How To Choose The Right Air Purification System For Your Garage

Air Purifier For Garage Smells

Garage odors can be a pesky problem for car owners. Whether the smell is coming from your car or your garage, it can make you feel like you're living in a goldfish bowl.

For some people, this means driving to work with their windows up and their noses clogged shut.

For others, it means resorting to cover-up tactics that only patch up the problem temporarily and adding to the garbage pile of half-empty cans of air freshener lying around your house.

 

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Living in a garage, or using your garage to store your car, doesn't have to mean putting up with a stinky vehicle or living with a house that smells like a gas station.

We'll show you how to get rid of the smell fast by choosing the best air filtration system for your home or garage.

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What causes the smell in my garage?

There are two common causes of garage odors:

Your car is leaking fumes that mix with air and combustible materials like gasoline or drywall, causing an odor. Fumes from pet urine, trash and household chemicals can also cause the same kinds of odors. You're using too much "liquid air freshener" and you don't know it.

These sprays contain a chemical compound intended to mask an odor. However, they use the same ingredients that help keep your car and house smelling fresh, as well. They often evaporate quickly, so you might not realize that you've created a new problem.

Although we won't get into the nitty-gritty of what may be contributing to the smell in your garage, we've put together a list of tips on how to get rid of it for good!

Is a garage air cleaner necessary?

Garage air cleaners are becoming more common as homeowners and businesses alike deal with the hassle of odors in their garages and working areas.

Exhaust from vehicles can be especially troublesome. Since the back of the garage is where most people park their cars, it's the place where odors tend to build up. A garage air cleaner can help mitigate this problem and also improve the quality of your air in your home or business.

Are there other ways to get rid of a garage odor?

You may be able to reduce odor by tightening connections between your car and your garage; opening windows and vents; using a dehumidifier in your garage; and using an air purifier.

But if you can't get rid of the smell, consider investing in an air cleaner or air purifier. A system that uses the right filter and frees up the right amount of air through your home's or garage's system can make a difference and help eliminate unwanted odors.

How do I choose a garage air cleaner?

Before you invest in an expensive garage-air-filtration system, think about what features matter to you. If you're hoping to get rid of odors from your garage, look for a system that includes an activated carbon filter. This is a common solution for odor control because it removes organic chemical compounds from the air.

If you have pets or running vehicles in your garage, consider adding an ionizer to your system. An ionizer can help neutralize pet urine and other unpleasant smells, which may be the underlying cause of your bad odor. It's important to note that an ionizer doesn't filter odors; it only helps remove them temporarily after they've been released into the air.

For the best results with an ionizer, you'll want to set the system to run for a few hours before you leave home and a few hours after you come home. That way, when your garage is empty of people and pets, there's plenty of time to "charge" the unit and clean the air.

For some people, an ionizer can be too strong; in general, they should function at lower levels to guard against irritating smells. They may also produce ozone. If you have asthma or allergies, be sure to use at a low setting.

How do I purify my garage air?

There are two broad approaches to purifying your garage air - a chemical purge and an air purifier.

The chemical approach involves using an external chemical to clean the air: You'll need to use a product that removes odors or toxic gases from the garage. For example, you'd use a bleach or ammonia solution - mixed with water - in case you see signs of a gas leak.

You'll also want to use household cleaners such as bleach and ammonia for general cleaning strategies  and industrial-strength cleaning supplies for removal of grease stains, oil and other smelly stains .  Although most of these products are effective, they can be dangerous in high concentrations, so be careful when opening them.

The air purifier approach involves using a device to clean the garage air.  As we've already defined, an air purifier cleans the air via two methods: (1) filtration and (2) adsorption. Both methods leave the indoor air free of pollutants.

Which Features To Look For In An Air Purifier

Now that we've examined the different types of air purifiers, let's take a look at some of the most important features to consider when buying one.

Cost per Square Foot

First things first: your budget. It's likely that an air purifier is not on the top of your list for expensive home purchases, but it is important to remember that an air purifier is a purchase that carries out a valuable function.

Air purifiers can range widely in affordability, from about $100 to as much as $3,000. As a general rule of thumb, the more expensive the air purifier will be (and with some models, you will be paying upwards of $500-600) the better it will perform and have additional features and technology attached to it.

Filter Replacement Cost

If the air purifier you get uses filters that need to be replaced every few weeks or months, keep this in mind when deciding on a model. Also take into consideration how much the filters will cost and how easy they are to replace. If you can't afford to replace them regularly, then an air purifier might not be for you. Most people who have allergies will need to spend more on replacement filters than those who don't.

HEPA Filter

A HEPA filter is one of the most important features to look for when buying an air purifier. HEPA stands for "high-efficiency particulate air." HEPA filters are made from layers of screening with a filter material in between. HEPA filters are the best way to eliminate particles and allergens from the air, which is why they are used in hospitals and other high-risk environments, such as clean rooms.

