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Bipolar Ionization

Has anyone had any experience with bipolar ionization units, they would like to share?  I am interested in both the duct mount and portable systems.

Comments

  • BillW
    BillW Member Posts: 198
    Do you mean electrostatic precipitators?

    If that's what you mean, they have a long history in IAQ solutions.  First designed for removing particles from the recirculated air on early nuclear submarines, they've been used in residential and commercial applications for many years.  A current passing thru a wire charges passing particles, which stick to the opposite charged collector plates, until they are washed off.  They work well with tobacco and cooking smoke, dust and other fine particles, but have no effect on odors, gases or vapors.  Typically the cells are washed at the beginning of the heating and cooling seasons, more often if circumstances warrant.  A dishwasher with a liquid or gel detergent cleans them, and clean rinsing is vital.  DO NOT use the drying cycle, it will only bake on any residue.  Handle carefully, and remember they will be hot when you take them out.  You can also soak them in a deep sink in a hot water/SimpleGreen solution, or hose then off outdoors. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.

    Whole-house duct mounted units are available from several manufacturers, and are installed by your local HVAC contractor.  Some retail fan forced single room portables are also available. Single room units that do not have a fan may still be around, Consumer Reports tested them extensively, and found them completely ineffective.  See their website for details.
  • CVGCAG
    CVGCAG Member Posts: 1
    Bi-Polar Ionization

    I myself use a small portable tower from AtmosAir whenever I travel, because I often find the air in hotel rooms unpleasant, or even downright irritating. I plug in my tower when I check in, go out to dinner while it's running, and come back to a fresh, clean smelling room, and get a great night's sleep. It bears no resemblance to electrostatic precipitators (negative ionizers).

    I can also offer many examples of people using these induct and portable systems ( we sell them) of very happy people that tried everything else, and found AtmosAir's technology the only one that got rid of their indoor air issues, like mildewy odors, awful smells, allergic reactions, asthma attacks, etc. We have dozens of testimonial letters from such customers I'd be happy to share, Attached is a document that compares the advantages of bipolar ionization over other technologies.
  • Bi polar units from AtmosAir have worked well for me

    I have had portable bi-polar ionizing units from AtmosAir

    since the beginning of 2010 and whenever I am in my office or house with a good

    level of ions my sinuses clear up in about 20 - 30 minutes. I bring the small

    one with me wherever I travel and even when I stayed at a friend's condo with

    cats, with the small unit (t400) in his daughter's bedroom where the cats

    usually sleep, I didn't have any bad reactions at all. (I expected some relief,

    but it was really good) A friend with 2 duct mounted ones told me

    that there is much less dust in the air and cooking odors usually disappear

    soon after the meals are eaten. There is a lot of information at the web site

    www.atmosair.com, so take a look there.  I highly recommend them for

    everyone because of how much they clean the air, like ions do in the mountains,

    but especially for anyone with asthma, allergies, or odors of any type. Nothing

    else I've seen or tried is nearly as good.
  • BillW
    BillW Member Posts: 198
    Is this new product?

    I don't recall seeing these devices until I visited their website.  They are not electrostatic precipitators.  I personally don't have any experience with them, and I would be happy to hear what any HVAC contractor, resi or commercial, has to say about them.
  • rlaggren
    rlaggren Member Posts: 160
    Ozone generators?

    Sounds like they may be low level ozone generators. Ozone is used to "eat" odor molecules. Higher levels are used to recover smoke damaged goods but that level is not healthy to people.



    Rufus
    disclaimer - I'm a plumber, not a heating pro.
  • BillW
    BillW Member Posts: 198
    According to their website...

    They say that their products don't generate ozone.  Commercial ozone units have been used to clean up smoke damage for years.
  • charlie3
    charlie3 Member Posts: 4
    Bipolar ionization and the use of Atmos Air from a contractors perspective

    Hello, I am an HVAC contractor in Virginia for over 17 years.  We have been involved heavily in indoor air quality for ten, and with atmos air for about 6 years.  We are very happy with the atmos air products.  We use the duct mounted systems in residential and light commercial applications with very positive results. We have also sold a few of the stand alone systems as well.  We were very very concerned about any products that create ozone and our first question to Atmos Air was: Is it safe? Does it create ozone? and Can you prove it third party?  They understood and provided us with all of the information to satisfy our concerns.  We have had many many happy customers with the system, and many who would not trade it for anything!  The positive changes to the air quality is very impressive.  Yes, I do have the system in my home and I as a consumer am very happy with it as well.   Charlie
  • BillW
    BillW Member Posts: 198
    Thank you.

