Did you know that the air in your home is more polluted than the air outside? If not properly cleaned and purified, this air puts you and your family at a higher risk for a number of allergies and ailments. Fortunately, air purifiers provide an effective way to purify the air in your home, making it cleaner and healthier for the entire family.
What is an air purifier?
An air purifier is an appliance that aids in the removal of air pollutants in the air. These appliances are especially helpful to people who suffer from allergies, or asthma. They can also be used to get rid of secondhand smoke to purify the air.
What does an air purifier do?
An air purifier helps to remove dust, dust mites, pet allergens, cockroaches, and pet allergens in the air to purify it. An efficient purifier can also remove irritants like odors, volatile organic compounds, and smoke. Although these are not allergens, they can make it hard for you to breathe.
When looking to purchase an air purifier for your home, it is important to understand that these systems come in different types which all employ different technologies when cleansing the air in your home. Hence, it is important that you understand how each of these technologies works to choose the best one for your specific needs.
4 common types of air purifiers in the market today
HEPA Air Purifiers
When looking to buy an indoor air purifier, take the time to think about your unique needs first. If you are looking for general air quality improvement, we highly recommend investing in High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters popularly known as HEPA filters. HEPA filters are proven to eliminate up to 99.9% of common airborne allergens that are sized at 0.3 microns and larger. This includes dust, dust mites, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and ragweed.
HEPA air purifiers work by pulling dirty air through its fine, fiber-like material that has been folded back and forth into pleats to arrest particulate matter and clean the air. This purifier is loved by many especially because through the use of fans, it does not produce any ozone.
If you or a loved one’s asthma symptoms are triggered by chemical pollutants and odor, we highly recommend odor and chemical air purifiers like the negative ion air purifiers. These purifiers work by emitting negative ions into the air.
Negative ions are negatively charged oxygen atoms that attract dust and pollen like a magnet. Over time, these ions become outweighed by dust and other toxic matter and fall down to the floor for you to vacuum.
Although this purifier uses advanced technology, it is not as effective as other air purifiers. This is because once the negative ions are outweighed by the particulate ions they have collected, they tend to get stuck on the wall or floor of your home. Eventually, these particles become loose and circulate the air, making it toxic again. Therefore, this purifier does not effectively clean and eliminate these particles.
Activated Carbon Purifiers
Activated carbon air purifiers rely on small doors that are highly absorbent and quickly bond with the toxic matter chemically. These filters can capture a wide range of pollutants including chemicals, smoke, gases, and odors. The best part about this filter is that once they are absorbed, they can never be released again. This filter is highly recommended for asthma sufferers, children and the elderly who tend to be sensitive to air quality. They can gain a lot from the activated carbon filter since it absorbs even the chemicals in commonly used cleaning and household construction materials.
Although activated carbon filters do a great job in eliminating odors and chemicals from the air, they are not effective when addressing allergens and particulate matter. So use them in conjunction with more traditional filters like the HEPA filter.
Ultraviolet Air Purifiers
Just like the activated carbon filters, this air filter is rarely used alone to purify the air. It is usually paired with other purifiers for maximum air quality. This purifier effectively eliminates germs, viruses, and bacteria from the air, protecting you from infections and airborne diseases. These germs are eliminated when they pass through the UV rays radiated from the lamp.
Other factors to consider when buying an air purifier include
When buying a purifier for your home, it is crucial that you choose the right size for efficient air purification. Start by measuring the square footage of the room and use that number to find an air purifier with a recommended square foot coverage that matches that of your room.
For those with asthma or allergies, you may also want to check a purifier’s air change per hour (ACH) rate. Ideally, you want one that can clean the air at least 4 times per hour, ensuring the air is thoroughly clean.
Once you have chosen the right size, the next important step to consider is if there is any special feature you would like. Some air purifiers come with an array of features including multiple fan speeds, digital controls. Air quality sensors, filter change indicators, remote controls, programmable timers, handles for ease of mobility, and caster wheels. These additional features work to add convenience to the operation and give you greater control over your purifier’s performance.
Level of maintenance and upkeep
When looking to purchase an air purifier, make sure to take the cost and frequency of maintenance and filter replacements into consideration. For instance, a HEPA air purifier may last up to a year while the activated carbon filter may last 6 months.
Invest in multiple purifiers for the different rooms in your home, since most purifiers are designed to purify the air in a single room only. Alternatively, consider a whole house air purifier for clean air in every room in your home. These units are connected to your home’s HVAC system to purify your indoors while also heating or cooling your home.
An air purifier is not a replacement for vacuuming, dusting, keeping your home clean and ventilating it when possible. The most effective way of keeping pollutants out of your home is by avoiding introducing them in the first place. Preventive measures like vacuuming regularly, smoking outdoors, keeping solid surfaces sanitized and allowing fresh air in regularly are still the best ways to keep the air in your home fresh.