What You Should Know About Air Purifiers
Written by Justine Liew

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Source: XiaomiToday.com

The first home air purification system was introduced in 1963 by the Manfred and Klaus Hammes brothers, which became successful in many German households. To date, there are many air purifier brands out in the market to provide clean air to your homes.

Not many people know that indoor air has levels of pollutants up to five times higher than outdoor air. Air purifiers are specially designed appliances to cleanse the air in your homes to eliminate microscopic impurities circulating, such as smoke, dust, pollen, and even pet dander that are harmful to us. Having cleaner air in your home means that any underlying respiratory conditions will less likely trigger you.

So, today, we’re going to talk about air purifiers and what you should know about them!

How Do Air Purifiers Work? 

You may be wondering, how does the appliance work? Air purifiers come with an internal fan and filters (or sometimes with multiple filters) that utilize fine sieves to filter out particles from the circulating air. As the air flows through the cleaner, the filters will trap pollutants and dust particles while releasing clean air to your home. 

Some people may mistake air purifiers for oil diffusers or humidifiers, but they are the exact opposite! They add more particles into the indoor air. Although diffusers do make your home smell nice, some people might be more sensitive to these scents than others.

When Should You Use An Air Purifier? 

There isn’t a right or wrong time to use air purifiers. However, they are typically used during seasons where the air is visibly obscure or during the Spring season - a season where most allergies start acting up due to pollen. In the more rare and extreme cases, using an air purifier during forest fires can help eliminate airborne dust particles that are bad for your respiratory system.

What you might not know is that you can always use an air purifier all year long. It’s all up to you! If you feel your nose getting a little stuffy, turn it on so it’ll help alleviate it at any time of the day.

The Types Of Air Purifiers

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Air purifiers, like many other devices, come in different shapes, sizes, and types. You may have heard of the HEPA technology air purifier as it is the current benchmark for air purifiers. Still, other cleaners employ different technology to circulate the air you breathe in. 

Below are the five most common types of air purifiers that you should know. 

HEPA Filter Technology 

HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air, is a type of filter that has been used over the years to filter out air molecules. It is said to trap and capture 99.97% of pollutants that are as large as 0.3 microns. These tiny particles are not visible to the naked human eye. Even the smallest particle has to be 50 microns large for it to be seen. 

These filters also do not capture any harmful byproducts or generate ozone. They can also trap mould and bacteria circulating through the air. Hence, having a HEPA filter-type air purifier would ensure the air in your home remains fresh and clean. 
Activated Carbon Technology 

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Activated carbon is a type of carbon that is processed to be porous with a large surface area for absorption. These filters can effectively trap odours, chemical emissions, tobacco, and formaldehyde.

However, they have a lower efficiency of trapping bacteria, viruses, and other airborne particles, unlike HEPA filters. An activated carbon filter comprises multiple molecular size pores with high absorbent and chemical bonding.
Ultra-Violet (UV) Light Technology

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UV technology air purifiers are effective in killing germs, bacteria, and viruses. These air purifiers use a high electrical energy voltage, charging the particles that pass through the filters. Air purifiers with this technology have a UV lamp installed, so when any microorganism passes by the UV rays, they get destroyed. 

Some UV light air purifiers produce ozone as a byproduct, which can be detrimental to your lungs, so be sure to check before buying these types of appliances.

Ionic Air Purifier (Ionizer)

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Source: Home Air Guides

Ionic air purifiers have been marketed in various names, some of which include ”ionizer,” “negative ion,” “electrostatic precipitators,” and “ion air purifiers.” But for simplicity reasons, we’ll call them “ionizers.” 

These air purifiers use high voltage to produce electrical charge (usually negative, hence, the name negative ion) to particles that pass through the ionizers or molecules in the air. The charged molecules are called ions, and the ions will then stick to the particles. The dead pathogens will accumulate on the electrostatic plates. 

The electrostatic plates will need to be changed regularly to maintain the efficiency of this filter. Do also bear in mind that this type of air purifier produces ozone which can be harmful.

