There has been a recent increase in the relevance and importance of proper indoor air quality, and for good reason. Considerations surrounding factors like the pandemic heightened air pollution and a greater focus on health improvements all prompt the urgency for addressing air quality concerns. One way to combat this pressing issue is through the use of an air purifier. Though with countless different models, features, and benefits offered, choosing the right purification system to invest in can be a bit daunting.
Find out more about what exactly to look for when seeking the best air purifier for you.
How Does an Air Purifier Work?
Using an air purifier in your home or workspace can provide a multitude of benefits, but let’s first touch on some of the basic functions of a purification system. Air purifiers are usually a portable means of achieving better indoor air quality in a designated space or room. These types of units are essentially an additional layer of filtration and purification to existing HVAC systems, though it is important to note that air purifiers are not meant to replace an entire HVAC unit. These systems filter in particulate matter from the air, releasing cleaner, fresher air back into the space; air purifiers are especially effective in spaces where current ventilation may be poor or insufficient, or when the environment is often exposed to greater levels of particulate matter and pathogens.
More advanced systems even have the additional feature of UV-C lights for added germicidal protection. The key to knowing how well an air purifier will work is by understanding what each of these various components do and how they contribute to the process of purifying and filtering the air.
Important Features of an Air Purifier
How well an air purification system performs can stem from which features it has and how efficient they are at achieving better indoor air quality. Let’s take a look at a few that are most notable when choosing the best system.
1. HEPA Filtration
HEPA, meaning high-efficiency particulate air, filters is capable of capturing virus and bacterial pathogens of a 0.3um diameter with 99.97% efficiency. They are trusted in medical and industrial settings, but accessible in homes and even cars. HEPA filters offer greater efficiency than MERV-16 filters, the highest grade of MERV mechanical filters; seek out air purifiers using HEPA filtration for the most efficient removal of particulate matter.
2. UV-C Lights
Certain models of air purifiers utilize the benefits of ultraviolet energy produced through UV-C lights as a supplementary means of eliminating airborne pathogenic risks. The way that UV-C lights work in an air purification system is by inner lamps that inactivate viruses, bacteria, and fungi so that they cannot further multiply or spread infection. The UV-C is not capable of removing these pathogens from the air, which is why it is paired with a filtration system that actually captures and eliminates the inactivated microorganic matter. This ultraviolet enhancement takes air purification to a greater level than what filters are able to achieve alone, making it a noteworthy feature to look out for.
3. Air Exchange Rate
Knowing how efficient an air purifier is at exchanging the air in a room is important to know, as different models have different exchange rates depending on the efficiency of the system and how much square footage the system can cover. Compared to a standard HVAC system, air purifiers often turn over the air much quicker and more frequently. Take a look at each system’s exchange rate, if provided, when deciding amongst your purification options.
With these features in mind, choosing an air purifier that has a combination of attributes can offer more effective improvement to indoor air quality than a purifier with only a singular component. The EnviroKlenz® Air System Plus is a great example of an air purification system that utilizes the power of its patented air cartridge, HEPA filtration and UV-C lights to obtain high levels of particulate removal, neutralization, and efficient exchange of indoor air.
The multiple layers of filtration and purification found within their air system strive to effectively capture and remove airborne pathogens without releasing any sort of toxins back into the air; this shows how the features of an air purifier really do matter in how extensively you can improve your indoor air quality and by what means.
What Features to Avoid in an Air Purifier
While some features are prominent assets to any air purifier, others are best to avoid. Any form of air ionization is most likely a choice to say no to, as this controversial mode of air purification comes with its unfavorable side effects. These types of systems are not proficient in removing larger particulate matter, can emit ozone, and cause consequential, and potentially harmful, impacts on respiratory health.
Carbon filters are common in a household applications, though the use of these can have its negative effects, as well. Activated carbon filtration is capable of adsorption of pollutants in the air and can remove odors, though smaller particulates are harder to capture via these less efficient filters.
The downside to carbon filters is that once they have captured a large amount of pollutant and particulate matter within their filter, this buildup will oversaturate and cause a loss of ability to retain these pollutants. With this, the filter begins to release this harmful matter back into the air, creating airborne pollution and defeating the purpose behind air purification.
Benefits Offered by an Air Purifier
Now that you have a better idea of what lies beneath the exterior of an air purifier and how these inner components work towards purifying the air, let’s move onto the benefits that come along with air purification. Through filtration, a well-performing air purifier can significantly reduce the amount of particulate matter that exists in the air. This includes viruses, bacteria, dust, allergens, aerosols, and other pathogens.
These invisible airborne threats can be mitigated by an air purifier that effectively eradicates them. This benefit is particularly relevant to current pandemic-relates concerns, as utilizing an air purifier could be the difference between whether or not a specific setting of people is safe to be in. It is also very useful to those that suffer from severe allergies or sensitivity to dust.
Another benefit you may not have considered is the reduction or elimination of odors by an air purifier. Pesky odors that linger, including pets, smoking, or even cleaning product odors to name a few, can be addressed through a purification system, as its turnover of air keeps the environment fresh.
It is also important to think about outdoor conditions affecting different geographical areas. High-traffic cities suffer from greater levels of air pollution, while the western region battles the harsh effects of wildfires. These harmful conditions pose threats to one’s health, even from indoors, which is where the use of air purifiers can really make the necessary, positive difference.
Knowing what features to look for and the benefits that follow can make the process of choosing the right air purifier much easier. Achieving cleaner air shouldn’t be a hassle, especially when it is so important to everyone’s health and safety. Let air purification become part of your new norm.