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home air purifiers a modern necessity

Updated on September 4, 2009

Do I need an air purifier?

So why would you need an air purifier? Isn’t all the pollution outside? Well actually it would seem to be just the opposite; the air in your home may be more polluted than the air outside! Studies which have been done, including those by federal agencies, show time and again that the air in your house is heavily polluted with every thing from dust mites to plant pollen. Pollutants also include mould spores, smoke, fungi spores your pets and their grooming products, dust from your pet birds, your furniture and carpets and the chemicals you used to clean them, off gassing of new carpets can be a problem though manufactures have in recent years taken steps to reduce the problem. I’m surprised the list doesn’t include our children it’s got almost everything else.

This veritable fog of indoor irritants is naturally particularly troublesome to babies and young children and those of us with asthma and other respiratory problems and those of us who are sensitive to the wide range of chemicals we introduce to our homes with new furnishings and appliances.

air purifier or air cleaner?

Should I get an air purifier or an air cleaner? They are actually the same thing, they used to be more commonly called air cleaners but nowadays they are generally referred to as air purifiers.

HEPA Filters

How do they work? One of the most obvious ways to clean air is with filters. Just as with water filters and filters in vacuum cleaners the air in the room is drawn in to the purifier by fans and the offending particles are trapped by filters. The better purifiers will use HEPA filters which may be considered the “bees knees” when it comes to filtration. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air, it’s the filter of filters and will trap stuff you can’t even see like viruses and bacteria. There are filter less air purifiers but they are not as good as HEPA ones. You may be thinking what about the cost of changing the filters but some filters can last for years.

Electronic air purifiers

Another method which air purifiers use to clean the air is electrical attraction, there are three methods used. So called electronic purifiers use fans to draw particles in and pass them over high voltage wires giving them an electrical charge, there are plates in the appliance which carry an opposite charge, these attract the particles and trap them. Electret air purifiers use synthetic fibres to create static charges, this attracts the dust and pollutant particles and traps them. The third method used is in purifiers which generate negative ions, these are discharged into the room and attract the pollutant particles which are positively charged. The pollutants then fall out of the air.

What sort of air purifier should I get?

You can get whole house air purifying systems or small units for individual rooms. This will depend on both your needs and your budget. Some professional advice would be helpful in making your choice.

As with many modern appliances the manufactures have begun to produce “green” machines which as well as being more efficient and often quieter into the bargain has reduced running costs.


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