As far as electronic and technological devices go, very few are like the Air purifier. The air purifier takes its place because it does the most important work of cleaning bad quality air.
Air is important for survival but the air also contains harmful microorganisms. The air purifier clears the air from many harmful substances.
What is an Air Purifier?
An air purifier or cleaner is a device which purifies and removes the contaminants like molds, dust mites, bacteria, smell and odor from the air in a room thus making home climate much more healthier. The device is commonly advertised as being beneficial to allergy and asthmatic patients. It will also help to reduce the amount of second-hand tobacco smoke.
Air purifier pulls the dirty air from the environment and remove pollen, dust and various other pollutants with the use of filters and circulate cleaner air in the surroundings.
Basically, there are two types of air purifiers which are commercially produced. There are special units which are stand-alone units and they purify the air with their own working mechanism. There are also units of a larger size which can be combined with an air handler unit or to the HVAC. The larger sized purifiers are used for large places such as hospitals and industries.
In different industries, an air purifier is used for the expulsion of CO2 from the air.
How Air Purifier works?
The importance of air purifiers has been established in the opening parts of this article. It is time to look into the working mechanism of the different air purifiers which we have in the market today.
There are two major air purifying technologies, namely, Active and Passive.
Air purifiers that work with the active method make use of ionization techniques to keep the air clean. The passive air purifiers make use of air filters to eliminate any contaminants. The passive air purifiers are seen as more effective because all dirt is permanently removed from the air and kept in the air filters.
Asides active and passive working mechanisms, there are still other types of technology for air purifiers.
Air Purifier working mechanism
The different working mechanisms for air purifiers include the following;
Thermodynamic sterilization (TSS)
This type of working mechanism is used especially in different air purifiers and it cleans the air using heat. It does the heat sterilization through a ceramic core. This core is filled with different micro capillaries which are then heated to a temperature of about 200 °C. This temperature is harmful to almost all microorganisms and they are burnt by the heat.
The air is spread through the ceramic core by convection and is then cooled by means of heat transfer plates. The cooled air is then released into the atmosphere. This working mechanism doesn’t pass as a passive technology as it doesn’t make use of any air filters to trap and collect the air microorganisms.
The use of the TSS technology is designed to release any harmful by-products but it leads to ozone depletion in the earth’s atmosphere.
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI)
The entire working mechanism of these types of air purifiers is completely based on UV technology.
The purifier sterilizes air as it forced through UV lamps. UVGI systems can be designed to be stand-alone units with covered UV lamps that use a fan to draw in the unclean air. UVGI systems could also be part of air systems so that the entire cleaning process runs for the whole premises.
The only difficulty about this method is in the placement of the UV lamps and the installation of a good filtration system to get rid of any dead microorganisms.
These are one of the most basic filter systems you would ever find anywhere. The unclean air is forced through a filter and the microorganisms are trapped in this filter. However, the filter mechanisms are also diversified and are designed differently. Let’s understand what they are and what they do.
Types of Air Purifier
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters
These are a special type of filters that are very effective. They would filter as high as 99.97% of 0.3-micrometer particles and are considered even more effective in removing particles of a larger size. HEPA purifier filters are used to filter the air that moves into a room and the system is arranged such that all the air in that enters the room goes through the filter. In areas filled with a lot of dust, it may be used as a different type of filter which would remove larger particles.
However, the filter should be cleaned or replaced often. HEPA filters are not contributors to ozone depletion. Read more about What is HEPA filter? How it traps 99.9% of air particles?
Filter HVAC at MERV 14 or above
These are specially rated filters which can remove particles of about 0.3 micrometers or larger in the air. A very good MERV 14 filter would be effective against about 75% of the particles of sizes between 0.3 – 1.0 micrometers. The capture rate of the MERV filter is considerably lower than that of the HEPA filter. The higher efficiency MERV filter has a good capture rate but they have higher air resistance. For their use, there would be a need for a great drop in air pressure and would cost more amount of energy.
is a special porous material that could also be considered as a filter. It can absorb volatile chemicals from the air but would find it difficult to trap larger particles. The absorption process for this material requires an equal equilibrium and this increases the difficulty of removing some contaminants.
