Air purifiers, also called air cleaners, can help improve the quality of the air in one’s home by removing dust, pet dander, mould, or other irritants. Air cleaners range from portable to whole-house models .Whole-house air cleaners offer the greatest efficiency but typically cost more than other options and require professional installation. This survey is about room air purifiers and the options available in this category.
Every air-purification technology has its strengths and weaknesses. An air purifier that offers multiple technologies is generally best.
Activated Carbon Air Filter
Activated carbon air filters consist of a vast system of pores of molecular size. These pores are highly adsorbent, forming a strong chemical bond/attraction to odorous, gaseous, and liquid contaminates.
Strengths: The most absorbent filter available, making it highly effective in capturing chemical fumes, gases, cigarette smoke, and odours
Does not release captured contaminates back into the air
Weaknesses: Does not effectively remove dust and other allergens. Does not effectively capture microorganisms Has a difficult time removing contaminates from across the room, since they must travel through the filter
HEPA Air Filtration
High-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA), also sometimes called high-efficiency particulate arresting or high-efficiency particulate air, is a type of air filter. HEPA air filters are the most efficient type of air filter available. They are 99.97 per cent effective at removing particles as small as 0.3 microns.
Strengths: Removal of dust, pollens, mould spores, dust mites, and other allergens
Removal of many bacteria
Solid particles captured are not released into the air again
Weaknesses: Difficult time removing airborne particles from across the room, since they must be drawn through the filter
Does not remove chemical fumes, gases, cigarette smoke, or odours
Does not capture ultra-fine particles, viruses, or germs
Microorganisms captured in filter can breed and/ or reproduce, resulting in increased microorganism populations
Germicidal UV Lamp
Ultraviolet (UV) lamps effectively destroy microorganisms that pass by the bulb, including germs, viruses, bacteria, and fungi (such as mould). Strengths: Ability to destroy microorganisms Helps prevent illness and disease Weaknesses: No effect on particulate, including most allergens
No effect on chemical fumes, gases, or cigarette smoke
No affect on odours, unless designed to produce ozone, which may not be desired under all circumstances. Some UV lamps are designed not to produce ozone
An air ioniser creates negative ions that change the polarity of airborne particles, causing them to magnetically attract together. As a result, they become too large to remain airborne, and fall out of the air that you breathe in. The most effective ionisers use a stainless steel ‘needlepoint’ to produce negative ions.
Strengths: Removal of particles from the air, including ultra-fine particles as small as 0.01 microns
Neutralisation of viruses, bacteria, cigarette smoke, and chemical fumes
Can circulate throughout the room to remove airborne particles