What You Need to Know Before You Buy an Air Purifier?
First of all, not everyone needs and air purifier. However, the facts are that in our heavily industrialized and very crowded world, the air is becoming more and more polluted. While its true that most countries are making an effort to curb pollutants emitted by vehicles and factories for example, the issue is becoming more serious. This is mainly because as more and more countries become industrialized and population (and wealth) increases, more and more products are being used and more waste is being generated than ever before in the history of mankind.
We are also creating new products which means that there are far more allergens for us to react to. Indeed, indoor air pollution can lead to all sorts or allergic reactions such as Fatigue, headaches, asthma and other breathing difficulties, skin and breathing allergies, eye nose and throat irritation as well as other conditions you may not even associate with allergies including high blood pressure, heart disease and adverse effects on your mental performance.
There is not that much you can do about external pollution (apart from applying pressure to politicians and activism) but since you probably spend at least a third of your life at home, it is important that you control the quality of air in your home.
Changes in home air quality
So why has your home air quality decreased over the past few decades?
There has been a lot of focus on conserving energy in tall buildings over the last 40-50 years. This has led to builders making buildings quite air tight. This is great for conserving energy but not so good for air exchange. In short these buildings tend to accumulate the chemicals they generate instead of releasing them to the general atmosphere.
These include chemicals such as Carbon Monoxide gas and others such as radon and formaldehyde released by the synthetic or chemically treated building materials such as the carpets, walls, paint, insulation wood and flooring etc.
The problem with this is that their effects can accumulate and not be noticed until years afterwards such as the famous asbestos and lead poisoning.
However, this issue doesn’t only affect those who live in high rise buildings only as all those materials and chemicals may be in the products you use and buy in your own home affecting your health.
The point being that you may need a good air purifier even if you are not particularly allergic to prevent these chemicals, or particles from causing you harm either now or in the future. The good news is that there are many different kinds of technology for getting rid of the various types of particles, odors, poisons and chemicals that can cause you harm. In addition there are a wide range of air purifiers from different manufacturers, and which come in a variety of price ranges so it should be easy for you to find a purifier that meets your needs and yet is affordable.
Types of Harmful Particles Air Purifiers can Remove
The most common particles you will encounter in any home are dust particles. Dust can come from all sorts of sources such as from your shoes when you’ve been outside or even the wind. You might not be aware of this but it can easily lead to heart and lung disease. In addition an organism called the dust mite can live on dust and produce allergens so that when you breathe in the dust you suffer from allergic reactions. Dust mites are present in most homes and their droppings tend to be quite harmful leading to breathing issues. Indeed while a vacuum cleaner may appear to tidy your home, it will likely stir up invisible dust particles and worsen the issues if you suffer from allergies. Besides these, pollen during the pollen generating season causes many allergies while pet hair such as cat dander or dog dander can cause a lot of problems.
Toxic Molds and spores are even more dangerous than dust particles when it comes to causing you allergic reactions, especially lung based allergies or making conditions such as asthma much worse. They can cause a variety of allergic reactions and health problems.
Types of Air Purifier
There are a range of technologies that can be used to clean the air in your home. The best ones combine different technologies so you benefit by getting cleaner air as well as by removing a wider range of allergens or particles. There include ionizers which can kill spores such as mold which produce dangerous chemicals, charcoal filters which trap odors and particles, and HEPA and True HEPA filters which trap very tiny particles.
Ionic air purifiers and air ionizers are silent as they don’t rely on a powerful fan to draw in particles to be captured by a filter. They rely on an electrostatic charge to clean the air in your home. However, while they may kill spores and mold and mites, they do not remove tiny particles from the air, so if these are the source of your health issues they may not solve the problem. Some of them produce ozone which may kill particle producing spores but can also irritate lungs so is not recommended if you are sensitive.
HEPA Air purifiers and the more effective True HEPA air purifiers are very powerful for removing particles from the air but may be quite noisy at their highest fan settings. In addition, you will need to replace their filters occasionally and these can be expensive to buy.
Ideally you should buy a combination Air Purifier that has an initial Pre-filter, a carbon filter and a true HEPA filter. You may also want to buy one that has an ionizer in addition to these technologies.
So which Air Purifier should you buy
Finally, many modern Air purifiers come with features designed for ease of use such as low noise modes, timers, auto sensors which detect air quality and speed up to clear your air faster or slow down or stop if your air quality is good. Indeed some now come with Bluetooth features so you can control your air purifier when you are out or use your phone as a remote control device.
In conclusion, you should buy the best air purifier with all the features you actually need without being too expensive, preferably one that uses multiple technologies to remove as many different types of particles as possible. In addition, if other useful features are available at reasonable prices, you can decide which of them are most useful to you and factor them into your decision on which air purifier to buy.
For more information read our top air purifier recommendations.