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How do air purifiers work?

Air purifiers are able to eliminate pollutants from the air thanks to three main methods: filtration, ionizing and electrostatic precipitation.

  • The filtration method

There are air filters that use really fine sieves for filtering the particles from air. The air is flowing into the air purifier and the finer sieves are managing to trap the smallest particles.

The most common example in this category is definitely the HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters which are able to trap 99.97% of airborne particles no smaller than 0.3 microns. In case you don’t know, microns are the common unit used for measuring the air particles.

HEPA filters are going to remove small allergens (dust, chemicals, smoke, pollen and pet dander). The more times the air goes through the HEPA filter, the cleaner the air in your home is going to be.

  • The electrical precipitation

Another method for air purifiers to trap particles is the electrical attraction. As a matter of fact, there are three types of air cleaner that are using electrical attraction: the electret filters, the precipitating cleaners and the negative ion generators.

  • The electronic air purifiers

The electronic air purifiers are able to draw particles in by fan, charging them with several high-voltage wires. Multiple plates are going to carry the opposite electrical charge, attracting the contaminants as they go by the plates. These filters go great for the customers that don’t stress about constantly replacing the HEPA filters.

  • The electret filters

These filters use synthetic fibers that give static charges, attracting particles. They come in a nice variety: plain, disposable, reusable or pleated.

  • The negative ion generators

Ionic air purifiers are using small and charged wires/needles that create gas molecules with negative charges/ions that are going to stick to the airborne to the particles, collecting in the filter. Many ions are going to get back in the air and stick to furnishings or other surfaces.

Therefore, ionic purifiers are able only to eliminate specific types of particles, which makes them less efficient against chemicals, odors or gases. It’s even possible for an ionic purifier to re-circulate the same dirty particles that draw in, which makes them less performant than HEPA filters.

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