How Home Air Purifiers Work to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Air purifiers are a great way to improve the air quality in your home. They work by using filters to capture and neutralize contaminants and particles as air passes over them, before clean air is recirculated to the living space. Filters are typically made of paper, fiber (often fiberglass), or mesh, and require regular replacement to maintain efficiency. Electrostatic precipitant cleaners or electronic air cleaners use a fan and charge particles with a series of high-voltage cables.

Several plates (precipitating cells) carry the opposite electrical charge and attract contaminants as they pass through the plates. Electronic air purifiers are perfect for people who don't want to worry about costly HEPA filter replacements, but they are generally not as effective as HEPA air purifiers, removing 95% of contaminants compared to 99.97%. Ionic air purifiers work by emitting large quantities of electrically charged negative ions into the air. These ions adhere to particles in the air (such as mold, allergens, and chemicals) and bind them to surfaces such as floors or walls.

In its simplest form, an air purifier is just a filter with a fan attached. The fan moves air through the filter, the filter traps particles, such as dust, pollen, dust mite residues, pet dander, etc., and the fan moves freshly cleaned air around the room. A small-scale study conducted in China found that air purifiers reduced fine particles in the air (dust, pollen, dander) and improved participants' blood pressure levels and lung function. HEPA filters can remove 99.97% of dust, bacteria, mold, pollen and other particles in the air, although in reality their effectiveness will depend on factors such as the age of the filter.

In addition to filtering out particles from the air, air purifiers can also trap toxins indoors. The Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is a number you'll find on most air purifier packaging that indicates how effective it is at removing airborne particles from a room. To ensure that your air purifier is working effectively against coronavirus droplets, you need to introduce them into the filter. Research shows that filtering air can help remove harmful particles from indoor spaces, particularly allergens, smoke and mold.

You should consider the type of air cleaner, the size of the interior space, the MERV rating, and how often you will need to change the filter. In one study, HEPA air purifiers significantly decreased the concentration of allergens (which were predominantly dust mites) in both air and bedding. Now more than ever, Americans are looking for ways to improve indoor air quality, and air purifiers are leading the pack in strides to achieve cleaner air. Research shows that this type of air purifier can remove chemicals such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and toluene from the air. Instead of using filters to trap particles, ozone generators use high-voltage electrical currents that convert oxygen into ozone which acts as a powerful oxidant and breaks down molecules and microorganisms in the air.

Doug Bundley
Doug Bundley

Professional coffee aficionado. General web specialist. Avid internet guru. Subtly charming beer nerd. Infuriatingly humble bacon specialist. Hardcore web evangelist.

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