Air Filtration review in Wood magazine

I just wanted to verify that I read those charts correctly....the regular box fan with a furnace filter duct taped to it out performed like 95% of the dedicated air filtration systems??? I've been thinking about buying one because I've been using an old attic exhaust fan with some furnace filters but maybe what I have is doing the job!
Greg
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I read that same article and my own experiences don't agree.
My box fans with filters are cheap, portable, and much better than nothing. However, a squirrel cage blower based unit, either shop made or purchased, clears the air far faster.
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B A R R Y Wrote:

I find it difficult to believe that a furnace filter mounted on a bo would filter down to 1 micron as the Delta and Jet air cleaners do wit their electrostatic and fine interior sock filters. After reviewin many air cleaning machines with fellow wood workers, we did determin that Delta, Jet, and EDS do an excellent job. I finally purchased a Jet 1000B unit because it is three speed, ha automatic shutoff after either 2, 4, or 8 hours so can can sand al day, run the unit after you go upstairs to bed. I liked the fact tha he had a separate controller that you could use like a vcr controlle without having to reach up to this ceiling hung unit. Now, I can begin to stain or varnish, or whatever other finish might want on my furniture and wood working projects without the finis being contaminated with dust in the air. Hope this helps. Oh yes, many of the guys built their own boxes wit filters mounted and they ALL went with the air cleaners and are happ they did so
-- Ron Johnson
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I thought the charts went the other way around...the box fan did okay, but was beaten by the dedicated systems.
Chris
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You read it correctly; the Wood magazine article appears very revealing, however:
I didn't see in the article any record of what MERV rating was used with the box fan, as tested. As discussed in the article's sidebar, it should make a big difference in performance, as well as in price and longevity of the filters. Ordinary, el-cheapo furnace filters won't remove much fine dust (i.e., won't do much for your lungs) and MERV-13 and above furnace filters are in the $15 price range. The article fails to mention anything about how long these last before becoming so clogged as to restrict air flow CFM. For that matter, the article fails to mention replacement cost or life of the high efficiency filters and pre-filters used in the commercial air filter units.
The apparent dramatic cost/benefit consideration favoring the box fan / furnace filter combo, fairly begs for a follow-on article devoted to it.
I suspect that ideal would be a filter sandwich comprised of a low MERV pre-filter to get the coarse dust and prolong the clog-free life of the expensive high MERV filter under it (i.e., closest to the fan inlet). Perhaps a simple ribbon tied to the outlet screen would suffice to provide an indication of reduced airflow as the filter(s) start to clog. It would sure be nice to see an article specifically on various box fan and filter combinations to help sort out these considerations.
The Wood magazine article also failed to identify the make and model of the box fan used in the test. Home Depot, Lowe's and Wal-Mart typically feature cheap box fans for $10-12 in the spring. Their design seems to changes a little each year. Anybody seen an article comparing makes and models of box fans for CFM and static pressure performance which could be significantly affected by blade shape and fan housing design as well as fan blade RPM. Call me cynical, but I can't help suspecting that box fan blades are designed more for ease and cost of molding than for performance efficiency.
David Merrill

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