Air purifiers have become an essential component in many households today. Home air purifiers filter out allergy-provoking substances, such as dust mites, chemical and organic odors, pet dander and plant pollen. These devices are especially good when a person has a suppressed immune system and is more susceptible to infections. It’s a proven fact that home air purifiers help in such medical conditions as allergy, asthma, and hay fever.
A home air purifier draws in air, filters out the dust, pollen, bacteria and scent molecules, and then emits the clean scentless air into the room. The air would not be completely pure and sanitized, but it would contain significantly less dust particles and allergens.
There are several types of filters used in home air purifiers. Filters with added activated carbon similar to the one used to treat food poisoning – serve as pre-filter, which captures large particles. Then, HEPA filter absorbs small particles. Some purifiers add a natural organic filter that neutralizes volatile compounds from household chemicals or smoke.
Less common filter types used in home air purifiers are electrostatic or ion filters that attract particles by static electricity and therefore can create unnecessary electric tension in the household. Hybrid purifiers employ more than one particle-collecting method. The fairly new method used in home air purifiers is ozone filter that filters the air and purifies it with ozone. However, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that ozone generators can be harmful to people affected by asthma. Many experts think that ozone is generally ineffective against air pollution.
HEPA-certified filters are most common in home air purifiers. The next generation of filters is ULPA (ultra-HEPA) filters that remove close to 100% of particles. Uncertified HEPA-like filters have proved to be less effective.
All homes and offices have different air conditions which depend on the age of the building, materials used in the construction, and a number of plants nearby. That’s why is impossible to predict the effect of home air purifier on the overall air quality. In general, dust and pollen particles are usually filtered, at least as much as tobacco-smoke particles.
When choosing an air purifier, look at the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). This rate indicates how many cubic feet of air is cleared of airborne particle. Smoke is considered a smallest particle, dust is medium and pollen is the largest one. The higher the CADR rating, the less time your new air purifier needs to remove particles from the room.
Even though air purifiers can become a holy grail for many allergy sufferers, experts suggest that no one should rely only on air purifiers while trying to keep the air at home healthy and clean. The best strategy to achieving breathable air in your home would be to use an air purifier along with natural window ventilation.
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Astute on the shiplift after launch. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Alligator was the first submarine purchased by the U.S. Navy. It contained two crude air purifiers, a chemical based system for producing oxygen and a bellows to force air through lime. Text & photo courtesy of chinfo.navy.mil. http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08444.htm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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