Many people want to know if they really need an air purifier. Is it necessary?
Today we will look at what they are and we will also look at some common myths about air purifiers to help you decide if buying one of these pieces of kit is the right thing for you.
When we think about air pollution, the first thing that springs to mind is skies filled with smog from vehicles and factory smokestacks belching out fumes. Pollutants found in the home, though, can also be a serious issue. Mold spores, dust mites and, in the worst scenario, even carbon monoxide, can be harmful irritants and cause serious problems.
- First Thing’s First
- What Type of Air Purifier Should I Buy?
- Myths About Air Purifiers
- 1) Air Purifier = No More Dusting
- 2) Air Purifiers With HEPA Filters Are Always Better
- 3) Air Purifiers Are All You Need To Fight Allergies
- 4) Every Air Purifier Removes Tobacco Smoke
- 5) HEPA Filter Air Purifiers Remove Odors
- 6) Air Purifiers Work Well At Any Speed
- 7) Air Purifiers Get Rid Of Germs and Viruses
First Thing’s First
You can take steps to improve the overall air quality in your home before deciding whether or not to invest in an air purifier. Make sure that you have adequate ventilation and pay close attention to managing any moisture issues. Look as well to the source of any likely contaminants in your house and take care of them.
Once you have taken all of these precautions, examine whether you or your family continue to suffer from headaches, asthma or other allergies. If so, it could be time to research buying an air purifier.
What Type of Air Purifier Should I Buy?
Put simply, an air purifier is a simple device which will help to remove any contaminants from the affected area.
For homes with either cooling systems in place or forced-air heating, a whole-house purifier is perhaps the best option. Think of this as a super-filter to take up the slack left by your regular furnace filter. Some of these are relatively quick and easy to install while others will require a professional fitting. This can add to the cost significantly.
Portable purifiers are a superb way to treat a single room. These usually weigh somewhere between 10 and 20 pounds and you can move them between rooms as you see fit.
You should not overlook the need to regularly replace the filter. Factor this in when you are budgeting.
Now it’s time to address some common myths about air purifiers.
Myths About Air Purifiers
1) Air Purifier = No More Dusting
This is perhaps the most misunderstood element of air purifiers and one that needs setting straight.
All of the dust will not be magically sucked from every surface. This would require a fan so strong that the noise would be unbearable and the amount of dust in the air would be exactly the opposite of what sufferers of allergies need.
Be realistic in your expectations. Make sure you have a decent vacuum cleaner with HEPA filtration and a nice, microfiber dusting cloth.
2) Air Purifiers With HEPA Filters Are Always Better
There is no doubt that a HEPA filter is highly effective. These filters, however, can vary quite substantially in terms of both build quality and size. The average buyer would not necessarily be able to pick up on this which makes proper research vital. Reading reviews is a great way to get feedback from people who have already purchased the product.
Think as well about other design features which can inhibit the effectiveness of the filter. If air leaks from elsewhere in the unit and escapes back into the room, even the most efficient HEPA filter will be rendered useless.
In general, air purifiers with this type of filter will do a better job but not all the time.
3) Air Purifiers Are All You Need To Fight Allergies
Bear in mind that, while invaluable, air purifiers should only be a part of your arsenal against allergies if you suffer from them. It’s too simplistic to expect this equipment to be a miracle cure.
With some of the heavier allergens such as pollen, they fall to the floor or onto furniture before the air purifier has time to suck them in.
There is no substitute for a rigorous cleaning regime as well as reorganizing your home to make it more allergen friendly. A steam cleaner can help you with a chemical-free approach to sanitizing and a dehumidifier is another strong weapon to rely on.
So, if you have a problem with any allergies, air purifiers form part of the solution but cannot work miracles.
4) Every Air Purifier Removes Tobacco Smoke
Rather than actually removing smoke, the majority of air purifiers get rid of the particles which remain after people have been smoking.
There are a few models which have been specifically designed to remove the toxic gases and odor associated with cigarette smoke but most versions are simply not capable of doing this effectively.
If you smoke heavily and require an air purifier to cleanse your home then research fully and get the right one for the job. Don’t risk disappointment.
5) HEPA Filter Air Purifiers Remove Odors
While it performs other useful tasks, the HEPA filter itself does not do anything to help with smells.
If you really want to deal with this issue then you will need an air purifier with a few kilos of carbon in a separate filter. Keep your house clean, tidy and hygienic and you should not need this anyway.
6) Air Purifiers Work Well At Any Speed
Of all the misconceptions about air filters, this is among the most common.
Many users choose to operate their equipment only at low speeds to reduce the noise made by the fan. It certainly runs more quietly but the area covered by the purifier will also be decreased.
One solution is to look for a model which is capable of running at full capacity without giving off excessive noise. Another tip is to give your unit a blast on high for an hour or two before bed. This way, you can enjoy maximum results while also getting an unmolested night’s sleep.
7) Air Purifiers Get Rid Of Germs and Viruses
The main reason that some people believe this is due to less than honest advertising on the part of some companies making air purifiers. This is something which has been clamped down upon by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
It’s true that the presence of ultraviolet light can kill allergens but they do get enough exposure to make this happen.
There are certain models which feature a sterilizer or come equipped with HEPA filters man enough to trap viruses and kill pathogens but the average air purifier does not do this.
We will look in forthcoming articles at some of the best air purifiers available today.
Take the time to research before buying, to separate the truth from the myths and then buy the best air purifier for your needs if you decide that you need one.