Benefits of air purifiers
Air purifiers have become fashionable of late, thanks to COVID, but they've been on the market for a few years already, not many but enough to be fashionable.
These devices followed an upward trend before the pandemic.
During the pandemic, the trend increased noticeably, but in a one-off fashion, under the influence of COVID.
After COVID, the upward trend in air purifiers continues, although it may not be as pronounced.
This steady increase can be explained by a number of reasons: increasing pollution in cities and public awareness over the years, the fact that there's no one who doesn't know or hasn't heard of these air purifiers, and the fact that they actually work.
Yes, air purifiers work!
According to Zion's U.S. research, the U.S. market for residential air purifiers grew by approximately 5.07% between 2016 and 2021.
In this growing market, it has been observed that major electronics manufacturers are trying to gain a greater market share, as the technology used in air purifiers has grown exponentially in recent years: cheaper, more efficient filters with a variety of types and shapes.
Does air purification work, or is it just a fad?
Air purifiers are designed to clean the air in the room in which they are installed. Although they can eliminate bacteria and viruses, this is not really their function. Their main function is to remove pollutants from the air we breathe. These pollutants include pollen and dust mites, which are the cause of many allergies. But they don't just eliminate these allergens.
Depending on the system used by the air purifier, it will eliminate a greater quantity of pollutants. The best air purifiers remove 99.97% of airborne pollutants down to a size of 0.3 microns.
In other words, this tells us nothing. A micron is one millionth of a meter. In general, the measurements we see in an air purifier are indicated as PM (parts per million). Particles whose diameter is less than 0.3 microns are called PM 0.3.
For example, dust mites generally measure between 1 and 4 microns. Coronaviruses, on the other hand, measure less than 0.3 microns, so in principle, the air purifier would not be able to eliminate them. Aerosols, on the other hand, are 5 microns in size, and carry viruses such as influenza, so the purifier could eliminate them. But then again, that's not its function.
Users who have used an air purifier have seen benefits after a few days, but the ones you don't see - the long-term benefits - are the most interesting.
So here are just a few of the benefits of using an air purifier.
The 7 benefits of air purifiers
1. they renew the air in the room in a very short time, with cleaner air.
In an unventilated or poorly ventilated room, large quantities of carbon dioxide build up, and breathing in too much of this substance can cause headaches, dizziness, weakness and increased heart rate and blood pressure.
To avoid this, all you need to do is air the room frequently until it's well oxygenated, but this isn't always possible: either because there are no windows, or because it's too cold and uncomfortable.
An air purifier will remove this carbon dioxide from the air as well as other pollutants, making the air you breathe fresher.
For quick results, look for an air purifier with a good Clean Air Replacement Rate (CADR). This means it takes much less time to renew the air in the room with clean air.
2. Eliminating air pollutants reduces stress and improves mood.
Indoor air pollution affects not only the respiratory system, but also the cardiac and even the neurological systems. Chemicals and fumes from commonly used cleaning and beauty products (hairspray) can accumulate in the lungs and reach the brain, affecting cognitive functions.
People who breathe cleaner air are less stressed than those who breathe more polluted air. Cortisol levels fall, which also reduces stress.
A giant air purifier was recently created in Beijing, one of the world's most polluted cities. In Japan, air purifiers have been used for years in offices and now also in hotels, as you can see in the following extract.
Air purifiers are ubiquitous in Japan, in many public offices and homes. They are also a very common service in the rooms of many hotels.
This article outlines the advantages of using air ionizers, together with references to a study carried out to demonstrate them.
3) Odors are neutralized, the air is lighter and fresher.
There's nothing more unpleasant than frying fish. The whole house ends up smelling of fish, the odor permeates the air and is hard to get rid of.
Air ionizers or air purifiers with a good activated carbon filter eliminate odors from cooking, pets or tobacco smoke. The air will quickly become lighter and fresher. As mentioned above, it's best to choose an air purifier with a good cleaning rate (CADR) so that, depending on the size of the room, it takes as little time as possible to renew the air in the room.
In addition to those odors we all quickly identify, it will also eliminate VOCs, Volatile Organic Compounds, found mainly in aerosols, paints, varnishes, air fresheners, personal hygiene products, cosmetics, cleaning products, etc.
Similarly, it will eliminate those compounds harmful to health, because while exposure to these toxins in small quantities may be harmless, systematic, long-term exposure can lead to more serious health problems.
4. Reduce asthma and allergy symptoms
Reducing asthma and allergy symptoms
Pollutants such as dust mites, mold spores, pollen and pet dander irritate the airways of asthma sufferers.
In cities and near roads, allergy and asthma rates are higher. This is partly due to the pollutants found in these areas, such as ozone, diesel exhaust particles, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.
The mites are the most common allergens found in the home, and are present in all types of fabric: sheets, cushions, carpets, etc. They love humidity. They love humidity.
Although it's almost impossible to get rid of dust mites completely, it is possible to eliminate them to a large extent:
-Ventilate rooms in the house well; if the ventilation is cross-ventilated, even better.
