Air Purifier for Room
Indoor air is filled with contaminants and pollutants that aren’t as prevalent in outdoor air. Allergens such as pet dander and dust mites are prevalent in the indoor environment. Volatile organic compounds from house paints and furniture foams can accumulate in rooms, exposing occupants to potentially harmful chemicals. Human occupants of rooms may emit viral particles and bacteria if they are sick, causing concentrated exposure for other occupants.
Indoor air quality can be improved by reducing sources of contaminants, or air can be treated to remove pollutants. It may not be practical to remove all sources of contamination. This is why it is a good idea to invest in some type of air purifier, even if it is for a small living space. An air purifier for room use can reduce and remove a significant number of airborne pollutants.
Removing Airborne Pollutants
Air purifiers for rooms remove airborne pollutants with a variety of methods. The most straightforward method is to use a filter to remove airborne particles. HEPA or ULPA filters remove at least 99.97% or 99.999% of microscopic airborne particulates, respectively. Soot, smoke particles, pollen, and pet dander are easily captured by these filters. The filters are so finely meshed that they also capture bacteria and viruses. The number of infectious agents in the air can be dramatically reduced using an air purifier with a HEPA or ULPA filter.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), like the carcinogenic compound benzene, cannot be captured with an inert filter like a HEPA or ULPA filter. To remove VOCs, activated carbon filtration is required. Carbon that has been processed to have a very large surface area is able to capture gaseous pollutants like VOCs. Activated carbon can also capture the chemicals that contribute to bad smells and odors.
Sizing a Purifier
An air purifier can only process a limited amount of air every hour. During that hour, pollutants and contaminants will be entering the room or may be generated or released within the room. The air purifier has to be able to remove the contaminants faster than they are generated in order to purify the air. If the volume of air in the room is too large to be processed quickly enough to overcome the creation or introduction of new pollutants, the air purifier can’t reliably purify the air.1
This is why the size of the room needs to be taken into account when choosing an air purifier for a room. Manufacturers will generally provide recommendations about the size of room a purifier is able to treat. If the air purifier is able to process a larger area than the room, it will still be effective.
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Air purifiers for rooms can only purify the air that flows freely to or from the room. While it may seem like air moves easily around a home, in reality each room can become its own small environment. If you’ve ever walked into a room in your home and noticed that it has a different smell, this is because the air isn’t thoroughly mixing with the air outside of the room. In order to get the best air purifier benefits, there should be an air purifier present in every occupied room in a home. Portable air purifiers are another option to consider when looking at purifiers for multiple rooms.
HEPA air purifiers contain filters made from safe materials, and are designed so that they are contained within an air purifier. One possible danger from HEPA filters can occur in HVAC air filtration systems that are improperly designed or maintained. If water or moisture condenses on the filter mold and bacteria can actually begin growing on the filter itself, a dangerous situation. An air purifier for a room with a properly maintained filter should not pose a hazard.
Household baking soda can absorb odors, and activated carbon is also an effective odor remover. An air purifiers with a carbon filter integrated uses activated carbon to remove gaseous pollutants and smells from the air. One advantage of an integrated carbon filter is that air is actively pushed through the filter. Both methods require periodic changes of the baking soda or carbon filter.
Unless an air purifier has an integrated dehumidifier, an air purifier should not make the air drier. Some poorly designed HVAC systems that push humid air through an air purifier filter can cause moisture to collect on filters, but this will not cause a meaningful humidity reduction.
Unless an air purifier has some type of component meant to distribute smells into the air, like an essential oil nebulizer, an air purifier should not smell. If an air purifier is making a musty or mildew smell, the filter may need to be cleaned or replaced.
Get cleanroom quality clean air at home with the SoClean 3-Stage Air Purifier+. The SoClean 3-Stage Air Purifier+ captures 99.99999% of airborne viruses and bacteria. The SoClean 3-Stage Air Purifier greatly outperforms HEPA standards in a portable package that can be easily moved from place to place.
Master Air Purifier Sources:
Air quality sources: Air purification/filtration process sources: HEPA, UPLA, and MERV filter sources:
Air quality sources:https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.5b01236
Air purification/filtration process sources:https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/air-purifiers/buying-guide/index.htm
HEPA, UPLA, and MERV filter sources:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16517004/