Air purifiers are a growing market as people are becoming aware of the impact of harmful airborne pollutants. We may ask ourselves, “Do I need an air purifier?” To answer this, let’s take a look at various types of air purifiers and their benefits, including what they do and whom they are intended to help.
The benefits of air purifiers are dependent on primarily two things: the health condition of those in a particular environment, and the type(s) of indoor pollutants involved. If your household has individuals with allergies, selecting an air purifier that targets particulates that trigger those allergies is the way to go. Environments that contain volatile organic compounds (VOC), like formaldehyde, benzene or methylene chloride, can cause irreparable damage to the lungs, liver, kidney and nervous system. Removing these pollutants requires different technology. Depending on its technology, an air purifier may do one of the following: filter, irradiate, ionize, or burn pollutants.
Several types of air purifiers work by removing particles from the air. This includes ionizer purifiers as well as those that filter the air, to name a few. Air purifiers using HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arrestance) filters will remove at least 99.97% of particles. They are ideal for controlling allergies since the cause of most allergies originates in particulate matter. These devices require regular filter replacements. Beware of cheaper filters made with cellulose, however, as molds grow on this material and actually increase the risk of allergies. Instead, use filters made from fiberglass or some other synthetic material.
Some air purifiers work by killing microorganisms (germs, et al) that are sucked up into the device. Others, like activated carbon or polarized-media devices, have the ability to remove VOC.
Air purifier devices can differ greatly in terms of their efficiency, appearance, and price. One thing that they all have in common is that they remove pollutants from the air in an enclosed environment. Damaging air pollution is on the rise in the US from increases in driving, burning of natural gas, and recently from particulates emitted from massive wildfires. More people are also keeping their pets indoors. These and other factors contribute to an increase in allergic respiratory disorders.
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