An air purifier is a portable device that removes airborne contaminants in a given room to enhance indoor air quality. These devices are often sold as being particularly helpful to asthma and allergy sufferers and also in reducing or even eliminating secondhand smoke. Many purifiers use filters, and some use only a HEPA filter (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) to remove particles. Some of the best air purifiers are very highly rated by consumers, but there are many different types of air purifiers on the market, with differing levels of quality and price.
The two main types of air purifiers are electrostatic precipitators and electrostatic plates. Electrostatic precipitators use static charge to draw particles into a small chamber where they settle and become permanently suspended. This method does not remove oils, grease, smoke, or other large solid materials.
Electrostatic precipitators work well for particles that are light and easily suspended, such as bacteria or viruses, because they are attracted to the negative charge on the particles. Air purifiers that use ozone gas as a filtering medium are effective against dust and other fine particles and may be able to remove mold spores from the air. Ozone is very reactive with some organic materials and produces ozone gas, which can irritate the respiratory system. Many people who suffer from chronic bronchitis, emphysema or other respiratory conditions have found relief through the use of ozone in their homes.
Air purifiers that use activated carbon filters capture odors and chemicals from the air. These filters capture the molecules that are smaller than the holes in an air-purifying membrane, making them much less permeable to air and thereby making the odor or chemical much less noticeable. The filters capture gases that cause allergic reactions in people and keep children from sleeping in rooms that have chemicals and other airborne diseases present. Ozone that is often used as an activated carbon filter is often ineffective at removing organic compounds from the air.
Air purifiers include activated carbon filtration as part of their purification process to remove dust, pollen, mold spores, smoke particles from the air, which can aggravate allergies and increase the chances of an asthma attack. Some allergy-prone people, especially children, suffer from asthma attacks when exposed to even trace amounts of chemicals. Asthma attacks increase dramatically if no allergens are present to trigger the reaction. These allergy-friendly air purifiers provide measurable levels of allergens that will protect those who are highly sensitive to airborne allergens and their consequences.
Air purifiers equipped to remove dust, spores, and bacteria can also capture pollutants in the air that are smaller than 0.3 microns in measurement. microns are too small to be trapped by conventional filtration systems. microns can pass through many standard filters. The particles are then smaller than 0.3 microns, so they are not trapped by most filters.
Air purifiers for at-home use usually have true filters, but if you need a mobile unit to cater to a business or office setting, you may want to look for portable units that contain true filters as well as a HEPA filter that effectively removes particles up to 0.3 microns. A portable HEPA filter can be extremely effective even in office buildings because of the large number of employees who are in the building. A portable air purifier that includes a true filter is an excellent solution. Portable units are great for individuals who are often in need of clean air on the go and are away from home for long periods of time.
Many allergy sufferers who suffer from asthma attacks report significant improvement after using air purifiers to combat their allergies. Asthma can cause serious breathing complications. It can also cause daytime fatigue and other health problems that affect the quality of life. The respiratory system is one of the largest reasons people get sick in the first place. Air purifiers help keep the lungs healthy by removing allergens and other irritants that cause inflammation of the airway.