With winter fast approaching, most people tend to get sick more in this season. While there are a number of issues that can contribute to one falling sick, however many people tend to spend a lot of their free time indoors in the winter. Since most people will never open a window in the season to allow fresh air in, the indoor air tends to become stuffy and is contaminated with microscopic bacteria and microorganisms. This is what gets most people sick.
Since the air re-circulated throughout all the rooms in your home by the air conditioner. It might be a good idea to invest in an air purifier, that will eliminate the microorganisms and remove other harmful particles from the air.
What are air pollutants?
They refer to all harmful elements in your indoor air, they include:
- Artificial gas in micro quantities. They are generated by the chemical products used daily.
- Dust particles and other microscopic particles.
- Mold Spores.
- Hair or fur from pets.
- Dust mites.
- Increased humidity is harmful too.
How does an air purifier work?
An air purifier is made to be able to trap air pollutants and remove them from the air making the air healthier to inhale. Different air purifiers use different mechanisms to achieve the goal.
Any air purifier is required to remove the following pollutants:
1. Physical particles– this refers to elements like dust, pollen that are big enough to be easily trapped using HEPA filters. Most air purifiers are equipped with these filters. The filter can be thin or thick depending on the what it is supposed to trap as the air is cleaned.
2. Bacteria and virus – this include pollutants like mold spores, dust mites, and another microscopic pollutant. Some of this pollutants can be removed using fine filters while other mechanisms like ionizing have to used to remove others.
3. Chemical pollutants – they are usually smaller and are impossible to capture using any filters, hence they require a molecular mechanism remove from the air. The activated carbon air purifier has a chemical absorbent that attracts these chemical pollutants and removes them from the air.
Poor air quality always worsens health issues like respiratory problems, asthma, and allergies. Maintain clean and quality indoor air is the only way to alleviate most respiratory allergies. We understand there are a lot of air purifiers in the market today, so which one should you choose?
What are the types of air purifiers in the market today?
Many people assume all air purifiers in the market are the same and that you just have to pick the one with the design that pleases you. Surprise! air purifiers are totally different. Different air purifiers use different mechanisms to purify the air. Here is a list of the most common air purifiers.
1. HEPA AIR PURIFIERS – These are the most popular air purifiers. They have been around for over half a century. These air purifiers are fitted with HEPA filters- able to trap 99.9% of particles larger than 0.3 microns (fun fact: the human eye can only see particles larger than 10 microns. This means the HEPA air purifiers able to remove particles in the air that you can see.)
HEPA air purifiers are also able to remove: viruses, bacteria, and chemicals in the air to provide you with better indoor air quality.
The HEPA air purifiers apply three distinctive techniques to trap the particles :
- Diffusions – These apply for the smallest particles, which are trapped by the fiber and the gas particles on the filters.
- Interception – slightly larger particles are intercepted as the air flows through the filters. These particles stick on the fibers upon contact and are removed from the air.
- Impaction – applies to large dust particles or debris in the air one the hit the fibers on the filters, they get stuck and are removed from the air.
- A HEPA air purifier is able to clean the air without relying on chemical or emitting dangerous byproducts.
- Energy efficient hence Cheap of operating.
- Will produce some buzzing sounds while operational especially on while on full speed.
- Require constant maintenance – the filters must be cleaned or replaced after a while.
- HEPA air purifiers will not remove odors, gases, and chemicals from the air.
2. IONIZER AIR PURIFIERS – This type of air purifier is also referred to as the negative ion air purifier. They reply on chemical injections to purify the air. Ions are just natural particles that can either be negatively or positively charged.
These air purifiers change the makeup of the oxygen levels by altering its molecular structure. In simple terms, these air purifiers create a small powerful electrical field used to collect pollen and dust like a magnet hence settling out the air.
- able to clear out chemicals and odors in the air.
- Silent operation.
- Less maintenance required.
- Ionizers air purifiers have been proven ineffective as they mostly mask the smell.
- they fail to eliminate harmful particles, instead, they move the particles from the air onto the surface of items in the home, walls, and floors. Eventually, the charge in the particles wears off and they become airborne again.
3. ACTIVATED CARBON – These air purifiers are equipped with carbon – that is able to absorb a large number of air pollutants. Carbon is extremely absorbent and is able to quickly bond with most particles chemically.
Carbon can remove: chemicals, smoke, and odors from the air. Activated carbon air purifiers are recommended by people with asthma, extremely sensitive to poor air quality persons, like the elderly and children.
- Able to clean out all the chemical and smoke from the air.
- Quiet operation.
- Low maintenance.
- Activated carbon air purifiers are less effective at removing allergens and particulate matter from the air.
4. ELECTROSTATIC FILTERS – These are the lastest air purifiers in the market designed to provide better efficiency across all forms of air pollutants including chemicals, and particulate matter.
They are very similar to HEPA air purifiers but, with no traditional air filters – modern day innovation – these air purifiers use an electric charge to remove a particle from the air.
As the air is passed through the air purifier particles are charged and stick to the sides of the unit allowing the purified air to exhausted out back into the room.
- Less filter replacements required.
- Able to remove a variety of air pollutants and allergens at the same time.
- Cheap to buy.
- Consumes a lot of energy compared to other air purifiers.
Air purifiers have become popular home appliance in the past decade, as more and more people realize the importance of healthy indoor air quality. However, the American lung association and U.S. Environmental protection agency (EPA), air filtration is not a solution by itself.
There are also some air purifiers that have a 3-stage filtration system and are equipped with pre-filters, HEPA filters and activated carbon filters. The AlorAir Cleanshield HEPA 550 air scrubber is one of them. This perfect combination makes this device the most effective air scrubber on the market.
Some air purifiers generate some ozone, and others when there is increased humidity in the air they produce nitrogen oxide. You will have to vacuum, sweep and clean the floors and surface of items in the house because all air purifiers will only remove the pollutant and allergens in the air alone.