Do Air Purifiers Really Work?
What types are there to choose from?
Having clean pure air in your home isn’t as simple as doing routine chores around the house. There are too many forces working against you. Common household cleaners that produce harmful odors, cooking odors, cigarette smoke, outdoor pollutants that enter from vents, windows and doors, pets, and even uncontrollable substances such as mold and bacteria hide in unreachable spots, and float around unseen in the air.
Air purifiers are effective in getting rid of up to 99.97 percent of those harmful particles. How effective an air purifier really is depends on the type of purifier you purchase, and what kind of filters it has. The two main types of air purifiers are ionizers and multiple filter purifiers. Both types of purifiers have the same goals, but go about them in different ways.
Ionizers get rid of the particles in the air that can harm your lungs and breathing passages by producing negative ions. These ions float about in the air and bond to the particles there making them heavy and unable to remain airborne. Ionizers also produce small levels of ozone that neutralize bacteria by bonding with them, and oxidizing them.
Pros And Cons Of Ionizing Air Purifiers
Ionizers are popular because they are slim, sleek and modern looking. They are usually much smaller than filter air purifiers, and fit into the décor of a room better. Ionizers are also much quieter when running than filter air purifiers. That’s because they do not use fans to circulate air.
Ionizers aren’t as effective in large spaces as filter air purifiers for the same reasons. They aren’t big and bulky because they don’t use filters that trap particles flowing through a fan driven circulation system. They use metal plates to attract falling particles, but the plates get covered up and full quickly reducing the ability to pull in particles. The ionization still makes particles fall, but the reduced capacity of the plates leaves them fall to the floor or your furniture making more of a mess to clean.
The biggest con to ionizing air purifiers is that they produce ozone as a by-product. While ozone does help reduce odors and bacteria, it can be aggravating and even dangerous to people with compromised immune systems, young children, pets and the elderly.
Even though ionizing air purifiers have to pass strict EPA qualifications, and emit very low levels of ozone, it is still best to use ionizers when you are not home, and allow one to two hours after use for the ozone to revert to pure oxygen in your home.
HEPA Filter Air Purifiers
HEPA filters are the most effective type of filtration system. It traps the smallest particles down to .03 microns and eliminates as much as 99.97% of the elements that can harm you in the air. These types of air purifiers are very effective in cleaning the air, but they can be noisy and take up a lot of floor or shelf space.
Filter air purifiers have more than one type of filter because even though the HEPA filter system is very efficient, it would get clogged up too easily with larger particles. These purifiers also use carbon activated filters to eliminate odors, and a filter pad to trap the larger filters coming in to the purifier first.
Pros And Cons Of Filter Air Purifiers
Besides being big, bulky and noisy, filter air purifiers are more work than ionizers. Filter pads need to be removed and washed regularly. Carbon activated and HEPA filters need to be replaced when full, and although carbon activated filters usually last several months, and HEPA filters can last up to three years, it is still an additional expense to the operation of these types of filters.
Do Air Purifiers Work On Mold and Bacteria?
While pet dander and pollen are extremely aggravating to people with allergies, and noxious gases are damaging to lungs and nasal passages, mold and bacteria are even more dangerous. Floating mold spores will not only damage your health, they also destroy your home, and bacteria floating in your home’s air are responsible for many common illnesses that affect your quality of life.
Air purifiers greatly reduce the amount of mold and bacteria in your air, and it doesn’t take long before you notice how much better you feel when air purifiers have been running.