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What is an Indoor Air Purifier?

Article Details
  • Written By: Sara Schmidt
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 31 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Due to various contaminants and allergens, indoor air is often more harmful to humans than outdoor air. To remedy this problem, an indoor air purifier can be used. These devices remove harmful substances, such as indoor air pollution and second-hand tobacco smoke from the air.

Indoor air quality can be greatly increased through the use of an indoor air purifier. These inventions can be especially helpful for people who suffer from allergies, asthma, and other respiratory ailments. Depending on the specifications indicated by the manufacturer, a single purifier may remove concentrated levels of pollen, dust, chemicals, smoke, pet dander, and more substances from an area. Other impurities that certain models may be able to reduce or remove include odors, viruses, fungi, bacteria, harmful chemicals, and various organic compounds.

Depending on the type of system used, various technologies can be implemented in an air purifier. High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA), filtration involves the purification of very fine particles through very tiny sieves. Electrostatic precipitation may be used to attract and trap airborne particles. Ultraviolet light, negative ions, and other technologies may also be implemented in a filtration system.

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In selecting an indoor air purifier, or air cleaner, it can be helpful to contact the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While the EPA does not endorse any specific brands, it can help answer questions and provide information that will help consumers decide whether or not they need an indoor air purifier, as well as what type, if any, is most appropriate. Many people also opt for appliances that feature the HEPA label.

Air purifiers should also be selected based on the size of the area they are needed for. Some are large enough for whole households. Air purifiers this large are often connected with the existing HVAC (Heating, Cooling, and Air Conditioning) system, already in the home. Smaller, portable models are available for single room or multiple, smaller room use.

The type of indoor air purifier desired is also important. Some are designed to remove several containments from the air. Others only work on one or two specific items, such as dust and pollen. People may wish to have indoor air testing conducted in their homes to pinpoint their individual needs. Generally, the larger a purifier is and the more contaminants it can treat, the more expensive it is likely to be.

Like an air conditioning device, an indoor air purifier often requires an air filter to function. Depending on the make and model of the purifier, the filter can be costly or cheap. It will also need to be changed regularly to keep the purifier functioning optimally.

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