Air Filters Or Air Purifiers?
When deciding what type of air cleaner to buy when you need to take care of an air quality problem, the question is, should you get an air filter or air purifier? There is a difference between these two types of electronic air cleaners. Putting it quite simply, air filters clean particles from the air and purifiers remove non-chemicals that are in the air you breathe. Of course it is a little more complicated and as you read on in this article you will find out exactly what the differences are between the two.
First letís take a look at why most homes need some type of electronic air cleaner today. Did you realize that the air in most homes is five times more polluted than the air outside? This is a major concern because most people spend at least 90 % of their lives inside homes and businesses. This is a contributing factor in why the numbers of respiratory illnesses are up in the country today.
One kind of electronic air cleaner is the air filter. There are two types of filters and three types of air purifiers on the market today. Any these can be combined with one or more systems to be more effective.
The first filter is the HEPA filter. It is designed to remove particles, sometimes referred to as particulate matter, from the air. This particulate matter is from allergens, such as pollen, dust, dust mites, mold (fungi) spores and some bacteria. Hepa filters are able to filter particulate matter as small as 0.3 microns.
The second filter is the Activated Carbon air filter. It is for filtering particles from the air. These types of filters use a system of pores in carbon to absorb molecular size matter through chemical bonding. Activated carbon filters remove odorous fumes, gaseous, and liquid contaminates. Specifically they remove chemical fumes (paint, cleaners), gases (CO2, CO), cigarette smoke, and odors (pets, foods).
Letís take a look at air purifiers. One kind of system is the ionizer electronic air purifier. The ionizer purifier works by allowing ultra small air particles and fumes to pass through an electrical field to change their polarity so that they will either clump together or be attracted to metal plates in the purifier. Ionizers remove particles as small as 0.1 microns (three times smaller than 0.3 microns), bacteria, viruses, cigarette smoke, and chemical fumes. This purifier will remove pet dander from the air, unlike the two filters described above.
The second type of electronic air purifier uses ultra violet (UV) light to destroy micro-organisms. It is called the Germicidal UV Lamp and is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. This air purifier kills micro-organisms such as viruses, germs, bacteria, and mold (fungi).
The final type of electronic air purifier is called the ozone generator. It uses a reactive oxidant to destroy bacteria, strong odors (pets, cigar, cigarette), other smoke, and chemicals. It uses an electrical charge to breakdown oxygen to create the ozone.
So the answer to why not an air purifier is that it all depends on your situation and what pollutants you are trying to remove from the air you breathe. Depending on your situation, an air filter may work better than a purifier in certain situations. The decision is up to you.