You’ve probably heard about air purifier, a great machine that could magically change your filthy air into much cleaner air. But how exactly it did that? Well, to put it simply, an air purifier is a machine that removes smoke from the air in order to generate clean air in a room. The cleaning process is being done by sucking the contaminated air and remove the contaminants from the air using special techniques, which in exchange, allows clean air to generate. These machines are useful for those who suffer from allergies and asthma because it provides them with cleaner air to breath. Air purifiers could also be used to eliminate or reduce smoke coming from tobacco smoking, make it a great way to avoid becoming a second-hand smoker. Commercially, these devices are manufactured as either a small unit for in-house use or a large unit that could be attached to the air handler unit, which commonly found in the industry use.
How Air Purifying Works?
In general, there are two types of purifying techniques that exist today, which are active and passive. Active air-purifying release ions with a negative charge into the contaminated air, causing contaminants to stick to the nearest surfaces. On the other hand, passive air-purifying works by trapping contaminants using special filters in the machine. More details regarding air purifying techniques are explained below:
-Filtration works by trapping contaminants based on its size. Contaminated air is sucked into the filter, and pollutants are captured directly into it. There are a few filters that are used today, such as:
-High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA): This filter removes almost all particles larger than 0.3 micrometers and highly effective in removing large particles. Different cares are needed in a different environment. HEPA filters don’t generate harmful substances into the air.
-MERV 14: Similar to HEPA, this filter could remove contaminants larger than 0.3 micrometers from the air. However, MERV 14 has a capture rate that lower than HEPA, only about 75% of pollutants between 0.3 to 1.0 micrometers could be captured using this filter.
Several companies use active methods to purify the air. These methods are Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI), activated carbon, ionized purifier, and many others.
-UVGI: The basic concept in UVGI is by using UV lamps to sterilize the air. In this air purifier, the air is forced to pass the UV lights. Usually, the lamps are installed along with filters to kill and remove dead microorganisms.
-Activated Carbon: In this method, companies insert activated carbon in the air purifiers. Due to the porosity of the carbon, it can absorb molecules from the air.
-Ionizer Purifiers: This method uses special surfaces to electrically charged the air using negative ions. The contaminants then being attracted to the ions and eventually deposited on a special plate. However, some ionizer purifiers don’t have this kind of plate, so the charged contaminants will fall to the ground. This technique produces ozone and other oxidants in trace amounts, usually less than 0.5 ppm.