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What You Need to Know Before Buying an Air Purifier

The idea of an air purifier sounds pretty enticing. After all, who wouldn’t want something that promises to filters out 99% of the dust, dander, and mold spores from their indoor air? The chances are, though, if you think you might be in need of an air purifier, you’re probably wondering what they actually do and if they actually work.

Here is what you need to know before buying your first air purifier.

HOW Do Portable Air Purifiers Work?

Many portable air purifiers operate in a similar way. They usually have a fan that sucks in air, and as the air gets sucked in, it passes through one or more filters, which are often made of mesh, paper, or fiberglass. The filters allow the air to circulate while trapping particles that it was carrying.

Some filters can be cleaned for reuse, while others must be replaced regularly for the air purifier to operate. The benefit to a reusable filter is that you won’t need to spend money on buying replacements. The downside is that these filters tend not to be as effective at filtering out microscopic particles.

Portable Ionizers

Ionizers clean air by using electricity to create negative ions. The ionizer then discharges those ions into the air, where they attach to the positively charged particles in the room that people want to filter out, including pollen, dust, bacteria, and smoke. When negatively-charged ions and positively-charged particles bond because of their opposite charges, the particles became too dense to float through the air and sink onto the surfaces of your home, where they can be cleaned away.

DO Portable Air Purifiers Actually Work?

Portable air purifiers are designed to filter out a number of indoor air pollutants, including dust, pollen, smoke, and other allergens--in some cases even bacteria. However, whether a portable air purifier “works” has a lot to do with what you specifically need it to do and what your expectations for it include.

Will a portable air purifier alleviate all of your allergic symptoms? It would be highly improbable. However, if you bought a model that includes a true HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter and that has a high CADR (clean-air delivery rating) and the right capacity for the space in which it will operate, you probably will notice a positive difference in your home’s indoor air quality.

One important thing to note: while portable air purifiers are designed to filter out a number of indoor air pollutants (including dust, pollen, smoke, and other allergens--in some cases even bacteria), they are not designed to trap or filter out harmful gases such as radon or VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

What About Indoor Air Purification Systems?

Rather than buying a purifier for each room, some homeowners choose to install an indoor air purification system, which links up to the home’s central HVAC system. Using the home’s ductwork, this filtration system is able to access every room.

There are a number of these indoor air purification systems on the market, but as with portable air purifiers, not all of these systems are created equal. For instance, for someone in need of a system that will remove VOCs, chemical odors, cigarette smoke, pet dander, mold, and odor-causing bacteria among other things, an advanced purification system like the Air Scrubber Plus would be an investment worth considering.

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