What is an Air Purifier?
An air purifier is an appliance that reduces the concentration of airborne contaminants in a designated area according to the specifications of the particular air purifier. An air purifier is a device that cleans indoor air, which is helpful to people who suffer from allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivity, and other respiratory-related symptoms.
What kind do I need?
The type of air purifier you need depends on the size of the area to be cleaned and what you are trying to remove from the air within that area. Is it pollen, dust, smoke, or chemicals? We carry an air purifier for every need and for a variety of room sizes.
What is an Air Cleaner?
An "air cleaner" is another term for an "air purifier." Both are designed to remove indoor air pollutants and particulates. When these types of appliances first came on the market, they were typically called air cleaners, but in recent years, they are primarily referred to as an air purifier.
How do Air Purifiers work?
There are portable room air purifiers, designed to clean a specific-sized room, and there are whole-house installed air purification systems that work with the HVAC system in a home. Air purifier models are typically categorized based on their cleaning technology: HEPA filtration, electrostatic precipitation, and negative ion generation. Some air purifier brands use a combination of these technologies. There are also air purifiers which are designed just for chemical removal. In addition to airborne particles, some air purifier lines also have technologies, like ultraviolet light, which remove viruses, bacteria, fungi, volatile organic compounds, odors, and some gaseous chemicals. Activated carbon blends and a variety of other substances may be used to capture gases and odor
What is HEPA Filtration?
An air purifier uses fine sieves that filter particles from the air circulating in a room. As air flows into the air purifier, the finer the sieve used, the smaller the particles it traps, even microscopic particles. Depending on the technology used, some air purifier models can also trap gases and odors, along with particles. Different technologies have been developed over the years. Microns are the standard unit used by scientists to measure particles in the air and this standard is also used by the manufacturers of air purifier products. Typically an air purifier will have one or more air filters within them in which the pollutants are trapped.
For many years, HEPA filters have been used in air purifiers to filter particles. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are well proven filtration devices and continue to be enhanced by many manufacturers. The benchmark for air filters, HEPA filtration guarantees the air purifier will trap 99.97% of particles larger than 0.3 microns. The human eye can't see a particle smaller than 10 microns so many of the particulates captured cannot be seen, particularly bacteria and viruses. The filters found on room air conditioner models capture only large particles greater than 10 microns. For the smaller particles like dust, smoke, chemicals, pollens, and asbestos, HEPA filtration is needed in an air purifier.
The HEPA filtration component is essentially an accordion of very, very fine paper-like filter material. The material is loaded in an accordion or zig-zag fashion so that a very large surface area becomes available for air to be pushed through by the air purifier fan. Over time, the HEPA filter will become full and the airflow will no longer be able to move through the filter. HEPA filters typically last a number of years in an air purifier.
The more times the air in a room passes through an air purifier with HEPA filtration, the cleaner the air will become. For the air purifier to be effective, it is important that it have the cleaning capacity for the size room in which it will be used. The specifications on the product will indicate what size room it is designed to clean. Read more about HEPA Technology.
What is Electrical Attraction?
Electrical attraction is another technology used by air purifier appliances to trap airborne particles. There are three types of products that use this technology: electrostatic precipitating cleaners, electret filters, and negative ion generators.
Electrostatic precipitating (also called "electronic" air purifiers) draw particles into the unit via a fan and charge them with a series of high-voltage wires. Several plates (the precipitating cells) carry the opposite electrical charge and attract the contaminants as they pass by the plates, thus trapping them. They are typically not as effective as HEPA, removing 95% of airborne particles as opposed to 99.97% in a HEPA air purifier.
Electret filters use synthetic fibers to create static charges to attract particles.
Negative ion generation is a technology that is sometimes used as the sole cleaning agent, or in conjunction with HEPA filtration in an air purifier. Negative ions are emitted into the air and attach to the positively charged particles in the room, then clumping together to settle out of the air onto a surface. Read more about air purifier technology.
Why do we need an Air Purifier?
Although studies vary depending on the source, it has been proven time and time again that indoor air is often dramatically more polluted than outdoor air. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and other U.S. government agencies can be contacted for the most recent numbers.
Indoor air pollution comes from a variety of sources like pets, plants, mold spores, fungi spores, house dustmites, chemicals used in grooming and cleaning, off-gassing of carpets, furniture, and upholstery, and particles from the outdoors, such as pollens. In recent years, there has been a dramatic rise of people reporting the onset of seasonal allergies in their lives for the first time. An indoor air purifier can help people to sleep better and to deal more effectively with environmentally-induced stresses such as seasonal allergies.
How do we know our Air Purifier is working?
Within a day after you have installed an air purifier, the room should be noticeably cleaner. Breathing should be easier. Morning congestion and allergy symptoms should be lessened. The air in the room should no longer feel heavy. Some air purifier brands even have electronic monitors that signal when the filter should be changed. Once an air purifier owner changes a dirty filter, it is clear that the air purifier is working.
Are there side effects to an Air Purifier?
In a quality, non-ozone producing air purifier, there won't be any side effects other than improved health. QUALITY AIR HVAC only sells air purifiers that emit clean air into the room. For people who are chemically sensitive, it is also important that the air purifier unit itself be constructed of materials which won't off-gas.
Does an Air Purifier cost a lot to use?
There are two cost considerations for longterm air purifier maintenance: power consumption and filter changes. Generally, a higher quality air purifier is engineered to be energy-saving and uses minimal electricity.
Filter requirements vary by brand. Some air purifier brands have monitors that indicate when the filters should be changed, while others stipulate the number of months a filter should last. In general, the HEPA filters last a number of years, whereas activated carbon filters will need to be changed sooner. It is important to change a pre-filter (which captures the larger pieces of dust and dander) according to the manufacturer's recommendation.
Do I need an Air Purifier with filters or is filterless okay?
Although a filterless air purifier may initially seem more affordable, there are several considerations. First, filterless air purifiers are typically less effective as an air purifier with HEPA filtration. Secondly, without regular cleaning of the filters, their effectiveness is greatly diminished.
Filterless air purifiers use electrostatic precipitation technology. A well-maintained filterless air purifier can collect large particles, such as dust and dander, but fails to capture smaller particles found in smoke, molds, and chemicals. Some electrostatic air purifier models produce harmful ozone as a by-product. There are many quality air purifier models available that are ozone-free and more appropriate for residential use.
There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to effective indoor air cleaning, but filterless air purifier units tend not to address specific concerns. It is best to have an air purifier with the appropriate filters for the allergens or chemicals that need to be removed from your indoor environment. Read more about air purifier technology.
When do I run the Air Purifier?
The air purifiers offered by QUALITY AIR HVAC are designed to run continuously. An air purifier cleans most efficiently and operates most cost-effectively when run uninterrupted.
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