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Why Use HEPA Air Cleaners

Updated on February 16, 2011
Austin Air Healthmate Air Cleaner
Austin Air Healthmate Air Cleaner | Source

Breathing clean air is a Good thing.

People use HEPA air cleaners to help relieve allergies and asthma, but they do provide other benefits. Those with cardiovascular issues have been shown to benefit from use of the HEPA air cleaners in their micro-vascular function. They remove up to 60 percent of the coarse, fine and ultrafine particulates in the air. Many forms of cardiovascular disease are brought about prematurely by the malfunctioning of the inner lining of small vessels. Guess what, these vessels, quite often, directly supply the heart. They are what kept my dad's heart working.

A HEPA air cleaner can help you make a significant difference in the quality of the air you breathe. A good one will remove particles and debris from the air which in turn helps to improve your health. Clean air is a good thing.

A HEPA filter is not a brand but a type of filtration that is often included in many air cleaners and vacuums. They will remove particles as small as 0.3 microns. They can remove 99.97 percent of the toxins in the air and are great for removing such things as pollen, smoke, animal dander and dust. HEPA filters are used in air cleaners from small units to as large as building sized units. Air is drawn into the air cleaner and then through a filter element where the harmful particles are removed from the air before it is released back into the room.

They are very effective in clearing out particles in your home when used correctly. Most have a replaceable filter that last for several months or years depending on the amount of pollutants present and the air cleaner design. Some people complain that they are noisy but they remove more pollutants than ionizers. Unlike some machines, once the allergens and other particles are trapped in the filter they are not released back into the air.

The air you breathe will be clean and less toxic.

Dust mites, stagnant winter air, pollen, chemicals, furniture and cleaning products can cause all sorts of health problems inside of your home and office. You can suffer from such things as respiratory illnesses, nausea, headaches, ear infections, sinus problems, dizziness, asthma and allergies from the polluted air that is in your home.

About 50 million Americans suffer from asthma and allergies alone which means about nine million visits to the doctor annually. Talk about lost time and money. What does a visit to the doctor cost these days?

Your lungs are not really designed to purify the air you breathe. While it will not remove everything a HEPA filter can sure lighten the load.

Some of the substances that are in our homes are microbes in the form of germ, mold spores, bacteria and viruses. There are odors from our pets, our bodies, cooking, litter boxes and smoke, gas and chemical fumes or VOC's such as nail treatment products, formaldehyde, cigarette smoke and benzene. Then there are particulates such as the particles in smoke, pet dander, pollen, dust mites, dust and allergens.

Some HEPA air cleaners are only good for the particles while others will work well for odors and gasses. There are other types of air cleaners as well as the HEPA that can clean the air that include ultra violet light, carbon, ozone and ionizers.

Ozone system reacts to destroy bacteria, chemicals and is effective against odors. When it reacts with substances it breaks down into other pollutants and is not effective against most chemicals and allergens. Ozone generators should never be used by people with asthma or COPD.

Carbon filters are highly absorbent and can remove odors and the particles that pass through the system. Most carbon systems incorporate a HEPA filter. They are effective with chemicals, odors, smoke and gases but not on micro-organisms and allergens.

Ionic purifiers ionize the air causing the particulates to gain a negative or positive charge. Most have collection plates that have opposite charges and that is where the particle are collected. They are quiet and can remove extremely fine particles in the air but are not effective on odors. They also cause the particles to fall from the aqir only to be stirred up when you pass through the room again. They do not kill germs in the air.

The ultraviolet lamp can sterilize micro-organisms that pass through it including mold, bacteria, germs and viruses. Combined with a HEPA filter particles are trapped in the filter and then treated with UV light. The advantage is micro-organisms are destroyed that can cause disease but it is not effective on chemicals, odors, smoke, and allergens. Purifying hydroxyl radicals are cleansing agents that occur naturally. They neutralize viruses, bacteria and mold. When used with UV light they are very effective at neutralizing pollutants.

First figure out what the specific type of substance you want to remove and purchase one from a reputable company. When looking at HEPA air cleaners it is best to find one that removes a high percentage of particulates in the air along with the capacity to capture small particles. Look for units that can clean entire rooms. Units too small may clean the air but will take too long to do it. Check out the cost of replacement filters and make sure there is a warranty on the internal components of the machine.

Last but not least, don't be cheap. A good quality HEPA air cleaner will cost several hundred dollars but you can expect it to last for years. We have an Austin Air healthmate that has been running non-stop since 1998 and it sill works just as good as the day we brought it home.

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