    Glad to hear these are working for you and your customers. Do you team them up with a high-MERV filter, or electronic air cleaner to handle smoke & particulate? How effective are they at removing cooking smoke or tobacco smoke odors? BTW,  I don't mean built-up odors from years of smoking like you find in some houses.  Any maintenance?  Thanks in advance.
  • charlie3
    charlie3 Member Posts: 4
    bipolar continued

    Yes, our normal indoor air quality "package' would include a media filtration system (april aire most of the time) and a cleaning and sealing of the air duct system (and many times an enlargement of the return side, as most are too small to begin with)

    We dont overpromise on active issues like smoking and such, but when we talk with homeowners a few days after the installations, they are quite surprised by how much the machines do tackle or "eat" the smoke thats in the house, either from cooking or actual smoking.  Odors is a different story, as it really knocks odors out.

    The only maintenance is the replacement of the catalyst tube on an annual basis, so we time it with the replacement of the air filter (which we check at 6 and 12 mos) and the cleaning of the furnace or heat pump as well.  I hope this has helped, and I feel confident that you will not be disappointed.  Charlie
  • BillW
    BillW Member Posts: 198
    Thanks, Charlie.

    Sounds like you take good care of your customers.  I appreciate the update and your help.
  • charlie3
    charlie3 Member Posts: 4
    Your welcome!

    Bill, You are more than welcome!  Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions or concerns.  I know first hand how much "snake oil"products and theories  that are being offered out there in the world and the last thing I want to do is offer or promote something that doesn't work or can actually cause people harm.

    Charlie
  • Gordan
    Gordan Member Posts: 891
    edited February 2011
    Just a word of caution

    I do not mean this to be a challenge to any person or what they are saying, but when we get three testimonials in as many days from people who joined on the very same day they posted, this generally raises the concern (though by no means certainty) that there may be a viral marketing campaign in effect. People reading this and other sites may want to consult a reliable, trusted source before deciding upon adopting any new technology, moreso if its proponents are making some very strong claims vis-a-vis the competing technologies.



    Specifically, I'm curious about what positive and negative ions are produced, and what prevents them from interacting with each other in the supply ducts before they're ever able to "interact with oppositely charged elements" in the ambient air. Naturally, you should take my skepticism with a grain of salt, too. :-)
  • BillW
    BillW Member Posts: 198
    Bi-polar units.

    Hi, Gordon.  I can understand your concerns.  I do not represent any manufacturer. I hadn't ever come across these units, and simply asked for contractors who had for what their opinions and experiences were.  Charlie was the only one who responded.  I wholly agree that consumers should do their homework before making any decisions, and after nearly 40 years in this business, I well know that there are products out there that will solve problems, and those that will cause them. No offense taken or meant.  Take care.
  • Gordan
    Gordan Member Posts: 891
    You're the host here

    You've been here for a long time, you've got a track record, you're not anonymous, and from what I've seen you tend to be cautious and nuanced with your claims, so I'd definitely NOT extend my skepticism toward your motives. Your gracious sharing of your knowledge and experiences here is greatly appreciated by this reader.
  • charlie3
    charlie3 Member Posts: 4
    bipolar continued

    Hello, this is Charlie, who responded as a contractor about the atmos air products.  Let me first clearly say that there is a whole lot of "snake oil products and solutions" out there in the air quality, green, efficiency, etc. fields.  and I am the first to state "do your homework" and investigate any and all products thoroughly before thinking of purchasing them.  and that solutions are not always "in a magic box" but rather finding the source of your problems and containing, controlling or removing that source is always our first goal.

    My background or my companys background is heating oil and service, and in fact I have attended a few of Dan Holohans classes at NAOHSM (oil heat service managers) meetings a few years ago (and they are great classes btw...)

    I was tasked about ten years ago to focus on indoor air quality, weatherization, "green", etc. to learn as much as I could about it, and to offer real solutions that really work for our customers health, safety, and overall comfort.  I went to the right schools, got the right certifications (CIE; Certified Indoor  Environmentalist) for indoor air quality, and BPI (Building Performance Institute) for weatherization, blower doors, air sealing, etc.  and many more... 

    We did not and do not "jump in" to any products or fads, we carefully researched atmos air and actually waited until  another contractor that I highly respected (and is very highly respected in the industry) used the products a few times successfully before we got involved with them.

    How did I get on this blog?  While I have visited here before, I spend most of my time on our ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America) and HVAC service roundtable blogs... I only responded here on a request from our marketing / website person, (who was looking at this and other blogs for newsletter ideas) and saw the questions about bipolar ionization, and knew that I focused on "that IAQ stuff" and that I should take a look and possibly help....

    I know this was lengthy, but I hope I have helped and not confused anyone even further...If you need or want further assistance, or want to know anymore about me or the company I work for, etc. please feel free to ask (I am not sure of the correct protocol on this site for names or being anonymous, etc....)

