You’ve heard that an air purifier can reduce allergies, respiratory conditions and viral or bacterial illnesses. You may even have an air purifier already installed in your home.
If you do have a purifier, you probably immediately noticed a different feeling to your air, and maybe even a different smell to your home’s air.
But how does a single air purifying unit make such big changes? In this blog, we reveal three facts about your air purifier’s function that might surprise you.
- Filter Type Is Everything in a Purifier
While many air purifiers rely on multiple systems to remove particles and smells from your air, all models contain filters. In fact, most air filters have between two and four separate filters.
But the number of filters doesn’t necessarily play the biggest role in your air’s cleanliness. The type of filter also matters. Common types include:
- High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA): HEPA filters can consist of any material. However, to receive this rating, the filter must block at least 99.97% of all particles that measure 0.3 micrometres or larger.
- Standard: Traditional air filters can consist of cotton, foam, fibreglass or other fibres. While these filters catch many contaminants, they may let smaller foreign particles into your home.
- Ultra-Low Penetration Air (ULPA): While ULPA filters can appear in residences, they’re more common in nuclear power facilities since these specialised filters have an even lower penetration rate than HEPA filters.
- Ionizers Literally Make Pollutants Fall From the Sky
High-quality air purifiers use an ionizer to remove the particles you can physically sense. This purifier type produces extra ions. These ions typically attach themselves to the largest particles they encounter, which are usually contaminants.
Once an ion bonds with a contaminant, it makes the particle more likely to bond to similar particles. As more and more foreign particles clump together, they create heavy clusters which eventually fall to the floor.
Ionizing can get rid of stubborn contaminants that create lingering odours, like cigarette smoke, pet smells and mould.
This is why you must continue to vacuum, even when using an ionizing purifier. If you or a family member suffer from allergies, normal foot traffic may be enough to stir up the contaminants from their place on the floor. If you experience severe allergies, you can prevent most of these ionized pollutants from escaping by cleaning with a vacuum containing a HEPA filter.
- You May Smell ‘Lightning’ When You Purify
In addition to ionizers, heavy-duty air purifiers may also contain ozone generators. These generators use UV light or corona discharge to alter some of the oxygen molecules in your air. The alteration causes an extra oxygen component to bond to a contaminant.
In small levels, experts report that ozone disinfects and de-odourises the air. It also smells like lightning. One of the only places you may have ever smelled ozone before is after a lightning strike, which naturally generates the chemical.
However, many residential air purifiers don’t feature ozone components because high concentrations of ozone can cause side effects like dizziness. In extreme concentrations, ozone can even corrode some metals. If you have an ozone purifier, always use it in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Does your home currently lack an air purifier? Consult with an HVAC professional to decide if a purifying unit could make a difference in your family’s health and comfort. An expert can help you decide on the right model and size to appropriately process your home’s air.
An air purifier may be just what you need to keep your home smelling fresh, your family feeling healthy and your entire HVAC system running efficiently. Use your newfound knowledge to ensure your purifier works at its best in your home.