With every new ecological catastrophe — wildfires, floods, covid-19 mutations or drought-induced dust storms — that hits the headlines, my wife, Lisa Kivirist and I, double down on our emergency preparedness efforts and self-reliance initiatives.
We’re not waiting for the politicians to admit the truth — if they ever will — of what kinds of changes we need to make to deal with the realities of climate change — or the covid-19 pandemic. We’ve long recognized that we’re the ones we seek to lead. We, and thousands of others in our communities, are ferreting out ways to be more self-reliant, resilient, and more connected locally.
As homesteaders living in an old 100-year-old-plus farmhouse, we recognize and mitigate when basement moisture issues and mold sometimes become evident. While we heat with wood in an airtight Lopi Endeavor woodstove, dust and particulates are a part of the process when we occasionally empty the efficient woodstove of ash (the ash goes into the growing fields, of course!). We’ve always been sensitive to indoor air quality, since allergies and asthma are a part of our life, like millions of others.
But the covid-19 pandemic, and the Omicron variant with its super transmissibility, sparked us to act. For our roughly 1,900 square foot home, we actually use about 1,000 square feet of it as regular living space: for a home office, bedrooms, kitchen, dining room and living room. So, how can we make that living space as healthy as possible? How can we purify the air, removing as many of the harmful bacteria, viruses, allergens, mold spores, VOCs or particulates as possible? An airtight home, this farmhouse is not, which helps prevent air from stagnating. But how can we turn-over the air that’s moving through the house to make our indoor living spaces healthier?
Cleaning Our Indoor Air with the EnviroKlenz Air Purifier Plus
We should have deployed the EnviroKlenz Air Purifier System years ago. After ordering, the unit arrived in less than a week. Set-up required no tools. We just inserted two UV lightbulbs within the unit and slid in one of the two filters. Within three days of operation, the air in our first floor, main room — an open-floor layout that included our kitchen, dining room and living room — was noticeably more refreshed and contained less dust circulating around.
The EnviroKlenz Air Purifier Plus System sucks air in at the top, then pulls it down through the first of two filters, the EnviroKlenz Air Cartridge, a proprietary NanoActive air cartridge that uses safe earth minerals to accomplish its “absorptive neutralization” of potentially harmful chemicals, pollutants, bacteria, mold or pollen. The air continues downward, passing through a second stage, true medical-grade HEPA (High-Efficiency Particle Air) filter before venting, odor-free, back into the room. A set of two UV lights inside, which can be switched on and off, face down on the HEPA filter to provide germicidal irradiation and internal cleaning.
For a 1,000-square-foot space, the air will be turned over approximately three to five times per hour. The compact 16-inch by 16-inch metal cube, about 22 inches high, just needs to be placed in an area to optimize air flow through the device. Because the EnviroKlenz uses no masking agents or abrasive chemicals as well as a secure metal enclosure, it’s safe for use in homes with young children or pets. In an effort to be transparent, the complete third-party testing of the EnviroKlenz Air Purifier Plus System for viruses, bacteria and other harmful substances can be reviewed on its website.
Due to the covid-19 pandemic, we’ve become particularly sensitive to regular purification of the air to reduce the likelihood that the aerosol of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19, lingers in the air. The unit was independently tested and proven to remove 99.9% of viruses; the specifically tested virus (coliphage phix174; pre-covid) was 0.025 microns. While the unit has not yet been specifically tested on SARS-CoV-2, we’re breathing easier, since most current epidemiological studies suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is .125 microns, sometimes ranging from .07 to .13 microns. HEPA filters are recognized for their ability to efficiently capture viruses–and any aerosolized droplets of saliva and mucus that might contain them — once they are drawn inside. Of course, this is just one of many mitigative steps we’ve taken to try to stay healthy.
Other Key Features
Depending on the size of the space or room, we can control the amount of air moved with a 4-speed blower dial. This also provides a way to manage the noise level of the device, with the lowest speed providing a nearly silent blower. Because the unit weighs 38 pounds and easily rolls around on wheels, we could move it on different floors to address different indoor air quality issues. In our basement we have more moisture, mold and fungus concerns. On the second floor, we find more pollen and dust since we usually have our windows open for most the warm summer season to cool and ventilate the house.
Some like to say you pay for what you get. We’re not interested in cutting corners on something that could prevent serious illness for our family and vastly improve our indoor air quality. Plus, the manufacturer, Timilon Technology Acquisitions, stands behind its product with a 5-year manufacturer warranty for the EnviroKlenz Air Purifier Plus System. We’ve always prioritized investing in durability, one of the hallmarks of sustainability. That the product is manufactured inside the US keeps the money from our investment circulating within the US, instead of going overseas to China.
There is no regular maintenance required. However, in about 2 years, we’ll need to replace the HEPA filter; about 6 months, for the EnviroKlenz Air Cartridge filter. That’s fine by us, since it’s evidence that it’s doing what it’s supposed to do: making our indoor living space safer, healthier and more comfortable.
John D. Ivanko, with his wife Lisa Kivirist, have co-authored Rural Renaissance, Homemade for Sale, the award-winning ECOpreneuring and Farmstead Chef along with operating Inn Serendipity B&B and Farm, completely powered by the sun. Both have been speakers at the Mother Earth News Fairs. As a writer and photographer, Ivanko contributes to Mother Earth News, most recently, Living with Renewable Energy Systems: Wind and Solar and 9 Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living. They live on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin with their son Liam, a 10.8 kW solar power station and millions of ladybugs. Read all of John’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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