Air Scrubbers and Negative Air Machines Are Useful Tools in Improving Air Quality

The impact that wild and structural fires have on indoor air quality can be quite severe. Whether a property is in close proximity to a fire or has been damaged directly by the flames, smoke can negatively impact the air quality within the building. Smoke damage requires specialized equipment and technicians to thoroughly and effectively restore the property back to a healthy and clean environment. 

Professional fire and smoke remediation experts use negative air machines and air scrubbers in order to clean the air as thoroughly as possible. Many indoor air solution companies, like Alliance Environmental, make their air scrubbers and negative air machines available for short-term rental. This is useful for ensuring the air is clean and odor-free in a variety of situations without having to invest in pricey machines that will only be used sporadically.

Dangers of Lingering Smoke Particles

Poor air quality due to excessive smoke can cause a variety of health concerns that are especially dangerous for people who are very young, elderly, pregnant, have diabetes or have lung/heart conditions. Short-term symptoms can include burning eyes, runny nose, cough, phlegm, wheezing and difficulty breathing. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), smoke is a dangerous collection of gasses and burned particles. When the microscopic particles are inhaled, they can cause lasting health problems. Some studies have looked at the effects of long-term smoke inhalation in firefighters, concluding it can increase the rate of: 

  • Cardiovascular disease 
  • Lung disease 
  • Cancer

So, it is extremely important that proper measures are taken to thoroughly clean the air in order to avoid these dangerous symptoms. 

How Do Air Scrubbers Work? 

Air scrubbers are specialized filtration devices used to remove all traces of dangerous gasses and harmful particles from the air. High-RPM motors push contaminated air through multiple filters, including pre-, primary, HEPA and carbon filters, where the air is cleaned and purified and all the microscopic particles and droplets are removed. Powerful blowers return the air to the room once it moves through all the filters. 

Air scrubbers are extremely effective at cleaning viruses, bacteria, and chemical odors and are typically used continuously for 24 to 48 hours in order to effectively clean the air in any given room. Some circumstances may require more or less time. A professional air quality expert is able to recommend the appropriate length of time that an air scrubber should be used.

What Does a Negative Air Machine Do? 

Negative air machines use similar technology to air scrubbers. Like scrubbers, they leverage innovative filters, motors and blowers to clean the air. Where they differ is in their use of ventilation to create a negative pressure within the room. After passing through various stages of filters, the air is forced through ducts leading out of a window or into a nearby HVAC system, always maintaining a lower internal pressure.

Also known as the vacuum effect, negative air pressure is useful within a space to trap contaminated air inside a room and make it extremely difficult for it to leak out into other areas. This effect can create a containment area in situations where toxic particles are likely to spread throughout the building, like during mold or asbestos remediation.

Air Scrubbers vs. Negative Air Machines

Air scrubbers and negative air machines are not just for smoke remediation but can also help resolve a number of air quality issues. Both systems utilize charcoal filters to remove unpleasant odors from the air. When used together with HEPA filters, these devices can remove up to 99.97% of unwanted and dangerous particles, leaving behind clean and healthy air. 

Both devices come in a variety of sizes that are suitable for a variety of rooms. A certified air quality professional is able to recommend the appropriately sized machine for the size of space and level of contamination. While air scrubbers and negative air machines are similar, they have strengths and weaknesses, making them ideal for different situations. 

Uses of Air Scrubbers 

While air scrubbers can be set up to mimic negative air machines, they’re most reliable and cost-effective in removing particles and droplets within smaller-scale environments, including residences and restaurants. They efficiently remove all kinds of common air pollutants, toxins, pet dander and dust. Air scrubbers also provide benefits for homeowners in removing results of water damage and mold, leaving behind a pleasant-smelling and healthy environment. 

Air scrubbers also offer uses within commercial and industrial applications. They can serve factories, industrial facilities or construction sites, working closely with chemicals or gasses to eliminate any risk of toxic air contamination. Air scrubbers are also particularly effective in virus outbreak sanitization roles, making them extremely useful in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. 

Uses of Negative Air Machines

The asbestos industry first used negative air machines in the 1980s to offer proper ventilation and airflow within confined areas. Today, they’re useful for containing contaminants within a space while cleaning the air. They are often used during mold and asbestos removal in order to ensure that dangerous spores or other particles do not move into other areas of the structure while the problem is being remediated. 

They’re also utilized in large-scale operations at medical facilities within patient examination or infection rooms, isolating patient rooms and trapping pathogens inside them. This blocks airborne diseases from spreading throughout the site to keep patients, staff and visitors safe. You’ll also find negative air machines on job sites, warehouses and other expansive commercial locations.

Alliance Environmental Invests in Clean Air Solutions

Alliance Environmental Group is an industry leader in environmental remediation. We leverage our 26 years of industry knowledge to get the most from our innovative air scrubbers and negative air machines. Our highly trained service teams offer solutions that meet or exceed all OSHA and EPA guidelines. We’ve tailored our work to deliver best-in-class solutions to our customers and ensure they can trust us to tackle a wide variety of issues like smoke, asbestos and mold remediation. 

Contact us online to learn how Alliance Environmental can support your remediation needs. Or, start by requesting your free quote today!

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