What Do Air Purifiers Actually Do?
As the name openly suggests, the primary responsibility of air purifiers is to provide us with clean air at home.
You might naturally wonder – “why is the air in my house dirty in the first place?”
The air inside our houses may not be “dirty”, but it’s not pristine either. A typical apartment is full of airborne particles released when cooking and cleaning, as well as dust coming from furniture, wires and other sources. As harmless as this may seem, some of these particles are quite a cause of concern, as they are the instigators of a number of respiratory diseases, allergies, irritations and colds.
Even if you are not prone to these conditions, breathing clean air may have a significant effect on your overall health state, mood and general wellbeing.
So What Is It That Air Purifiers Actually Do?
Air purifiers direct air through a built-in filter that can catch the harmful airborne particles mentioned earlier and thus remove them from your indoor environment. When passed through the filter several times, most air purifiers are able to catch both small and large particles and free your air of up to 95-97% of harmful substances.
How To Choose An Air Purifier?
The most important thing to look into when selecting an air purifier is the type of filter the machine uses. After all, this is the part that handles the key job of “catching” harmful particles and keeping them out of your lungs.
Hepa filters are known to be the best in terms of efficiency due to their ability to catch the smallest particles (as small as 0.3 microns). Developed during World War II, Hepa filters are even recommended by the US Department of Homeland Security for their ability to remove radioactive particles. Other elements that would be stopped by Hepa filters include dust and dust mites, pollen, bacteria, allergens and more.
Air ionizers are a second type of air purifiers that work in quite a different fashion. Instead of making the air go through a filter, an air ionizer releases negative ions that change the polarity or airborne particles, resulting in them pulling together and falling to the floor – thus, getting out of the air you are breathing. One of the major strengths of air ionizers is that they can remove particles from the air that are as small as 0.01 microns. One of the major weaknesses, on the other hand, is that the particles, though removed from the air, still remain present in your apartment.
UV lamps, though not technically air purifiers, do perform many of the same functions. They destroy micro-organisms that approach the bulb and are quite efficient in removing bacteria from your close environment. These devices are also recommended by the Center of Disease Control and are particularly useful during cold season.
Some air purifiers also feature activated carbon air filters. These are comprised of a large number of pores, which are highly absorbent and are able to form chemical bonds with gaseous and odorous elements. Activated carbon air filters are most effective when it comes to removing odours, cigarette smoke, chemical gasses and fumes.
In addition to the filters mentioned above, you will find certain models featuring ozone generators. Ozone can help destroy certain types of bacteria (especially odour-causing bacteria) and chemical agents.
Depending on the climate and your living environment, the choice of an air purifier is personal. However, when in comes to the needs of most households, air purifiers with Hepa filters come as most recommended.