The Busy Person’s Quick Guide to Air Purifiers
You may perhaps have come across the term ‘air purifiers’ recently and are wondering what exactly they are?
Or maybe you know of someone who has one in their home or workplace and you’re curious about how they work?
Here we’re going to answer 4 important questions relating to air purifiers, to arm you with info quickly.
(If you have more time you may be interested in our Complete Buyers Guide to Choosing the Best Air Purifier)
What Is An Air Purifier?
Essentially, an air purifier is an electrical device that removes contaminants from the air inside a room.
It does this by drawing that air in, processing it through a variety of filters and then pumping out clean air back into the room.
What Kind Of Contaminants Does An Air Purifier Help To Remove?
Would you be surprised to learn that indoor air pollution can be up to 5 times worse indoors than it is outside?!
For example, a build-up of moisture indoors can lead to the development of mold and mold spores, while forced-air heating and cooling systems can circulate bacteria and dust particles.
If you share your home with a furry friend or two then pet dander is also a further air pollutant. And of course it’s now common knowledge that smoking releases dangerous toxins into the air.
Other pollutants that an air purifier may help to mitigate against are pollen, dust mites, and certain viruses.
They can also help to tackle some organic compounds such as herbicides and pesticides, and volatile organic compounds found in many everyday items such as cleaning products and paints.
An air purifier may also help to eliminate or reduce unpleasant odors, such as those caused by cooking or from pets.
What Types of Filter Does an Air Purifier Use?
Air purifiers use a variety of different filters or filtration aids, and a unit may feature one or a combination of the following:
– a pre-filter, to remove larger contaminated air particles – mainly dust and dirt that can hang about in the air and end up settling on your furniture. Pre-filters are cheaper to replace and stop the more expensive HEPA filters getting clogged up with larger particles. This extends the HEPA filter’s life and saves you money.
– a HEPA filter, to remove fine, microscopic air particles. These are the nasty little particles that a human eye can’t even see such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, mold and even some viruses.
– a carbon-activated filter, to tackle bad smells and odors, and to remove some types of chemicals.
– an enhanced carbon filter, to absorb a wider range of gases or chemicals including VOC’s.
– an ioniser (or ion generator), to refresh the air.
– a UV light, to reduce the presence of microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria.
What are the Health Benefits For You and Your Family?
There are plenty of health benefits to be gained from better quality indoor air.
Unhealthy, contaminated indoor air can contain a variety of particles, bacteria and gases that may cause health issues to you and your family if not addressed. Improved indoor air quality can even make you more productive.
Although the word ‘organic’ appears in the description Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) don’t let this fool you. These are dangerous chemicals that typically originate from man-made substances such as cleaning products, painting and building products, and are also produced during smoking, cooking and even printing or photocopying.
Theses compounds can cause a number of short-term health issues including headaches, dizziness, nausea and eye, nose and throat irritation.
High and prolonged exposure may also cause more serious conditions like liver and kidney damage, central nervous system damage and even cancer.
A good air purifier with a HEPA filter is a great starting point in helping limit your exposure to indoor contaminants.
These can filter out mold spores to stop them spreading, remove allergens such as pollen and pet dander from the air, and some of the better units can also capture some bacteria and viruses.
Hopefully the above information has quickly given you a little more knowledge about air purifiers, and whether they’re something you’d want to consider in more detail for your own home or office.