WHO data regarding air says that 9 out of 10 people breadth air containing a high level of a pollutant like black carbon, which penetrates deep into lungs and cardiovascular system of your body. Given the amount of air pollution that is happening today, it is important to own an air purifier at home to breathe cleaner air. Air pollution may not be always visible but it can be deadly.
As per latest study, India is found to be home of 14 out of total top 20 pollutant city in the world.
Have you ever thought what impact does these pollutant could have on small childrens and old people, who are vulnerable?
An air purifier is no more optional rather it has become the need of an hour to have a healthy life.
What is an Air purifier?
An air purifier is a device which removes contaminants from the air. Contaminants can be dust, smoke, pet hair and dander, harmful allergens and various other floating impurities in the air. A high-quality air purifier makes air comfortable to breathe and helps in maintaining the moisture levels of your skin.
Air purifiers make use of special filtration techniques targeting microscopic particles capable of harming your health. They are truly useful, especially if any of your family members are allergic or is prone an asthma attack. Air purifiers can remove various types of pollutants such as pollen, plant spores and fungi, dust mites, bacteria, and viruses to name a few.
How to choose best air purifier?
Air purifiers work on air-filtration technique and the different types of air-filtration technologies are as follows – High Efficiency Particulate Air, Ionic Filtration, Carbon Filtration, and Ultraviolet Light.
While looking for the best air purifier to buy, you should first determine what kind of pollutants primarily you have in the air you breathe? pollutants in your area surrounding.
An air purifier that might be good at filtering out dust, could be useless at filtering out the mold. Once you’ve decided what you need to filter out, buy a model designed to filter that specific pollutant.
One terminology that comes often is Micron.
Microns are the standard unit that is used to measure the size of particles in the air. Each micron is equivalent to 1/25,400 of an inch. The naked eye cannot see anything that is smaller than 10 microns in size, so pollutants like bacteria and viruses escape detection.
Every filter technology has the same goal – to filter the air of dust, pollen, odors, smoke and other harmful pollutants. There are different types of air cleaning technologies that you can choose from
HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filters
HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filters efficiently clean allergens such as pollen, animal skin and dander, mold spores, and dust. HEPA filters remove at least 99.9% of all the particles as small as 0.3 microns.
- HEPA air purifier filters have to be periodically changed.
- HEPA certified filters work well for all common particle allergens, but remember not all HEPA filters are created equal.
- The larger the HEPA filter, the more particulate it will be able to remove. The size, material, and construction of the actual filter plays a vital role in the air purifier’s performance.
Electrostatic filters: This type of air filters use an electrically charged panel or screen to capture particulates. Another type called an ionizer or ion-generating air cleaner, attaches an electrically-charged ion particle to dust and other pollutants, making the particles heavier and causing them to drop from the air
Activated Carbon Filters
Activated Carbon Filters are rarely used by themselves, but are often used in combination with other filters. Activated carbon/charcoal filters help in absorbing odours and gases thereby neutralising smoke, chemicals, and fumes. Therefore these activated carbon filters are also called as Adsorbents. Adsorption (notice its difference with term absorption) is the process of one substance being trapped on the surface of another substance.
- Reacts with oxygen to open up millions of pores that are capable of trapping a large amount of gas and odor.
- This makes it the ideal surface for bonding with chemical or vapour molecules.
- Needs to be replaced once they are saturated for optimal performance.
Gas-phase air filters
Gas-phase air filters: It removes gases and odors with a product like activated carbon. They’re not typically used in home air purifiers and have a short effective lifespan.
Pre-Filters, like foam and non-woven polyester, eliminate large particles like pet hair before the next stage of filtration.
- Some have electrostatic properties and use activated carbon to improve filtration and also remove odors and smoke.
- They need to be replaced regularly to increase the air purifiers lifespan.
UV filters: It removes and destroys biological impurities like mold and bacteria with ultraviolet light. It is generally used in combination with air or electrostatic filter-type device.
What to look for in an Air purifier?
- Removable air filter
It is required to change/clean the filter every month or two once they fill up with particulates. Filters can be expensive to replace therefore it is beneficial to have a purifier with a removable filter that can be cleaned periodically.
- MERV Rating
To determine the strength of your air filter, check the MERV rating. Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is a standard that rates the overall effectiveness of air filters. Higher value MERV rating equates to finer filtration, meaning fewer dust particles and other airborne contaminants can pass through the filter.
Filters with higher MERV ratings required to be changed at least every three months to avoid restricted airflow that can drain efficiency or possibly even damage your equipment.
- Energy star rating
Since the equipment will be on for many hours at a time so it is important to look for air purifiers that are Energy Star-certified to conserve electricity.
- CADR and ACH Value
The performance of a particular air purifier model is rated by its coverage area, Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) and Air Changes Per Hour (ACH). While brands promptly advertise about the CADR and coverage of a particular air purifier model, they remain silent on the ACH.
You’ll preferably want to have an air purifier with a clean-air delivery rate (CADR) of at least 300. Any air purifier with a CADR below 100 is really just an overpriced fan. Higher CADR reflects higher efficiency of the air purifier for given room size.
As the name implies, ACH tells how many times the air purifier filters the entire room’s air in one hour. ACH usually varies from 1 to 7, an air purifier with ACH 7 will be the most efficient. If an air purifier that has 5 ACH, it means that the air in the room will be filtered every twelve minutes.
- 100% Ozone Free
Some of the air purifier with Ozone generators use either UV light or electrical discharge to create ozone, a gas that can cause serious health problems like permanent lung damage and can aggravate asthma. Therefore always look for 100% ozone-free air purifier for all your needs.
Beyond these techno-economical parameters you would like to prefer your choice while selecting best air purifier based on the following factors
- Room Size
While selecting the air-purifier size of the room is an important factor. Bigger spaces will require larger air purifiers compared to smaller space. It is recommended that you should go for the air purifier that can potentially operate in a space that is 20-40% larger than room for optimal performance.
For a small sized room with the area around 200 sq ft, a desktop or mini-tower designed air purifier works efficiently. If you are having a medium to large sized room like a living room or dining room, you can go for tower or console designed purifier.
- Noise Level
The eqipment should be around 35 decibels when the fan is running at the top speed. Any models producing above 55 decibels sound will be disturbing during sleep so avoid such air purifier.
- Control features
An air purifier with digitized control feature is much easier to use and is optimized. Features like a digital timer for pre-setting the time after which your air purifier turns off automatically, auto mode, healthy air protects alert that prompts when it is time to replace the filter and precise sensors will enhace your experience in make you fall in love with the purifier.
In addition to this having a remote control makes you easily adjust settings from across the room.
An air purifier with a carrying handle makes it easy to move the unit from room to room. Even though portable air purifiers are meant to cater to only one room, a compact and portable air purifier serve as suitable for table-top placement depending on efficient usage.
Air purifier comes as a piece of expensive equipment. Hence, having a longer warranty is vital to protect you from unnecessary manufacturing issues and expenses.
How does Air purifier works?
The more that air passes through a HEPA filter, the cleaner the air will become. The room capacity of a HEPA air purifier determines whether the air cleaner can handle your air purifying needs.
Air purifier Maintenance: Air purifier filter needs to be changed every 9-12 months for better product performance. These filters are readily available.