Who amongst us doesn't relish saving money? Isn't it well established FREE is America's favorite word? In this brief article we offer you a two-fer, free info on how to make your dollars go further as we show you how to effectively make your mask serviceable once again instead of tossing it in the trash! That's akin to a free mask, right?
We start with a brief mention of America's most innovative model helicopter design, the Audacity Models Pantera P6n. Being chock full of outside-the-box thinking means it's the world's only model helicopter respecting your expensive investment in a nitro engine by offering the option of protecting said investment with an air filter. After all, unless you money grows on trees, increase the working life of anything is a good thing, right? Anyway, hang in there, we're going somewhere with this thought . . .
- The backstory of developing the snorkel and air filter is quite a good 'un!
Once the Pantera P6n was in service, the wisdom off using the snorkel air filter assembly is borne out the first time you experience a chicken dance. Even a mild dirt nap results in dirt being ingested by the engine, which at full song is turning about 20,000RPM and sucking prodigious amounts of air! Results? Dirt ingested scratches the piston resulting in reduced compression.This is bad news for the life of your engine, agreed?
And we can prove it because if you use the last bit of fuel in the jug before you refill it to wash the filter element into a coffee filter, you'll see loads of dust and dirt particles that otherwise would have ended up inside. These are quite damaging for your expensive investment in the engine maker's mechanical art! So if an air filter is good for a lawn mower engine and good for a model helicopter engine, where else can they be applied?
- Good grief, run this crap through an engine and it's life is cut short!
Mechanical air filtration is all around us. We have one in our home to filter air before it gets to the cooling coils of the HVAC system. Our cars have an air filter to protect the engine. Ditto lawn mowers!
Recently, wearing filters to protect 'us' from COVID19 virus particles is a prudent measure. Thing is, it takes a good bit of use to render it ineffective as a filter, e.g. before it's too clogged to breath through. What happens is they become contaminated - maybe - and tossed. Maybe because we can't see the virus so they're tossed on the basis of better safe than sorry.
So it's just prudent to wear one and prudent to replace it despite it looking perfectly fine, right? Moreover, being white, they show dirt accumulated off our face where it rubs - yuk! However that bit of dirt isn't really an issue. And because N95 masks are still in short supply, then the responsible thing is to consider ways of prolonging their working life, agreed?
Surely this last is every bit as important as replacing the filter for an engine, right? Add to it, every single time we can reuse an N95 filter instead of buying a new one is extending the available supply for our nation's health care personnel while effectively giving us another filter for free . . . true dat? And there's our favorite word, free!
The how is simplicity itself. Read on and we'll explain how a pressure sprayer full of IPA and a regular spritz of same will do the deed!
- Ignore the dirt from where it touches your face, render the virus harmless!
The secret to making a filter useful once again is to clean it. The virus is not alive, so we're not speaking of 'killing' it. Instead, our goal is to dissolve the lipid shell in which it's encased. Without this protection, the bits of virus are vulnerable and disintegrate into harmless bits. Clean it with what? Alcohol does the job nicely. Our favorite is IPA (isopropyl alcohol). It works to dissolve the lipid shell the same way it softens oil or grease on our hands.
- Sprayed on the mask surface, by the time it evaporates it's done the trick!
I use a pressure can available from an autoparts store. A $1 spray bottle works every bit as well. Loaded with IPA a little bit goes a long way. I do both sides of the N95. Ditto the cloth mask. I leave them in my car and I'm set for next time!
The most important part of all this is the soft cloth mask with ear-loops is significantly more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time versus the stretchy thin elastic loops provided by the typical N95 mask. Using one of ours to hold it in place secures it more comfortably and this means wearing it for longer periods at a stretch thus promoting use. A good thing any way you look at it, right?