HEPA filters will cost more than models that don't use HEPA technology, but they're the most effective type of filter your home or garage can get. Think about how much you like to be around people who have allergies and how clean you like your air to be.

Electrostatic Filter

While the importance of an HEPA filter cannot be understated, electrostatic filters are also important to have in your home or garage. Electrostatic filters work by using a metal plate that causes the particles on it to stick together, which is then sucked out of the air as it passes through a fan.

Electrostatic filters are less effective than HEPA filters in terms of particle and odor capture, but they work faster and can be used in much smaller spaces (and thus less expensively). They're good for removing smoke odors and pet dander, but not good for getting rid of kitty litter odors.

Activated Carbon Filter

Activated carbon filters are also a type of filter that you'll get from most air purifiers. Activated carbon is a material that was created millions of years ago by bacteria, which is why it's referred to as "organic" or "natural." It's often found in nature and is effective at filtering odors.

Most models use activated carbon in their filters, with the exception of HEPA filters. Because most people aren't allergic to smells (as opposed to people with allergies), the effectiveness of an activated carbon filter will be less than that of an HEPA one. So while it isn't going to capture as many odors, it may be enough for you if you don't have any serious allergies.

Air Flow And Velocity Settings

This is the second most important feature to look for in an air purifier, next to the filter. Air flow and velocity settings will determine how much air is pushed in a specific area.

Most air purifiers will measure something called cubic feet per minute (CFM). Air purifiers with higher CFM ratings will push more air and cover more area at a faster rate than those with lower ratings. It's important to note that the CFM rating is even more important than the Watts rating.

Watts measures how quickly an appliance uses energy, while CFM measures how quickly an appliance moves, or pushes, air through the home or garage.

Are They Effective For Garage Smells?

Yes! There are models available that are made specifically to combat the strong odors of a garage, they also reduce the following;

Allergens

Allergens and dust mites are two of the most common problems in a garage. The air is heavy with micro-organisms since there is usually a lot of dust in the area. Both allergens and dust mites can trigger allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to them, such as asthma and allergies.

Pollen

Pollen is another of the most common problem faced by people who live in garages. Garages are usually full of dust, and all that exposure will lead to irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. Allergens and dust mites will also contribute to allergy symptoms.

Smoke and Odor

Garages are usually full of old materials, which leave a lot of residue on all surfaces that can be smoky or have a strong odor. Participants in DIY projects or home repair will often use volatile substances such as paint thinners, solvents and petrol fuels, which give off unpleasant fumes when mixed with oxygen or the heat from the sun.

Dust Mites

Dust Mites are the microscopic creatures that thrive in warm and humid environments. They are found in bedding, carpets, pillows and upholstered furniture. Dust mites can cause allergic reactions in the respiratory tract, wheezing, watery eyes, sneezing and rashes.

Bacteria

Bacteria are the single most important type of air pollutant. Most people who have allergies are allergic to bacteria, not all the other particles in the air. Bacteria and their byproducts cause many of the lung problems associated with respiratory illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis.

Mold

Mold is probably the most common problem that people who live in garages experience. When there is moisture, mold will grow and cause respiratory irritation. It can also be a source of allergies.

Better Health Overall

If you live in a garage, you probably know the frustration of living with dust, odors, pollen and allergens. But even if you choose not to live there, it's still your responsibility to keep it clean and healthy. Research has linked exposure to allergens and other irritants with high blood pressure, heart disease and depression.

So while a garage doesn't seem like the perfect place for health (it isn't), having a cleaner one is better than leaving it dirty. With an air purifier in your garage, you'll get rid of all pollutants that you don't want in your home, whether it's dust or smoke smells. You'll also have a happier family since they won't have to worry about allergies or irritations on their skin or in their throats and noses.

Conclusion

We've covered a lot in the last two sections of this guide. Although, it still isn't all that much, we hope you've learned something new and can now make more informed decisions when purchasing your air purifier for your garage.

In this guide, we've taught you all about catalytic and ionic purifiers. We've gone over the different types of air purifiers available on the market today, as well as how to choose the best model for your specific needs.

We've also explained why HEPA is one of your only two options when it comes to the air filter type in an air purifier. Not only do we go over why it's so important feature in your home or garage, but we also teach you how to find a HEPA filter that works well for you and your family.

