What Are Smoke Eaters?
Earlier, we referred to HEPA or “high-efficiency particulate air” purifiers, which are probably the best-known air filters on the market. They’re commonly used in households, medical environments, or small office spaces and provide excellent performance given their typically small size.
Smoke eaters are technically referred to as electrostatic air filters. However, given their sheer power and size, they earned a somewhat intimidating nickname. Typically, they’re much larger and are primarily made for industrial or commercial use.
For instance, you’ll often see smoke eaters in garages, workshops, factories, and even kitchens, especially if there is no outdoor ventilation available. As they’re self-contained units that don’t need access to outside, they’re particularly useful for enclosed spaces.
As their technical name suggests, smoke eaters use an electrostatic system to capture particles and pollutants. A large ventilator sucks in air and then electrostatically charges the molecules as they enter the device.
These pollutants, which can range from metallic dust to aerosol paint, are ionised and then electrostatically stick to the filter’s cells. Consequently, clean air is blown out, which usually passes through a series of carbon filters for additional cleansing.
Do Smoke Eaters Work?
Firstly, smoke eaters are very large compared to most air purifiers. Therefore, they tend to provide a far superior Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) for a larger surface area. After all, they are initially designed for industrial and commercial use.
An additional benefit of electrostatic smoke eaters is that they don’t require frequent filter replacements. Instead, you can simply remove the electronic cells and carbon filters and wash them yourself.
A downside of this process is that it can be a dirty job and needs to be done fairly regularly for the smoke eater to work well. Nevertheless, you won’t have to regularly invest in new parts.
While electrostatic filters are very effective at removing smoke, they’re not quite as good at filtering strong smells. As we mentioned earlier, they’re best complemented by a HEPA filter, too. Usually, they are equipped with carbon post filters, but it’s not quite enough when it comes to cigar smoke.
Given that they electrostatically absorb pollutants, odours tend to get away as they’re very small. Meanwhile, HEPA filters use extremely fine fibreglass mesh, which is less effective at eliminating smoke in large quantities but excellent at absorbing odours.
Therefore, it’s best to use both in a place like a cigar bar or lounge. Would you need one at home? Admittedly, it’s unlikely and a HEPA filter would probably be enough for residential use.
Nevertheless, if you have a very large indoor smoking area or tend to have a lot of guests over who will all be smoking, it might be an invaluable investment for ventilating your cigar den.
Firstly, did we miss anything out? Feel free to let us know in the comments below! Otherwise, now that you’ve learned all about smoke eaters, why don’t you also check out our related guides below?