Do I Need an Air Purifier?
An air purifier removes contaminants from the air. You may not realize just how many things are in the air that we breathe every day, but even the air in national parks can have dangerous levels of pollution.1 Just because air looks clean or seems easy to breathe doesn’t mean it is. In many situations, if the question is “do I need an air purifier?”, the answer is almost always “Yes.”
What Is an Air Purifier?
An air purifier, sometimes called a room purifier, is a device which is purposefully built to purify the air. This may be achieved in a number ways, including using electrostatic charges to draw particles out of the air, straightforward filtration to strain or trap particles, and activated carbon adsorption to catch volatile organic compounds.
The reason you need an air purifier is because there are just so many things in the air that can harm our bodies. Unlike the food we eat or medicines we take, we don’t have too many choices about the air we breathe. If we are in a room or building, the air we breathe is the air that is around us. Even going outside doesn’t necessarily provide relief from air contaminants.
Are you really certain that there aren’t sources of volatile organic compounds in your home or nearby? Indoor sources of harmful volatile organic compounds include furniture foams and wall paints. Outdoor sources include vehicles, and concentrations near roads can be especially high.2 Instead of relying on surrounding air being pure, you can get an air purifier for an apartment or home, and even an air purifier for a room.
Where to Place an Air Purifier
If you have a room purifier to process air for a room or living space, the placement is critical. The air intake and outflow areas need to be kept clear of obstructions. Check the manufacturer’s recommended amount of clearance, as the air purifier might need more space than you might expect to do its job.
The air purifier should be kept in a room that is occupied; an air purifier running in a room that is never used won’t benefit any of the people or pets in the home. Some portable air purifiers are light enough to be carried from room to room, so you can bring purified air with you as you go about your day.
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- Lightweight, bendable nose wire to help keep glasses from fogging up
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An air purifier gets pollutants and contaminants out of the air so that they don’t end up in your lungs. A well-constructed air purifier can take air that is at the bottom of the EPA’s Air Quality Index and remove enough contaminants to qualify as the least polluted air.3,4
Air purifiers that use HEPA or ULPA filters are very effective at removing dust. Air purifiers for dust can reduce airborne particles more than one-thousand-fold. This will not necessarily make an impact on dust that is already settled, which will still need to be swept or vacuumed to be removed. Some vacuums have integrated HEPA filters to make sure that dust that is sucked up doesn’t get blown around the room.
Maybe. An air purifier for a home that is left on when the home is unoccupied may require more frequent purchase of replacement air filters. This could drive up the total cost of ownership. However, depending on how long it takes the air purifier to process the air in the room, turning the air purifier on when you return home could mean that there is a long lag before the air in the room has been purified. Some air purifiers include an air quality measuring system that automatically increases or decreases processing based on how dirty the air is. This offers the best of both worlds; fewer required filter changes and purified air when you arrive home.
The United States Food and Drug Association has approved a number of air purifiers as effective at destroying or otherwise removing SARS-COV-2, or COVID-19. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation and effective filtration5 are considered to be possible methods of removing viable viruses from the air. However, an air purifier should only be considered to be an additional precaution against the virus, and should not be relied upon as the only measure for preventing transmission. Follow vaccination, hand-washing, and mask guidelines diligently, and continue to social distance to protect yourself against the virus.
Two standards to keep an eye out for when selecting an air purifier are HEPA and ULPA. A HEPA filter, or High Efficiency Particulate Air filter, removes at least 99.97% of 0.3-micron diameter particles. An ULPA filter, or Ultra Low Particulate Air filter, removes at least 99.999% of 0.3-micron particles.
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Keep your home fresh and SoClean with the SoClean 3-Stage Air Purifier+. Up to 3,000 times more efficient than HEPA standards, the SoClean 3-Stage Air Purifier+ captures particles down to 10 nanometers and generates cleanroom-level clean air for your home. The easy-to-use design makes it simple to produce quality air wherever you are.
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/
- This statement is based on the idea that if you take either PM2.5 or PM10 from the threshold of hazardous air, 250 and 425 ppm respectively, and reduce it by 99.97%, you are in the top AQI.