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Important Notes on Air Cleaning of Printer Solvents

Selection of Suitable Size / Model

Some air cleaners may appear to filter solvent vapours very effectively. However, these models usually have a filter media content which is suitable only for average concentrations of gases and chemicals found in ordinary home and office environments. The extremely high concentrations of airborne solvents generated by solvent printers may over-saturate the filters very rapidly making them ineffective after a short operational time (even a small printer may produce very high concentrations of solvents, especially in a small room).

Limiting Factors

Most printer solvent air pollution problems as "solvable", given the use of the right air cleaning technology, the right amount and quality of media and the suitable airflow rate for the room size. In fact, in most instances the limiting factor is not the lack of technology, but the available budget. Sometimes this may result in domestic air cleaners being used for professional air cleaning applications. 

Specific Situations

Air quality improvements will depend to a significant degree on room-specific and other factors. Important factors which will influence air cleaning performance include the following:

  • Type of air pollutants present
  • Intensity of the pollutant source(s)
  • Pollutant concentration
  • Humidity levels
  • Operating speed (air delivery rate) at which the unit is run
  • Saturation state of the filters within the air cleaner 
  • Size of the indoor environment 
  • Continuing infiltration of contaminants 

Many air cleaner brands overstate the air cleaning capabilities of their devices in order to make them more appealing to potential customers, IQ AIR prefer to be scientific about air cleaning and only state factual capabilities. 

Effective Results may not be recognised

Effective solvent vapour removal can only be measured with suitable measuring equipment. Even an impressive 80% solvent reduction may still not be "noticeable" or appreciated by the persons in the room. In fact, the air cleaner may reduce solvents effectively down to levels where they don't pose health risks, yet the presence of the remaining low solvent concentrations may still be noticed and regarded as unpleasant. 

Gas Removal More Effective at Lower Fan Speed

The removal of gases and chemicals will be better at low fan speeds than at higher fan speeds. Reason: the longer the contact or “dwell” time between the pollutant and the gas phase media, the more effective the adsorption rate and the better the removal efficiency. Therefore, running the unit at maximum fan speed is counter-productive.