How Do Air Purifiers Work?

April 10, 2020

It’s important to make sure your home’s indoor air quality is safe to breathe. In some cases, your indoor air can have more pollutants than outdoor air. An air purifier is one way to refresh the air for your family. These devices can remove harmful impurities, including smoke, odors, pet dander, and dust. So how do these air purifiers work miracles? Keep reading to learn more about the basics of these appliances.

The Basics of Air Purifiers

An air purifier consists of a filter, or several filters, and a fan. The fan will suck in the air and circulate throughout your home. When the air moves into the filter, the pollutants are captured. The clean air will be pushed back into your room. If you want to have the best results, you need to check and replace the filter often to maintain maximum efficiency.

When you purchase an air purifier, you need to factor in some maintenance costs. For some units, the operational costs can run about $50 per year. Depending on your specific air purifier, you can expect to pay about $100 per year for filter replacements and other maintenance issues.

Some air purifiers have filters that are washable and reusable. However, they often require specialized maintenance to keep them up and running. Some of these units are effective, and they can remove large particles, such as pollen and dust mites. Ultraviolet light (UV) filters are also on the market. These models claim to destroy biological bacteria and mold with higher exposure to the UV light.

Ionizing air purifiers use static to attract particles. The negative ions will bind to the allergens and dust to remove them from the air. However, you should be careful when purchasing an ionizing air purifier. Some models can produce ozone, and that could be a lung irritant that can cause breathing issues and aggravate any asthma problems.

What Can an Air Purifier Filter Out?

Many air purifiers on the market are designed to filter out pollen and dust. However, they often cannot capture gases, such as volatile organic compounds. If you want to protect your family from these particles, you will need an adsorbent carbon. Some air purifiers are made to support activated carbon filters. If you want to have optimal filtration for your home, then you need to replace these filters about every three months.

When you choose an air purifier, you need to know that real-life situations will not mimic those same results in a controlled laboratory. The flow rate, installation, location, and operating time will affect the filtration process of your model. There are other factors that could alter the efficacy of the air purifier, such as opening and closing windows in your home.

For those concerned about mold, you will need to buy a humidifier or dehumidifier. These products can help you to maintain the moisture levels, which can then keep mold in check. Since air purifiers are not designed to eliminate moisture, they cannot prevent mold growth.

Buying an Air Purifier

Before you purchase an air purifier, you should know that they will not prevent all problems in your home. In some cases, air purifiers can reduce allergens and alleviate respiratory symptoms. However, there are few medical studies about the effectiveness of these products. It can be hard to replicate those same air quality results in the home. If you are an asthma or allergy sufferer, you might want to purchase an air purifier with a HEPA filter. These filters can help to remove fine particles from the air.

What Is a HEPA Filter?

HEPA is short for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. These filters can help to capture all types of particles in a multi-layered netting. This netting is made of fine fiberglass threads with various sizes of gaps. A HEPA filter is airtight, and the small threads are pleated and sealed in a frame.

The air purifier’s fan draws the air into the filter. These pollutants and particles are trapped in the filter. Large particles are captured by impaction, mid-sized particles are trapped by interception, and ultra-fine particles are seized by diffusion. If you have respiratory issues, you will want to consider an air purifier with a HEPA filter for your home.

Choosing the Right Air Purifier

There are several factors to consider when choosing an air purifier. You should always look at the CADR (clean air delivery rating). This rating is based on how fast the product can remove dust, smoke, and pollen. You should choose an air purifier with a rating above 300.

The size of the room is also important. You need to choose a model that can adequately filter the room. If you are looking for a quiet unit, you should select one that is designed to work in an area that is larger than your room.

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) offers its certification for air purifiers. These standards are designed to ensure the efficiency, safety, and performance of home care appliances. With these standards, you can help to make an educated decision about your air purifier purchase. These standards are voluntary, but many of the popular air purifiers will have this certification on the products.

Finally, you need to look for genuine HEPA filters. These filters are specifically designed to get rid of fine particles. For many of these filters, the industry sets a standard of 99.97 percent particle capture rate. However, these results are in a lab setting. In real life, the efficacy can decrease in your home. If you find a product labeled as “HEPA-type” or “HEPA-like,” you need to know that these phrases are used as marketing ploys to trick the consumer into purchasing the products.

Improving Air Quality in Your Home

If you want to reduce indoor air pollution, you will need to ventilate your rooms. An air purifier can make a big difference, but it won’t completely eliminate every pollutant. Here are some ways to keep the air fresh inside:

  • Open up the windows
  • Vacuum frequently
  • Change your air filters on a regular basis
  • Use an exhaust fan in the bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen
  • Stop using candles or other fire-burning scented items

Get the Best Air Quality for Your Home

As you can tell, an air purifier can help you to reduce the number of pollutants in the air. Indoor air quality can be a complicated process, so you will want to hire the right company for your home. Without professional help, you could be stuck breathing in stuffy, unhealthy air.

At C & C Heating & Air Conditioning, we’re ready to assist with all your indoor air quality needs. Our team will test your air and come up with a strategy to improve your indoor air environment. We can also assist with heating, cooling, and duct cleaning for your home.

If you want to enjoy fresh air, schedule a consultation with our team. Contact C & C Heating & Air Conditioning in Roseville, MI, today.

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