Air Purifier FAQs
Listed below are a few of the questions that we get from time to time and thought we'd put the most often asked questions in one place on our website to save you from scouring the web looking for bits and pieces of this information. Of course this is not everything that is out there in the world of air purification, but it's a good start so that you can begin your journey. As always, if there is something that you can't find on our website, please do not hesitate to contact us and ask the experts.
In most instances, you don't have to go too far for more information because all the information you are looking for, for the most part, is probably found somewhere on this website or in the heads of our experts should you need to give us a call.
Here are a couple of other areas of our website to help you on your quest for more air purification knowledge. Good Luck!
What is an air purifier?
An air purifier is an electronic appliance that is used in homes and workplaces to improve overall indoor air quality. Air Purifiers use several different air purification technologies to clean and purify the air in a given space.
Why would I buy an air purifier?
In most instances, an air purifier is purchased to improve overall indoor air quality in a home or office or to assist in removing certain pollutants from the air that are known to trigger or enhance allergies or asthma in humans or animals. Helps to lessen the possibility of a person contracting allergies or asthma if they don't have them already and also offers relief from allergy and asthma symptoms for those who already do suffer from them.
How does an air purifier work?
There are several different air purification technologies in the market, but the most common way an air purifier works is to draw air from a given space, such as a living room, into the unit and then have it pass through several layers of filtering devices within the unit and then have it recycled and released back into the room, through a vent from the unit, as clean or purified air.
Usually these filtering devices consist of a spongy prefilter (for filtering large airborne pollutants such as dust and pet dander), a HEPA filter (for filtering smaller particles such as pollen, mold and mildew spores), a Charcoal filter (for filtering odors and gases), and then sometimes even UV (Ultraviolet) light sterilization (for filtering airborne microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses). Once these airborne pollutants are passed through these filtering devices within the unit, they become trapped and remain within those filtering devices while the clean (filtered) air is then released back into the room, cleaner than when it entered the air purifier. This process is repeated over and over within a given space, keeping the area free from airborne contaminants while the air purifier is turned on.
Why choose activated carbon over ozone?
|Activated carbon the safe, effective and economical choice
|The drawbacks of ozone machines
Will an air purifier cure my asthma or allergies?
No. They are there to assist and lessen the effects airborne pollutants have on a human body, but not to cure them. Cleaning the air of these airborne pollutants and irritants will give many allergy and asthma sufferers much needed relief from the symptoms associated with their ailment.
What is a HEPA filter and what can I expect it to do for me?
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. It was a technology developed in the 1940s by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to fulfill a top-secret need for an efficient way to filter radioactive particulate contaminants. HEPA is a type of highly efficient filtration media that removes microscopic particles from air passing through the filter. There are different ranges of efficiencies depending on the particle size. The most efficient form of HEPA removes 99.97% of particles (from the air within a specific space) that are the size of 0.3 microns or larger that pass through the filter. What does this mean? For every 10,000 particles entering the HEPA filter, an average of 3 would pass all the way through the filter. A HEPA air purifier filter will not capture gasses and odors. That is why activated charcoal is normally used in conjunction with a HEPA filter. It will capture the pollutants, such as gasses and odors, that the HEPA filter misses.
Please refer to the Average Filter Maintenance Timetable on our website or to the product pages within our website for more info by individual products and models.
What airborne pollutants does an air purifier filter?
An air purifier uses several different filtering (purification) technologies to remove airborne pollutants such as dust, smoke, pollen, pet dander, mold & mildew spores, bacteria & viruses, and other airborne particulates as small as 0.3 microns.
Why are air purifiers needed?
The air inside many homes often is many times more polluted than outside air. Here are some little known facts about the air inside many homes:
• The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that indoor air pollutant levels may be as many as two to five times higher than the pollutant levels outdoors.
• Indoor air pollution is one of the top environmental concerns in the country
• Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors which can be alarming considering current indoor air quality concerns.
• Indoor air pollutants such as tobacco smoke, pollen, mold, dust and animal dander often are associated with asthmatic and allergic reactions in people.
What contributes to poor indoor air quality?
Today's homes often are built energy efficient to "hold" air inside - avoiding heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Of course, what's better for your energy bills isn't necessarily better for indoor air quality. This type of “tight” construction often doesn't allow the home to breathe. Pollutants become trapped within a home or workplace which in the past, or in a non-energy efficient home, would have been released outside the home by natural means.
What are the primary sources of air pollution?
Tobacco smoke. For years the EPA has reported the link between second-hand smoke and negative health effects.
Pollen comes from trees, flowers and grass, and even opening a door can allow millions of these particles into a home. Some people are particularly sensitive to the presence of certain pollen particles.
People who are allergic to cats and dogs are actually allergic to the dander flakes their pets shed.Dander can remain in a home long after the presence of the animal is gone.
Mold and mildew which are typically found in the shower, kitchen or basement, are plant spores that grow any place that's warm and humid.
Dust is a collection of many different types of particles including our own skin cells, dirt tracked in from the outside and other particles from objects in the house.
