SMOKEETERS For Tobacco Smoke Removal


       For over twenty-five years, Air Specialists of Virginia has been installing  SMOKEETERS throughout the state in restaurants, bars, bingo halls, fraternal organizations, and other places where smoking takes place.

      After installation of the systems, most customers have ASV return on a regular basis to install new cells and remove the dirty ones.

                SMOKEETERS are made by one of the oldest air filtration companies in America, United Air Specialists, based in Ohio.

                The technique of electrostatic filtration has two important factors; the ability to remove very small particles with an electric charge, and quiet operation. There is very little obstruction to the airflow since it moves easily through the plates, unlike the noisy operation volume of media or High Efficiency Particle Arrestance (HEPA) filters.

                The filter consists of a powerful blower and a “cell,” which is made of thin sheets of aluminum charged with electricity that trap the smoke. Once every month or two the dirty cells are collected by our service staff, who install clean ones, and the dirty cells are brought back to our facility to be washed with a special soap. During the visit, technicians clean the unit and check for problems.

                 In some cases, the venue has a number of SMOKEETERS, and it takes planning and more time to replace the cells, check all the systems, and other maintenance needs.

                 We always work closely with our customers to visit at the best times so as not to interfere with food service or other activities.

                The key to proper maintenance is to follow recommendations for frequency of service. If the customer waits too long to service the system, efficiency declines substantially.  The plates become coated with a layer of smoke particles, lose their ability to clean the air, and may pop and crackle. If they are cleaned too often, the customer wastes money.

                Smokeeters come in several basic types. The most popular is the SE 50, which is a rectangular box about two feet square and several feet long, that is bolted to a wall or ceiling. It will efficiently remove smoke from about 30 to 35 smokers, and delivers 1500 cubic feet per minute air movement. The SE 40 and SE 30 are smaller versions of the same design.

               Another type is the SE24, which is shaped and sized to replace the typical drop ceiling panel, and termed “flush mount.” They are used when the ceiling is too low for an exposed unit, or it is inconvenient to install one on a wall, or the customer likes them out of the way for aesthetic effect.

               The LS is used when there is no drop ceiling or room to fit in a wall-mounted unit. This strategy involves installing the unit above the ceiling, or even in another room, and it circulates air to and from with concealed ductwork. Often they are used in boardrooms and other applications where aesthetics are important.

               Though SMOKEETERS remove a majority of the particles in smoke, it is necessary to add a carbon filter, which reduces odors as the air passes through the filter.

               The manager of a venue with SMOKEETERS can help the effectiveness of the units by making sure there is plenty of fresh air coming in with their HVAC system. In addition, the number of units, their location in the room, and frequency of cleaning is critical for optimum performance.

               There are a number of competing systems that are said to be effective in cleaning air by their sales representatives, such as ozone generators, ceiling fan inserts, and various high efficiency particle arrestance (HEPA) filters.

                But you have to be aware that are many gimmicky ways pitched to clean air, and some even use the term "smokeater," hoping their products will get confused with the real thing. In addition, many don't service the products they sell with a local operations center and staff available for parts and service.

      Ozone generators have major drawbacks; they don’t remove particles, and only diminish odors. But ozone is a pollutant itself, and the manufacturers of ozone generators have spent large sums defending themselves against lawsuits claiming fraud by the federal government. 

      Ozone can cause serious problems for people with asthma, and many claim they experience headaches, dizziness, and other complaints. However, they have their uses in spaces where people are not present.

               One new type of filter is attached to ceiling fan, but they really don’t have the capability to remove smoke efficiently, and have fallen in disfavor as many buyers realize they just don’t do the job.

               HEPA filters are very useful, but are not the first choice for heavy duty applications. As mentioned, they are very noisy, and in addition, they can’t  remove the smallest and most dangerous particles since the filter has to allow air through.

                HEPA filters are good for homes and offices as they don't need as much maintenance as electrostatic filters, and have large amounts of carbon in them to remove odors. We sell a very good HEPA filter that has 18 lbs of carbon, and it can be rolled around different rooms.

               Another big issue when choosing a filter is whether parts and service are going to be available. ASV has been in business over twenty-five years in Virginia, and we have a large stock of parts and the ability to order virtually any thing that one might need for their SMOKEETERS. In addition, we are capable of sending technicians on short notice to repair or move the units.

               If you need a smoking room designed and built to accommodate Virginia’s new laws, we are licensed and insured Class A contractors that can make sure the space will meet codes, and provide a pleasant environment for your smoking patrons.