Do Air Purifiers Really Work

Why Air Purifiers

The question of do air purifiers really work, is becoming more common with the significant amount of air pollution we are all experiencing around the world, in our cities, in our neighborhoods, and in our homes.  As the world population grows the amount of impurities in the air continues to multiple.  The odors, smoke from fires, dust, pet dander, smoking, automobile exhaust, household chemicals we use every day, mold, bacteria, virus, and the list goes on and on.  Now with the new integrated economies around the world, there are new chemicals and other things being introduced into our environments with just the products we buy. This is call off gassing.  Off gassing happens with any material like carpet, the furniture, wood floors, paint, couches, drapes, the cloths we wear, kitchen cabinets, and new types of insulation in our walls and ceilings.  The list Is endless.

How Air Purifiers Work

Generally there are really 3 categories of air purifiers. Understanding these versus your needs is key to answering the question of do air purifiers really work and will they work for my needs. While there are variations and hybrids, these are the fundamentals. 

  1. The first type of air purifier is a fan based air purifier such as Austin Air. They work by either pulling air through one side passing through filters and returning the cleaned air out the other side to the room, or they have the more advanced and efficient design of pulling the air in 360 with an inverted fan blade, pushing it through the filters and returning the clean air out usually on the top of the unit. The filters generally have a prefilter, a HEPA and some kind of carbon filter.  These are considered full range air purifiers handling the full spectrum of impurities in the air.   The down side of these is they can be heavier, require filter changes, and more expensive in general.
  2. The ionizer is the second type of unit. It works by creating negative and positive ions that are thrown into the air in the room. This has the effect of causing the particulate and compounds that create odors to attract to each other. Basically becoming heavy and falling to the ground to be vacuumed or swept up. They are great on viruses, bacteria and living things like mold.  They do not work on plain inorganic dirt and dust though. The answer is no to the question of do air purifiers really work if you trying to resolve plain dust with an ionizer.  They are somewhat uneven on handling odors and chemicals though. Some also emit small amounts of ozone.  Some people are concerned with ozone. Based on what we have read from the experts it seems to be safe at the levels in these units. But that has to be individual decision of course if you are comfortable with ozone.  They plus side of these is they handle a large area for a reasonable price and generally little maintenance needed other than to change the UV cell and/or PCO plate.
  3. The third type of air purifier is a ceramic based unit like Airfree. These work by heat induction. That is they heat the chamber to around 395 degrees. The cold/hot air difference causes the colder air to move thru the heat chamber naturally.  There is no fan in these types of units.  The plus side is that they also work very well on virus, bacteria, mold and other live particulate with the heat either eliminating or rendering viruses and bacteria inert. There is zero maintenance and zero sound. They are the most natural process for air purification.  The down side is due to the technology, the units don’t cover very large areas. Usually between 400 and 650 sq. ft.  And the process is a lot slower than a fan based unit or ionizer.

Which One Should I Purchase

This is where it gets a little tricky. As you look through and research air purifiers, you will find many different manufacturers and sizes of air purifiers.  When you look at reviews, you may see really great reviews for a one for the most part, but then horrible reviews for that same one. Then you find some that are rated for commercial use, some for home and residences, and some for autos. This all really does make answering the question of do air purifiers really work, a really tough one.  The answer is that they definitely do work.  The problem and challenge is finding the right unit and the right size and power for your needs.  The reason you see some reviews great and some bad on for the same air purifier is sometimes nothing more than two different people with two different needs. 

For example, one person may buy a 1500 square foot capacity unit with specialized carbon for their older 1000 square foot home when there really is not many issues in the home. They just wanted to have cleaner air to be safe. Theunit works great for their needs. They leave a wonderful review.  Then you see another bad review saying it just didn’t work.  But if you checked with them, they may have had a brand new 3500 square foot home with two floors. The home has severe levels of chemicals being released into the air from all that new building material giving the residents in the home headaches and making them sick.  In this case, they would have needed multiple air purifiers due to different floors plus needing separate air purification. And for that size and heaving off gassing, they may have needed multiple units on each floor.  Or they could have needed an hvac mounted unit for that size and the issues occurring. These are sometimes referred to as whole house air purifiers.

So the answer to the question of do air purifiers really work is yes they do, but there are many variables to consider. Like size and type of air purifier as well as what your particular need is.  The Austin Air Healthmate Air Purifier is one of the best full spectrum systems that will improve air quality for most situations in your home or office.  If you need help in deciding what you need, call on the experts to help you select the right type for your needs.

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