Home Improvement Information

Understanding Air Purifiers


Purchasing an air purifier can be confusing, and you do get an awful lot of information thrown at you when you visit the different manufacturing websites, don't you? How can you tell what's what, and why do we need air filters anyway? And how do air purifiers work? Is the air really that bad? Haven't we been breathing the same air for thousands of years?

Yes and no. First of all, we've been breathing the same air for thousands of years, but we live in a symbiotic relationship with the plants around us - that is, we rely on each other to survive. We breathe oxygen to live, and give off carbon dioxide. Plants exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen, effectively "exchanging" the air in a healthy relationship with us. This makes plants the first primitive air purifiers on earth, and explains why scientists are so concerned about the ecological balance on earth and the need for the survival of rain forests and plants - they ensure our own survival as well by preserving oxygen in our atmosphere.

Nature cleans the air in other ways as well - ozone (positively charged oxygen molecules) is generated by waterfalls and thunderstorms. Ozone also cleans impurities and particulates from the air naturally.

The Industrial Revolution and Air Quality

The industrial revolution made great strides in everything but air quality. In fact, pollution such as emissions from automobiles, smog and pollution from everyday chemicals like cleaning fluids, carpeting and paints enter the air every day. In industrial settings, air purifiers clean the air before it is released into the atmosphere in order to meet government requirements.

Today's homes are also more energy efficient and cost effective, but to get there they have become much more "closed in." When they are this sealed up, indoor pollutants are shut in so that today's homes are actually two to five times more polluted than outdoor levels! Obviously, air purifiers are essential to improving indoor air quality to combat the effects of this stale, recirculated air.

Beginning in the 1980's, medical practitioners began to take note of the direct link between poor air indoor air quality and the increased incidence of conditions such as asthma, allergies and recurring colds and upper respiratory infections. The development of a variety of improved, scaled-down air filtration systems for in-home use soon emerged.

How the Main Types of Air Purifiers Work

One of the most commonly used type of air purifier is also one of the first developed, and is used in most hospitals and clean rooms. This is the HEPA filter.

HEPA Filters

During the Manhattan Project in the 1940's, the Arthur D. Little firm developed the first HEPA filters in order to filter out very small particles that had become contaminated by nuclear radiation in atomic bomb testing areas. It was during this initial development that the HEPA standards were set at 0.3 microns, which could effectively capture condensed radioactive iodine.

The filters at that time were called "absolute filters," and not called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) until the filters were marketed in the 1950's. Today these filters are used by hospitals, surgical wards, biopharmaceutical research labs, micro circuitry labs, and the aerospace industry for their exceptional ability to control dust and particulates.

HEPAs remove 99.97% of particles of 0.3 microns or larger. For even more intense filtration, there is an ULPA, or Ultra-HEPA filter, which filters out 99.99% of contaminants pass through the filter.

Obviously, something has to draw the air through the filter, and with HEPA filters this is a motorized fan. This can make them noisy, which makes them an annoyance to some people. A HEPA filter will need to be replaced every 12-18 months, depending upon how it is used and the interior environment of your home. For instance, if you have pets, especially cats or dogs that shed a lot, you may need to change it more frequently because of the dander. If there are smokers in the house you will also need to change your air filter more frequently to ensure proper filtration.

However, for overall performance, nothing filters out or eliminates more particulates than a HEPA filter, so it is a matter of balancing cost, sound preference and convenience against your relative needs when choosing the right model of air cleaner for your home.

Ozone Air Purifiers

Ozone is created in nature by everything from waterfalls to thunderstorms, and is responsible for that fresh, clear smell after a heavy rain or storm has passed. It's nature's way of cleaning the air. Ozone air purifiers essentially do the same thing indoors by artificially mimicking the natural process that creates ozone.

Ozone molecules exist in the air all around us, and will react with any particles they come into contact with, but are very unstable and tend to exist in small quantities for short periods of time.

Ozone air purifiers work by using electricity to generate more ozone molecules, which have one more oxygen (O3) than we normally have in the air (O2) around us. Since ozone is highly unstable, one of the oxygen atoms is always inclined to break away and find another molecule to bond to. This process causes a chemical reaction which destroys odors and germs in the air and then converts what is left of the molecules into harmless oxygen and CO2.

There is some confusion between ozone air cleaners and ionic air cleaners, but there are some differences. With an ozone air purifier, the ozone that is released into the air will be unstable and cause a reaction that will alter and destroy certain germs, viruses, bacteria and molds. It does not, however, have a collection plate where dirt or grime collects.

