Air Purifiers: The Ultimate Education Guide

The Ultimate Guide To Air Purifiers

Air purifiers have gained a lot of popularity in recent years. Tons of technological innovations have been made to keep your home and your living environment safe from harmful air particles. Particles such as ozone are fatal and can result in permanent cell damage if safety precautions are not met.

Fortunately, there are ways to keep yourself safe from these air contaminations. Having a combination of air purifiers, sanitizers, and protective gear will ensure that your living and working area remains safe and unharmed.

In this article, we'll talk about how air purifiers benefit your home. Our main goal is to give you enough information to become a more informed shopper. You'll understand the mechanics that goes behind the usage of air purifiers by the end of this article.

These are the specific topics that we’ll discuss in detail in this educational guide:

  • What is an Air Purifier?
  • Benefits of Owning an Air Purifier
  • What Makes Air Purifiers Different than other Sanitation Methods?
  • Purifying Techniques
  • Potential Hazards/Safety
  • Types of Filters

What Is An Air Purifier?

An air purifier is a machine removes air contaminants in your room. Things such as dust, pet dander and pollen act as allergens to sensitive people. Constant exposure to these allergens can lead to severe injuries and reactions if left untreated.

Commercial air purifiers are made as small, single units or large units attached to an HVAC or an AHU (air handling unit).

You'll usually find these types of purifiers in commercial, industrial, and medical industries.

To fully understand air purifiers, you'll first want to know the difference between carbon dioxide and oxygen.

Different types of air purifiers.

Oxygen (O) allows us to breathe and function properly. Getting an air purifier ensures that you receive pure oxygen and filters out the carbon dioxide. This ensures that you breathe in natural, healthy air and removes out unnecessary parts that could pose a threat to your health.

Air purifiers can alternatively be used to remove harmful contaminants such as carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air. While seen as non-hazardous, carbon dioxide can create lethal oxygen-deficient environments in confined spaces.

Filters are another important aspect in regards to air purifiers. Usually, most air purifiers have HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters that help cleanse that air that's in circulation. Also, the filters help remove the impurities and contaminants located in the air.

On average, HEPA filters have the ability to remove up to 99.9% of dust particles that are larger than 0.3 microns (the usual measure for microns). HEPA filters help by removing the dust, smoke, pet dander, pollen, and virtually every pollutant that's present in the air. We'll discuss more about the different types of filters later on in this article.

Benefits Of Owning An Air Purifier

Air purifiers offer a myriad of health benefits when used correctly. It helps regulate the air so that everyone in your living space can breathe easier. Consider buying an air purifier if you or someone in your household has issues breathing and needs a clean source of air.

They fulfill the needs of both residential and commercial facilities. Commercial purifiers used in a various amount of industries (technical, industrial, hospitality) to maintain and create a safe environment. Your air purifier is a great investment that will provide a lot of health benefits in the long run.

Here are a few benefits of owning an air purifier. Air purifiers serve as a means to:

  • Eliminate Uncontaminated Air
  • Removes Bad Odors
  • ​Improve Air Circulation
  • Allergy Relief

Because of this, it’s important to have an air purifier in your home. They offer a myriad of advantages and provides enough support to keep your house safe from harmful particles that come in contact with it daily. We suggest getting an air purifier if your house has a high level of humidity to help it maintain the air quality.

Eliminate Uncontaminated Air

People with allergies or certain health conditions such as asthma should plan on buying an air purifier. They make the air free from all sorts of particles that can damage your respiratory system.

Woman holding a child next to an air purifier.

Also, they remove the dirt from the air so that you can have pure air to breathe. First, it captures the dust and uses electrically powered coils to produce clean air. Air purifiers serve as a natural and efficient tactic to control the quality of air that goes into your home.

Removes Bad Odors

Air purifiers work to keep bad smells at bay. They have the skill to remove bad breath, cigarette smells, medicinal smells and heavy cooking odors that are found inside your home. Some benefits of air purifiers include reducing maintenance and housekeeping fees and protecting the property from fire due to the misuse of heating equipment.

Improves Air Circulation

As we stated earlier, air purifiers remove up to 99.9% of the dust found in your home. This ensures that the air inside your home is clean and improves the quality of the circulation.

Allergy Relief

Sometimes, our house gets filled with bacteria that can trigger our allergies. A good air purifier negates such bacteria by acting as a safety net. It captures the bacteria and filters it out by exchanging it with cleaner air. Because of this, air purifiers offer a safe way to protect you and your family from allergic reactions.

What Makes Air Purifiers Different Than Other Sanitation Methods?

To fully know about air purifiers, you need to know the alternative devices that it's often compared to.

Air Ioniser

One thing that makes air ionizers different than air purifiers is its ability to charge (ionize) the air electrically. They work by shooting out the negative ions that are located in your living space. Since there are more negative ions than positive ions in our air, it's important to look into an ionizer for your purifier.

Air ioniser illustrated.

Another main thing to remember is that the ionizer is a feature.

This means that some air purifiers come with an ionizer.

