Air purifiers common air pollutants, purifiers and filters
Air purifiers are something that has been around since long. But we seldom understand its importance. Quality air purifiers help us get fresh breath. Regular fresh breathing causes us to have good health. Hence, air purifier is directly linked with good health. This is the reason you ought to know the importance of air purifiers.
Right from cooking fumes to air dust to pet dander, there’s a lot we have to battle every day. Our lungs can only take so much. This is why having an air purifier is very important.
Environmental Protection Agency
You might say that “but I stay indoors, what can possibly affect me?” Well according to the data given by the Environmental Protection Agency, the indoors are 5 to 10 times more dust filled than outside. Most of us spend a good amount of time indoors.
So when you decide to do take the right step, finding the right air purifier can be quite a task. Without understanding the air purifiers you can most likely end up buying the wrong one. To make things worse, there are some of those which make the environment worse instead of purifying it.
There are harmful levels of ozone contained in some of those air purifiers which makes them extremely bad for health. While there are others that appear to be cheap and are ignored. Then there are the ones that haven’t actually been tested but are working solely on hypothesis. Do you want to be a victim of all these products? If not, let us clear the air for you. Pun intended.
Common air pollutants found at home
To understand the purifier, first we have to understand what we are going to purify. Yes, so we will begin with the things that you are dealing with on a regular basis. Here are some of the air pollutants that are readily found at your home
- Tobacco or Wood Smoke: In case there is at least one smoker in your house, then you have to get rid of the tobacco or the wood smoke from your house. It is an absolute must that you do. Traditionally, this was a very common indoor air pollutant. Now we don’t have a lot of people who use wood to heat the inside of their homes.
Although this rate rises during the winters, there are still people who do this. This is why it remains a powerful indoor air pollutant. However there are less people found that do this nowadays.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): The VOCs are found in stuff like paints, glues and adhesives, new carpets, building supplies, disinfectants and even cleaning supplies. The compounds such as benzene, ethylene, toluene, formaldehyde are the ones we are talking about. If these are present then they can cause a lot of irritation to the people around you.
The VOCs are known to cause irritation to the eyes, nausea, headaches and in some cases even extreme conditions like damage to the nervous system. They can also cause an asthma attack to set in some cases. The sad part is that such compounds are on the rise.
- Airborne Particles: The airborne particles are the ones that get the most attention. This is because they cause a host of allergic reactions and asthma attacks. You must have heard of pet allergy right? This is what is caused by the airborne particles.
These air borne particles that we are talking about, mostly consists of pollen, allergen, dust mites, pet dander, plant spores, and fungi and so on. All of these are highly irritable when they reach our lungs or our nose even.
- Household gases: Our house contains a lot of toxins than you might like to think. There are cooking odors that fill the air, the indoor pesticides and aerosols and chemical cleaners cause pollution. Believe it or not the indoors have a lot of toxins in the air.
This type of air pollution is more common than people like to think actually. To remove this type of air pollution, activated charcoal is very helpful and effective. Adsorption occurs in this type of chemicals with charcoal. The chemical reaction makes the pollutants stick to the compound and then removed.
- Apart from these there are also micro organisms that fill the air. These micro organisms include antigens, bacteria, pathogens and of course – viruses.
Keeping air clean means longevity and a healthier lifestyle. How to get that? Let’s take a look at the next part for that.
Types of air purifiers and filters
Since different sorts of air purifiers target different types of pollutants in the air, here we have a list of all types.
HEPA or High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter
We listed them on number one because these are said to set the standards for all other air purifiers. They extricate 99.97% of all the harmful air particles. Only 0.3 microns of air particles remain in the air after HEPA has done its job. HEPA filters allow particles only that are very small to pass through them.
This might be one of the disadvantages of this air purifier. But they do a great job of extricating all the air allergens we earlier talked about. If anything is HEPA certified then it will remove all your air allergens easily.
- Charged Media filters
The charged media filters are yet another type of air purifier that really work. They are a combo of HEPA and an electrostatic charge. So you can say that this is really taking the HEPA forward. These filters collect the particles as small as 0.1 micron and for a period of time they’re really effective.
But on the downside the charged media filters produce ozone. So they are not the best option for anyone having respiratory issues. They are also not good for the environment. In addition, they lose their efficiency very quickly.
- Portable Air Purifiers
Okay these are the most common types of air purifiers we have seen. Usually when we talk about air purifiers, this is what comes to our mind. If your home does not have an AC then this will be the only choice you will probably have.
The portable ones are really good options because they are usually very eco friendly. Also they can purify the air of the whole house for you. They are also cheaper than the whole house options. Usually they are super portable as they weigh only 10 to 20 pounds. Portable air purifiers with HEPA certificate are usually the best.
- Photocatalytic Oxidation (PO)
Now this is another type of filtration technology. What you ask when buying an air purifier is whether they have PO or HEPA. However, the long term effects of POCs are yet unknown.
It is known to us that it is highly effective in removing the VOCs and the chemicals that take several turns to oxidize. This means if your issue is with long strand chemicals you might as well go with these filters.
However the downside is that it can actually increase the smaller particles that pollute the air. PO, although not researched properly yet, is still sued by a handful of air filter manufacturers.
- Whole House Air Purifiers and Filters
Now that we know the different types of filters that are present in the market, let us have a look at the different types of air purifiers that we have that we can use.
The whole air purifiers top the list. If you want to get the entire house purified at once then this is the option that you go for. However these are always expensive and need regular maintenance. They also have to be installed by a professional and cleaned regularly.
If anyone has severe allergies then whole house purifiers do the job for them. They don’t clean a certain room, but do a good job of keeping the whole house clean.
- Germicidal and Antibacterial Filters
This type of filter eliminates the bacteria and the germs from the environment. There are some anti bacterials that are so effective that the germs need to pass through them only once to be killed. The DNA is altered to such large extent that they are either killed or unable to replicate themselves.
If you know or are someone who gets sick very often, then this is the filter that you want to use in your home.
- Pre filters
The pre filters are often used along with the HEPA filters to purify the air. Pre filters with activated carbon are the best. They not only trap the heavy items but also filter the smoke and the odors by adsorbing them.
Change the pre filter regularly to increase their life expectancy.
Depending upon the air pollution nearby you, the air filters have to be chosen. However, you must never go for the ones that dilute the particles or creates ozone.
|Serial No.||Filtration type||Issues|
|2||PO||Increases smaller particles|
|3||Charged Media Filters||Produces ozone|