Ionic Air Cleaners

An ionic air cleaner also uses electrical charges to alter oxygen atoms in the air, like an ozone air cleaner. But unlike an ozone cleaner, an ionic air cleaner will rid the air your breathe of dust and pollen as well.

Ionic air cleaners negatively charge the air particles in a room, which will cause a magnetic attraction to occur. The positively charged particles in the air, such as dust, pollen and pet dander, will naturally be attracted to these and they will "cling" to each other, creating a sort of magnetic bond. Particles that form into bonds like this become too heavy to remain suspended in the air and fall to the ground, where you will no longer be able to breathe them into your system.

Vacuuming and regular dusting can get rid of these particles. In today's ionic cleaners, there are also fans that move the room air over negatively charged metal collection plates that the positively charged particulates will stick to. These can be regularly cleaned by simply wiping them with a soft cloth.

Electrostatic Precipitators

The original electrostatic precipitators were huge monsters used to control pollution emissions from industrial plants. The waste by-products of a plant were sent through large chambers that were charged by electrodes that acted as enormous collection plates to attract the oppositely charged waste products (such as dust, lead, sulfur, fly ash and other hazardous chemicals) from the materials passing through, filtering out all harmful materials. Periodically, the precipitators would be "tapped" so that these materials could be dumped from the chambers into disposal units.
Home electrostatic precipitators also work on the theory of using a negative charge and a positive charge to collect and retain particulates, however, the charge takes place within the air purifier itself rather than in huge chambers, and the dust and particulates are captured on metal filters that can be removed and cleaned or replaced, getting rid of the need for a separate collection chamber for the particulates.

Electrostatic Filters

With electrostatic filters, a small static charge is created that attracts airborne particles as they go through a filter, capturing even those particulates which are too small too be captured by the relatively loose weave of the filter itself. Because of the looser weave, the air flow in an electrostatic filter is very good, but the filtration is very effective because of the electrostatic charge.

These filters do have to be carefully maintained and cleaned at least monthly, and should be replaced every year for peak effectiveness. As the filters do become dirtier, the air flow will become less efficient.

Finally, there are systems that combine two or more types of air purification system. While these are usually more expensive, they can be worth the price if you are looking for the best possible combination of features. For instance, an air purifier that will kill viruses and bacteria like an ozone air purifier, but will also effectively filter out dust and dander with a HEPA filter.

About the Author
Lori Wilkerson is a full-time freelance writer. Right now she knows a little bit about almost everything and a lot aboutelectrical air purifiers, HEPA air cleaners, and whole house air purifiers. Her own home is polluted with several hundred books, pet dander and roving bands of teenagers.