What activated carbon does is that it changes the contaminants from gaseous materials into solid materials. For more effective results, it shouldn’t be disturbed. Activated carbon is useful at room temperature and has high durability. It is majorly used alongside other types of filter technology.
Know more about Activated Carbon Filter: Working, Benefits and Usage in Air Purifier.
Polarized-media electronic air cleaners
This is an electronic type of air purifier that makes use of electronic air filters and a mechanical filter. These filters use a 24-volt DC voltage to create a polarised electric field. In this field, airborne particles become ionized and become attracted to a replaceable fiber media pad. The efficiency of this air cleaner increases over time. It has an air resistance rate which is the same as or less than that of passive filters.
These air purifiers make use of electrically charged surfaces to create an electrically charged air or gaseous ions. These gaseous ions then get attracted to airborne particles. This attraction makes them electrostatic before they are then attached to a charged collector plate. This purifier produces little amounts of ozone and by-products. However, we have two types of Ionizer purifiers. These are:
- The fanless ionizer
- The fan-based ionizer
Fanless ionizers do not produce noise and make use of a small amount of electricity. They are however less efficient at cleaning the air. Fan-based ionizers are the more effective air purifiers.
Immobilized cell technology
This is a working mechanism that eliminates particles in the air by attracting charged particles to a bio-reactive mass. Upon this reaction, the charged particles become inert.
These are not traditional air cleaners. They use a very distinct type of working mechanism. The ozone generators are designed to produce a good amount of ozone. This ozone is capable of oxidizing a lot of chemicals. However, ozone generators are only considered safe for unoccupied rooms. Ozone generators can be used to eliminate chemicals from a room. They are used to remove smoke odors, musty and wet smells, mold and the smell of dead flesh. It is very unsafe to breathe ozone.
Benefits of Air Purifiers
There are different particles in the air such as dust, mold spores, pollen or dust mite feces that can lead to allergies for people. Some other particles and chemicals in the air can cause health problems. The air in your home may look clean but you can be sure that there are some particles in the air which can be a bane to healthy living.
Air purifiers will come into your home and change a lot of things.
They are designed to attract or trap these harmful particles. They can trap particles of a size of about 0.3 micrometers. Asides just trapping and removing air particles, there are other benefits of an Air Purifier. These benefits include:
The most important benefit of an air purifier is the cleaner air which it offers to most homes and indoor environments. It creates clean air by removing a good percentage of the contaminants.
Air purifiers remove air particles but not all of them have the power to kill germs. However, air purifiers which can remove germs in the air can keep you and your family in good health. They would also prevent the spread of harmful germs around the air. If anyone is sick in the home, the air purifier would prevent the spread of any airborne germs from the person. Some air purifiers are very effective against up to 13 types of pathogens.
Removal of Odors
Air purifiers help to remove odor by trapping air particle. They are good at making your home smell very fresh. Imagine, you just finished cooking an aromatic dish or smoking tobacco, the air purifier would help to quickly eliminate the odor.
Reduction of Allergies
Air purifiers have been known to aid the condition of people suffering from allergies. These people need a clean environment which is free from different types of pollen or other air allergens. The air purifier would help to keep the whole environment safe.
Reduction of Pet Mess
Pets are beautiful but they can be a mess sometimes. Their hair can get over different pieces of furniture and they can leave some disturbing odors. An air purifier can help to eliminate the hair and pet odors.
A slower rate of Dust Buildup
It doesn’t matter the number of times that you clean your home, there would always be dust in it. However, if you are tired of having to clean dust more frequently, you can install an air purifier. It would help to slow down the rate at which you have dust in your home. This way, your home would become cleaner for a longer period.
Want to know more about air purifier health benefits, read the top 15 health benefits of air purifier.
All in all, air purifiers are an excellent addition to any home. It is a device that offers maximum comfort at home.