What are the benefits of an air purifier?
Air purifiers are electronic devices that help remove harmful airborne particles from the air that you breath. These particles include things like dust, pollen and animal allergens but they can also help combat cigarette smoke, mould spores, bacteria and even viruses. There are many different air purifiers on the market which offer slightly different functions and efficiency levels, but a good air purifier will have a beneficial effect on your air and your health.
Because air purifiers get rid of allergens and particles which can make it harder to breath and can even cause illness, they are often marketed towards asthma and allergy sufferers. Air purifiers that use HEPA filtration systems are sometimes recommended for people with respiratory problems because they are designed to purify the air and, in some cases, even increase the air flow within your household.
Who benefits from air purifiers?
As we’ve already discussed, air purifiers (especially those with HEPA filters) can be beneficial to allergy and asthma sufferers because they remove a lot of the harmful particles that we breath and replace them with clean, fresh air. This is especially important for people who live near polluted areas like cities or motorways, because high pollution can have a similar effect on your lungs as smoking. Air purifiers work to eradicate pollution, harmful particles, bacteria, viruses and other airborne pests which is why so many people can benefit from them.
Some people buy air purifiers after having a new baby, because babies and young children have extra sensitive lungs and weaker immune systems. The air that we breath can be heavily contaminated with harmful allergens, and these can be bad enough for grown ups with fully developed bodies. Clean and fresh air is very important for a young child’s development, and so many people choose to buy air purifiers for their children’s room or play area.
Other people may buy an air purifier because they are allergic to their cat or dog. Dog and cat hair can make people sneeze, make it harder to breath, irritate your eyes and generally make life a bit harder, but there are loads of air purifiers that will not only help combat these allergens but also remove the unpleasant smells that pets can leave in our homes.
Air purifiers are also marketed at smokers, because some brands can not only remove a lot of harmful smoke particles that can irritate your lungs, but they can also get rid of the unpleasant cigarette smoke smells that can linger for hours or even days.
HEPA filters are a very popular component of the air purifier because they have been tested and proven to remove 99.97% of airborne bacteria that is over 0.3 microns in size. They do this by filtering contaminated air through a very thin ‘sleeve’, which will trap any harmful particles and pump clean, fresh air back into your room. Some larger HEPA filters are installed in your house and some are part of the air purifier itself.
Because of their superior quality, HEPA filters are often specifically recommended for asthma and allergy sufferers because they are believed to capture and remove more harmful substances then air purifiers which do not use HEPA filters are able to capture.
Activated Carbon filters
HEPA filters are great at removing harmful particles, but they aren’t so effective at getting rid of bad smells. This is where Activated carbon filters come in. These filters use tiny, absorbent pores to attract and catch gases and odours. These filters are great for filtering cigarette smoke, negative cooking smells and other odours. Carbon filters are more efficient than regular air sprays because rather than masking the smells, activated carbon filters actually capture and remove the odour.
Cigarette smoke in particular can be very harmful to your health, and so people who smoke indoors are encouraged to purchase an air purifier with an inbuilt activated carbon filter to help protect their health and the health of non smoking visitors or family members. Cigarette smoke is also a very insidious substance that can linger for a long time in fabric, so if you are going to smoke indoors it’s really important to be able to eradicate the smell.
As well as their ability to get rid of bad smells and harmful particles, some air purifiers are able to help prevent the spread of disease and viruses. Purifiers that have this ability tend to be either ionic air purifiers or ultraviolet light air purifiers.
Ionic purifiers harness negative ions which will be used to remove harmful particles. These negative ions are first created as electrons which will then bond with air molecules to form a negative ion. Negative ions are attracted to airborne viruses and bacteria particles, and they will basically attach themselves to these harmful particles and, as the combined weight of the ion and the virus is often too heavy to remain in the air, it will cause the particle to fall to the ground so you don’t breath them in. Some ionisers have extra systems in place that will catch some of the falling particles so you don’t have to keep cleaning your floor, although they are unlikely to catch everything and you will still have to vacuum regularly.
Some studies have shown that when negative ions were introduced into infectious environments such as hospitals the infection rate dropped, and therefore they are generally believed to help prevent the spread of disease. They have some other surprising benefits as well, such as the ability to alleviate head aches, stress and even depression and S.A.D.
Purifiers that utilise ultraviolet light are a very effective way of killing germs because they effectively sterilise and kill any harmful bacteria that they come into contact with. Ultraviolet lights are great at removing bacteria, mould, viruses and germs, but they aren’t that good at getting rid of smells or airborne chemicals.
Some purifiers seek to remove odours and others focus on removing viruses, so for the best all over experience it is advisable to buy a purifier that combines several elements to keep you fully covered.
There are many different reasons you may want to buy an air purifier, and thus there are many different brands and functions available on the market. Whilst different components and brands will have slightly different functions and benefits, air purifiers in general seek to stop you breathing in harmful particles and replace the contaminated air we are used to with cleaner, fresher air that will not only keep us healthy but also make it easier to breath.