Indoor air pollution is a serious problem. In line with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), air pollution levels are two to five times higher indoors. In certain buildings with too little proper ventilation, the indoor air may be 100 times more polluted than the air outside! This is because modern buildings are constructed with energy efficiency in mind. However, the tight seals that make a property energy-efficient also trap pollutants inside. Along with that, the average American takes nine out of ten breaths indoors, so it’s imperative to ensure that your indoor air is free of allergens and other impurities.
Air purifiers eliminate allergens, toxic chemicals, and other dangerous pollutants. This article explains why people use air purifiers, how they work, which air purifiers you ought to avoid, and how to select the very best air cleanser for the needs.
Common Indoor Air Pollutants
What is the foundation of indoor air pollution? In terms of organic pollutants, mold and dust mites are everywhere – and they’re both most frequent reasons for year-round allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Pollen is also a pervasive allergen that always finds its way into your house since it’s so small and sticky. When you yourself have pets, they will surely spread their dander to every nook and cranny of one’s home. Many viruses and bacteria will also be airborne.
Even though they’re not organic allergens, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) cause lots of people to have allergy symptoms and other health problems. VOCs include formaldehyde, fragrances, pesticides, solvents, and cleaning agents. VOCs can enter the air through chemical off-gassing from furniture, new carpets, adhesives, plastics, and various building materials. Furthermore, many VOCs are known carcinogens (cancer-causing agents).
Environmental contaminants like cigarette smoke, co2, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide are often within your indoor air, as well as toxic heavy metals like airborne lead, mercury vapor, and radon.
How Air Purifiers Work
HEPA air purifiers use a HEPA air filter, which was produced by the Atomic Energy Commission in the 1940s as a way to filter radioactive contaminants. HEPA filters set the typical for air purifiers: to be classified as HEPA, a filter must capture no less than 99.97% of pollutants at 0.3 microns or larger. Top-selling HEPA air purifiers are the Austin Air cleaner, available with a HEGA (High Efficiency Gas Adsoprtion) filter, along with air purifiers from IQAir, Allerair, Blueair, and Honeywell.
Activated carbon filters remove gases, odors, and chemical toxins. The carbon is “activated” when it’s treated with oxygen, which opens up countless tiny pores to attract and adsorb chemicals. Impregnated carbon filters have already been treated with an additional chemical, normally either potassium iodide or potassium permanganate; these chemicals, known as chemisorbents, enhance the carbon filter’s power to trap VOCs and other chemically reactive gases.
Electrostatic filters use an electrostatic charge to attract pollutants and trap them on collector plates. These filters are great for people who don’t want to concern yourself with changing HEPA filters, however if the collection plates aren’t cleaned frequently, they quickly lose efficiency. Also, beware that some electrostatic filters emit ozone, that will be known to be a robust lung irritant and can be very irritating to some people who have asthma or allergies. The Friedrich air cleanser is, undoubtedly, the very best electrostatic air cleanser, as well as the overall top-ranked air cleanser in previous Consumer Reports rankings.
Charged media filters give pollutants an electrostatic charge before collecting them in a conventional filter. Charged media filters are generally quite effective, but like electrostatic filters, they lose efficiency rapidly-and they could require frequent and expensive filter changes. Some charged media air filter units also emit ozone. The advantage of charged media filters is that they are quieter and more energy-efficient than HEPA air purifiers. The Blueair air cleanser is the better charged media filter, and it generally does not emit ozone.
Where and How to Use an Air Purifier
In the event that you suffer with allergies (especially if you’re allergic to dust mite allergen), then the very best area for an air purifier is your bedroom. It’s essential to possess clean air in your bedroom because you may spend about a third of your daily life there. If you’re allergic to animal dander and have pets, then you might want to put an air purifier in the room where your pets spend most of their time-and keep carefully the pets out of your bedroom! Also, you shouldn’t place an air purifier in the corner of a room; it should be at least a couple of feet from the walls for maximum air flow.
You must run your air cleanser continuously for optimum performance. Most air purifiers have high and low settings. Even though you go on vacation, we recommend that you keep your air cleanser running on low. 辦公室空氣品質 Otherwise, you’ll come back to a house packed with polluted air! If you are concerned with your electric bill, find out how much energy an air purifier uses before buying it. Typical HEPA air purifiers can use anywhere from 50 watts on low to 200 watts on high. For comparison, a normal lamp uses about 60 watts, while a normal computer uses about 365 watts.
Air Purifiers to Avoid
Avoid ozone generators and ionizing air cleaners. These air purifiers create ions that attract pollutants; however, most of the pollutants are released back into the air, sometimes resulting in dirty spots on nearby walls. Besides the fact they don’t do a good job of cleaning the air, ozone generators and ionizing cleaners also emit ozone. Ozone, a main element of smog, may potentially cause a serious asthma attack.
Moreover, David Peden, researcher at the Center of Environmental Medicine and Lung Biology at the University of North Carolina, has examined how ozone exposure might exacerbate the allergic response of people who are allergic to dust mites, and his results claim that ozone worsens the asthmatic response. The EPA has warned consumers against using ozone generators, and Consumer Reports recommends against the modern Ionic Breeze Quadra, inspite of the addition of OzoneGuard, a tool meant to get rid of a number of the dangerous ozone emitted by the Ionic Breeze.
Consumer Reports points out: “Our air-cleaning tests reveal that the Ionic Breeze with OzoneGuard does an undesirable job of removing smoke, dust and pollen particles from the air when new and after 500 hours of continuous use” and “the Ionic Breeze with OzoneGuard still adds ozone to the air.”
How to Buy the Best Air Purifier
The air cleanser market is vast and riddled with confusing and often misleading advertising schemes. If you’re buying an air purifier, you then should first consider what sort of pollutants you’re trying to eliminate. As an example, if you experience cigarette smoke, then you’ll wish to make sure your air cleanser has the capability to eliminate fumes, VOCs, and other gases.