Like the air we breathe becomes more and more polluted with every passing day, the popularity of air purifiers continues to rise.
Knowing how heavily the polluted air can affect our health and overall wellbeing, we need to ask ourselves, what can we do to help get the air cleaner and preserve our health?
One of the answers to this question is to use air purifiers. Air purifiers or also known as air cleaners are devices designed to remove the contaminants from the air in an indoor area – room, and with that improve the air quality.
Throughout the years, for several decades, people tried to develop, create and finalize the design of the air filters; around the 1950s and 1960s became the decades when the HEPA filters became commercialized as highly efficient air filters and took on the spotlight due to their usage in the 1940s United States’ Manhattan Project to control airborne radioactive contaminants.
Since then, their design, as well as popularity, have drastically improved.
Nowadays, you can find several different types of air purifiers on the market; to help you narrow your choices and ease your search, we have compiled a list of different types of purifiers and all the information you need to be aware of before making your final decision.
The usage of air purifiers
Air purifiers are commercially grated and manufactured as one of two types: a small, typically stand-alone unit that purifies the air (mostly used in home, office, etc.,) and the larger unit that does not stand alone but needs to be affixed to an air handler unit or HVAC unit (found in commercial, industrial or medical industries) to clean the air.
The main usage of air purifiers is to clean out the air from different particles, such as mold spores, dust mite feces, pollen, dust, pet dander, etc., – all of the particles that are unhealthy for us and oftentimes can act as allergens triggering all sorts of allergies.
Additionally, they are also removing smoke particles and VOC particles (volatile organic compounds) who pose a serious health risk as they can increase the chances of you experiencing symptoms of sick building syndrome.
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The benefits of using air purifiers
Since the air purifier are used to ‘clean out’ the air and that way lower our exposure to heavy, unhealthy particles, the main benefits of using air purifiers are mostly health-related:
- Air purifiers remove asthma-attack particles, as well as different allergens, creating a safer environment for sensate, allergy-prone people;
- Air purifiers smoke, radon gas and VOCs particles, creating safer air and preventing lung diseases or leukemia and lymphoma caused by these particles;
- Air purifiers remove dust and pet odor, making your home less smelly;
- Air purifiers remove airborne asbestos particles and with that they lower chances of Mesothelioma Development;
- Air purifiers remove pollutants and fumes that come from the outside (of your rooms) and are an especially big issue in big, urban, polluted areas;
- Air purifiers circulate the air and cleanse it of carbon dioxide; air rich in carbon dioxide can often cause weakness, nausea, loss of mental abilities, dizziness and headaches, so lowering the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air you breathe is quite important for your health;
- Air purifiers also help you get rid of potentially dangerous and definitely annoying insects, bugs (like mosquitoes) which are not only annoying but can also spread serious diseases and infections like malaria;
- Air purifiers also lessen the contamination as they remove bacteria and disinfectants from the air which prevents the development and spreading of diseases, viruses, and infections;
- Air purifiers offer cleaner, fresher air which lowers your stress and improves your mood;
- Air purifiers often generate calming noise which can relax you and even improve your sleep quality.
Different types of air purifiers
As we mentioned, there are several different types of air purifiers you may find on the market, and the difference between them mostly is the method they use to clean the air; choosing the best one for yourself can be quite tricky as it really depends on your individual needs and what room/object you will use them. Here are some of the different types of air purifiers:
Filter air purifiers
One of the most common and frequently used types is the air purifier with filters; these filters work on a quite simple principle: they suck in the polluted air, ran it through series of filters or one filter, and then release clean air into the room.
The filter air purifiers use pre-filters as the first line of defense which takes care of removing larger pollutants such as hair, dust, pollen, insects; then they have the main filter – HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arrestance – not to be confused with HEPA-type or HEPA-grade filters) filter which is the most efficient part as it filters out 99.97% of particulate pollutants, even the smallest ones, 0.3 microns size.
The only thing it can’t remove unfortunately is odor, smoke, and volatile organic compounds. These are removed with some of the other types.
