What Can an Air Purifier Do For You?


Many factors can contribute to poor indoor air quality, including bacteria and viruses, pet dander, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides and gases emitted from building materials. Air purifiers use a combination of filters to trap and inactivate these particles and chemicals.

Many people want an air purifier that also removes gases, such as odors, chemicals, formaldehyde, pollution and natural gas. To do this, the air cleaner must use activated carbon that is cooked under precise conditions.
Reduces Asthma Symptoms

Air pollution can trigger asthma, but an air purifier can remove allergens and irritants from the air and reduce symptoms. An air purifier may be part of a central heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system or can be portable. Unlike humidifiers, which add moisture to the air, an air purifier can remove pollutants and allergens from the air.

A 2018 study found that air purifiers can improve asthma symptoms, though more research is needed among larger groups of people. The researchers found that using an air purifier significantly reduced asthma symptom scores and medication use when compared to a control group.

Thirty participants with allergic asthma were divided into two groups: a treatment group that used an air purifier and a control group that did not use an air purifier. Particulate matter (PM) data and dust samples were collected from the bedrooms of both groups before and after the use of an air purifier for six weeks. In the treatment group, the levels of house dust mite (HDM) allergens and fractional exhaled nitric oxide decreased.
Reduces Particle Pollution

Many health problems are linked to air pollution, including high blood pressure and heart disease. An air purifier can help lower your exposure to these particles, especially if you live in a city with heavy traffic.

Fine particle pollution is a major concern and can get deep into the lungs to wreak havoc on nearly every system in the body. An air purifier can reduce PM2.5 levels, which are linked to heart disease, respiratory diseases and other illnesses.

Look for models with a HEPA filter that can remove at least 99.5% of airborne pollutants with a size of 3 microns or smaller, such as dust, mold, pet dander and pollen. Also, look for a device that has a pre-filter to trap large particles and extend the life of the main filter.

Some models release ions during the filtration process to cleanse chemical contaminants from the air. These are known as electrostatic precipitators or ionizers, and CR recommends avoiding them because they can create ozone during the filtration process.
Reduces Odors

Dealing with odors is one of the biggest problems most households have to face. Whether it’s day old diaper smell, cooking fish or other unwanted odors an air purifier can help. And unlike scented air fresheners, they remove the source of unpleasant odors for good.

The most effective air cleaner for reducing bad odors is one with an activated carbon filter, which is basically charcoal that’s been treated with oxygen. This causes millions of tiny pores between the carbon atoms, making it highly porous and able to trap a wide variety of odor molecules.

For more specific chemicals such as formaldehyde, potassium permanganate is used to treat the air and break it down into water and carbon dioxide. This type of filtration works alongside an activated carbon filter, and is available in models from Aller Air, RxAir, Blueair and many other manufacturers. This technology is also called molecular filtration or PECO (Petroxylene Electrostatic Chemical Oxidation). It is the safest and most effective way to eliminate volatile organic compounds or VOCs.
Reduces Dust

Dust is a hodgepodge of different particles that come from a surprising number of sources. It’s composed of dead skin cells, stray particulates, pet dander, fibers from carpet and bedding, and even dust mite droppings. The resulting mix is a common trigger for allergies and asthma.

Air purifiers can help reduce the amount of dust that settles on surfaces. They can also pull dust particles out of the air, so you don’t inhale them. This can significantly cut down on sneezing, itching and wheezing symptoms caused by dust.

Choose a filter that targets your specific needs. A HEPA based air purifier can be effective at targeting dust, while a negative ion generator is better suited to eliminating odors. It’s also important to maintain your air purifier regularly, and clean it when necessary. To maximize effectiveness, avoid obstructing the airflow by positioning it away from walls and furniture. This will ensure the best results.

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