How Air Purifiers Work

air purifier next to plant

Clean air is important for maintaining a good quality of life. Air purifiers can be a solution to air quality issues, especially for keeping allergens out of the air. However, if you don’t have preexisting allergies or breathing problems, your Orlando air conditioning filter can combat these on its own. Here’s a breakdown of how air filters work, whether you need one, and how to find the best one:

What Air Purifiers Do

As air moves through the filters on an air purifier, the machine collects particles and pushes out clean air. Most of the air purifiers on the market specifically work on particles like dust, smoke and pollen. The filters are most commonly made of paper, fiberglass or mesh, and they have to be replaced periodically for the system to remain beneficial.

Air Purifier Filters

If you buy an air purifier, your best bet for efficacy is to keep it running constantly and to change out your filters regularly. Depending on the type of filter you use, you may be spending upwards of $50 or $100 on filters every year. Some filters are reusable and washable, but you must clean them thoroughly every time. The most effective type of filter is a HEPA— High Efficiency Particulate Air— filter, an almost airtight filter that catches several sizes of particles. 

Types of Air Purifiers

There are different types of air purifiers with varying levels of effectiveness. This is each type of purifier and the benefits each claims to have:

  • Purifiers with Air Filters: These are the most common type of air purifier, the one that we have been referencing in most of this article. 
  • Ionizing purifiers: Using a method known as corona discharge, these machines use an electrical field to create molecules called ions. By attracting contaminants, this type of filter causes particles to clump together and eventually settle out of the air.
  • Ozone generators: Manufacturers of these air purifiers claim that ozone, a molecule made up of two or three oxygen atoms, deodorizes and disinfects the air. However, ozone is an unstable molecule, so it can do more harm than good in your home’s air.
  • Adsorbents: Using a material like activated charcoal, this type of air purifier traps passing molecules that are attracted to it, a process known as adsorption. 
  • UV light: Ultraviolet radiation is relatively harmless, and these purifiers simply bathe air that passes through them, eliminating particles to purify the air. 

What to Look For in an Air Purifier 

If you are looking to buy an air purifier, you will want to make sure to find the one that best suits your needs. These are a few qualifiers that will show how good an air purifier is:

  • Clean Air Delivery Rating, or CADR. This number tells you how quickly the air purifier works. Ideally, the rating will be within the 300-350 range.
  • The right size: Bigger is not always better. Look for one that’s rated to work properly in the room you’re putting it in.
  • Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, or AHAM, mark. This mark will tell you that the purifier has been recognized in terms of safety, efficiency and effectiveness.
  • HEPA filters. These filters we mentioned earlier are the gold standard of air filters. Be careful when you see terms like “HEPA-like” or “HEPA-type.” A true HEPA filter will not have these claims, as they are the real deal.

For most people, the filter that comes standard in an HVAC unit provides plenty of purification. However, for some, an air purifier is an extra layer of protection from airborne particles. Our Orlando air conditioning team at All Temp is here to help you breathe clean air all year round. We also offer emergency repairs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To learn more about our services, contact us online or give us a call at (407) 857-7800.

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