There are many types of air cleaning devices that are marketed and sold to people under the pretense that they will reduce allergens in the air and help asthma and other lung/respiratory issues. For people with asthma and other respiratory issues smoke, pollen, dust mites, animal dander, chemicals, and gases can cause a lot of health problems.
In this article I will review the most common air-cleaning units how they work and help determine which one fits your needs.
HEPA Air purifiers and Air Cleaners
HEPA air cleaners and purifiers are the best on the market. These are the type of filters used in hospitals, clean environments, and laboratories. That being said there are many different levels of quality in different brands and models.
When looking for a HEPA air cleaner you want the highest air exchange rate and air exchange rate per hour. A quality HEPA unit typically has an air exchange rate of 15 times per hour in areas up to 1000 square feet. Remember that each room will need its own HEPA unit to stay clean, which is why most people choose to keep one in their bedroom and one in the living room to cover most of the living space. Be sure to buy from a reputable dealer and remember most department store models are low quality and only have a air exchange rate of 3 to 5 times per hour.
Activated Carbon and Zeolite Included in HEPA Filtered Air Purifier and Cleaners
Many HEPA air cleaners and purifiers have a carbon or zeolite compound filter that absorbs the smaller particles, such as gas, odors, and chemicals. Most HEPA units made by reputable manufactures will have anywhere from 3.5 pounds to 15 pounds of activated carbon or zeolite combination. It is important to not the carbon filters need to be replaced more often than the main HEPA filters but they are relatively cheap. Low quality units will likely have very little if any carbon and it is usually a carbon dust coated sponge, which does absolutely nothing and Is simply a marketing tactic.
Non-HEPA filtered Types of Polyester or Washable Fiber Filtered Air Purifiers and Air Cleaners
These are the type of air cleaners and purifiers that are typically found at department stores, on infomercials, and mail order offers. They are cheaply made, usually in China, and do very little to improve indoor air quality. The have very low air exchange rates and usually weak fans. Many people are tricked into believing these will change their lives when the reality is that they usually completely quit filtering anything after a few short months. It is our recommendation that you stay away from these type of filters altogether and move on to something that will actually do its job.
Ozone-Ionizer Air Purifiers
These types of units are designed almost specifically for removing cigar and cigarette smoke, pet odors, and food odors and they do a great job. They however do not remove dust, pollens, or any larger particles from the air. They work by purifying the air through a process called oxidation. They do however produce levels of the gas ozone, which can be harmful to people with asthma and other respiratory issues. Ozone can be an irritant to the lungs and cause additional medical problems. If you suffer from asthma and want to improve indoor air quality it is advisable to stick with a quality HEPA filter unit.
Electronic Air Purifiers and Cleaners
These types of units are also known as smoke eaters or electrostatic precipitators. They are great for removing large amounts of smoke and or dust from indoor areas. They are typically used in bars, bowling alleys, smoker’s homes and other smoky areas. The advantage of these devices is that the filter cell can be cleaned for reuse. The cleaning is usually rather messy and must be done often to maintain proper operation. If not properly cleaned and maintained they will cease to trap smoke and allow it to recirculate into the environment.
If you have any questions about selecting the perfect air cleaning unit please don’t hesitate to give us a call toll free at 1-888-578-7324.