Are you tired of the dust and odors in your home or concerned about the quality of air that you and your family are breathing? You have heard that cleaning and purifying the air could be the ideal solution to your worries, but with terms such as ionizers, HEPA filters and ozone air purifiers, choosing the best unit for your needs sounds very confusing - where do you start.
Ozone Air Purifiers Health Concerns
As with any health related appliances, there is some controversy surrounding the claims of certain companies and among those controversial products are ionic air purifiers, sometimes referred to as ozone air purifiers.
These devices work on the principle that pollution particles in the air tend to have a positive electrical charge. If you then add negative ions, or negatively charged particles, to the air, it is reasoned that the positive particles will be attracted to the ions causing them to bond. This process, which is much the same as static electricity, will effectively remove the positively charged pollutants from the air.
The controversial part is that in some ionic air purifiers, the high electric fields used to create the air ions can also generate ozone. In high enough concentrations, ozone is not only toxic to airborne bacteria, but it can also have the same effect on humans.
The majority of people have heard of the ozone layer, which is a layer of the earth's atmosphere that protects the planet from the ultra violet rays of the sun. As helpful as ozone is up there, it can be harmful down here. On the other hand, it does have the ability to kill mold and to neutralize odors, which is one reason that some ionic air purifiers generate it.
Are Ozone Air Purifiers Good For You
Various studies have reached the conclusion that the reason you feel refreshed after a rain shower or when standing beside a waterfall is because the air in these places is filled with negative ions. Ozone air purifiers are designed to produce much this same effect but inside your home. It is also thought that ozone is the reason that the air smells good when it is filled with ionic particles. Consequently, ozone generation is sometimes part of the package when an air purifier is designed.
Ozone has been used in hospitals for killing germs and according to some reports, there has never been a human death attributed to use of ozone. However, there are two sides to any argument and those on the other side of the fence warn against its use. They feel that a HEPA air purifier is a better alternative to ozone air purifiers.
Non Ozone Air Purifiers
High Efficiency Particulate Air or HEPA as it is more commonly referred to, is a type of air purifier that works by filtration. Many vacuum cleaners contain HEPA filters for dust control and these help to clean the air when vacuuming. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can also help control allergens and other particles in the air.
Air purifiers are quite often recommended to people who suffer from various allergies or asthma and for these people it can be a lifesaver. One thing to remember, however, is that a good ionic air purifier can be quite expensive, as can one of the HEPA varieties.
A good quality HEPA air purifier could cost you upwards of $400. A cheap air purifier probably will not control dust very well as these units are typically built to clean one room only. Consequently, you should do your homework before choosing one.
A good measure to take, whether you opt for HEPA or ozone air purifiers, is to practice dust control the old fashioned way. Since much of the dust in homes comes in on our feet, ensure that you have good doormats in place for people to wipe their footwear. Another important preventative measure is to keep cigarette smoke out of the home if you have people who suffer from asthma in the family.