If you are reading this, then you must be shopping around for an air purifier. This is likely because you have heard that the best air purifiers around can make your home healthier by cleaning the indoor air and can also help with allergies. So you know the basics, but you may still be asking yourself, what does an air purifier do? Does an air conditioner do the same thing as these air cleaners? We have the answers in this air purifier buying guide.
The simple answer is that these machines lower and in some cases can eliminate the number of contaminants that are in your home’s air. They can remove particles from the air. Things like bacteria, viruses, mold, odors, and other contaminants. The positive health effects make it worthwhile to invest in an air cleaner.
What Are Some Air Purifier Benefits And How Do They Work?
To fully answer the question of What does an air purifier do? we have to take a look at another question: How do air purifiers work? Believe it or not, these machines have been around in one form or another for about 200 years.
Whether they are portable air machines or full size, they are used to improve the air quality in our homes, thus protecting our health by getting rid of allergens, smoke, mold spores, bacteria, pollen, pet dander, viruses, volatile organic compounds, and other pollutants. These particles can damage your immune system and cause respiratory issues. And most are too small to see. Air purifiers filter these things out of our air. A top-rated air purifier for mold can help your environment a lot. Especially if you have a pet allergy or are recovering from an illness. And removing odors is always a plus.
Some of the methods that air purifiers use to capture these contaminants electrical attraction, UV light, air filters, and even ozone. These air cleaning technologies all have their own unique way of doing the job. The type of air purifier you get will depend on your unique needs.
How Home Air Purifiers Use HEPA Filters
Many of these machines use what is called a HEPA filter for air filtration. Air is drawn into the air purifier and passes through HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, which can trap 99.97 percent of airborne particles as long as they are larger than 0.3 microns in size. These are currently the best filters on the market as HEPA filters remove and trap ultrafine particles. Filter replacements are usually easy to install and the replacement filter is affordable.
This is why HEPA filters are very good at removing small allergens like asbestos, smoke, dust, bacteria and viruses, pet dander, tobacco smoke, chemicals, mold spores and more. So as the air passes through the HEPA filter, the air in your home gets cleaner and healthier to breathe. This is how it purifies the air. Which is why an air purifier for asthma makes sense for those with respiratory issues. Removing smoke and chemicals is a must. Some have activated carbon filters, but the consensus is that True HEPA is the best for clean air.
How Air Purifiers Use UV Light
Some personal air purifiers use UV light which actually kills airborne pathogens and microorganisms like bacteria and viruses on contact. These purification systems often work in conjunction with a HEPA filter. Ultraviolet germicidal machines are a popular option these days for air cleaning. Your indoor air quality will dramatically improve.
Air Purifiers That Use Electrical Attraction
The machines that use electrical attraction fall into 3 types: electret filters, electrostatic precipitating cleaners, and negative ion generators.
Electrostatic precipitating cleaners use plates that carry the opposite electrical charge. These attract the particles as they pass and hit them with high-voltage. They are typically not as effective as HEPA allergy air purifiers since they remove only 95% of contaminants.
Electret filters create a static charge that attracts particles.
Negative ion generators are another type of machine. An ionic air purifier creates gas molecules with negatively charged ions that stick to the particles and collect in the filter. The problem with this type is that things like gases or chemicals are not removed from the air. HEPA purifiers remove more, so offer better air purification.
As you can see, a good personal air purifier will remove almost all of the bad contaminants from your air so that you don’t have to breathe them in. Simply put, they pull air in, clean it and blow clean air back out. Look for one with a good air change per hour, so you know how much air it is cycling so you can choose the right size for your room for cleaning the air.
What does an air purifier do? Quite a lot for your health and happiness.