All of these items and more contribute to current poor indoor air quality conditions.
How loud are air purifiers?
The type, brand, and speed of an air purifier are directly related to how loud the purifier is. A typical air purifier that uses filters to purify the air that is ran on low (the recommend speed) is very comparable to the sound of a small house fan.
Most air purifiers loudest fan setting is set to equal the decibel level of normal human conversation. That is so, even at the highest fan setting, you do not have to talk over it if you are having a conversation in a room where the air purifier is set to a high fan speed. In most instances, the high setting is only going to be used for a quick cleaning of the air in a room and then placed on a medium or low fan setting to maintain the air quality in the room. The medium and low fan settings are usually no louder than Central Heating and Air Conditioning coming on through the vents inside of a dwelling. The lower settings (medium and low fan speeds) are similar in decibel level to "white noise" which is beneficial for concentration, relaxation, and better overall sleeping.
Noise Level: This number is measured in decibels (dB). The higher number indicates a higher level of noise. Below are examples of the noise level ratings for common appliances:
120-150 dB = Rock Concerts, Firearms
90 dB = Truck Traffic, Lawnmower
80 dB = Alarm Clock, Busy Street
70 dB = Vacuum Cleaner
60 dB = Conversation, Dishwasher
50 dB = Moderate Rainfall
40 dB = Quiet room
30 dB = Whisper, Quiet Library
I have an 800 sq ft townhouse with 2 levels, will an air purifier certified for 1500 square feet be enough to clean the air in the entire townhouse?
Only if it were that simple. Air purifiers work best in the areas that they are contained to, such as living quarters or bedrooms, for example. An air purifier cannot go through walls, around corners, down hallways, and down flights of stairs to clean the air in a living or working space. There will be some residual cleaning effects of those areas immediately surrounding the main cleaning area (such as a hallway outside a bedroom), but for the most part, only the immediate area that the air purifier is placed into will give the best air cleaning results.
When buying an air purifier, consider the area or areas that you want to put it into. Those will be the area sizes you will need to use to compare models. Try to find an air purifier that is certified to clean more square footage than the area that you are putting it into. That will allow for the air to be cleaned faster and more often. A rule of thumb is that an air purifier should be certified to cover at least one-third more square footage than the area you are placing it into.
Example: You want to clean the air in a 600 sqft living room, you should purchase an air purifier that is certified for at least 900 sqft or more to effectively clean that area. That being said, please understand, you can purchase an air purifier that is certified for equal or lesser square footage (or less than a third more as indicated in the example above) than the area you want to clean, but realize that it will not be as effective and will clean the air at a slower rate and less often.
Here are your options if you want to clean an entire apartment, condo, home, etc.:
If working within a budget and since air purifiers are portable, you can move the air purifier from area to area to clean the air in those spaces. An example would be to run the air purifier in the living room during the day and then move it into the bedroom at night.
If money or a budget are not a concern, multiple units throughout the living or working space would be the best option. This would allow for uninterrupted cleaning in those areas at all times without having to move it from one area to another.
When an area is divided by floors, walls, and/or doors, it is best to use multiple units throughout the living or working space. This would allow for uninterrupted cleaning in those areas at all times without having to move it from one area to another.
When in doubt it is always best to go with a purifier that is certified for more square footage than the area you want to filter.
Can I open my windows in a room where I am using an air purifier and should I also then close the doors to that room, as well?
Open windows are usually a good thing unless you live in an industrial or dirty area where you can't get the benefits from opening your windows to let in some good old fashioned fresh air from outside. There will be some pollutants, such as pollen, that will enter the room, but for the most part, they'll find their way inside the room whether the windows are opened or closed. It would just be a matter of how much would come in if the windows were closed. If you can open a window in a room while the air purifier is working, it is not a bad idea to mix in a little fresh air, as well.
Doors opened or closed, it does not really matter. The air purifier is going to clean the area it is immediately contained to, regardless. If you do not want further contaminants from an outside source entering the room while cleaning it with an air purifier, close both windows and doors for maximum effectiveness. But, if they do happen to be left open, the air purifier will clean the new pollutants that enter the room from a window or door, as well.
I have a mold concern in my house possibly behind one of my walls, will an air purifier remove the mold issue? If not, will it help with the mold spores that are airborne?
No. We need to be clear on that point. Air purifiers can help to prevent a mold problem from starting and spreading in a home, but cannot remove a pre-existing mold problem. Mold can be a very dangerous concern in a home and should be dealt with by a professional abatement company for the mold problem first. Once the mold has been professionally removed, placing an air purifier in the cleaned area of a home will help the problem from reoccurring.
Yes, it will help reduce the mold spores that are airborne so you aren't constantly breathing them. However, it is highly recommended to resolve the cause of the mold to prevent it from becoming worse.
I don't like to dust. Will an air purifier allow me to never dust again in my home?
If they did, we'd have one in every room of our home. But seriously, air purifiers are not an end-all-be-all product. They assist in pulling dust particles out of the air and will lessen the amount of dust that accumulates in a room, but will never completely eliminate it.