View Full Version : HEPA or Air purifiers

12-28-2011, 03:02 PM
I know we had a thread on this a few years ago but I was wondering if anyone had any specific recommendations on Air Filters that they have either used or have heard about from a reliable source.

Thank you in advance...


Details: I have a 400' studio space but I figure if I can at least have something live under the easel that would be best.

Kenmore makes one that may work... :wave:

12-28-2011, 03:49 PM
i have a foldout tv dinner tray below the easel tray ...
the back half has one of them rectangular box-store cleaners
and the the front has a tray for sticks-in-progress .
> it's a compromise :D

Ed :}

12-28-2011, 11:57 PM
Can't recommend the Artist's Air highly enough. I know it is a bit pricey - but if you don't get the VOC filter the cost is a bit less. Best thing I ever bought.


Barbara WC
12-29-2011, 02:35 AM
I'm longing for an Artist Air!

I can add a few things to look for if you can't afford the Arist Air: choose a HEPA filter model that contains a prefilter that can be changed, and choose a model that has the exhaust air (purified air) coming out the back or one side, and not out the top or out 360 degrees (all sides) of the model. Something that can sit on a table near your easel, so you can have the intake air on the side nearest the easel, and the exhaust air coming out the back, away form the easel.

I have two high quality air purifiers- one of the bedroom, one for the living room. The IQ Air is one of the highest rated on the market- it works great in my living room, but not good in my art room (I bought it thinking it would be dual purpose). The problem is, the air goes in the bottom, and cleaned air comes out the top. If I run it while working with my pastels, the clean air coming out the top literally blows the dust around before it gets sucked into the bottom- even more pastel dust becomes airborne than if I work with it off. My solution for now is to run it only after my session. I wish it could be run during my session too because my throat does get irritated even with a dust mask!

I have another purifier- a Blue Air, which I could setup so dust comes in one side, and the clean air out the other, but this filter has no prefilter, and the filter is too expensive to change as regularly as would be needed with pastel dust (I got this one for the bedroom because it is super quiet). Prefilters are inexpensive compared to the main filter.

I also have a very small round desktop HEPA filter, but the problem with this one is that air goes in the bottom of the unit, and clean air comes out the sides. Since it's round and clean air is coming out all around, I cannot position it in a way to prevent the clean exhaust air from blowing around the pastel dust.

Mostly though, until I can afford an Artist Air, I work outside or in the garage (and at portrait sessions). The rare times I do work in my art room, I make sure to wear a mask, have a pastel "catch try" under my paper, and run the IQ Air purfier after I'm done.

Hope this helps and makes sense.

12-29-2011, 04:16 AM
i just bought a hepa air one but I'm wondering if it is just a "hepa like" air filter which isn't of much use from what i've read. I bought it at Walmart I believe and you can get filters (prefilters) there easily. I had it set up right next toe the table(in front of) that held all my pastels. I think if it had just been me using the pastels it would have been fine but my friend was using them and she wouldn't use an easel and was taking the board and pounding it on some paper with dust flying everywhere. So I tried keeping the filter closer to her. Well i finally said if you are going to do that you have to do it outside. i showed her why I use an easel and have the little aluminum foil tray to catch the dust etc. She basically told me she couldn't use pastels with an easel and didn't know how I was even doing it(she had been mostly using oils before this with an easel) sigh. While i loved to have her there, I didn't love the extra dust. I have asthma and when I can taste the dust then I know I need a mask too which is what I finally had to do. I want an artist's air. i need to save up for it. i think you might need two regular hepa filter air cleaner. i know Donna Aldridge has two set up one on top of the other aright by where she paints and then I think she has another one that she uses after she leaves the room, a bigger one maybe? masks help too.


12-29-2011, 08:12 AM
Hi, I'm in the process of moving into my new studio (converted garage bottom of garden). While packing up my art room inside the house I realized that everything in the room including shelves was covered with a layer of pastel dust! I'm horrified to think how much of it found it's way into my nasal passages and lungs. I've decided my priority now is to get an air filter as quickly as possible. I tried to do some research a while ago and the Artists Air seemed to be the best option. I'm not sure if I can get it in Australia though, and if not I'll probably have to pay an arm and a leg to get it shipped out here!
Lynn, I don't suppose you are in Australia are you? I wondered where you bought your filter.

12-29-2011, 11:38 AM
Barb, I still use the same one as I (hopefully) mentioned in the old thread. I've even cleaned it inbetween. :-) It has a foam-like thin first filter for larger stuff. The second filter is a round thing made of plastic, with long very narrow slots in it, and lots of dust gets caught there, and I can just shower it clean. The third layer is hepa-filters. It is a purifier for asthmatics. Works like a charm, and I only turn it to max when I'm brushing something off, and if the light is right, I can see clouds floating into the intake. Most of the dust is too heavy to be airborn for long, so a lot fall on the shelf before reaching the machine. That heavier dust isn't a problem (wipe off, done), it is the really light stuff that stays airborne for a longer while that irritates the mucous membranes, and this purifier sucks it all up and delivers particle free air at the other end.

I keep mine at the same height as the painting, as I want the finest dust to have a really short way to go.

One important thing is that the hepa-filters can be replaced, that is, that this particular model of them is still available on the market.

12-29-2011, 12:00 PM
Wow - this is excellent information.

Height of the filter?
location of in/out air?
pre-filter availability?
amount of air coming out?
particulate size?

I always use a "catcher tray" to collect the dust and try to go outdoors to bang off the extra but I'm not as careful as I could be.

I like the idea of being able to "shower" it off.

Tv trays I have. :wink:

I'll check out the Artists Air... I have to say it looks "steep" in price but I agree if it's the best product on the market, I may have to consider it.

I just noticed that when I enter "Hepa Filters" I get a lot more threads than I found initially. Thanks for indulging me in additional information so soon. I'm a slow learner.... B:wave:

12-29-2011, 03:33 PM
i should add that
the tray is a cardboard box cut-off ( 1'+ side )
lined with plastic wrap and filled with a pound of rice
and i made a curved deflector in front of the top air outlet
with matboard scored , shaped , reinforced/glued ,
and duct-taped to the unit body .
> i made cut-outs for the unit top controls on the mount flap
and cut away the tape overlap after it was in place .

vertical deflector extends 3 " either side
beyond the body of the cleaner = 16 " or such .

don't know how that would work for large pieces .

Ed :}

12-29-2011, 06:58 PM
Holy Smokes! Artist Air is the Lamborgini of air filters! It will take a lot of holiday and birthday gift money to save up for one of those.

I have a great big air purifier that I purchased at Home Depot - it's not designed specifically for artists, but it works really well at a fraction of the cost of Artist Air. Additionally, based on a suggestion from a well know pastelist, I use a framed window screen that fits over my palette so that I can give it a dust buster vacuuming once a week. Saves a lot of time! Then, there is my favorite simple line of protection - Gloves in a Bottle. A good coat on your hands with a swipe around your lips and up into your nostrils makes a big difference.

After reading first reading this thread, I looked online for artists' air filters and found a very comprehensive page from Madison Art. They have a very broad selection of filter styles and manufacturers - expensive, but more affordable than a Lamborgini.