How Do Air Purifiers Work and Are They Worth It?

We spend 80% of our time indoors, be it in our offices or residential settings. The quality of ambient air that we breathe in contributes to our overall health and wellbeing. Anthropogenic activities have altered the quality of air and in most cases, it is polluted with particulate matter, VOCs, allergens, and dust particles. An influx of bad quality air from the outdoors, poor ventilation, and the presence of allergens such as pet dander and hair lead to unhealthy quality of indoor air.

As per estimates, more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies and other respiratory diseases. To alleviate these conditions and to improve health in general, it is important to improve the quality of indoor air. Air purifiers are just the way to do that. These devices filter out pollutants and allergens from the air and give purified air to breathe in.

Let us take a look at the different technologies used by air purifiers to filter out pollutants.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

To remove allergens, pollutants, bacteria, and viruses, most air purifiers use either of or a combination of the following technologies:

  • Filters

  • Electrostatic attraction

  • UV radiation

1. Air Purification Through Filters

Air filters are made of different materials such as spun fiberglass, polyester, and cotton. These filters are inundated with multiple ultra-fine holes which act as a sieve for pollutants. When the air circulates through the filter, the tiny pollutants that are invisible to the naked eye are trapped on the filter’s surface. High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) is a term used to describe filters that can trap air particles that are larger than 0.3 microns in size. The HEPA filters have an operational efficiency of 99.97 %.

Bacterial cells range from 1 to 10 microns in length and 0.2 to 1 micron in width. Hence, they can easily be removed out through HEPA filters. Other pollutants are larger in size so capturing them is not an issue.

2. Use of UV Light

UV light has bactericidal properties. Some air filters are equipped with a medical-grade ultra-violet (UV) light system that kills bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other spores that are present in the air. It also prevents the growth of mold and fungi on HEPA filters themselves.

Are Air Purifiers Worth It?

The short answer is - yes. Air filters are effective at filtering out physical pollutants from your indoor space. However, they have their limitations. They don’t work effectively against harmful gasses like Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) or radon. Another thing to consider is that air filters trap the pollutants that are suspended in the air, but once these particles rest on the surfaces, air filters won’t be of much use.

Hence, it is recommended to perform the following actions to have cleaner indoor air:

  • Clean the rugs using a HEPA filter vacuum once a week. Dust off your furniture two to three times a week.

  • Change bed sheets every week.

  • Avoid smoking indoors.

  • Choose organic and plant-based cleaning products that don’t give toxic fumes.

  • Ventilate your home for some time every day by opening a window.

  • Replace HVAC air filters after every 30 to 90 days for improved performance.

  • If you suffer from severe allergies, switch to hard flooring options such as vinyl or hardwood in place of carpets.

To breathe in fresh and clean air, we recommend you install an air filter now. Contact Heritage Air Services. We provide services for the installation, repair, and maintenance of air filters. Call us at (817) 330 4156. We are located in Waxahachie, Texas.


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