The tight seals that make your home comfortable and energy efficient also make the indoor air more polluted. The air inside your home is five to ten times dirtier than the air outside, and Americans spend 90% of their lives indoors. Quality air purifiers have never been more important for good health.
Shopping for the right air purifier can be confusing and frustrating. Some air purifiers on the market today actually pollute the air with harmful levels of ozone, a powerful lung irritant that can be especially dangerous to asthma sufferers. Learn about air purifiers and find a safe, effective unit that’s right for your needs with this air purifier buying guide.
Common Household Air Pollutants
Different air purifiers target different pollutants, so it’s important to identify the pollutants you want to eliminate from your home before you buy an air purifier.
Airborne Particles include pet allergen, dust mite allergen, pollen, plant spores, fungi, mold, and tobacco smoke, and they are the most common cause of indoor allergy and asthma attacks. A HEPA air purifier is the best method of eliminating airborne allergens.
Household Odors and Gases include cooking odors, kitty litter, tobacco smoke, various toxins, and gaseous pollutants like indoor pesticides or aerosols. Activated carbon filters are 室內空氣質素測試 ideal for adsorbing gases and odors that are too small to be trapped by a HEPA filter. “Adsorb” is not a typo; “adsorption” occurs when materials attach through a chemical reaction.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are found in a wide variety of common household products: paints, varnishes, cleaning supplies, disinfectants, glues and adhesives, and even new carpet and building supplies. Look for ingredients like benzene, chloride, formaldehyde, ethylene, and toluene. VOCs can cause the following symptoms: irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, nausea, and even severe chronic health conditions such as damage to the nervous system. The presence of VOCs can also exacerbate asthma.
Microorganisms include antigens, pathogens, bacteria, and viruses. They’re the everyday germs that make us sick. Mold is also considered a microorganism.
Air Purifier Filter Types
Different air purifier filters target different types of air pollution. HEPA air purifiers are the most popular, and they’re perfect for eliminating household allergens such as dust, animal dander, and pollen, but they’re not very good at capturing ultra-fine particles like viruses or eliminating foul odors or chemical fumes.
Because different air purifier technologies have different strengths and weaknesses, many modern air purifiers combine two or more filter types in the same unit. For example, the Austin Air Super Blend Healthmate utilizes a HEPA filter along with an activated carbon filter to help eliminate odors and fumes. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of filters