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Air filters / Ventilation

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Doc Manhattan

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In a few months I'll be moving into a space where I'll have a proper study/man cave. For a variety of reasons, I need to equip it with an effective ventilation and/or air filter system. (The actual smoke is the main consideration, not the aroma.) When the weather's warm, I intend to use mostly window fans for air circulation, but that leaves the other eight months to consider.

Any recommendations (brands, features, setups) for air filters and/or fans for an enclosed room? Your experiences/tips are greatly appreciated!
 

adauria

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I'll tell you what I just did recently in my office to make winter a little more bearable.

First I had (for a while) one of those in window units that have 2 circular fans that you can set to intake or exhaust (I got it on ebay for like $25 or 30 a couple of years ago... I think it's a Holmes 1 touch or something like that). I set that in my window and put both fans on the exhaust setting, run it on high.

I recently added a Kenmore 85254 Hepa filter unit with a charcoal pre-filter (used on ebay for $60... costs a bit more new and the replacement hepa filters are pricey, though if you just use it while smoking it doesn't need to be changed too often). I run that on the high setting on the floor near the window with the exhaust fans.

When I smoke, I close the door to my office and run both units. Most of the thick smoke goes out the window or through the hepa unit. When I'm done, I run it for a bit longer. I may also leave the hepa unit running overnight. All of the smell is gone in about 16-24 hours. My wife sits outside my office in the living room and claims not to notice the smoke (though we have very high ceilings in that room, to be sure).

Overall, it isn't perfect but it works for me if I don't over do it. I try to keep indoor smoking to once or a twice a week in the winter. I smoke outdoors whenever possible and convenient.

-Andrew
 

Doc Manhattan

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Thanks, Andrew. That's pretty close to one setup I was considering, and I'd wondered if the HEPA filters were worth the extra investment. (I've had some air filters before that were easy on the wallet, but I'm pretty sure didn't do very much besides make a loud humming noise.)
 

howellhandmade

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I find that for dealing with smoke, exhaust beats filtration by a mile. One of the window fan units, if it seals well enough, can create an airflow that will move the smoke out before it has a chance to collect. If you have forced air heat you need to block off the return vent or the furnace will trump the fan. The impact on your heating bill shouldn't be too bad if you only have the window open and the fan on while you're smoking. For residual odors, I think an ozone generator like an Alpine Air is most effective. It's what hotels use. You don't necessarily want to be in the room with the ozone generator while it's running and you don't want to overuse it in the same room you store your pipes (accelerates oxidation of vulcanite stems), but running it for a few minutes after you're done really does the trick.

Jack
 

Doc Manhattan

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Much obliged for the tips, Jack. The apt. has an unusual heating setup--I will definitely look deeper into that when planning.
 

Mikem

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I really don't have the "cold" problem here in Arizona but it gets mighty "toasty" here in the summer. I have one of those two fan boxed multi-speed fans that will either intake or exhaust. I built a box that fits the window pretty snugly and mounted the fan in it. I open the window to the edge of the box and it seems to be fairly air tight without allowing all of the heat into the room or the air conditioning out while the fan is on other than what the fan exhausts while running. When done smoking I just turn off the fan and then close the window. I would agree that exhausting the smoke gives you more bang for the buck then the air filtration systems with the hepa filters. I have one but it just doesn't seem to work as well as exhausting the pipe smoke. Your mileage may vary.
 

Doc Manhattan

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Thanks, Mike. Exhaust seems to be part of every effective method, so that's def. what I'll do first. It's a welcome perk that it's the least expensive approach, too.
 
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