If you want to try and clean the air you breathe before it goes into your body, you might want to consider an air purifier. In America alone, a lot of money is spent each year on trying to purify the air. These purifiers are especially useful for those suffering from allergies and other conditions that mean what they breathe in is even more important. However, not all air purifiers actually do the job they’re supposed to, and some might actually do more than good. That means the right air purifier choice is an important one. If you get a quality air purifier, it could make a dramatic difference to the air your breath and the quality of your health, especially if you have asthma or a similar respiratory condition.
Air purifiers have actually been around for hundreds of years. They might not have been as sophisticated in the past, but they have evolved way past that point.
You might be surprised to know that the air inside even a “clean” home is quite a lot dirtier than outside, most of the time. This is generally the case except for in the most polluted areas of big cities or near busy roads. That’s because there are lots of contaminants in a home that you might not even think of. Moisture in a home can also lead to the development of mold, which is also not good to breathe in.
Other types of home cooling systems like air conditioning can be vital in certain locations, but they can also be unhealthy. They could help circulate dirt through the air of your home. If you’ve got pets, these could be another source of pollution, and external allergens can get stuck in carpets. All of these issues can add up to some healthy air. All of these pollutants can harm your lungs and immune system. So what can you do about it? You might want to consider investing in an air purifier. But how do they work? Let’s have a look…
How do air purifiers work?
Since most pollutants aren’t visible to humans, you can’t just magic them away or waft a towel in the right general direction. An air purifier generally works by using filters, ozone or electricity. Some of the best ones will use a mixture of these processes. Let’s have a look at how each one works:
Air filtration is perhaps the most common type of technique for purifying air. Just like a sieve in a kettle or dishwasher, these filters have very fine sieves that take out larger pollutants while letting the rest of the air go through naturally. They will generally filter the particles in circulating air. When air flows into an air purifier like this, the filter or sieve traps larger particles of pollution. When we say “larger”, we’re talking relatively, here. These filters will generally trap anything bigger than 0.3 microns (on the most part). A micron is a tiny fraction of an inch (1/25,400).
These air purifiers are better than typical air con filters which can only capture items above 10 microns. That 10 microns is about the size of something a human can normally see, like tiny specs of dust or other dirt. So an air filter gets rid of a lot more than that, but still not absolutely everything.
As air goes through one of these filters more and more times, it will become cleaner and cleaner. The standard for this type of filter is known as a HEPA filter. When choosing a HEPA filter, you’ll need to make sure it supports the capacity of your room. In other words, some machines won’t work for bigger rooms, so you’ll need to take care when buying one.
You can also get ozone generators to help purifier your air. These generators use high voltage current to turn oxygen into ozone which helps break down the molecules of pollutants that are in the air. However, some research has suggested that ozone generators aren’t actually that effective at removing many of the pollutants you find in a home. As well as that, ozone is not considered that safe for your health, so you might be doing more harm than good. These sort of air purifiers might be ones to avoid.
Electric attraction purifiers
These purifiers come in three different types, ion generators, electrostatic cleaners and electret filters.
Ionic air purifiers
These air purifiers use very small needles to create fine gas molecules with negative ions which attach to air pollutants and collect them inside the machine filter. These can be good air purifiers, but some of the ions can get back into the air and may stick to the carpet or other things in your home.
These ionic purifiers also only remove some types of air pollution and aren’t that effective against chemicals, smells and gases.
Electrostatic precipitating cleaners
This technology draws particles with a fan and charges them. An opposite electrical charge is applied to them as they pass through plates in the machine. This attracts contaminants out of the air and lets cleaner air pass back out of the machine. These types of filters are good for people who don’t want to have to regularly maintain standard HEPA filters which can be more expensive to repair and replace. However, these filters do produce some ozone, which as we’ve already seen — isn’t great for your health. The levels of ozone produce are very low, however.
An electret filter uses a number of fibers that contain charges to attract particles from pollutants. You can get electret filters combined with standard HEPA filtration systems to clean your air even more. These can be much more effective air purifiers.
Now you’ve seen how the different types of air purifiers work, you can make a better choice about which one is right for you and your home. Be careful not to pick one that actually might make your air more unhealthy to breathe in the long run.