It is safe to say that in today’s world, you have to put in some work before you can take a breath of fresh air, literally. There are airborne pollutants everywhere. Being locked up indoors doesn’t guarantee that you are breathing in clean air. In fact, it gets worse with indoor air as it is often generally more concentrated than the air outdoors. With these airborne pollutants that are so not health-friendly on the rise, it has been air purifiers to the rescue.
Air purifiers have proven to be very effective when it comes to improving the quality of air present in indoor spaces. They get the job done by taking in the polluted air and then releasing a cleaner one. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Maybe, maybe not. As the case is with almost every other appliance, air purifiers come in various types.
For optimum satisfaction, it helps to choose the air purifier that suits your needs as well as your lifestyle. This is why you should keep on reading this post so that you can make an informed choice on what air purifier you should get. Below is all you need to know about five of the most common types of air purifiers out there.
HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air and it is one of the most common types of air purifiers out there. It is capable of trapping not less than 99.97% of particles that are larger than 0.3 microns. Seeing as the human eye can only view particles that are larger than 10 microns, this is a big deal. A HEPA filter can trap almost all types of pollutants. It traps spores, mold, bacteria, viruses, pollen, dust, and pet dander. This surely justifies the ‘high-efficiency’ in its name. The HEPA filter is a web of glass fibers with varying diameters that have been entwined to ensure that no particle can escape being trapped. It does this either by intercepting the particles or getting it trapped by diffusion, sieving, and direct impaction. The air then comes out of the filter cleaner than it was when it entered. On the con side though, the HEPA technology cannot clear the air of gas, smoke, and odors. A huge pro is that it does not produce any harmful byproducts. It can also last for as long as 4 years, depending on its usage and its design. However, for maximum performance, the HEPA filter should be changed regularly or as instructed by the manufacturer.
Activated Carbon Technology
The ‘activated’ here comes in because the carbon has been manufactured in such a way that it becomes very porous and also has a larger surface area to enhance absorption. The pores on these activated carbon filters have chemical bonding and also a high absorbent ability. These two features are what makes it capable of trapping pollutants such as smoke, gases, gases, odors, and chemical emissions. It is often used along with a HEPA filter so that other air particles like dust, pollen can be removed too as activated carbon filters are not very efficient when it comes to doing this. Another con they have is that they are not very effective against pollutants that are far away from where they are situated. That aside, it should be the go-to filter when you want to get rid of unpleasant odors and smells.
As you might have guessed, this technology uses UV light radiation to eliminate contaminants and purify the air. Air is drawn into a compartment that contains the UV light and as soon as these contaminants get exposed to the light, they become destroyed. This is because UV light causes cellular damage. UV technology is common in hospitals and laboratories where a germ-free environment is of utmost importance. Because the light is just as harmful to humans, it is always situated in ceiling lights where the air can become irradiated and much safer. Here’s the catch, though. This technology is only effective against microbes such as bacteria and viruses. They are pretty ineffective against other pollutants in the air. This is why it is always used in conjunction with some other air purifiers like the HEPA or activated carbon filters.
Also referred to as ionic air purifiers, a negative ion purifier purifies the air by making use of electric charges. The electric charge is used to generate negative ions which are then released into the air. When this happens, these ions react with the air pollutants that are positively charged such as dust and pollen. This causes the positively charged pollutants to be neutralized and then drop to the ground or get attached to some other surface. They drop because the neutralization has made them too heavy to remain suspended in the air.
However, its effect is often short-lived. This is because when the air pollutants drop, they are not exactly eliminated from the environment. Rather, they remain on the ground and surfaces so all it takes is a little while before the particles become loose and get recirculated. This recirculation, however, doesn’t have to happen if you sweep or vacuum after you make use of the ionic air purifier.
Other pros are that it is affordable and it is effective against a wide range of pollutants (dust, pet dander, smoke, bacteria, viruses, and fumes). You should note, though, that this purifier does not eliminate odor and it also produces ozone as a by-product which isn’t health-friendly.
You are probably already wondering why ozone is on this list seeing as it was mentioned as a harmful by-product from the purifier above. Well, while it has harmful effects, it still works well when it comes to purifying the air. In fact, in comparison to all other types of air purifiers, it is the only one capable of eliminating ‘air’ pollutants even when they are no longer airborne and have become attached to surfaces. What’s more, it takes care of odors too.
Ozone is an unstable substance and so, when it is released into the air, it reacts with the air pollutants and turns them into water molecules, carbon dioxide and on some occasions, into certain toxic substances. If the idea of purifying the air in your space with ozone tickles your fancy, then you should reach out to a professional air purifying company. They would handle the process and let you know when the safe time to return is. This way, you’ve cut out the risk of inhaling ozone. However, for health and safety reasons, it isn’t advisable to make this air purifier your first choice.
Whatever pollutant it is you’re looking to get rid of, there is an air purifier well-suited for it. The five common ones above are a great place to start. With any of them a cleaner, fresher air is right at the tip of your fingers!