With the increase of at-home remote jobs, this generation tends to spend more time indoors. This can lead many people to be concerned about the air quality inside their homes. So the question arises, “Do air purifiers really work?”
This article will help you learn how air purifiers work, their limits, and some of the different types of filters available to use with an air purifier.
How Do They Work?
The exact mechanism of how each purifier works may vary between the different types and brands. Generally speaking, many air purifiers work through a filtration system and a fan that sucks in and circulates air to remove harmful particles from the air and recirculate clean air by pushing it back out into the living space.
The filters, typically made of paper, fiberglass, or mesh, trap harmful particles above a specific size. The size of the particle will depend on which air purifier you have. These filters will need to be regularly replaced to maintain efficiency.
An air purifier may act as a complement to a filter and other strategies to help get rid of the following particles:
- Allergens – These are substances that can cause an allergic reaction in the form of allergies or asthma. Pollen, pet dander, and dust mites are among the most common airborne allergens.
- COVID-19 virus particle – COVID-19 particles are estimated to be 0.06 to 0.14 micron, which HEPA filters have proven to capture because they can trap up to 99.97 percent of particulates as small as 0.3 microns.
- Indoor mold particles – Air purifiers may work to some degree on mold; the most effective purifier will be a HEPA filter.
- Smoke – Filter-equipped air purifiers may also remove smoke in the air, including smoke from landscape fires and tobacco smoke. Still, air purifiers can’t eliminate the smell of smoke or their stains entirely.
- Indoor toxins – Your home may be a source of airborne allergens and mold, but it may also be a source of indoor toxins from cleaning products, personal care products, and more. When these particles live in the air, they can become harmful to your body.
Air purifiers can help improve the quality of the air. Some of the types of purifiers available are:
- Filtered air purifiers: Capture pollutants in the air and trap them in a filter cartridge.
- Electrostatic air purifiers: Create charged particles and then use the charge to attract and trap the particle in the filter. This is very similar to an ionic air purifier with minimal differences.
- Carbon filters: These filters use activated carbon to trap chemicals, gases, and even cigarette smoke. As the air passes through the filter, the activated carbon absorbs the odors and gasses and neutralizes them.
- UV light-emitting air purifiers: These devices use UV light to neutralize certain pollutants, such as bacteria and viruses.
What Air Purifiers Won’t do
An air purifier likely won’t remove or neutralize all harmful particles in your home. They only remove particles in the air, and since many particles can sit on soft surfaces, such as furniture, bedding, carpeting, and hard surfaces, such as your walls, it will be impossible to remove them all. In addition, not all filters can trap gases, so be sure to do your research on what type of purifier will be best for your home after you’ve had your air quality tested.