First published in the American Singers Club newsletter, January 2002.
So that we can all breathe easier and reduce the health risks associated with feather dander, Mr. Luis DiMaria offers the following information for constructing your own inexpensive air cleaner that can be retrofitted onto a flight cage.
Breeding canaries indoors presents an ever-increasing problem as the molt progresses and so does the production of feather dust. Luis put his knowledge and practical experience as a maintenance mechanic to the test. The objective was to move air through the flight cage in an efficient fashion, providing a sufficient rate to lift and transport the particulates, while avoiding a draft. Developing an effective yet easily maintained filtration system was also a challenge. The real catch? Make it cheaper than most commercially available air cleaners to install, and energy efficient to realize the economic benefits while operating. Intrigued yet? Read on**
A. Find the right fans to move the air. A pair of small (4 to 5 inch) computer fans or electrical cabinet fans does the trick. The larger ones are a bit more expensive, but still reasonable. These fans are 115 volts/60 ~ 20 watts, and push about 120 cubic feet per minute (cfm). So, let's see, two can move about 240 cfm....
B. Develop a custom cabinet to contain the fans and to hold the air filter. A carpenter you say? Unless you have the gift yourself or don't mind paying the price, forget it! Let's be resourceful. As all good inventors do, step back and cogitate a while*. take a sip of wine to help solve the problem. Seriously! Luis got his idea from the liquor store *..the wooden wine boxes of Robert Mondavi (Opus One) were found to be the perfect size! Go ahead, congratulate yourself and take another sip!
The wooden box measurements are:
Exterior: 21" x 12-¾" x 4-1/8" ; Interior: 19-7/8" x 12" x 3? Divide the box into two equal parts, and cut two circles of 4-½" or 5-½" to accommodate placement of the fans. Affix the fans to the bottom of the box, so that they draw the dirty air toward the back/flat surface and push the air through the depth of the box. Next, affix an air filter on the open/back side of the box. Luis found that a commercially available pleated paper filter with dimensions of 12" x 20" fit perfectly over one end of the box, and attaches it with NASHUA 3" wide aluminum tape (available at Home Depot) - just as easy to replace too when needed. Luis placed his air cleaner at the bottom front of his flight cage, to draw the air down and through the flight. Having solid side and top panels on the flight cage also helps to control the release of feather dander in the bird room, and directs the flow of air through the cleaner.
Luis ran his invention for a couple of hours, and found residual dander already building up on the filter! You may have to adjust the sizing of components to fit your bird room - Luis bird room measures 11' x 16' x 7' high.
That's all folks! Congratulate yourself on building this economical air cleaner/air circulator, and finding another wonderful health-related use for fine wines! You can contact Luis for more information at LUISIREN@aol.com
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