The Usefulness of Air Purifiers The air inside a home is much dirtier than the air outside due to the presence of the following: contaminants, such as mold and mold spores, which were created from the existing moisture inside the home; dust particles and bacteria coming from forced-heating and cooling systems; pet fur and dander; if there are smokers in the family, the toxins are into the air; pollen and outdoor allergens can be blown in from outside through the doors and windows and can land on the carpet and upholstery. Now it is clear why people who stay more at home are more prone to allergy or have frequent respiratory difficulties due to the concentration of contaminants inside the home, therefore, the homeowner must find measures to reduce the level of contaminants using an air purifier. Air purifiers come in different types – filters, such as air cleaners and HEPA filters; ionizing purifiers; ozone generators; with adsorbents; with UV light. Air purifiers with filters are usually installed into two areas in the house: as part of the heating or cooling system of the home or they are installed between the air return duct and the furnace or placed into the air return vents in every room of the house. The usual filter materials used are foam, cotton, fiberglass or synthetic fibers and the denser the filtering material used, the better for it to catch small size particles. Another type of filter is the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter which is designed for filtering air particles of 0.3 micrometers in size, helpful in filtering out allergens and dust particles. Ionizing purifiers make use of a method called corona discharge which convert air molecules into ions and since the air is neutrally charged, when it passes through the ionizing filter there will be an ionization of air molecules, such that large particles in the air, like dust and contaminants, are more prone to be ionized and will be separated from the rest of the components in the air.
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Ozone generators function similarly to ionizing purifiers, but instead of ionizing air molecules it converts them into ozone, a molecule made up of three oxygen atoms, thereby eliminating some of the oxygen components in the air which may be considered as contaminants; at the same time, manufacturers claim that ozone generators deodorizes and disinfects the air.
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Many air purifiers make use of adsorbent materials, such as activated charcoal, to take care of odors, fumes and chemicals, contaminants that are present in the air, and the principle behind using activated charcoal is that this adsorbent is extremely porous and it is effective in trapping passing air molecules so that large size particles of contaminants are stuck into the adsorbent pores, working effectively into two ways, filtering the contaminants and adsorbing them into the filter at the same time.