A great air purifier can really improve your life—reducing allergens such as pollen and mold spores, and protecting against wildfire smoke and other kinds of smoke. But to qualify as great, an air purifier needs to be powerful enough to clean the air in a large living room or playroom, quiet and dark enough for you to sleep near it in a bedroom, and inexpensive enough that it’s reasonable to have several spread throughout your home.
An air purifier or air cleaner is a device which removes contaminants from the air in a room to improve indoor air quality. These devices are commonly marketed as being beneficial to allergy sufferers and asthmatics, and at reducing or eliminating second-hand tobacco smoke.
The commercially graded air purifiers are manufactured as either small stand-alone units or larger units that can be affixed to an air handler unit (AHU) or to an HVAC unit found in the medical, industrial, and commercial industries. Air purifiers may also be used in industry to remove impurities from air before processing. Pressure swing adsorbers or other adsorption techniques are typically used for this.
How Do Air Purifiers Work?
Most home air purifiers rely on a fan to draw in air. Then, the air is pushed through one or more filters to trap contaminants before being recirculated. A mechanical filter first filters out larger particles. Then, usually the remaining air will pass through more specialized filters. We recommend air purifiers with activated carbon filters and HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters. HEPA filters are more than 99.7% effective in removing the particles up to the size of 0.3 microns. Read this post if you’d like to find out more about what kinds of particles a HEPA filter can remove.
An air purifier can be compact and used to treat an individual room. Or they can be added to your HVAC system, providing strong filtration for your entire home. According to the EPA, these built-in air purifiers may not be able to remove every contaminant from your room but it can give a very good filtration and reduce air pollutants when used along with an HVAC system.
Benefits of Air Purifiers
Lower the Risk of Allergies and Asthma
Air purifiers prevent asthma symptoms and allergies by filtering out airborne allergens like pollen, dust, and animal dander. However, they do not cure asthma and allergies. Purifiers are more of a preventive measure; not a cure.
Air purifiers reduce contaminants in your home, such as some of these standard triggers:
- Volatile organic compounds, including cleaners, air fresheners and personal care products
Alleviates Other Symptoms Linked to Poor Indoor Air Quality
It can be difficult to determine troubles linked to indoor air quality, since they can be linked to lots of other illnesses. However, if you’re aware that you feel better after you leave your residence, your indoor air quality is likely causing a problem. Even if you or someone in your household doesn’t have allergies or asthma, an air purifier can decrease other symptoms linked to bad indoor air quality. These involve:
- Scratchy throat, eyes, nose or skin
- Sneezing and coughing
Get Rid of Bad Odors
Odors that hang around, including cigarette smoke or cooking smells, can be tricky to eliminate. If you are having a hard time with removing strong smells in your house, our professionals advise getting an air purifier with a charcoal or activated carbon filter.
Protection Against Airborne Germs
Air purifiers with HEPA filters are capable of removing many germs which may include a variety of bacteria, fungi and viruses, as long as there is also a heavy activated carbon filter attached.
Are There Any Side Effects of an Air Purifier?
Generally speaking, there are no side effects of air purifiers. However, there are a few purifiers on the market that use electrostatic precipitators and ionizers; these may emit small levels of ozone. Make sure to do your research when buying one.
Are Air Purifiers a Waste of Money?
If you’re in the market for an air purifier, you could be finding that some brands are producing a lot of claims. And many of those claims might seem too good to be true. So, it’s only typical that you may be wondering are air purifiers a waste of money.
Since updated homes don’t normally bring in as much outside air as older homes, pollutants including dust, pet dander and cleaning products can build up inside. The outcome? Air that’s more polluted than the outdoors, which is a problem if you are dealing with allergies, asthma or are sensitive to respiratory irritation.
In fact, air purifiers do work very well in providing clean air to a home and are worth every penny you spend on it. Without the harmful allergens in the air, allergies like cough, sinus, itchiness, dry eyes, headache will go away and you will live happier and healthier.