An Interview With Ian Collins of CarboAir

Ian Collins - CarboAirIan is an industry titan, not content with developing the Rhino filter brand into what it is today, he built on everything he learned and created CarboAir, the pinnacle of carbon filters, offering you unparalleled airflow and maximum filtration. Not only that, Ian is also in charge of UK distribution of Revolution Fans and has been involved in the development of the IWS system, Gold Label 60/40, House and Garden Nutrients and Green Power contactors amongst others.

Check out CarboAir here: CarboAir Carbon FIlters

A lot of customers couldn’t wait to get their hands on CarboAir filters when they came out, but for anyone new to them, tell us a little bit about them.
Well, we make the filters in Europe in collaboration with Systemair, the largest ventilation company in the world, and Wilco Industries who are a filter manufacturer with over thirty years’ experience. We control every manufacturing process from the metal to the carbon. All our carbon is batch tested meaning we only use the best. We don’t use Chinese carbon filters as they use cheaper material to cut costs, but this affects the quality. Cheap filters are cheap for a reason. Every part of CarboAir filters are handmade and sourced in Europe. We can trace each part to its source, including the carbon, guaranteeing the quality. CarboAir will protect your investment.

CarboAir filters also come in a choice of three different bed depths. What was the thinking behind this?
We tested many different bed sizes at Systemair and found that one bed size does not work for all fans, so we started testing thicker beds under higher air flows. We found 50mm beds, the same bed size as Rhino, worked well under low air flows like RVK A1 fans, but found 60mm beds worked much better with higher air flow fans. The 100mm bed was developed because we were asked to make the best of the best for serious growers. These babies will work under very high volumes of air flow and triple filter the air making them the best of the best.

Since you’ve brought up Rhinos, tell us what else separates CarboAir from the competition?
Rhino filters are an okay filter, but like everything, manufacturing processes advance and techniques get refined. It’s true I developed the Rhino brand, which became the filter of choice for growers. However, the simple fact is that there was no real science in the manufacturing of Rhino filters, they just followed what others were already doing. After parting ways with Direct Garden Supplies, I wanted to make the best filter in the world, so I started from scratch. Together with Wilco Industries who have 30 years of experience in making filters and the backing of Systemair, the CarboAir filter was born.
CarboAir is a filter designed to be the best, so we only use the best materials sourced from within Europe. Every part of the filter has been specifically chosen to build the best filter in the world. It’s a bold statement but a true one. From simply looking at the filter you can tell it’s of high quality. Firstly, the pre-filter is extra thick and made from material that absorbs moisture and dust better than any other pre-filter. The filter mesh is 55.5% open allowing air to travel through it without restriction. Rhino have a 50% open mesh and use a nylon bag behind the filter mesh to hold the carbon in place, restricting the air flow. All CarboAir filters come with hanging brackets already attached to help you hang them with ease and avoid covering the filter mesh which also restricts air flow.
We only use food grade carbon with very high absorption properties. All our carbon is batch tested to ensure high quality and anything not suitable is rejected.  Finally, the flanges are made from high tensile steel making them light but giving them real strength. The flanges are made to butt up to the extractor flanges allowing an easy and air-tight seal using ducting clamps.

Can you tell us more about the carbon? We’re used to hearing about Australian RC 412?
RC412 is actually RC4-12 which is just the mesh size used to grade the carbon. The 4 means an inch divided by 4 meaning this is the biggest size of carbon used and 12 being an inch divided by 12 giving you very small particles. Most companies claim they use carbon sourced from a company in Australia called TY-West. The carbon produced by TY-West is actually a waste by-product from titanium refining. RC4-12 contains a lot of dust and heavy metals which blocks the air flow in your extraction fan, slowing the fan down and heating up your grow room. I know 100% that Chinese filter manufacturers use a blend of Ty-West carbon and a cheaper Chinese carbon, that is why sometimes your filter will only work for a very short time. CarboAir uses a larger sized carbon that allows air flow to travel past it quicker but still give enough contact time to capture the smells in the air. Our carbon is made especially for us to filter odour molecules from grow rooms. It has very high absorption properties and very low moisture content.  We do not need a nylon bag behind the filter mesh because we have matched our carbon to the size of the filter mesh.

So, with these features combined you’re effectively getting a greater air flow rate without compromising the filter’s ability to remove smells?
Yes, but don’t take our word for it, CarboAir filters have been put through rigorous testing by Systemair. All our filters have been designed with the help of Systemair and we are the only filter brand that Systemair approves to be used with their ventilation. We designed CarboAir filters to match Systemair fans giving you the perfect combination: the best air filtration available without slowing down your fans or increasing the heat in your grow room.
All our filters have graphs showing not just what the filters maximum air flow is but also the pressure drop and air flow when connected to the matching fan. This allows you to choose the correct filter and fan combination for your grow room environment.
CarboAir filters are fine tuned to give you great air flows while still filtering the air correctly. This allows your fan to run at the correct speed and ensures the fan is not choked by the filter, which can burn them out and shorten the life of your fan.

Can you talk us through why you recommend a pre-filter and bands? What are the benefits?
CarboAir pre-filters are designed to filter moisture and dust out of the air that can prematurely block the carbon inside the filter. We also suggest using the rubber pre-filter bands to seal the pre-filter against the canister in order to stop any dust or moisture bypassing it. It’s recommended to machine wash (or change) the pre-filter every cycle to keep your filter working at 100% and extending its life.  Our pre-filters are an improvement on the Rhinos which have no real absorption properties and can restrict air flow.

RVKs have been around for years – our customers know that they’re practically indestructible, so when we tell them that CarboAir are officially endorsed by Systemair, it immediately gets their attention. Is there anything else that we haven’t covered?
Systemair haven’t just endorsed CarboAir, they have their name on it. Given Systemairs stellar reputation for quality it is proof that CarboAir are better by design over the competitors.