With the increasing outdoor pollution that inevitably blows indoors, plus the revitalized awareness of harmful airborne viruses, people have become more conscious about the quality and safety of indoor air. Over 50 million Americans experience allergies, which can be triggered by the presence of pollutants and allergens in the air.
Air purifiers are an effective and long-lasting solution to improving indoor air quality. But what do they do and why are they so special? Read on to find out.
What is an Air Purifier and How Does it Work?
An air purifier is a type of indoor appliance that is designed to remove pollutants and impurities that are present in the air. It’s typically equipped with an internal fan that pulls air into the purifier and filters that trap particles and neutralize harmful gases. Purifiers are ideal for home and office use and are commonly placed in frequently used or populated rooms, such as communal areas and bedrooms.
Importantly, an air purifier is different from an air humidifier. An air purifier removes impurities from the air while an air humidifier adds mist, water vapor, and even fragrance to the air.
Impurities in the air are vastly diverse, encompassing visible pollutants like hair, small particles like dust and pollen, and invisible allergens such as viruses, bacteria, mold, and smoke. Most of these pollutants cannot be seen by the naked eye, so they escape our detection. Humans can only see particles that are 10 microns in size or bigger. For example, the average human hair is approximately 90 microns. So, we end up breathing in polluted air and potentially compromise our health unknowingly.
Air purifiers perfectly complement other indoor cleaning methods as they help reduce the pollutants in the air. They may aid in minimizing the risk of allergies and illnesses caused by these indoor air pollutants.
What Do Air Purifiers Cleanse from the Air?
The types of pollutants that can be captured by an air purifier will depend on the types of filters and features it’s equipped with. Below are the common particles that most air filters are designed to trap:
- Common allergens: These are typically small and naturally occurring particles that can trigger asthma or allergic reactions. Examples of airborne allergens are pet dander, dust mites, and pollen.
- Mold spores: Mold typically grows in stagnantly damp places such as bathrooms and kitchens. It may also grow on objects that frequently get wet and never properly dry, such as towels or carpets that are drenched due to an undetected leak. Mold spores can trigger asthma and, with prolonged exposure, can cause various types of lung ailments.
- Volatile organic compounds and product fumes: Personal care products and household cleaning products can release harmful gases and toxins into the air that may have adverse effects on the body in large doses.
- Smoke: While air purifiers may not completely remove the smell, they can help remove and neutralize smoke in the air.
Features Every Good Air Purifier Must Have
Air purifiers are not all made equal. From filters to features, these are the key considerations to keep in mind when buying an air purifier:
- Filters – These are the heart and soul of every air purifier because filters do the heavy work of capturing and trapping pollutants from the air that passes through them. There are various kinds of air filters, but these are two of the most used types:
- High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filter (HEPA filter): This is the holy grail of air filters. Considered the gold standard for air purification, a true HEPA filter is specially tested and certified to guarantee that it can catch 99.97% of airborne pollutants that are 0.3 microns or bigger. Because it’s incredibly fine, it’s capable of trapping both physical particles like dust and hair, as well as invisible pollutants like bacteria and viruses.
Sans is designed with a HEPA 13, a medical-grade HEPA filter that traps 99.95% of particles as small as 0.1 microns. Don’t be fooled by brands that sell HEPA-like or HEPA-type filters as these are not proven to have the efficacy of true HEPA filters.
- Activated Carbon Filter: This type of filter neutralizes harmful chemicals and gases that float in the air. Through the process of adsorption, the activated carbon filter neutralizes volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other airborne chemicals that may be released by cleaning products, personal care products, etc.
- Filter Protection: While filters are replaceable, it’s often more practical to keep them in top shape for as long as possible. The best air purifiers are thoughtfully designed to deliver the highest quality of air purification for a long time. Sans is built with a pre-filter that captures large pollutants such as dust and hair to take the load off the HEPA filter, allowing it to focus on the smaller particles. It’s also designed with an interior UV-C light to sanitize the filters, preventing microorganisms and pathogens from growing inside.
- Quiet – A good air purifier must seamlessly fit into your daily life. If it’s too loud, especially in its highest setting, you may find it to be more bothersome than helpful. Sans is built with the quietest-in-class fan, which we proudly call “meditation quiet,” so you can feel comfortably assured that it gets the job done without making a racket.
- Room Coverage – Air purifiers also differ in terms of the area they can help cleanse. Some are only suitable for small rooms, while others are designed for larger spaces. As a rule of thumb, it’s better to overcompensate with a powerful air purifier, even if it’s just for a small space, to ensure optimal air cleansing.