Your First Look At Effective Air Purifiers
HEPA Air Filters or Electrostatic/Electronic systems
Air purifiers come in three basic types: expensive, more expensive, and OUCH. So how do you separate out the hype and bring a breath of fresh air to the subject? It's called caveat inhalator, or, breather beware! There seems to be an inverse relationship between the amount of research done and the money wasted.
There are several basic types of air purifier. The first contains HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, which are able to effectively remove 99.97% of all particulate matter in the air (to control dust and remove pollen). HEPA filter technology is one of the best air purifying technologies currently available. On the downside, air purifiers using HEPA filters need to have their filters replaced regularly to remain effective.
Another form of air purifier uses electrostatic or electronic systems. These air purifiers don't have air filters that need replacing, but do have charged plates which need to be washed occasionally in order to remain effective. Both air purifiers with HEPA air filters and those that use electrostatic systems are able to control dust and other particles effectively, but on their own can't remove odors or other chemicals.
In order to do this, an air purifier must have some form of activated carbon or UV purification system. Air purifiers work by drawing air from the room into the system with a fan, clean the air, and then release the clean air back out into the room.
When you consider purchasing an air purifier, it's important to know how the actual system works. As described above, if you want an air purifier that both eliminates particulate matter and potentially dangerous chemicals and odors, you will want an air purifier that contains activated carbon or a UV purification system.
You also need to know the power of the machine you are purchasing and its general effectiveness. Air purifiers, whether they contain HEPA filters, or use electrostatic systems, come in a range of prices. Price is often a good indicator of the quality of the product you are buying. Of course, a smaller unit may prove to be a quality product but with a lower price tag.
A lot of high end air purifiers utilize a pre-filter as well as the HEPA filter. These air purifiers give extended life to the HEPA filter by removing some of the larger particulate matter before it can contact the HEPA filter, thus extending the lifespan of the HEPA filter. To be effective, the pre-filter requires regular cleaning to remove dust build up which will otherwise reduce the air purifier's performance.
Efficiency is important to consider when purchasing an air purifier. Even though a HEPA filter can remove 99.97% of dust from the atmosphere, that does little to help if the actual air purifier is only cleaning a fraction of the air in the room. To ensure that the air purifier filter you purchase does the job properly it is ideal to find an air purifier manufacturer which states exactly how much of the air gets cleaned, and can demonstrate proof that this is the case.
It is helpful to find a table of air purifier comparisons, where different brands and different models of air purifiers are compared in an independent study, which will help you choose an air purifier that actually works. A search on the internet or through a consumer magazine will probably be your best bet, especially if the source can tell you exactly where the independent air purifier tests were carried out.
It is all too easy to simply follow the yellow-brick infomercial, but Oz is not necessarily the cleanest city in the universe. If one is to seek reality in a highly commercialized market, then the green glasses have to come off. Look to those who are not- at least directly- profiting from a direct sale of their own product.
Provided by MedicineNet