    Charlie
  • kat7075
    kat7075 Member Posts: 4
    admin

    Sorry to come in so late on the conversation, but I just came across it. We have been offering AtmosAir bipolarization air cleaners for some time and have one in the shop. We always like to try out new products before offering them to our customers so we can have a first hand basis to recommend. A number of our employees have it as well, including my house.  It doesn't product ozone like some of the other products and it really has helped my family with allergies. One of our customers says it has reduced the odors in the home (from smoking) by more than 90%.  They are easy to install and we add the tube change to our maintenance agreements. I recommend it!
  • kat7075
    kat7075 Member Posts: 4
    admin

    Sorry to come in so late on the conversation, but I just came across it. We have been offering AtmosAir bipolarization air cleaners for some time and have one in the shop. We always like to try out new products before offering them to our customers so we can have a first hand basis to recommend. A number of our employees have it as well, including my house.  It doesn't product ozone like some of the other products and it really has helped my family with allergies. One of our customers says it has reduced the odors in the home (from smoking) by more than 90%.  They are easy to install and we add the tube change to our maintenance agreements. I recommend it!
  • kat7075
    kat7075 Member Posts: 4
    admin

    Sorry to come in so late on the conversation, but I just came across it. We have been offering AtmosAir bipolarization air cleaners for some time and have one in the shop. We always like to try out new products before offering them to our customers so we can have a first hand basis to recommend. A number of our employees have it as well, including my house.  It doesn't product ozone like some of the other products and it really has helped my family with allergies. One of our customers says it has reduced the odors in the home (from smoking) by more than 90%.  They are easy to install and we add the tube change to our maintenance agreements. I recommend it!
  • kat7075
    kat7075 Member Posts: 4
    admin

    Sorry to come in so late on the conversation, but I just came across it. We have been offering AtmosAir bipolarization air cleaners for some time and have one in the shop. We always like to try out new products before offering them to our customers so we can have a first hand basis to recommend. A number of our employees have it as well, including my house.  It doesn't product ozone like some of the other products and it really has helped my family with allergies. One of our customers says it has reduced the odors in the home (from smoking) by more than 90%.  They are easy to install and we add the tube change to our maintenance agreements. I recommend it!
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    Long history.

    Electrostatic precipitators have an even longer history than what you imply.



    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Electrostatic_precipitator
  • interesting

    posting only so i can bookmark..........vvv
  • njwebdevguy
    njwebdevguy Member Posts: 33
    Bipolar ions used to reduce ESD in electronics manufacturing

    In my experience, bipolar ionization is used to neutralize static electricity in electronics assembly and clean room situations. Most people have seen the grounded hand straps that people use when they work on electronic equipment.



    A small spark can fry an expensive component, so solutions like conductive flooring, conductive shoes, arm straps, and these bipolar ionizers are used to reduce the incidence of ESD damage. I sometimes do small scale electronics work at home and I use a hand strap. Ive thought about getting a biploar ionizer. But the commercial units are pretty expensive.



    I have a negative ionizer, but I rarely use it because in my experience, the effect it creates is a mixed bag. It definitely pulls everything out of the air, but those particles might otherwise leave my home and not attach to anything. The ionizer makes them grab onto the walls, etc. making them dirtier.  Ive thought about making an electrostatic precipitator so that the efect could be confined to a box I would mount in the airflow coming out of my hrv and going to the house. As a final stage of filtration. It could be switched to only go on while the HRV is operational and air is flowing appropriately.
  • njwebdevguy
    njwebdevguy Member Posts: 33
    All electronics

    All electronics sells very small potted ionizers (not the casing, just the voltage multiplier circuitry - I think they run on 12vdc.. for $5 last I looked. Note that they are negative ionizers..



    They might be ideal for an inline air cleaning application..the low voltage is attractive because it is easier to switch..
  • dust sticking to walls & clean room applications

    I've heard the same things from an engineer saw much more dust sticking to his walls and found cob webs a lot faster with a negative ionizer.  In clean rooms or operating rooms, bi-polar ionizers are great for most contaminant reduction but not for "0 ESD" rooms that might really need a perfect static balance for electronics.



     In all other areas, the bi-polar technology is superior to any other type. It produces positive & negative ions so the particles that become attracted to one another are neutralized & don't stick to surfaces. It does what nature does in killing microbials and breaking down VOCs too.



    Too bad mother nature can't get royalties for it!! 
  • njwebdevguy
    njwebdevguy Member Posts: 33
    edited November 2011
    UV light too

    The UV light from the sun is also important in killing microbials. Now if we only could all live by the sea (some major ion generation going on there!) and have rooms that could automatically open wide up to let the sun's rays in (without any glass in the way) when the weather was nice!



    Then we would be all set....  *sigh*





    Oh well, we can always dream, right.



    I think that seaside homes would have the problem of dust sticking to walls more if the air had more dirt and dust in it. As it is, usually the air is cleaner, so they balance out.
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