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How Effective are Air Purifiers?
With all this talk of CO2 emissions on the news, people are shutting their windows to keep the bad air out. Shut windows keep low quality air trapped in a home and are terrible for ventilation. The air inside is just as rich in contaminants as the air outside. Dust particles and mould spores, plus gases from cleaning contribute to poor quality indoor air. Air purifiers are designed to tackle the large particles, but not the gases.
Air quality both indoors and outdoors has an impact on overall health. Bad air can trigger asthma attacks and even increase the chance of having a stroke as well as causing lung cancers, among other issues. Airly – air quality map can help decide whether it is safe to venture outside, but it doesn’t map the inside of your home.
Outdoor air quality is often a joint effort between governments, the UN and individuals. Some people make a choice to buy local whenever possible. Others walk, cycle, drive an electric car or use public transport. To get outside air pollution under control, we all need to put in the effort to change our lifestyles. Air quality in living environments is a personal responsibility.
Indoor Air Quality
We may not have control over our at work air quality without badgering management, but we can control our home air quality. We can make conscious decisions about what cleaning products we use, tweak our cleaning schedule for more dusting, ban smoking in the home and even wipe away surface mould. For the less controllable aspects, there are air purifiers.
Air purifiers filter the air in the building. They usually have a filter and fans that work to suck the air in, clean it through the filter and blow it back out. The filters either need to be replaced or cleaned frequently. How frequently depends on the type of air purifier and the air quality. They need to be run as much as possible to work effectively.
One type of air purifier on the market is an ionising one. Negative ions bond to the dust. These ones sometimes produce ozone. That’s the same gas responsible for smog at low levels. At high levels in the atmosphere, ozone is beneficial. It prevents the sun’s more harmful rays from reaching us.
Pollen and Dust
Air purifiers, if properly maintained, are excellent at filtering out dust and pollen. If someone has hay fever or asthma, they are a worthy investment. However, they aren’t so good at capturing gasses, so they won’t filter out that noxious airborne substance created when combining cleaning products. They don’t make air fresheners any safer either. They can’t clean the soft furnishings, which capture dust and pollen.
Air purifiers, in conjunction with other lifestyle changes, may help improve the indoor air quality in your home. They aren’t a save all solution though as most can’t capture dangerous gases, which contribute to air pollution related health problems.