I don't see anything special about the ^^electrostatic prefilter that came with my air cleaner. There's no wire or contact point that would tell me it's electro-anything. Is this really any different than an ordinary filter?
Although your prefilter is referred to as an electrostatic filter, the only electricity involved is static. When your fan is operating, the air passing over the filter media generates a static charge that attracts and holds dust particles. It's the same type of charge that causes a balloon to stick to the wall after you've rubbed it across your hair a few times.
For a woodworker, the main advantage of an electrostatic prefilter is that it can be washed and reused repeatedly. That's why electrostatic filters are typically used as prefilters on air scrubbers. Prefilters catch the larger dust particles before they plug up the finer pocket filters inside (which are a lot harder to clean). It's important to wash your electrostatic filter often for two reasons: 1. It keeps airflow at a maximum. 2. An electrostatic filter's effectiveness decreases as the filter loads with dust. That's because the media has become insulated by the dust, thus reducing the static charge.
Electrostatic Prefilters' Advantages
If you have a question you'd like answered, send it to us at Question 8c Answer, American Woodworker, 2915 Commers Drive, Suite 700, Eagan, MN 55121 or e-mail to [email protected]. Sorry, but the volume of mail prevents us from answering each question individually.
14 American Woodworker march 2007
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