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AQE X-400: Smoke Eater Review

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Expert residential smoke eater product reviewer.
"There are many misconceptions created about AQE X400 and other electrostatic collectors used in electronic air cleaners  when they first flooded the market in the 70s..."

AQE x400 Smoke Eater

In my many years of helping home smoke eater customers, I've found some people wary of electrostatic air purifiers for several reasons.  When electronic air cleaners first came out, power supplies and ionizers were unreliable and sometimes dangerous.  In addition, electrostatic precipitators flooded the market and were often being used in the wrong applications.  Since then, the technology has come a long way in safety and reliability.  Due to the nature of electrostatic technology, the best applications are large areas with moderate to heavy smoke that must be removed quickly.

Sometimes referred to as ESP, electrostatic precipitation, for many people is a mysterious technology.  If you are confused about how electrostatic home smoke eaters operate, here is a quick run down.  The AQE X-400 is an electrostatic precipitator.  By electronically charging airborne impurities, X-400 electronic air cleaner systems capture contaminants like a magnet.

In simple terms, an electrostatic precipitator is a large magnet that uses static electricity (the same stuff that makes socks from a dryer stick together) to collect airborne contamination particles.  Contaminant laden gases are drawn into one side of the unit.  Inside, the ionization process begins when high voltage electrodes impart a negative charge to the particles contained in the gas or smoke.  These negatively charged particles are then attracted to collection plates which are positively charged.  Gas then leaves the unit up to 99.9% cleaner than when it entered.

Common Misconceptions:

  • Difficult to install - in reality, AQE X-400 smoke eaters are easy to install.  They fit recessed into your ceiling in a 2' x 2' drop ceiling panel or on 24" center studs.  No need to worry about connecting heat or air conditioning vents, the X-400 works independently.  All it needs is standard 120 volt, 60 Hz residential electricity.
  • The units are noisy - in fact, X-400 smoke eaters are quieter than most other models.  Because X-400s innovative design allows more air to flow freely through the unit, it uses a much smaller fan motor than other commercial smoke eaters, creating less noise.
  • Expensive to operate and maintain - this concern is totally off the mark.  Because X-400 doesn't use replacement filters, there are NO costly filters to change.  The X-400s smart design, small motor and improved air flow requires about the same power as a light bulb, making it more energy efficient to save you money.
  • Required regular cleaning is a hassle - they do require regular cleaning, but it's really not that bad especially compared to costly filter replacement of media based air cleaners.  When X-400s collection plates become full of particulate matter and residue, unlatch two clips and remove the cell from the unit.  Simply spray with any aluminum safe de-greaser such as Simple Green, let it soak briefly, rinse the plates thoroughly and let the cell dry completely before returning it to the unit.  Watch the grime going down your sink drain to see for yourself how much airborne pollution is being removed.

I value the hard earned reputation I've earned in the air quality control industry.  My success is directly related to finding the best equipment to meet my customers requirements and budget.  The technology used in X-400 is what you will find used by a majority of bars and restaurants.  The AQE X-400 will help reduce your energy and housekeeping costs while providing your customers a pleasant environment.


product comparisons and reviews for smoke eater air cleaners from indoor air quality experts