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How Do Air Purifiers Work?

January 02, 2022
air purifier with text, how do air purifiers work?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air may be two to five times as polluted as outdoor air. That’s where air purifiers come in. If you’d like to ensure quality air in your home, an air purifier may be a good option. It can significantly reduce the number of pollutants in the air while creating a healthy environment for you and your family. Let's take a closer look at what air purifiers are and how you may benefit from them.

What is an Air Purifier?

An air purifier is a special device that cleans the air to get rid of pollutants, allergens, and toxins. In most cases, it consists of a filter or multiple filters and a fan that sucks in and circulates air. As air makes its way through the filter, it captures pollutants and pushes clean air back into the living space. Ideally, you’d place an air purifier in a room you spend a lot of time in, such as your bedroom or living room.

How Does an Air Purifier Filter the Air?

Not all air purifiers are created equal. The most common types, however, include the following:

  • High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Air Purifiers: These purifiers are usually made of fiberglass or polypropylene and trap particles as they filter air. They’re powerful enough to remove up to 99.7% of unwanted particles, many of which are invisible to the naked eye.
  • Activated Carbon Air Purifiers: Hence their name, activated carbon air purifiers use activated carbon. They effectively remove gas and smoke smells as well as other odors from the indoors. As air pulls through the system, the carbon acts as an adsorbent and removes odors before pushing the filtered air back into the space.
  • Air Purifiers with UV Technology: Instead of removing airborne particles, UV air purifiers destroy germs and bacteria. These filters use powerful UV lamps to filter the air. While standalone UV air purifiers do exist, most of them are a part of HEPA filters.
  • Negative ION Air Purifiers: Through high voltage power, negative ION air purifiers emit charged ions into the air. These ions attach to the particles magnetically, causing them to become heavier. Since they are so heavy, they’ll quickly fall to the floor or nearby walls, window sills, and furniture.

How to Determine an Air Purifier is Working Correctly

Air purifiers test air quality in real-time through sensors that check for particles. They usually come with color displays on their control panel that reveal the quality of your air. The color green, for example, may be a sign that your air is clean.

Even if your air purifier isn’t equipped with a color display, it probably has an air quality monitor. The speed of its fan will be higher or lower based on your current air quality. If you start cooking, for example, your air purifier may get louder as it works to remove the extra odors and particles you’re causing.

Your air filters will also give you a good indication of whether your air purifier is working correctly. That’s why it’s smart to check them every now and then. Unless the filter is completely clean, it’s probably doing its job.

Benefits of Air Purifiers

There are a variety of benefits of air purifiers including:

Reduces Allergies

If you or a family member suffers from allergies, an air purifier may reduce irritants like dust and pet dander, improving the quality of life at home. An air purifier might also be worthwhile if anyone in your household has asthma or other breathing conditions as it can lower the risk of asthma attacks and other breathing issues.

Neutralizes Unpleasant Odors

Odors from various substances like tobacco, paint, and upholstered furniture can be harmful for your sinuses and lungs, leading to potential nausea, lightheadedness, and breathing challenges. An air purifier can keep the air in your home smelling fresh and clean.

Improves Sleep Quality

Research shows that people who sleep with air purifiers in their bedroom enjoy a better night’s sleep than those who don’t. If you or other family members have difficulty sleeping or often feel tired in the morning, an air purifier may help.

Change Your Air Filters Without the Hassle

In addition to investing in an air purifier, remember to change the air filters in your HVAC system. Filters can capture pollutants and particles, pushing clean, fresh air back into your living space.

With FilterTime’s air filter subscription service, you can keep the air in your home in optimal shape, year round.

Once you subscribe, the right air filters will get shipped to your doorstep automatically so you’ll know exactly when to change them. Since there are no shipping charges, contracts, or hidden fees, you have nothing to lose. Get started today!

Written by: Anna Baluch

Headshot of Writer Anna Baluch

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