Technological Aspect of Air Purification – Part 2
COMMON METHOD TO PURIFY AIR
Air filters utilize fine sieves that filter particles from circulating air. As air flows into the air purifier, the finer the sieve used, the smaller the particles it traps. The accepted benchmark for air filters has been set by the High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which are guaranteed to trap 99.97% of airborne particles larger than 0.3 microns. Microns are the standard unit used for measuring air particles. Each micron is equivalent to 1/25,400 of an inch. The naked eye cannot see anything this small, so pollutants like bacteria and viruses escape detection. Room air conditioner filters only capture particles 10 microns or larger. HEPA filters remove smaller allergens like dust, smoke, chemicals, asbestos, pollen, and pet dander.
The more times the air passes through a HEPA filter, the cleaner the air becomes. The room capacity of a HEPA air purifier will determine whether the air cleaner can handle your air purifying needs. Air purifiers will provide approximately 15 air exchanges per hour in an average room and contain an average of 15 lbs of activated carbon/zeolite blends, which adsorb chemicals and odors. The UV light also protects the HEPA filter from biological and viral contamination. (5)
ELECTRONIC AIR PURIFICATION SYSTEM
The electrical attraction is another technology utilized by air purifiers to trap particles. Three types of air cleaners work using electrical attraction: electrostatic precipitating cleaners, electret filters, and negative ion generators.
Electrostatic precipitating cleaners, or electronic air purifiers, draw particles in by the fan and charge them with a series of high-voltage wires. Several plates (precipitating cells) carry the opposite electrical charge and attract the contaminants as they pass by the plates. Electronic air purifiers are perfect for individuals who don’t want to worry about the costly replacements of HEPA filters. The electrostatic air purifiers remove approximately 95% of all airborne particles and carry low energy costs for you.
Electret filters in air purifiers use synthetic fibres that create a static charge to attract particles. Electret filters are offered in a variety of types including plain, pleated, disposable or reusable. Depending on the type of filter you need, will determine how often the filter requires replacement.
Negative ion generators or ionic air purifiers use tiny, charged wires or needles to create gas molecules with negative charges or ions that adhere to the airborne particles and collect in the filter. However, many ions end up back in the air, sticking to furnishings and other surfaces that may be stained by them.
Ionic air purifiers only remove certain types of particles and aren’t always effective against gases, chemicals, or odours. Some ionic air purifiers have been shown to re-circulate the same dirty particles that they draw in, making them much less effective than traditional air purifiers using HEPA filtration.
Instead of using filters to trap particles, ozone generators use high voltage electrical currents to convert oxygen to ozone, which acts as a powerful oxidant and breaks down molecules and microorganisms in the air. Several tests have proved that ozone generators are not very effective at removing indoor allergens.
Ozone, in fact, can be hazardous to your health, and both ozone generators and ionic air cleaners emit ozone. In nature, lightning creates ozone when it cuts through oxygen molecules in the air. In the atmosphere, ozone helps protect us from harmful UV rays; however, on the ground level, ozone is a powerful lung irritant. When created artificially, ozone can actually aggravate allergies and asthma, damaging the lining of nasal passages and lungs, causing coughing, throat irritation, chest pain, and shortness of breath. The Environmental Protection Agency advises against using ozone generators. (6)
Asbestos and radon are growing problems in homes today. Heating devices produce carbon monoxide and other dangerous gases, and chemicals like formaldehyde and ammonia are increasing in the home environment. Since most people stay indoors an average of 90% of the time, providing fresher and cleaner air has never been more important.
The technology that goes into electronic air purifiers can be quite diverse from one maker to another. The battle to be the next air purifier company with innovative ways to clean the air we breathe is large. New technology is on the rise each year for new ways to filter and process the air in our homes, cars, and businesses.
Each manufacturer of electronic air purifiers uses different features and qualities to try and stand out from the rest. The basics of what electronic air purifiers are used for are still the same. The basics of an electronic air purifier are to remove many of the pollens, danders, and other air pollutants that float through the air we breathe.
Static electricity is the main ingredient for the source of technology used in an electronic air purifier system. The static that is developed by the electronic air purifier will attach a charge to all the particles that are found in the air by the air purifier.
The static technology works much like two magnets that are attracted to each other. The bad particles in the air are filled with a charge that is then attracted to a plate inside the electronic air purifier. The bad particles that are sucked into the air purifier attach themselves to a plate and then the good air flows out free from pollen, dust mites, and other harmful particles.
The static charge process can take place in two different ways and you will find that manufacturers will offer both systems. There are one process electronic air purifiers and two process electronic air purifiers. There really is no evidence that one way is better than the other.
Electronic air purifiers are a great investment into any home or office. They will help to eliminate many of the cold and allergy symptoms that you may face on a daily basis. (7)
MOLDS, THE GREATEST THREAT TO RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
Mold – the microscopic fungi that invades your home to expose you and your family to severe health risks. Although mold comprises the “blue” of bleu cheese, it is neither tasty nor inviting when it’s invading your home. Now more than ever, allergy and asthma sufferers (and even those who aren’t allergic to mold) are looking for a solution to their mold troubles.
Inside the home, molds like Alternaria, Aspergillus Chaetomium, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Mucor, Penicillium and Stachybotrys grow frequently in places that are warm, damp, and dark. However, mold itself does not trigger allergic or asthmatic reactions. Instead, the microscopic mold spores (seeds) floating through the air cause coughing, wheezing, stuffy and runny noses in those who are allergic. These awful mold spores make indoor and outdoor air quality unbearable for some. As tiny mold spores float in the air and evade the protective mechanisms of your respiratory system, you’ll find comfort in the fact that there are effective ways to reduce and eliminate mold in your home.
Most air purifiers combat the multiplying presence of mold using a very powerful weapon: the HEPA air filter. HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters excel at trapping microscopic particles. True HEPA filters must meet strict standards of efficiency, capturing a minimum of 99.97% of pollutants at 0.3 microns.
As mold spores range between one and five microns in size, HEPA filters are certified and proven to remove virtually all airborne mold spores. Thus, air purifiers provide mold allergy relief. Ensure that your air purifier contains a HEPA filter by looking on the package. Each HEPA filter is marked accordingly and represents the strict guidelines for which HEPA certification requires.
HEPA filters eliminate mold spores by filtering the airborne spores from the air and trapping them within the HEPA filter. To effectively filter mold spores, place the air purifier where mold is frequently found: basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and rooms with upholstered furniture. Replace your HEPA filter frequently, as advised on the packaging, to ensure that your air purifier will continue to provide air free and clear of mold spores.
Air purifiers offer the perfect solution to filter out airborne mold spores. But don’t forget to vacuum! Vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters will eliminate mold spores on your carpet and rugs. Vacuum regularly with your HEPA vacuum cleaner to ensure that your rugs and carpets remain clean of mold colonies. (8)
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