MORE RESOURCES:
Home Improvement Articles from EzineArticles.com
12/05/2021 04:00 PM
What Points to Keep in Mind While Buying a Trundle Bed for Toddlers
Toddlerhood brings a lot of changes. Some are significant, while others are little, but the shift from crib to bed is most important. Your kid may be communicating that they are up for a big bed when they are getting out of their crib.
12/01/2021 08:32 AM
The Significance of Pure Air Inside Your Home
Have you ever climbed up mountains? If so, what do you do when you reach the top? Most people open their arms, close their eyes, and take a deep breath.
12/01/2021 08:32 AM
How to Choose the Best Air Purifier: 6 Factors to Take Into Account
As far as air pollution levels are concerned, some countries have been hit hard, such as India. If you are from any of these countries, we suggest that you take steps to improve your indoor air quality. As a matter of fact, an air purifier makes the perfect gift for your family.
11/29/2021 09:24 AM
A Guide to Help You Pick the Best Air Purifier for Your Loved Ones
Holidays are around the corner. This is the time of year when people start purchasing gifts for their loved ones. If you are going to purchase an air purifier for someone you love, we have some helpful tips for you.
11/29/2021 09:24 AM
Can You Use an Air Conditioner As an Air Purifier?
If you are not sure whether you should go for a dedicated air purifier or just depend on your hair conditioner, you are on the right page. In other words, you need to find out if an air conditioner is able to filter out different types of pollutants, bushfire smoke, or viruses. The sad news is that most types of air conditioners are not designed to serve their purpose.
11/29/2021 09:24 AM
7 Myths About Air Purifiers That You Should Stop Believing in
Over the past few years, the demand for air purification units has gone up significantly. When winter is around the corner, the quality of air may come down. Although air purifiers are quite effective as far as indoor air pollution is concerned, some people have misconceptions about these devices.
11/22/2021 09:24 AM
The Right Approach to Use an Air Purifier for Best Performance
If you want to stay healthy, we suggest that you keep your indoor air free of harmful elements. According to statistics, indoor air is 500% polluted than the air outside. The problem is that most homeowners ignore the factors that may reduce air quality.
11/22/2021 09:24 AM
5 Tips To Help You Purchase An Air Purifier For Your Business
Today, businesses around the world are getting back to normal after the pandemic. However, there is still a lot of risk of airborne transmission of bacteria and viruses. Due to wearing a mask and staying away from people, most people have become weaker as far as immunity is concerned.
11/22/2021 09:24 AM
Can An Air Purifier Be Used To Sanitize Your Office?
If you are looking for an assistant to help you clean and sanitize your home or office, you are on the right page. All you need to do is install a good air purifier. With this device installed, you can have a breath of fresh air.
11/18/2021 10:53 AM
What Is The Difference Between Air Filters, Cleaners, and Purifiers?
Sometimes, people don't understand the difference between air filters, air cleaners, and air purifiers. The thing is that there is a slight difference between the three units, according to experts. So, you need to differentiate between these units so you can hope for the best unit to cover your needs.
11/16/2021 11:16 AM
Air Pollution May Cause A Lot Of Diseases
According to experts, air pollution can cause a lot of damage to our environment. Apart from this, it may also harm human health. As a matter of fact, air pollution is responsible for causing many common diseases across the globe.
11/16/2021 11:16 AM
9 Points to Consider Before You Buy a Good Air Purifier
Whether you are a home or office user, we suggest that you look for the best air purifier to meet your needs. Maintaining your indoor air quality is essential if you want to stay away from a lot of common respiratory infections and diseases. Read on to find out more.
11/16/2021 11:16 AM
8 Health Risks of Exposure to Air Pollution
If you don't know the importance of the air we breathe in, you need to change your mindset and get to know more about it. Sometimes, it is not possible to view air pollution. But it can still have a great impact on your health.
11/15/2021 01:48 PM
4 Common Air Filter Mistakes That You Must Avoid
Even if you have the best air filters, you may not be able to get the most out of them if you don't be careful enough. In this article, we are going to talk about some common mistakes that you might make as far as your air filters are concerned. These tips are essential to help you avoid these mistakes so that your HVAC system continues to work optimally.
11/09/2021 08:29 AM
A Guide To Help You Get A Suitable Air Purifier To Meet Your Needs
Today, there are hundreds of brands of air purifiers in the market. If you want to take one, you may need to consider some essential factors. The first essential factor is CADR, which is the indicator of the number of times the unit can purifier all of the air in your room in 60 minutes.
11/09/2021 08:29 AM
UV Air Purifiers: Do These Devices Really Work?
Indoor air quality is getting worse with each passing day. Therefore, all of us have been looking for effective solutions to this problem. Since air pollution is everywhere, you cannot get rid of it.
11/09/2021 08:29 AM
An Expert Guide to Help You Look for the Best HEPA Air Purifiers
When winter is around the corner, there is a lot of demand for air purifiers across the globe. If you have no experience purchasing and using these units, you may not be familiar with common terms, such as microns, CADR and HEPA. In this article, we are going to help you get a deeper understanding of HEPA air purifiers.
