Question about Alpine Air XL-15 Air Purifier

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Need To Eliminate Mystery Odor that Causes Alergy Like Problems

Need recommendation for air purifier that will cure odor problem and is a good value; upfront cost as well as long term parts replacement cost.

Have ongoing odor problem is 600 sq ft master bedroom. Seems dry, a little smokey and maybe a little acidic. Happens year around regardless of weather. No fires, electic problems or leaks/floods. Wake up in that room with scratchy throat, nassal passages have residue like when you have light cold and eyes itchy.

Room built in 1980 on slab. Roof replaced 4 years ago. New vinyl windows 3 years ago. Walls have fiberglass insulation. Attic has blown in cellulose 3 years ago. No signs of leaks in attic, ceiling or walls. Carpet just cleaned. Service person said there was nothing wrong with carpet, but treated it for bacteria/ mold anyway. Used moisture meter on walls, ceiling and floor and no problems indicated.

Added flower bed along one side of house last summer. Sprinklers were set too strong, but during very hot season. No leak inside. However, it is likely water drained down below slab. Lot slopes so I would think water would flow away or deep down over time.

Slab is 3 or 4 inches thick with 10 inch footing under that. No mud sil. This is California so our footings are not deep.

Have not opened the walls up. No water stains or signs of moisture or mold anywhere in room. Also interior wall has tongue and groove wood paneling on top of drywall plus built in bookcases and benches; access is not ideal.

Exterior walls are stucco. Roof is composition; 30 year rating.

Suggestions please.

John

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John,

"Smokey-acidic" - are you the original owner, and can verify no fires, etc? (People don't always tell the truth when they sell a house).

In my own experience, allergen control is a two-part job
1. Using a purifier/ionizer to oxidize odors and electrostatically sweep particulates from the air (like a magnet in a box of loose hardware - clump the micro-particles that normally float on air currents together so they "fall-out", to be swept, vacuumed or filtered by step #2. My experience is with the EcoQuest purifiers, and I like the ones with needle-point ionizers. I don't have a lot of experience on the RCI technology, can't comment on it. New EQ purifiers run ~$700-1000 USD, depending on capacity; you can probably find used units (older models) on eBay or craigslist for much less, but you'll be doing your own service unless you know a dealer or handyman who will do repairs for you. (and this can get pricey in a hurry too).

2. Use an ultra-high-filtration vacuum cleaner (or a whole-house unit that vents outside/downwind from your house) to remove the "fall-out" and embedded dust/dander/other accumulated crud from upholstered furniture and carpeting. I don't know what kind of "carpet cleaning" you used - some systems just pump hot water into the mud and microbes already in the base of the carpet, **** some of it out, but leave a layer of now-moistened crud in the bottom to grow stuff that you may be reacting to. Some use steam, which is better (kills more of the cooties instead of simply re-hydrating them), others use chemical powders to adsorb dirt and then get vacuumed-out. Just understand, unless the size of the dirt being vacuumed is big enough to be strained-out by the filter media, you'll be inhaling it again when it comes out the back of the vacuum-cleaner, so the really-tiny stuff goes through regardless, which is why you want an ionizer that will clump the little stuff together (and increase the effectiveness of your filter media). Having an external (outside the living space) exhaust on the vacuum would be even better, but probably more spendy and less convenient to routine housekeeping.

If I can be of further assistance, or if you have questions about any of my response(s), please let me know before rating me.

If this solves the issue, please rate it accordingly. My goal is to earn a "FixYa" rating from everyone I help.

Thanks for using Fixya.com,

Jon

Posted on Dec 29, 2009

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Hi There,

Here's how you can clean the machine, and I have copied the link to the owners manual below for your convenience.

Cleaning
The Cabinet
You can clean the air purifier cabinet with mild, non-abrasive cleanser and a
soft cloth. IMPORTANT: Unplug the unit from its electrical power source.
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Collector Cell
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1. Turn the unit off and unplug it from the electric power source. If wall
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2. Remove front grill by unscrewing the retainer screw under the grill on
the cabinet bottom. (fig. 1)
3251a7e.jpg
3. Pull the cell out of the cabinet by using the two small handles on the
front of the cell. (fig. 2)

4. Snap off the charcoal odor absorber from the back of the cell. Change
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Cleaning with Assail-A-Cell® Cell Cleaner:
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Rinse thoroughly with water. For extremely heavy deposits, repeat the
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IMPORTANT: Dry the collection cell thoroughly outside of the
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that all areas including corners and areas that may trap
water are dry before reinstalling into the air purifier. DO NOT
place a wet or damp collection cell in the air purifiereff1848.jpg
4. Snap off the charcoal odor absorber from the back of the cell. Change
as necessary for continued odor removal. (fig. 3)


e3ca384.jpg
5. Slide off pre-filter. This can be cleaned with the cell and reused. (fig. 4)


0781c8d.jpg
NOTE: Handle the electronic cell with care. Damaged metal plates
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Here's the link to the owners manual for your Oreck Air 7:
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