Research has shown that filtering air can help remove hazardous particles from indoor spaces, particularly allergens, smoke, and mold. However, air purifiers work best when combined with proper filtration and home cleaning techniques. Air purifiers are effective at reducing particles in the air, and some types can have health benefits for people with allergies, asthma, and other conditions. When selecting the most effective air purifier, there are many factors to consider.
HEPA filters have the most research to back them up and can filter out extremely small particles. Experts agree that ozone is harmful to health, and certain regulatory bodies have taken action on this issue; air purifiers that generate ozone are banned in some places. These products generate significant amounts of ozone that, if inhaled, can cause long-term damage to olfactory cells and lungs. Even more concerning is that symptoms can go away after repeated chronic exposure, making people unaware of the damage being done to their respiratory systems.
Even small amounts of ozone can be harmful; a Canadian study found that measurable bronchial reactivity can occur at ozone concentrations as low as 0.35 parts per million. Ozone can even react with common household cleaners, such as terpenes (which are more commonly known in pine and citrus fragrances), to form formaldehyde, a Group 1 human carcinogen. Ozone can also cause rubber and plastic to deteriorate prematurely in amounts as low as 0.35 parts per million. When evaluating the claims of air purifiers, experts suggest taking them with a grain of salt due to the potential for unknown harmful consequences along with the additional use of energy and a negligible or non-existent increase in purification. Air passes through a filter made of various materials such as paper or fiberglass; certification assures you of a quality product with superior air filtration capabilities, perfect for allergy sufferers. Another study among smoking households with nonsmoking pregnant people found that while the HEPA air purifier reduced particles in the air, it did not reduce nicotine in the air.
This carbon filtration method uses a highly porous form of carbon to trap chemicals and recycle fresh air back to the room. Mechanical filtration is another type of air purifier that draws in air which is mechanically forced through filters that remove particles in the air. The purpose of an air purifier is to filter and disinfect these indoor air pollutants, chemicals, and allergens and improve air quality. However, there is very little medical evidence to support air purifiers directly helping improve your health or relieve allergies and respiratory symptoms. If you also want to avoid odors and fumes, try air purifiers with HEPA and activated carbon filters. For example, if the air is in the presence of light for a quarter of a second, you'll need a 26,400 microwatt UV bulb.
But again, if you place a HEPA filter in your HVAC system, you may be looking for problems as some units develop problems due to increased pressure that results from pushing air through denser filter material. Electronic Air Purifiers are another type of air purifier that draws in air which is charged electronically. Because ionization doesn't filter airborne particles or kill mold and viruses, these viable particles continue to accumulate in the room. In conclusion, while air purifiers can be effective at reducing particles in the air, they should be used in combination with proper filtration and home cleaning techniques for maximum effectiveness. Ozone should be avoided even in small quantities due to its potential health risks; therefore, it's important to avoid using any air purifiers that generate it. Additionally, there is very little medical evidence to support air purifiers directly helping improve your health or relieve allergies and respiratory symptoms.