10/26/2021 02:37 PM
Why Is Mold Remediation and Mold Removal Essential?
Why is Mold Remediation and Mold Removal Essential? Mold is an issue that many people deal with in their homes or businesses. But, many people don't realize that it's there, or don't know what they need to do to take care of everything.
10/26/2021 02:37 PM
How to Handle the Aftermath of a Major Storm
Experiencing the havoc that a dangerous storm can wreak on a home or business is traumatic, exhausting, and extremely frustrating. Sometimes a person can try and prepare appropriately for extreme weather events, but often their efforts end up in vain. Anyone who is experiencing such a situation may not be sure how to respond.
10/19/2021 07:38 PM
5 Top Reasons Why You Must Have Skylights In Your House
Installing glazing products like skylights, roof lights, roof windows, etc. is the perfect way of improving the health, happiness, and well-being of family members. The vitamin D provided by the Sun is an essential element for our body. It increases the hormone Serotonin which improves our mood. Besides health, glazing products are also cost-effective and a beautiful addition to your home d?cor.
10/19/2021 07:32 PM
How to Make Decorative Pillows and Throw Pillows Your Sofa's Best Friend
Decorative pillows and throw pillows are simple but genius decor ideas that completely transform the look and feel of your living space. Just a simple change, such as changing the color, shape, texture, or arrangement of the throw pillows can have an amazing impact on your home's decor. Beautiful and unique designs of pillows are easy to source and are available at a wide range of affordable choices.
10/19/2021 07:31 PM
The Decor Color Wheel: A Million Perfect Shades of Gray for Your Interior Decor
A cool gray decor is one of the most dominating home interior decor color trends of this decade! Grey decor was long considered a dull, dark, and dubious choice. Grey's tendency to cut off the effect of natural light and create a strict and lifeless look was more the result of wrong decor combinations than anything else.
10/19/2021 07:00 PM
Leak Detection Experts
Much of Southern California is once again in a drought and there is little relief in sight. With water prices projected to continue to rise, it's only smart to keep a close watch on your home water usage and suspected leaks.
10/19/2021 05:57 PM
Safety First for Home Improvement: The Basics
When doing your home improvement, safety is very important. Check our article on how to improve your safety when doing some home improvement.
10/12/2021 12:29 PM
7 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A Hot Tub
If you are going to make this purchase for the first time, opting for the best hot tub may not be easy for you. Purchasing the best unit can help you have fun for years to come. On the other hand, buying the wrong unit can irritate and disappoint you.
10/06/2021 01:41 PM
Here Is How a Disinfectant Water Machine Can Benefit You
These days, health care products are available across the world. This is the reason many companies manufacture these products. But the problem is that the vast majority of products that we purchased on a daily basis contain chemicals.
10/06/2021 01:41 PM
What Are the Benefits of Hydrogen Inhalation Therapy?
If you want to understand the significance of hydrogen, you need to understand how your body promotes healthy aging, improves brain health, and detoxifies. According to many research studies, there are a lot of benefits of molecular hydrogen. For example, it acts as a powerful antioxidant, supports cognitive health, promotes a healthy metabolism, and helps activate the natural detoxification system in your body.
10/06/2021 01:41 PM
Can You Use UVC Air Purifiers for COVID-19?
As we are getting more knowledgeable about covid-19, we are better able to reduce its transmission. If you want to keep this virus at arm's length, you can use sanitizers, face masks, and social distancing. Apart from this, you can also use other methods, such as UVC light or UVC air purifiers.
10/06/2021 01:41 PM
How Does Hydrogen Therapy Work?
Today, hydrogen is used as a safe and beneficial treatment. According to experts, medical gases have a lot of biological effects that are valid in experimental settings as preventive and therapeutic treatments. In this article, we are going to find out how hydrogen therapy works.
10/06/2021 01:41 PM
5 Reasons You Should Purify Your Tap Water
Purifying your drinking water offers a lot of benefits. In other words, there are many reasons why you should use purified water. As a matter of fact, all of us should try our level best to get access to pure drinking water.
10/06/2021 01:41 PM
Our Future Generations Are at a High Risk of Air Pollution
Today, the world is at a greater risk of air pollution, especially in India. According to statistics, in 2019, particulate matter 2.5 cast around 1 million premature deaths across India.
10/06/2021 01:41 PM
Let's Bust 4 Myths About Air Pollution
Although many scientific studies have been conducted, people don't be serious when it comes to air pollution. The million-dollar question is why people have not been paying attention to pollution. One of the primary reasons is the lack of political awareness.
10/06/2021 01:41 PM
6 Common Mistakes Are Hurting Your Health
According to many reports, Delhi has become a gas chamber once again. According to the official air quality monitor called SAFAR, the national capital quality index displayed a figure of 506 after Diwali. And this figure crossed 999 in the morning at 4 a.
10/06/2021 01:41 PM
Can Clean Air Make You Smarter?
