Clean air is way more important than people realize. Not only does polluted air exist all around us, but it’s damaging to long-term health and short-term comfort, focus, creativity, and energy levels.
The following will explore the steps involved in setting up an air filtration system. The focus will be on workshops and other heavily polluted areas but can also be applied to residential homes.
Why Is This Important?
Every day, an insane amount of gunk gets pumped into the air. Our cleaning products and home repair products, new carpets, pesticide sprays (you’re not safe from chemicals in the countryside), cars, chemical processes and treatments, factories, and countless other things release fine particles into the air system that stay there for years (or sometimes for lifetimes).
A Harvard study found that 1 in 5 deaths of all people on the planet is related to outdoor air pollution. Additional studies have found that indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air on average.
Beyond the life expectancy harm that poor air quality has (children who play near roads are more likely to die younger because of the fumes released from cars), it also influences people’s mindsets and moods. It does this by causing congestion and/or requiring the body to work overtime to combat dangerous pollutants in the system.
This in turn influences mood, work performance, creativity, concentration, cognitive function, energy levels, dizziness, lethargy, ability to remember things, and focus. You might not realize it, but poor air can be slowing down workplace efficiency and leaving staff and customers feeling low whenever they walk in. Poor air can be making your kids’ homework harder than it has to be. It can be ruining your mood by zapping you of zest for life.
Measure Your Space
First and foremost, measure your space as the size of the area you want to be filtered is going to impact which filtration system is right for you. In addition to length and width, be sure to measure height.
Note Any Specific Concerns
Depending on what you make in your workshop, you might have a different type of particle in your air than someone else would have. Write down the contaminants you know of (there will be many you don’t know about, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?) and then research the size of these particles. This will let you know what type of filter you need.
Note Any Symptoms
If you or anyone else is congested in the space, has a runny nose or itchy throat, or any other air-related symptom, be sure to note these down as well. This information can again help you choose the type of filter you want.
Select A Fan
You will be able to purchase secondhand fans or new ones designed for filtration systems. If buying second hand, ask to plug it in and test it first as you don’t want a constant squeak going on while you’re working.
Contain The Fan In A Box
You’ll need to close the fan within a box as you want the air pulled in from one side and pushed out the other. Fans usually pull air in from the sides as well, so you need a container to better direct the air. Three quarter-inch or half-inch particle board can be used or a suitable alternative.
You’ll need to select and include a filter (ideally two) based on the information you collected above. You’re looking for a pre-filter that will handle the bigger things like little wood chips or whatever else ends up in your workspace and a particular filter that focuses on filtering particles in your air. Take note of when the manufacturer suggests you replace the filter so that you don’t lose air cleanliness as time goes on.
Optional: Ceiling Mounting
If you want your filter up on the ceiling (which many workshops do as space is vital), take the steps to properly secure your construction according to its weight. Be sure to tighten everything to reduce the vibrational sound and shaking. This step is, of course, optional.
Purchase A Prebuilt System
If this isn’t your kind of handiness, you can also purchase an air filtration system that is prebuilt. It will be more expensive and offer less flexibility but can still produce high-quality results. Again, be sure to look up the manufacturer’s guidelines for when filters need to be replaced.
The above tips should help you set up an air filtration system in your workspace. If you have multiple rooms, you might want to include multiple air filters to help keep things fresh and clean.