Review of Carbatec CHF-1000 Air Cleaner

As I’ve discussed recently, I went through a bit of a decision process to come to the point that I chose to purchase this unit.

The very first thing I found as I opened the box was as unexpected as it was welcome – a remote control. There was no mention in any of the advertising about this unit that there was a remote control, and I was wishing there was, so this was a nice surprise! ***Update*** Ok, so I’m as blind as a bat. It is in there – first line, and I never saw it – oh well. It was still a nice surprise.***

The unit itself wasn’t quite what I expected – it looks a bit different to the in-store unit – although it has the same power ratings, air flow etc, the motor looks to be physically smaller, and there is a different filtering system. I’m guessing that I have a newer version given its build date. I’m not unhappy with the version I have, just pointing out that there is a difference. The inlet filter has a different mounting system, and is metal framed rather than paper, which was a point of concern with the original design. So I’m happy 🙂

***Update*** Yes, it is a newer model. The filters are now washable which couldn’t be done with the older paper based ones (for some strange reason…. 😉 )***

Had to chuckle when I got the unit out of the box. On the side of the unit is the standard sort of safety sticker that says to read the instruction manual before operating. Unfortunately, it should say to read the non-existent instruction manual. This may not seem like a big deal – after all, the unit turns on and filters air, however, there are a bunch of questions I’d like to have answers to, which should have been in the manual. Such as:

– can the unit be wall mounted, or are the motor bearings designed for it to be run flat?

– a quick graph calculator indicating what speed the cleaner should run at for the room size.

– where should it be mounted – how close to walls, how to avoid dead spots in the room etc?

– how often, and how should the filters be cleaned, and how often do they require replacement?

– the filter says on it that if roof mounted, that it should be at least 7 feet off the ground – why?

– the unit always seems to revert to the lowest fan speed when it is first switched on – is there any way of changing it to remain at the setting which is correct for the size of the room?

I’m sure I’ll think of some more. I am aware that Carbatec are working through their machines and getting a lot of the manuals rewritten (which is never a bad thing!!), but given the number of tools involved, its going to take some man-hours!

In the meantime, I have been looking at the Jet equivalent, and these machines are strikingly similar in appearance and specifications, so I’m surmising that the Jet manual will suffice for my needs. The filters are a little different in appearance, but that’s neither here or there. Sourced from the Jet tools website here fwiw. The motor orientation looks to be 90 degrees different – in other words the shaft of the fan is vertical in the Jet, and horizontal in the Carbatec. Both the Jet unit, and the Carbatec catalog says wall mounting is an option, I’d still tend to investigate this further – motor bearings in balanced devices such as fans tend not to like being at the wrong orientation unless specifically engineered to cope with it – you can significantly shorten the motor life.

The unit itself looks pretty tidy, and it is whisper quiet which I am very pleased about. You can hold a quiet conversation standing right next to the it. I’m still debating where to mount it, and that is partly about whether I can wall or ceiling mount it. I’m also debating if it could hang under the rail of the tablesaw, but I don’t think that is optimum, and I have other plans for that space.

It comes with two different mounting options – either hooks for suspending it, and brackets for direct mounting. I’m going with the second option for my shed layout – I’d need much higher ceilings to get away with suspending it. The mounting brackets and bolts initially look as if they’d get in the way of the filters during removal, but the interference is only slight, and the soft padding affected gets past them easily.

Carbatec Air Filter

The brackets are tapped, so the bolts provided screw directly into the bracket, rather than needing the extra bolt length to require a nut at the other end, which would seriously block the filter removal. Going to the trouble of tapping a thread into the hole of the bracket is a nice touch.

Carbatec Air Filter outlet

The unit has the (minimal) controls on the outlet side – 3 speeds, and 3 timing options (actually 4 – the unit can be left to stay on until you switch it off).

Carbatec Air Filter inlet

The inlet filter has 2 stages. The first, coarse filter stage looks to be easily cleaned, and is not the paper based version of the earlier model. The second stage is a three bag arrangement to increase surface area, and also looks to be cleanable. You can also add a carbon filter if your circumstances require it.

Carbatec Air Filter inlet filter

This filter stage is also easily removed, to reveal the cavity of the unit, and the motor.

Carbatec Air Filter motor

Doesn’t look like a lot, but the job this unit has to do is also very simple. It has to move a large body of air through the two filter stages. I’m a bit surprised about how exposed the control circuits are, but I guess that the air by that stage (sic) is meant to be clean.

As far as its air cleaning performance, I will wait until the unit is properly mounted before seeing how effectively it cleans the room after a dusty job. Of course, the finest particles are too small to see, and can still be dangerous – I will have to investigate dust monitoring equipment – see if I can borrow one for a test. It is listed as cleaning almost 100% of particles 5 microns or larger, and 85% of particles 1 micron in size.

***Update*** Forgot to mention sizing – from the photos you can see it is sitting on top of the Triton 15″ thicknesser, so it isn’t a small A4 sized unit or anything! It is 610x310x770 mm and weights approx 20kg

1/6HP, with speeds of 450, 550 and 650 cfm (cubic feet/minute)

$A369 I think***

9 Responses

  1. Stu… one thing missing from my perspective is how big is it ? have seen lots of closeups etc but can something we can relate to in size be placed next to the unit for a size appreciation/comparison ?
    The latest photos make it look somewhat larger than the inital photo you posted……

  2. Stu,

    You can probably download the manual from their website in pdf format. Most companies offer that now.

  3. Price?

  4. I thought Dad and I helped you to build a new shed to fit in the existing tools – suddenly it looks very full of a new filter!! Or are you about to take over the house with tools like your father has?? One of you is a bad influence on the other, and I am not sure whom.

  5. Thank you!

  6. Stu
    Got to see your air cleaner today in real life….. at the new Carba-tec store here in Adelaide… and yes it is a lot bigger than I originally imagined…….

  7. […] – it is in the range of wood smoke particles (0.2 – 3 micron), although my current CHF-1000 doesn’t have a certified rating below 1 micron to compare it. (A micron is 1/1000000th of a […]

  8. MUM

    You just don’t understand the situation you always build the shed 50%-100% bigger then first conceived to make sure you have room for growth. I just know you didn’t buy the perfectly sized clothes for Jr, as he was growing up well he’s still growing only in a different way. Ha Ha!!!

    I made my filter system & it has the internal filter bag as well as 2 external pleated filters & is powered by an HVAC fan system cost about $50.

    Bart

    • Mate, you can never have too much room!

      Sounds like you went a good route with the filter unit – if you can get the materials then the actual unit can be pretty basic.

      Actually, making one from wood, with dovetailed corners etc could change an otherwise dull tool into a functional work-of-art!

      So long as you use appropriate filters and air flow, why not!

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