We decided to do a review on Rabbit Air A3 HEPA air filtration system this year. This is something that many cigar smokers have looked into and explored for either home or cigar lounge use, but maybe were unsure if they should take the plunge due to the high price point. Well, we did the testing for you! I will detail each part of this unit including how it works, what features it has, price for the filter replacements and how it actually worked in our indoor garage/home lounge.
Rabbit Air A3
Filter: Six-Stage HEPA filtration with Odor Remover
Coverage: 1,070 Sq. Ft.
Warranty: 5 Year
There are several different iterations of the A3 in terms of color or finish. They come in black, white, or a variety of options with decorative patterns on the front filter cover. In addition, there are multiple options to further customize the filter. For this review we used the odor remover filter, but there are also filters that specialize in toxins, germ defense and pet allergy. There is also a washable mesh “pre-filter” that snaps onto the front of all the multi-stage filters for thicker and heavier debris.
Once you get your A3 unit and the filter, it does take some time to set it up, but it is a relatively easy process. Step one is installing the filter. The filter comes separate from the unit, so you must install it yourself. The front panel of the A3 is magnetic and simply pulls right off, and underneath is where the filter lives. Something to note is that if you remove the cover while it is in operation, the unit with stop running but won’t power off. As soon as the cover is put back on, operation will resume. Each layer of the filter comes individually wrapped. Once you unwrap each piece, simply follow the labels for set up. Each filter layer is numbered and must be placed in the right order. The filter layers all sit within a plastic tray that holds everything inside the unit itself. You can pull the gray tabs on the top and bottom to remove the entire tray with the filters or remove them one-by-one without removing the plastic holder.
Once everything is in, you can power on the unit. The A3 has a multiple buttons and features on the top control panel. The buttons/lights from left to right on the top of the unit are Filter Life, Wireless, Air Quality, Power, Fan Speed, Auto Mode, Negative Ions, and Mood Light.
First, you have Filter Life, which illuminates to let you know that it is time for a replacement. The wireless button lets you know the strength of signal if your unit is connected to Wi-Fi. Air Quality rates the air quality in the room. Being around the smoke all the time, for us the air quality always reads pretty low, unless we forget to turn it off. After running overnight, it shows a higher air quality. In the middle is the power button, which is pretty self-explanatory. Next is your Fan Speed, and the A3 has five speeds. The first three are pretty quiet for a fan, while the highest two settings are somewhat loud. All in all, it is still quieter than your average fan or AC unit. Next is a setting for Auto-Mode, the unit will read the room so to speak and automatically set the fan speed based on what is in the air.
There is also a button you can turn on or off for “Negative Ions”. I personally don’t know much about negative ions, but the following is an excerpt from the Rabbit Air website:
“Also called anions, these are molecules that have become negatively charged due to strong natural forces such as sunlight, wind, or churning water. There is evidence that breathing air abundant with negative ions has a positive effect on our mood and our health. Doctors and scientists, who are studying the effects of negative ions, say that they can promote alertness and positive feelings in some people, and may help to increase oxygen to the brain. Research is ongoing to learn how to harness the use of negative ions to positively affect health.”
Lastly, there is a Mood Light button that lets you change the color of the strip on the top of the unit.
You only need to set up the Wi-Fi feature if you intend on using the Rabbit Air App. From here, you can fully control the A3 as you would on the touch panel, as in, it works as a remote for the unit. Additionally, you can set scheduled operation for when you aren’t near the machine. The app will also alert you when it is time for the filter to be replaced.
After using the Rabbit Air A3 for a couple of months, we found that it does help cut down the level of smoke in an enclosed space with no additional ventilation. Obviously, it will depend on the size of the area you are looking to cover and how much smoke is around. Our studio is in a garage, and typically we have two – three people smoking cigars. For context, we open the door during the summer months to ventilate, but New England winters can be brutal so we keep the door shut and run a heater. For our purpose, it holds up well enough. We later got a second unit and having the two together performed even better. In terms of smell, the filter did a great job of cutting down of roughly 85% of the smoke odor, but more importantly, it prevented it from seeping into other rooms in the house. There is also very little haze left in the room during a smoking session with the Rabbit Air fan speed set to 75% or higher. If left to run at 50% after smoking has finished, within an hour or so the space will smell clean and clear. Our filter got dirty very quickly; however, the app still tells us the filter life is at 75% after several months of use.
Final thoughts – I would recommend this machine to anyone looking to smoke indoors provided they have the right size room. There will still be smoke in the room as the unit sucks smoke via the front and spits out the clean air towards the top. I would recommend two units for a larger sized room if you want close to perfection. If the room you are using isn’t properly insulated, you will find the cigar smell won’t be fully contained to the room, but it will absolutely lessen the spread to other areas of your home and if ran after you finish, the smell and smoke will clear up relatively quick. If you plan on smoking in your house entirely or in a place with a large square footage, you will probably need a handful of machines spread around for maximum coverage. The closer you sit to the unit the better so it can absorb the smoke faster. Filters last up to twelve months according to the Rabbit Air website. I would say based on what I have seen with cigar smoking specifically, it closer to six months. As of this article, replacing the filter will cost you $115.95 through Rabbit Air’s website. For a cigar smoker you want to make sure you select the odor remover filter.