Air ionizers are best to be regarded as a supplement to your purifier.

To summarize, ionizers are a great feature to have on your air purifier. They enable your purifier to work more efficiently. As long as you frequently change your filters, the ionizer will work to improve your breathing. Make sure to dust or vacuum the dust particles in your house often to ensure that your living space emits nothing but clean air.

Air Sanitizer

Air sanitizers are a type of sanitizer that disinfects the microorganisms or airborne microbiological organisms in the air. These organisms are usually known as viruses, bacteria, or fungi that are found in your household. Having an air sanitizer helps to remove these contaminants in your house in a short period of time.

While air purifiers are excellent at trapping particles inside an air circulator, air sanitizers can combat microorganisms in an interior space. This means that they can cleanse a cough or sneeze pathogenic aerosol faster than an air purifier.

Air circulators aren't fast enough to sanitize all of the air in the room simultaneously and are best used for long-term air maintenance. It's best to use air sanitizers and air purifiers as complementary tools as they both work together to keep your air uncontaminated.

Electrostatic Precipitator

Certain particles such as smoke and dust can easily linger in your houseful. An electrostatic precipitator helps by filtering out these fine particles in the air. You'll often see this type of filtration be used for chimneys and other masonry components.

It starts by collecting the waste gasses that consist of smoke particles. These particles start off with a negative charge and are transferred through a collecting pallet. Collection pallets help by removing the particles and giving them a positive charge.

Electrostatic precipitator illustrated.

Certain gasses such as smoke can restrict proper breathing due to its initial negative charge. The electrostatic precipitator changes that charge which leads to a better air quality and air flow. You'll want to use an electrostatic precipitator if you have a high concentration of gas within your home.

We understand that there are a lot of sanitization methods out that are proven to add value to your home. Our advice is to start off with an air purifier first because it offers the most utility. Then, plan on adding an air sanitizer or an electrostatic precipitator to complement the cleaning properties your purifier is placing on your home.

In the next section, we'd like to discuss purifying techniques. Air purifiers have a multitude of methods to aid in cleaning up your home. Try to understand the different types of methods to see which one works the best for you.

Purifying Techniques

There are a lot of sterilization techniques used to remove bacteria and other allergens in the air. When exposed to these techniques, the particles lose their natural function and harmful properties. Thus, creating a clean area where your air is sterilized and allergen free.

Thermodynamic Sterilization (TSS)

This method utilizes heat sterilization through ceramic cores aided with microcapillaries. Next, they are heated by up to 392°F (200°C) to burn out the negative particles contaminating your air. For instance, TSS incinerates up to 99.9% of the bacteria and viruses within your room.

Remember, TSS is not a filtering method. It doesn't remove or trap the air particles that are found in your home. Instead, it reduces the ozone concentration in the atmosphere by removing the negative by-products that can interfere and tamper with your air flow.

The table below is an example of how useful the average TSS system works. It displays results of an experiment that was conducted to see how effective it is at reducing air particles in a room.

The exposure/control variable and the percentage reduction variable are directly correlated. Meaning that the higher the exposure/control, the more efficient the TSS method is at removing the particles in your room.

Exposure/Control Reduction %
1 sec control 1 sec exposure 70.60%
5 sec control 5 sec exposure 93.45%
5 min control 5 min exposure 97.95%

As you can see, the table shows how effective the TSS system works at clearing up air particles. Try this method if you're looking for a quick way to destroy contaminants in a safe and concise manner.

Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation

Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) is one of the more advanced methods of sterilization. It works by using short wavelength ultraviolet light to kill off microorganisms that are found in the air. It does this by disrupting their DNA through the destruction of the nucleic acids stored inside of the particles.

This method results in the particles being unable to function as effectively as it used to. By causing a split into their DNA and nucleus, it prevents their cells from growing and operating. UVGI is used for various scenarios such as water, food, and air purification.

Illustration of ultravioler germicidal irradiation.

UVGI is a disinfectant that's best for surface and well water disinfection. The UV treatment is fast, as it requires a shorter amount of time in comparison to boiling the water. In fact, it's up to 20,000 times more efficient than the traditional method of disinfecting water (boiling).

Plus, UV irradiation removes the estrogenicity in your water. Most of the time, this estrogenicity is found within a hormone called EE2 (Ethinylestradiol). EE2 is usually found within female contraceptive pills, and UV irradiation removes up to 95% of that estrogenicity when exposed to it for extended periods.

Like the Thermodynamic Sterilization technique, UVGI's effectiveness in relation to its exposure time is in direct correlation. The longer you allow an area to be exposed by the sterilizing properties, the more effective it will be at removing the harmful particles that are found the atmosphere.

Most developing countries use the UGVI method. It's an inexpensive, yet useful way to clear the air from life-threatening gasses, viruses and other substances that are proven to be harmful.

Studies have proven that you can use this method without power and still get a reliable source of purification. Because of this, countries such as India, Africa, and most of the Latin American region tend to use the UGVI technique.

