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Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Do Air Purifiers Really Work?

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By Heather Andrews

The question of Air Purifier effectiveness is one that has caused many debates in our culture and is even the source of legal battles involving a major supplier. Different air purifiers use different systems and technologies to clean the air in your house. Some have been proven to be more effective than others.

Crystal Breeze Air Purifier

The air inside of your house can be dirtier than the air outside. Houses can contain moisture which leads to mold, heating and air systems can move dust and bacteria around the house, and pet fur or dander can contaminate your air. The air inside your house is probably not unhealthy, but can be bothersome to those with allergies or asthma. Keeping the air inside of your house clean is important to ensuring a healthy life for you and your family.

The three most common types of air purifiers are ones with filters, ones that use ionizing systems and ones that generate ozone. Air purifiers with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters meet the standard for removing particles from the air set by the Department of Energy. Ionizing air purifiers work by giving particles that pass through a slight positive or negative charge. Larger particles, such as dust, are more likely to attract this charge while passing through the air purifier. The purifier will have charged metal plates that attract the charged particles and keep them from entering into the air. If these particles pass through the air purifier, they will be drawn to each (a positively and a negatively charged particle will attract each other) causing a larger and heavier particle that will settle on the ground. Ozone generators turn oxygen molecules into ozone.

Ozone generating air purifiers are said to be the least effective and have come under a lot of criticism for their effectiveness and possible health risks. Small amounts of ozone can cause respiratory problems and aid in the corrosion of metals in the house. The risks of using this type of purifier doesn’t seem to be worth the slight effectiveness it may offer in cleaning existing air contaminants.

Air purifiers can also feature other technologies or processes to help clean air and eliminate orders. Air purifiers may contain charcoal to trap molecules or UV light to clean air as it passed through the device. Combined technologies for cleaning and removing odors from air may be the best solution for your needs.

It is important to evaluate the type of air purifier you are purchasing to ensure it is what will be best for your home and doesn’t rely on unproven technology such as ozone generating.

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