Air purifiers are growing increasingly popular, and you may have considered getting one for your home. Would that be beneficial? Are air purifiers worth it? At Absolute Air, we certainly believe they are. Read on, and we’ll explain why.
What Is an Air Purifier?
Air purifiers do exactly what their name says—they improve your home’s air quality by cleaning and purifying the air. Traditional home air purifiers remove airborne pollutants, making the air safer to breathe. They can remove:
UV air purifiers don’t filter the air and remove harmful airborne particles; instead, they neutralize biological airborne contaminants. Once the UV light filter denatures the pollutant, it’s harmless to breathe. These air purifiers use controlled amounts of UV radiation to denature airborne:
- Fungal spores
Do Air Purifiers Work?
If they are cleaned and maintained properly air purifiers work. They can filter out unwanted pollutants and make your home’s air safer to breathe.
What Are the Different Types of Home Air Purifiers?
While air filters all share the same goal of purifying the air, there are different ways to go about it.
- HEPA Filters
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters have a MERV rating of 16 or higher and can remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. This means they can remove the tiniest particles, including smoke, bacteria, and other pollutants.
HEPA filters are the most effective home air filter. They are cost-effective and don’t need to be replaced as often as other filters, but cannot filter out all pollutants. Fumes, gasses, and odors are too small for the filter to capture.
- UV Light Filters
UV light filters use short-wave UV light to kill living cells. When air passes through a UV light filter, it is denatured. This means that any living pollutants like bacteria and viruses are made harmless.
While they are great at sterilizing the air from living organisms, they cannot filter the air for more common pollutants like dust, allergens, or smoke.
- Electrostatic Filters
Electrostatic filters are made from small cotton and paper fibers. They use a small static charge that attracts airborne particles like a magnet. They come in both disposable and reusable options but struggle to remove larger particles from the air.
- Spun Glass or Fiberglass Filters
This is one of the most common types of HVAC filters and is made from strands of fiberglass woven together. This is the cheapest filter on the market and specializes in catching light debris like lint and dust.
Because fiberglass threads and fabric are made from smaller particles, they have a small surface area. This makes them less effective in filtering smaller pollutants. They are also very prone to being clogged with pollutants, which reduces airflow and requires frequent maintenance.
- Pleated Filters
Pleated filters are made from folded cotton or polyester fabrics. They can filter dust and other basic pollutants, but they offer only low filtration. More pleats provide more coverage to pollutants like dander and mold, but they limit airflow.
Pleated filters come as disposable and reusable, but it’s essential to maintain and replace them as quickly as possible. They can quickly become blocked with debris, making it harder for air to flow through the filter. The harder it is for air to get through a filter, the more it has to work, which means it takes more energy to run, and efficiency can quickly drop.
- Activated Carbon Filters
These filters specialize in removing strong odors or harmful gasses. They push air through a bed of activated carbon, which removes odors like tobacco smoke from the air.
While they can tackle harsh smells and gasses, they cannot remove fine particles like mold, dust, or pollen from the air.
How Do You Tell if You Need a New Air Filter?
When it comes to knowing if you need a new air filter, don’t trust your eyes; trust your calendar.
If you wait until a filter is visibly caked with dirt, you’re waiting too long. The majority of the particles an air purifier catches are microscopic. A filter may look as good as new but be clogged at the microscopic level, rendering it ineffective at filtering out smaller particles like bacteria or viruses.
Rather than replacing your filter only when it looks like it needs it, you should replace it after a scheduled time to make sure it is always operating efficiently. Basic filters like pleated, electrostatic, washable, or spun glass filters should be replaced every month or 90 days.
HEPA and Carbon Filters
As a rough estimate, HEPA and activated carbon filters should be replaced every 8,760 hours your air purifier is turned on. For most users, this comes out to roughly once every 12 months. Of course, if you use your purifier around the clock or in a room where it is filtering large amounts of airborne particulates, you may need to replace it more often.
Some air purifiers come with a pre-filter. They’re important because they catch larger particles, which can help extend the lifespan of the finer HEPA or activated carbon filters. These filters should be checked at least every two to four weeks. Again, depending on your environment, you may need to check, clean, and replace these filters more frequently.
Do I Need an Air Purifier?
Air purifiers look great on paper, but are air purifiers worth it? Yes. Air purifiers are a necessity for any home. Every piece of pollen, dust, dander, hair, mold, bacteria, or mildew a filter catches is one less thing you and your family are breathing. Every time you clean a dirty air filter, just remember that everything it catches could have ended up in your lungs.
Every home should use at least a minor form of air purification. If you have any allergies or health concerns, you should seriously consider an additional air purifier for the major rooms of your home. A good home air purifier will help you breathe easier, giving you the ability to relax and enjoy your home rather than worrying about what you’re breathing in.
Absolute Air Can Help
Our air quality experts are always available for consultation to help you find the perfect indoor air filtration system. Contact us today at 801.491.8640 for top-rate service and an answer to any questions you have.