There are currently more products on the market than ever before promising better indoor air quality. With so many types and configurations to choose from, figuring out which solution works best for you can be overwhelming. For this reason, we’re going to walk you through the main types of air purifiers at a high level so that you can understand how they work and what distinct benefits they offer.
5 COMMON TYPES OF AIR PURIFIERS: WHAT THEY DO AND HOW THEY WORK
When shopping for an air purifier, you’ll want to choose one that’s best suited to meet your specific needs. For instance, some excel at eliminating odors, while others are better at trapping allergens.
1. Ionizing Air Purifiers
You might also hear these referred to as ionizers, although the ionizer itself is just one component of the whole air purifier. Ionizing air purifiers attract particles using static electricity. If you remember back to science class, you’ll recall that particles with a positive charge are attracted to particles with a negative charge.
How does this help with air purification?
- First, the air purifier’s ionizer creates a bunch of electrons, and when those electrons join with air molecules, this forms negatively charged ions.
- The negatively-charged ions float through your home and cling to positively charged pollutants in the air, like dander, pollen, and dust.
- At this point, the particles are easier to capture, and they’re either drawn into your system’s filter, or they fall to the ground where you can easily vacuum them.
Ionizing air purifiers come in portable and whole-home models. While they can help eliminate indoor air pollutants that can aggravate allergies, they don’t actively destroy biocontaminants. Also, when shopping for an ionizing air purifier, be aware that ozone can be a byproduct, so check the amount that it produces before purchasing to make sure that it’s below the FDA-approved level.
2. HEPA Air Filters
If you’re prone to allergies, then you’ve probably heard the term HEPA filter once or twice. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air, and for a filter to be considered “HEPA,” it needs to be capable of capturing particulates of 0.3 microns with 99.97% efficiency.
Because of their high efficiency, HEPA filters can help drastically reduce the concentration of airborne allergens in rooms, all while operating quietly in the background. However, they do have some limitations. Viruses, bacteria, and VOC gases, which can be smaller than 0.3 microns, are capable of passing through these filters.
3. Germicidal UV Air Purifiers
UV air purifiers have seen a tremendous surge in popularity since the breakout of COVID-19, but UV light has been used for disinfection purposes for many years. Hospitals have long used UV light to disinfect tools, surfaces, and indoor air. Now, people are getting UV lamps installed in their HVAC systems to kill airborne germs inside their homes.
But isn’t UV light harmful to humans? You won’t ever come into direct contact with the UV light in an air purifier, so it cannot harm you. As your HVAC system draws in air, that air will pass through the UV lights. The UV light will deactivate germs passing through it by destroying their DNA or RNA. This renders the germs unable to reproduce: this means the germs can’t spread and, therefore, cannot infect you.
UV air purifiers are ideal if you’re looking for an air purifier that will actively destroy biological contaminants in your air, including viruses, bacteria, and mold spores.
4. Activated Carbon Air Filters
Activated charcoal is a popular material in face masks and toothpaste because of how it quickly sucks up impurities. Activated carbon filters take a similar approach, using this material’s highly absorbent and chemical bonding properties to remove indoor air pollutants.
Essentially, the activated carbon absorbs odors, smoke, harmful gases, and chemical emissions from indoor air. If you have multiple chemical sensitivity, are sensitive to fragrances, or want a clean, fresh-smelling home, an activated carbon filter could be your answer. The downside is that these filters don’t eliminate germs and particulates from indoor air.
5. The Air Scrubber by Aerus
The Air Scrubber by Aerus is a whole-home indoor air quality solution and operates in a unique way to attack multiple air quality problems at once. Using ActivePure® technology, the air scrubber converts free oxygen and water molecules into oxidizers that get released into your home. The oxidizers (a.k.a. ActivePure Molecules) eradicate 99% of surface contaminants and 90% of airborne contaminants, and they are safe to breathe.
Additionally, the air scrubber system can help perform the following functions:
- Eliminate bad odors
- Reduce particles like dust and other allergens
- Increase your HVAC system’s efficiency
If you need an air purifier that can perform multiple tasks simultaneously, the Air Scrubber by Aerus could be your ideal solution.
If you would like more information about the Air Scrubber by Aerus® and other whole-home indoor air quality solutions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Orange County indoor air quality experts at Dial One Sonshine: (714) 252-7460.