BuildClean Air Scrubber
Air scrubbers make my customers happier and keep me healthier.
Dust is among the biggest worries of homeowners undergoing a remodel, so why it is that so few remodelers use portable air cleaners, I can’t figure out. Air scrubbers make my customers happier and keep me healthier. Thanks in part to the EPA’s regulations for working around lead paint, the filtration of the typical job-site air cleaner has gotten significantly better. Unfortunately, the cabinets and features haven’t kept pace — until now. BuildClean’s new air scrubber, which I’ve been using on projects both big and small, has some smart improvements over other air scrubbers.
This machine excels at managing dust. The only time it couldn’t keep up was when I was cutting concrete with a grinder, but it didn’t take long for the BuildClean to clear the air once I stopped cutting.
I’ve also used the BuildClean during a small insulation job. I could tell that the unit’s 360° suction worked great because with the sun streaming through a window, I could see the airborne fiberglass migrating toward the unit, even from 20 ft. away. You also can connect an 8-in. exhaust hose ($66) to the back and run the hose outside to create a negative pressure zone that prevents dust from migrating out of a plastic-enclosed work area.
At 38 lb., the BuildClean is light enough to transport easily, and there’s a cage of sorts around it that protects it from job-site bumps and bruises. It would be great if the unit came with a protective case or fit into a large trash can for transporting, which would also protect the expensive filter and contain the small amounts of dust that spill out when you move the thing. Unfortunately, at 23 in. across, the BuildClean doesn’t fit in my Rubbermaid Brute, so I protect it by carrying it in a moving blanket.
One of my favorite features is the “auto” setting, which keeps the unit running quietly on low power until it senses dust, at which time it ramps up the fan. I also like the red-yellow-green monitoring system that shows the condition of the pre-filter and the HEPA filter and alerts you when either needs replacement. BuildClean claims that the HEPA filter ($150) will last one year because the pre-filter ($23), which can be shaken out on the job, catches most of the particles.
If you regularly work in houses full of people and furniture, you’ll value the BuildClean. Yes, shelling out almost $1000 for the unit and its filters is a little tough to swallow, but this is a tool that will pay for itself in client referrals and in the considerably less time you’ll spend managing dust.