Ionizer Purifier

As we've stated in the previous section, ionizers are a supplement to your air purifiers. This is because they help the purifier create more negative ions within your area. Another thing to take into consideration is that they serve to improve the overall quality and utility of your air purifier.

To go in depth, ionizers work through an electrically charged wire. This wire sends out molecules that remain in the air in your home. When these ions come into contact with the contaminants due to a process called electric attraction.

Think of electric attraction like a magnet. Ions and air contaminants have opposite properties and reactions. Because of these oppositions, your ionizers can will either remove or incapacitate them when they both are together.

The type of system will determine what method your ionizer will take at handling contaminated particles. For instance, some ionizers will capture the allergens on an electrically charged collection plate or forces the contaminants to stick to other surfaces in the room.

Having an ionizer is an effective tool in reducing the number of allergens that enter your lungs and work to enhance the air quality.

One thing to remember is that ionizers come in two different types. Fan-based and fan less ionizers work to offer relief against the pollutants found in your air circulation.

WOman with allergies sneazing.

Fan models require more energy and can give off a loud sound when its operating. But, they are the more effective out of the two. Having a fan makes it easier for the ions to be transferred through the room which helps clear it from pollutants that might cause potential harm.

The fan less models are quieter but are less effective than their fan counterparts. Fan less ionizers take a longer time to distribute the ions, which means that it will take a longer time to clear the air within your room.

Another good thing about ionizers is that they can be used for various situations. For instance, users can choose either room-based or whole-house ionizer to help clean one's room. Room-based ionizers are placed on a floor in a single room, similar to that of a space heater.

Whole-house ionizers are located within the internal system of one's home. It's usually placed in the home's central heating/cooling system and is transferred through the HVAC ducts. On average, whole-house ionizers are more effective than room-based ionizers. Still, room-based ionizers are still an excellent choice for confined areas.

Filters

Another method is through the use of filtration.

Filters capture the negative particles through either containing it in a collection system or through letting the air force them to get stuck inside of the filter.

Make sure to keep your filters thoroughly cleansed for them to keep your atmosphere clean and safe.

Cleaning air purifier filter with water.

Potential Hazards/Safety

Here is the main health hazard you should know about before buying an air purifier.

Ozone

The ozone is a toxic, chemically induced gas that can cause lung damage if overexposed. It's produced by the oxygen through the welding area. Ozone (O3) is a potent germicide and is invisible to the human eye in certain situations. But, it's presence can be detected due to the sharp odor that it emits.

Ozone hazards are usually apparent in industrial workplaces (welding). Since ozone can be formed from a distance from the arc and also away from it, it's difficult to remove the and control the exposure of O3.

We suggest using local fume extraction materials to remove some of the ozone from the area. However, this method won't be able to solve the problem fully. The best way to deal with ozone is to prevent it from entering your area in the first place. Keep unnecessary chemicals and bacteria from entering your space through buying an air purifier.

Due to these extraction difficulties, control of ozone exposure is often used through respiratory protection. Welders often work in dangerous areas where ozone can get into their lungs. To prevent this from happening, have a mixture of fume extraction and ozone protective gear is needed.

Types Of Filters

Filters are necessary when you have an air purifier, but what are the types of filters from which you can choose?

HEPA Filters

The most commonly used air purification filter is the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. With filters, the air forces the particles to go through the filter where it is captured and is stored inside of it. HEPA filters remove up to 99.9% of the particles that are sized at 0.3 microns.

HEPA filters are the most accessible filter on this list. This means that you'll be able to find it in almost any hardware or online store. Having a HEPA filter makes it easier for your purifier to cleanse and maintain a healthy environment.

Whole House Filters

Whole house filter.

Sometimes, you'll need an air purifier that works throughout your home.

While these are cheaper than a whole house purifier, they ensure that your living space is free from contaminated air particles.

Another advantage is that whole house filters are easy to use. They are attached as a replacement to your original filter.

Because of this, whole house filters are easy to install without the help from a professional.

Whole house filters work by trapping the air particles and filtering and returning clean air. But, they do come at a small disadvantage. They are unable to clean the air as thoroughly as other filters, making it useful for short-term air purification.

Charged Media Filter

Charged media filters work like an electrostatic precipitator, but they use filters instead. This means that the filters will have to be replaced once every few months to maintain effectiveness. Charged filters consist of ozone, which might not be a good choice if you or someone has respiratory problems.

Pre-Filters

These filters work complementary with HEPA filters. Pre-Filters work by blocking large particles from getting in contact with units that are sensitive. Also, they are made out of foam or nylon and can often be washed. Thus, they are a sound investment because they help extend the lifespan of your current filter.

Conclusion

To conclude we believe that having a good air purifier is crucial to your safety. They protect your living space from bacteria, viruses, and other allergens that can cause permanent damage if overexposed to it.

Happy family surrounded by air cleaners.

Now that you know everything about air purifiers, there are still things that you still need to know. You need to know which air purifiers will give you the most utility for your money. It's recommended that you read our buying guide so that you can get the best air purification products in the market.

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