If you are interested in this type of air purifier visit 20 Best Filter Air Purifiers You Can Buy
Activated Carbon Filters
These filters are made of porous material that is specifically designed to absorb volatile chemicals on a molecular basis through a process called adsorption – a chemical reaction between the activated carbon in the filter and the organic compounds; basically, these filters do what HEPA filters can’t, absorb odors and chemicals.
However, it does not remove larger particles. That’s why most people choose to use it in conjunction with other filters (like HEPA) so that all pollutions get to be captured and the air is fully cleaned out.
If you are interested in this type of air purifier visit 12 Best Activated Carbon Filter Air Purifiers
Ionizing / negative ionizing purifiers
The air ionizer purifiers are different types of purifiers as these, unlike filters, clean the air by using positive or negative ions.
What these purifiers actually do is, they release a high concentration of ions (negative or positive) which get attached to air pollutants (which typically are neutral) and they charge them to either have a negative or positive charge; as they get charged, they become either negative or positive and as such they further become attracted to other air pollutants who got charged oppositely of them.
When they get to stick together, their mass rises and they become too heavy to stay in the air – as a result, they settle on the floor or walls and can easily be removed with a vacuum cleaner. As you may assume, these are good for common household pollutants such as dust but do not really work well on removing smoke and other molecular pollutants.
Additionally, they may produce ozone which can have some minor side effects. Therefore one should really be careful with these types of air purifiers.
If you are interested in this type of air purifier visit 7 Of The Best Ionizer Air Purifiers To Buy
Electrostatic air purifiers
Similar to the air ionizer, the electrostatic air purifiers also work on a similar principle of removing electrically charged plates that collected the air pollutants.
Although these come in various sizes and types, they all have to be cleaned out regularly; they use plates on which the air pollutants accumulate, and in order to avoid having over accumulation or having the particles bond too tightly, you need to clean them regularly.
For the best electrostatic air purifier look no further than the following excellent product:
Although they often swim in the waters of controversy, the ozone generators are a quite popular type of air purifiers and one of the most requested.
These clean the air by releasing ozone with 3 oxygen atoms from the ozone generators and one of these atoms will remove itself and get attached to the pollutants; once this is done, the air pollutants will become “cleaned” and harmless through a chemical reaction.
Although at first look these may seem quite good, we feel the need to mention that you must be careful with using these type of purifiers; according to few recent studies, this is because oftentimes the substances produced by the chemical reaction that makes the pollutants ‘harmless’ often in the process create substances that may be even more harmful than the original pollutants.
Additionally, these purifiers should not be used in small, closed spaces as they contain and release ozone in high concentrations and the ozone in this concentration can be quite unhealthy for us creating different health issues and in some cases even asthma attacks.
If you are interested in this type of air purifier visit 19 Best Ozone Generator Air Purifiers
UV technology or ultraviolet air purifiers was actually inspired by the hospitals after people saw how doctors are using ultraviolet light bulbs to disinfect patients’ rooms, laboratories, and halls.
Inspired by this, the UV air purifiers use ultraviolet light to remove some invisible, harmful viruses, bacteria, and different types of pathogens.
These purifiers kill germs but since they do not really get rid of airborne particles, they typically are used in combination with another type of purifiers, where the other purifiers usually destroy the other air-born particles and molecules, and then the UV air purifier cleans out the bacteria and viruses as a final touch of the cleaning.
UV air purifiers are effective for everyone, however, how effective they will really depend on the wattage of the light it is using as well as the time of exposure to the light. Moreover, you will need to monitor the UV lamp to see if it is outdated, and needs to be replaced.
If you are interested in this type of air purifier visit 10 Of The Best Ultraviolet Air Purifiers To Buy
If you are interested in the simplicity of how an air purifier works the following very short video does a good job of explaining…
Regardless of which of these types you choose to clean your air with, whether it is just one or a combination of several, you should always talk to the seller or manufacturer and readout the manual thoroughly so you are completely aware of what you are getting out of it and see not only if it will meet your needs but also be aware of how you should clean and maintain your air purifier.
If you are interested in a very high-end air purifier that has an excellent reputation check-out the… Alen BreatheSmart Large Room Air Purifier (Home Air Purifier)
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