  • FDA-cleared to destroy viruses: Molekule Air Pro is FDA-cleared as a 510(k) Class II medical device to destroy viruses, bacteria and mold and trap 95% of particles 0.3-1 micron in size.
  • Designed to meet the needs of large residential or business spaces up to 1000 sq. ft. or high-traffic areas, with 3x the airflow of Molekule’s award-winning consumer devices.
  • PECO-powered: Breakthrough PECO technology doesn’t just collect pollutants, it destroys them
  • Particle sensor: detects a range of air particles in three sizes, to better understand what’s in your air, from PM10 (pollen) and PM2.5 (dust), to smaller than PM1 (smoke).
  • Two Auto Protect modes: Standard and Quiet automatically regulate fan speed based on particle levels, at noise levels ideal for day or night, as well as a 6-speed manual mode.
  • Smart & connected: Easy-to-control touch-screen interface. For added convenience, connect it to your WiFi and control it remotely using the iPhone or Android app.
  • Portable: With its vegan leather handle, Molekule Air Pro can be easily carried and placed anywhere in the home or business.
  • No ozone. No worries: Not only does Molekule Air Pro not emit ozone, it destroys it.
  • Ready to purify: Comes with a 6-month PECO-Filter. Automatic filter refills available on Molekule website.
  • Whisper quiet: 33-decibel low speed is sonically unobtrusive.
  • The BioGS SPA-550A air purifier will filter all the air in a room up to 550 sq. ft. twice in an hour on the highest setting.
  • BioGS HEPA Filtration with 4 stages of purification and deodorization. The BioGS HEPA and Charcoal-Based Activated Carbon Filters will last up to three years, based on 12 hours daily operation. The Pre-Filter is washable.
  • An ultra quiet BLDC motor operates at five different speeds. It’s virtually silent at low speed.
  • Energy Star certified units will not run up your energy bill.
  • Backed by industry leading five-year warranty and 24/7 lifetime technical support. Won several prestigious product design awards including Germany Red Dot award, Good Design Award by Chicago Athenaeum and Japan Good Design Award (G-Mark).
  • Coway Mighty (AP-1512HH) is designed to accommodate room sizes up to 361 sq.ft (CADR: Dust 246 / Pollen 240 / Smoke 233 cb. ft.). Air Flow Control: 5 Stages (Auto / 1 / 2 /3 / Eco)
  • 4 Stage Filtration System (Pre-filter, Deodorization filter, True HEPA filter, Vital Ion) captures and reduces up to 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in the air, including pollen, pollutants and other allergens. It also reduces volatile organic compounds and reduces odor.
  • Coway Mighty pollution sensor communicates indoor air quality in real-time. The brightly colored LED lets you know how clean or dirty your indoor air is every minute of the day. And it features a timer, and filter lifetime indicator.
  • Fan speeds available in 1, 2, 3 stages by manually setting up. While auto mode automatically optimizes the speed setting 1 through 3 based on the level of indoor air quality. When no pollution is detected for 30 minutes, the fan will automatically stop and set as Eco mode to save energy.
  • Timer feature allows the machine to run 1/4/8 hours before automatically powering off.
  • Filter replacement indicator checks both Pre-filter and HEPA filter respectively to let users be aware of when to wash or replace the filter.
  • 77 W power consumption and quiet operation with noise level ranging from 24.4 dB to 53.8 dB.
  • Limited manufacturer's warranty covers any internal/functional parts for 1 year and motor and electronic parts for 3 years. Filters are excluded.
  • Won the Best Air Purifier of 2018 at Wirecutter and ranked 1st place at the TopTenReviews.

Other Questions

Do allergists recommend air purifiers?

Air purifiers are more effective than any other filter designed to remove indoor air contaminants such as odors, viruses and bacteria. But allergists do not recommend a specific type of air purifier for allergy sufferers. Allergists recommend the use of HEPA filters (which capture larger particles) or activated carbon - organic versions of activated carbon - as opposed to ionic, electrostatic and "ultrasonic" types.

Can I build a room in my garage?

Building a room in a garage is a topic that has been debated for years. While there are several disadvantages to building one (all siding costs money, there is typically no insulation, leaks can occur), this type of home improvement can be done cost effectively today.

Can you pressure wash the inside of a garage?

If you want to clean up the inside of a garage and get rid of a lot of dust, you can pressure wash it with a chemical wash. We recommend using a chemical wash every six months or so. But you should know that, although pressure washing can clean up the inside of your garage, it can also damage drywall.

Can living in a garage make you sick?

If you live in a garage, you can be exposed to a number of indoor pollutants. Pollutants such as dust mites, mold, and bacteria are just some of the problems that can build up in a garage. The effects of these pollutants on allergy sufferers are very well documented.

Is mold dangerous?

If the moisture level in the air is too high, you can easily have a mold invasion. Because mold and its byproducts are known to cause health problems such as asthma, it is important to keep your garage clean and dry. The best way to ensure that your home's indoor air is clean is with an air purifier. In addition, cleaning up mold growth can be one of the biggest advantages of using an air purifier in your home.