What You Need to Know Before Renting an Air Scrubber

Over the past several years, whether recovering from the effects of wildfires, floods or concerns about exposure to pathogens in the wake of a global pandemic, indoor air quality is becoming increasingly important to business owners and homeowners alike.

Thankfully there are devices you can rent, like air scrubbers. These portable devices draw air in and pass it through a series of purification filters, effectively trapping contaminants and removing pollutants, allergens, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), surface contaminants, pet dander, dust, odors and mold from the air.

Portable air scrubbers, also known as negative air machines, are designed to allow one operator to easily move the unit around and serve as a necessary part of maintaining air quality in places like hospitals, construction sites, universities, and office buildings. Increasingly, they are being used as part of the remediation process to combat the spread of mold, which can lead to surface damage of a building and health issues for those who work or live there.

But before you rush to rent, there are a few things to consider.

What is Your Need

As mentioned above, air scrubbers can be used to remove a wide range of contaminants. The first thing to consider is your purpose for renting the scrubber. Once you figure that out, you can decide how long you’ll need it and where it will be used. If you’re looking to filter the air in a room, you may only need one air scrubber. However, more may be required depending on the size of the room, the design of the building, and the way air flows through it. In situations where remediation is required, several may need to be rented along with fans, air movers, LGR dehumidifiers, and if you suffered a loss of power, generators.

Read the Room

You’ll first have to “read the room” to determine the accurate number of scrubbers you’ll need. That means you need to know the size of the enclosed area you’re trying to filter. As a rule, experts say you should try to achieve a minimum of six air changes per hour or one air change every 10 minutes. Completely circulating a room six times an hour, however, doesn’t take into account large rooms like warehouses or healthcare facilities where strict air quality guidelines must be met. In scenarios like these, some math is required.

First, determine the cubic feet of the room you’re targeting. You can do this by multiplying a room’s square feet times the ceiling’s height. The air scrubber flow rate CFM (cubic feet per minute) is then divided by the room’s cubic volume and then multiplied by 60 to convert minutes to hours. So, if the room you’re targeting is 25’ x 32’ x 12’ and six air changes per hour are required, you’ll need at least one 1,200 CFM or two 500 CFM air scrubbers to achieve the correct air filtration.

Here’s how the math works:

  • 25’ x 32’ x 12’ = 9,600 cubic feet
  • One air change = 9,600 cubic feet
  • Then multiply 9,600 cubic feet times the number of air changes (6) = 57,600
  • Then convert 57,600 cubic feet per hour to cubic feet per minute by dividing by 60
  • The number you’ll arrive at is 960 cubic feet per minute

Know Your Scrubber

Before contacting your Herc Rentals representative to place your order, it’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the available makes and models of air scrubbers. Some offer larger footprints capable of treating up to 40,000 cubic feet, have a higher rate of airflow, and are better for larger spaces. Others are more portable and an ideal choice for smaller rooms in a building or home.

For more information or help in securing the right air scrubber for your need, contact your local Herc Rentals representative or visit HercRentals.com.

Air Scrubber Uses

  • Assisting in the drying out an area quickly after water intrusion
  • Stopping spores from spreading during mold remediation
  • Increasing air filtration when regular air conditioning units are not operating
  • Reducing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other gaseous contaminants
  • Removing odor and reducing airborne soot levels during fire damage restoration
  • Reducing dust levels generated by construction, maintenance or cleaning activities in data centers and elsewhere
  • When ducted, units can be used as a negative air machine to remove polluted air from an area
  • Air scrubbers can also be used a positive air machine if placed in a clean area and ducted into a space to provide clean air (confined space application)
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