According to scientists, breathing polluted air may have a negative impact on your memory and reasoning. Apart from this, it can lower your intelligence and reduce your academic performance. In this article, we are going to find out how the quality of air affects your cognitive functions.
10/06/2021 01:41 PM
Are There Different Types Of Air Pollution?
The short answer is, yes. There are different types of air pollution, and these tiny particles can cause a lot of damage to your lungs. These particles can get into your vital organs, such as the brain, lungs, kidneys, spleen, and liver.
10/06/2021 01:41 PM
Back to Basics: What Are VOCs?
According to the reports from the Environmental Protection Agency, VOCs refer to toxic chemicals released as gases out of specific liquids and solids. The sad part is that these chemicals may have a negative impact on your health due to short-term or long-term exposure. Let's find out more.
10/06/2021 01:40 PM
Vocs And Air Purifiers
VOCs stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. They are extremely dangerous and may cause a lot of health conditions and problems, especially if you are exposed to these elements for the long term. Based on the reports of the American Lung Association, we can say that these particles are harmful and may cause cancer as well.
10/06/2021 01:40 PM
Air Purifier Installation Tips
If you are going to purchase an air purifier, you must consider some essential features. Today's air purifiers contain several filters in addition to many important features, such as Wi-Fi operation, digital panels, and remote control, just to name a few. In this article, we are going to share with you a couple of tips that will help you with the installation of your air purifier.
10/06/2021 01:40 PM
Air Pollution and Its Harmful Effects on Your Health
Over the years, several studies have been done to prove that increased air pollution is associated with a lot of health conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease, just to name a few. In other words, both long-term and short-term exposure to air pollution is harmful to your health. Read on to find out more.
10/04/2021 09:03 AM
What Are The Advantages Of Regular Carpet Cleaning?
Many homes and money managers don't appreciate that in any case standard vacuuming and spot cleaning, able Carpet Cleaning Melbourne clearing is a totally ought to. Floor covers make any space more wonderful and exquisitely satisfying, yet without fitting cleaning, they can get dull and spilling over with awful garbage and toxins. Analyze to find a few solutions concerning the potential gains of expert floor covering cleaning.
10/01/2021 11:18 AM
Tips To Maintain Your Humidifiers To Improve Your Indoor Air
If you don't maintain your humidifier, you may have a lot of health problems. In other words, these devices can put your health at risk unless you take care of the maintenance. On the other hand, a well-maintained unit improves your health, especially if you or someone in your family is struggling with asthma or allergies.
10/01/2021 11:18 AM
Air Purifier With Ionizer: Should You Go For It?
Small air pollutants float across your home, especially if you don't use a good air purifier. Fortunately, there are different types of air purifiers out there. The function of these units is to make sure your indoor air is free of air pollutants.
10/01/2021 11:18 AM
Air Ionizers: How Do These Units Work?
Basically, an air ionizer is a type of device that can be integrated into your room. Actually, these devices use ionization technology for cleaning the air in your house. Therefore, they can filter out tiny particles that are as tiny as 0.
10/01/2021 11:17 AM
The Difference Between Air Purifier and Humidifier
Although many people use both these terms interchangeably, the reality is different. In this article, we are going to find the difference between humidifiers and air purifiers. Although you can get both of these units, a combination of these units is also available in the market.
10/01/2021 11:17 AM
5 Tips To Help You Ensure Your Air Purifier Works Properly
Have you just purchased an air purifier? If so, make sure that you know how to use it the right way. If you want to get the most out of your unit, we suggest that you follow a few suggestions given by experts.
10/01/2021 11:17 AM
4 Important Things To Consider Before You Go For An Air Purifier
When the winter is around the corner, you may experience poor air quality due to matrices, such as PM2.5 and PM10. Without any doubt, poor quality is dangerous for your health.
10/01/2021 11:17 AM
5 Tips to Control Your Indoor Air Quality
Nowadays, the whole world is trying to cope with the ongoing pandemic. Lockdowns across the world help to improve the outdoor air quality. But it has nothing to do with indoor air pollution.
10/01/2021 11:17 AM
Types of Car Air Purifiers and Their Functionality
As far as the difference between room air purifiers and car air purifiers is concerned, both are almost the same except that car air purifiers are comparatively smaller. In other words, these units are like mini air purifying units with lower power requirements. In this article, we are going to talk about different types of technologies that car purifiers use.
10/01/2021 11:16 AM
4 Ways An Air Purifier Can Help Improve Your Skin
Ventilation can pollute your living space. If you don't do anything about it, you will be forced to breathe dust, dirt, pollen, and dander. Your home creates different types of poisons that can have a negative impact on your health.
09/27/2021 08:46 AM
How to Clean the Air for Our Children
Pollution is responsible for millions of deaths across the world. Therefore, it is known as a silent killer, which may cause a lot of health problems, such as cancer and respiratory issues. According to statistics, it is the most common killer of children in third world countries.


home | site map | contact us