Air Source 3000 by Shaklee
by Building Inspector and Indoor Air Specialist, Dan Schilling
© Copyright 2003 Residential Inspections LLC, All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This article is a short explanation of my professional opinion of the Air Source 3000.
You are encouraged to research the scientific data on this product and then form your own opinion.
As with most air cleaning devices manufactured today, the marketing specialists are quite proficient in the use of “spin language” to convince people that the product they offer is better than it really is. I have already met people who have tried the Air Source and returned them due to lack of performance. Interestingly enough, one of the advertising bylines for the Air Source 3000 is “Superior Technology for the Best Indoor Quality”. At $699.00 retail, it is worth looking into to see how true this statement really is.
Despite the name “Air Source”, these devices generate very little air movement. The advertisers say this is great because it is quiet, without explaining that it greatly inhibits the ability of this machine to clean the air around your home. The tiny amount of air movement through the unit is generated electronically, and only by default. In order to be effective, all of the dirty air throughout your home would somehow have to come over to the Air Source and decide to go into it. This is a scientific impossibility which makes the Air Source only marginally efficient at cleaning the air in a room, much less an entire home. A truly good air purifier must have the ability to circulate a sufficient amount of air, but in a quiet manner.
As claimed by the manufacturer, the internal electron generator has the ability to reduce particles in an area up to 3,000 SF. What they do not tell you is that the air within that 3000 SF must somehow come within close proximity to the machine to be cleaned. Furthermore, if your home happens to have interior walls or floors (obviously it does), the unit is incapable of cleaning particles from those other areas without purchasing additional machines for those areas. This would be very costly and is a distinct drawback with this method of ionization. Further, while they may generate some ions near the internal tri-metallic plates, they do not send out sufficient levels of electrical ions into the ambient air. This means they do not rid the air of particles in the same manner that nature does outdoors, or as a good quality air purifier should do indoors. In essence, airborne particle pollutants can remain unaffected and continue to contaminate your indoor air. To be effective, a good air purifier should have the ability to send electrical ions out into the breathable air space, to clean the air in the same manner as nature does outdoors.
The Air Source uses ultra violet light as a method to destroy the DNA of microorganisms such as mold and bacteria. This sounds good on the surface however, this technology has been used inside furnace and air conditioner ducts and also suffers drawbacks. First, this UV technology is limited primarily to particles only. To make the claim that the tiny light bulb in the Air Source will affectively purify the air in a home of 3000 SF is beyond professional imagination, and this claim certainly has not been proven. Secondly, it only works on “some” of the particles. Thirdly, it only works on the particles which actually make it to, and through, the device. This means that airborne biological contaminants and chemical gasses can remain unaffected, continuing to pollute your indoor air. Fourthly, the UV bulbs loose their intensity, and can appear to be working when they are in fact no longer affective. Fifth and lastly, the replacement bulbs can be costly to replace every year. According to dealer information, the cost of using an Air Source, including bulb replacements and electricity, is about .39 per day, as compared to about .03 per day for an effective natural air purification system.
The Air Source produces insufficient levels of activated oxygen (ozone). The ozone is produced in “safe” levels as stated, but the spin lies in the fact that no ozone at all is also considered safe. Additionally, there is no explanation provided stating that the lack of sufficient ozone is of little benefit to your air. Furthermore, a good air purifier should produce “natural” levels of ozone throughout your home, not just safe levels inside the device itself. Finally, but equally as important, the Air Source cannot be used to sanitize personal items or rooms, nor can it be used to kill bacteria or mold in affected areas of a home. A good air purifier should have the ability to turn the ozone levels higher for special sanitizing situations, in unoccupied spaces.
Any air purifier is probably better than no air purifier at all, but the psychosomatic factor should also be taken into consideration with machines like this. There are many people who have spent big money purchasing marginally effective products like vacuum cleaners, water purifiers, and most certainly, air purifiers. After taking ownership, they feel obligated through denial to believe that the product they purchased works well, even if the benefits are marginal.
After learning the scientific differences between true air purification and the inferior technologies used in the Air Source, a purifier that better replicates natural air cleaning processes makes for a better choice.
with those you care about.