Your Air Purifier Alternatives: Ions, Ozone, Hepa and more

Your Air Purifier Alternatives: Ions, Ozone, Hepa and more

Why all the hype about air purifiers? After all, we only breathe 12-14 times a minute, and air only makes it as far as our lungs except for things like Radon, viruses, and perhaps the occasional smallpox terrorist attack. So who needs an air purifier?

Sharper Image has certainly made a place for the Ionic Breeze on the consumer market. The consumer market. That’s you and me, the ones who are tired of the dust and odors and are worried about the safety of the air within our homes. Ionizers, ozone, HEPA. The alphabet soup of air purifying can be confusing. Let’s take a look at some of what’s going on.

A controversial product on the market today is the ionic air purifier. These devices work on the premise that pollution particles in the air tend to have a positive electric charge. If you add negative ions, or negatively charged chemical particles, to the air it is reasoned, the positive particles will be attracted to the ions, and they will bond. This process will effectively remove the positively charged pollutants from the air. Sometimes an ionic air purifier also produces ozone.
Ozone, by itself, has no ability to control dust or particles in the air. In fact, in high concentrations, it is a poison. It has become familiar because of talk of the destruction of the ozone layer.

The ozone layer is a layer of the earth’s atmosphere that offers protection from the ultra-violet rays of the sun. Ozone is helpful up there, but it can be harmful down here. However, it does have the ability to kill mold and to neutralize odors, something like bleach. This is why an ionic air purifier sometimes generates it.

Some health experts write that the reason you feel refreshed after a rainstorm or when standing beside a waterfall is because the air in these places is filled with negative ions. An ionic air purifier is designed to produce this same effect. Ozone is thought to be one reason the air smells good when it is filled with ionic particles, so 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 ozone use. However, other more conservative scholars warn against its use. They feel a HEPA air purifier is a better alternative to an ozone generating ionic air purifier.

HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air and refers to a type of air purifier that works by filtration. Many vacuum cleaners contain HEPA filters for dust control. These help to clean the air when vacuuming. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can also help control allergens and particles in the air.

An air purifier is often recommended for people who suffer from allergies or asthma. In fact, for these people it can be a lifesaver. One thing to remember, however, is that a good ionic air purifier can be pretty expensive, as can one of the HEPA varieties. A cheap air purifier probably will not control dust very well, so you should do your homework when choosing one. A high quality HEPA air purifier might set you back $400 or more.

A good measure to take whatever air purifier you choose is to practice dust control the old fashioned way with good doormats. Much of the dust in homes comes in on people’s feet. It’s also important to keep cigarette smoke out of the home if you have people who suffer from asthma in the family.

Levels of contaminants in the air increase every year both inside and outside the home. Every year more people who have been taking breathing for granted seem to want to breathe something a little less toxic. An air purifier eases your breathing and your mind.

Comments are closed.