Ozone Generators

As you may already know, ozone is a type of gas with an extra atom (O3) that makes it unstable and harmful to breathe. When you see the term ‘ozone,’ you might think of the ozone layer, which protects everyone from the sun’s dangerous UV radiation. This is ‘good’ ozone.

However, the ozone on the ground level is ‘bad,’ and it is considered an air pollutant because it is hazardous to health. They are created in nature through the interaction of sunlight and specific chemicals (i.e., vehicle and industrial plant emissions) released in the atmosphere.

Ozone generators are a type of appliance that intentionally produces ozone gas. But they are marketed as an air purifier that absorbs odours. Some manufacturers may even suggest they are a healthy oxygen type and make “pure air.” They are also used to remove organic compounds from the air.

Given its danger to health, it is only recommended to use when there are clear benefits.

Benefits Of Air Purifiers

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With growing concerns regarding air pollution, investing in an air purifier can have several benefits. Let’s look at a few benefits of having an air purifier. 

Reduces Allergies

Hypersensitive people are triggered easily by allergens, which causes allergic rhinitis symptoms from staying indoors for an extended period. According to Dr Alana Biggers, an assistant professor of medicine believes that air filters can remove bothersome air molecules, which help people who are easily allergic to unwelcome allergens. 

Such allergens include but are not limited to pet dander, dust mites, and pollen. Having an air purifier at home can aid in ridding the indoor air from impurities that can combat seasonal allergic episodes in you or your family. 

Combats Symptoms of Asthma & Other Respiratory Issue 

Studies found that almost 1 in 12 people are prone to asthma, a lung condition that involves having inflamed bronchial tubes. Hence, the tiniest airborne particles, dust mites, and pollen can irritate the airways, causing difficulty breathing and chest tightness. 

Even if you don’t have asthma, having clean air will help to keep your lungs healthy. It is not good to constantly be exposed to polluted air as it does cause breathing and other respiratory complications to arise in the long run. 

Air purifiers make it possible to manage or even eliminate these symptoms by reducing your exposure to environmental allergens.

Improves Sleep

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Source: Wired 

Nobody likes having a disrupted sleeping schedule because it can cause us to wake up grumpy and have a less productive day at work. Air purifiers can help filter out the impurities of bacteria, fungi, pet dander, and other allergens that trigger allergies or, in some cases, hay fever. 

Investing in an air purifier in your home reduces the symptoms and provides better sleep quality. Some might even feel that the noise emanating from air purifiers have a calming effect that helps you sleep better. 

Reduces Unpleasant Smell & Odors 

Not only does an air purifier cleans the air in your home, but it also gets rid of any unpleasant odours that waft into your home from outside. Some of these include cooking oil, gasoline, haze, or even paint. 

Inhaling these scents over a long period can cause nausea, headaches, and breathlessness which are not safe for your health. Air purifiers with HEPA filters can help filter out the unpleasant smell, and you won’t have to worry about having guests over as your home will still smell fresh and clean. 

Reduces Chance Of Airborne Diseases 

By breathing in the air, you can sometimes catch airborne diseases, and Covid-19 or any other common colds are amongst the many conditions. It simply won’t be enough to practice social distancing and ensure any surface’s cleanliness to avoid getting these diseases. 

Although air purifiers aren’t the first line of defense against viruses, they can still filter out and capture any ultrafine airborne molecules, bacteria, and viruses to prevent unwanted transmission while keeping your family safe. This is especially important if you live with an elderly family member that has a weakened immune system.

    The Bottom Line

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    Air purifiers are an excellent appliance for keeping the indoor air in your home clean and safe for your family. They need not be used only on seasonal or special occasions but can be used throughout the year! Its purpose is to keep the air you breathe clean while filtering out all the microscopic particles that can be detrimental to your health. 

    We hope you get a clearer picture of the common types of air purifiers, how they work and what sort of benefits they provide. 

    Stay tuned to our next article on what you should look out for in an air purifier and the type of Xiaomi air purifiers available for you to choose from.