help page by clicking here