-Vacuum well and remove dust from the house.
-Clean sofas from time to time with upholstery cleaning products.
-Use a good air purifier to eliminate airborne dust mites, as inhaling air containing these allergens can aggravate symptoms.
5. Improve sleep quality
Many allergy and asthma sufferers don't sleep well because of sneezing, frequent coughing or difficulty breathing. A clean, fresh environment helps to reduce these symptoms and improve sleep.
By promoting good breathing, it often reduces or completely eliminates your partner's snoring - an often overlooked and much appreciated fact.
Air purifiers generate a certain amount of noise. Some models feature a night mode in which the purifier makes a minimum of noise.
This noise is called white noise or white sound. Babies sleep better with white noise, as it relaxes them by reminding them of the sounds they heard in the womb.
White noise allows the auditory threshold to reach its maximum speed, which means that in the presence of these background noises, more intense auditory stimuli are less able to activate the cerebral cortex during sleep.
6. They reduce the likelihood of illnesses such as the flu and the common cold.
Illnesses such as colds and flu are spread by droplets of saliva (aerosols). If one person catches the flu or a cold, it's very likely that others in the same room will get sick, as they're all breathing the same polluted air.
To avoid this, it's best to maintain cross-ventilation in the room and buy a good air purifier to eliminate these aerosols. With these two small gestures, you'll reduce the likelihood of other people falling ill.
If you must use a filtered air purifier, choose one with a HEPA filter type H13 or higher and an activated carbon filter. As always, it's advisable to equip it with a high flow of clean air, so that it can purify the air in the room as quickly as possible.
7. Long-term protection against respiratory illnesses
In general, the people who spend the most time indoors are babies and the elderly, whose respiratory systems are still developing or have deteriorated over the years. Air pollutants are therefore more dangerous for them.
Air purifiers considerably reduce the pollutants present in the air, helping to prevent the development or aggravation of respiratory illnesses.
There are many different types of air purifier on the market, using different systems, some even comprising two systems in one. In order to choose the air purifier or air purifier best suited to our needs, we need to understand how each type of purifier works.
That's why we're going to give a brief summary of the most common air purification systems.
I. Air purifier with filtering system or HEPA filter
This type of air purifier relies on the use of a filtering system to trap impurities in the air. To do this, the air purifier collects air from the room in which it is installed and passes it through the filtering system. Once the pollutants have been trapped in the device's various filters, the purifier must return the air to the already clean room.
The efficiency of these devices is based on three concepts: air collection, air filtering and the expulsion of clean air (air renewal). The better the air purifier performs each of these phases, the more efficient it is.
Some air purifiers are not equipped with a motorized air intake system, but simply collect the air around them. This means that the amount of air they can filter at any one time is less.
This is generally how air purifiers designed for very small rooms of 5 to 10 m2 work.
It is normal and desirable for the filtration system to have at least 3 filters.
1. The pre-filter
This filter, placed outside the other filters, is used to trap larger particles so as not to saturate the other filters. These particles are generally hair and dust. Small air purifiers generally do not include this filter.
2. The HEPA filter
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. These filters are made of a material composed of very fine fibers that have been folded back and forth in an accordion-like shape.
HEPA filters are the most effective at trapping particles in the air, but not all filters filter the same number of particles. If we want an efficient purifier, the HEPA filter type must be at least H13. H13 HEPA filters capture up to 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns or larger.
As the HEPA filter fills up with particles, it becomes increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for air to pass through the filter. Before this happens, the filter must be replaced with a new one. But if the purifier is also fitted with a pre-filter, some of the particles will remain in this filter, prolonging the life of the HEPA filter.
HEPA filters are capable of retaining very small particles, but cannot retain odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs); in this case, an activated carbon filter is required.
3. Activated carbon filter
Activated carbon is a type of carbon that has been treated to make it extremely porous and give it a large adsorption surface. It is therefore capable of capturing pollutants such as gases, formaldehyde, tobacco smoke and odors.
Some models incorporate other types of filter that are more specific to a particular substance. You may find models with a fourth filter for formaldehyde or allergens.
The only problem with these purifiers is that, to cover a larger surface area, they need larger filters to be effective and, consequently, the unit is larger. Although manufacturers take this aspect into account by offering modern, elegant models, the fact is that you have to find a place for them in the room.
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR)
The Clean Air Delivery Rate, better known by the acronym CADR, is the air purifier's ability to renew the air in a room. There's no point in having an excellent filtering system if it takes two hours to purify the air in a room. Ideally, it should have sufficient capacity to purify a large quantity of air and expel it cleanly in the shortest possible time.
This is measured in m3/h and, for example, an air purifier with a CADR of 200 m3/h will take 18 minutes to renew the air in a 25 m2 room.
The UV function eliminates viruses and bacteria, and is 99.9% effective according to an American university research institute. This function is available on the P3001 and P6006 purifiers only, and is highly effective in winter when conditions are favorable for bacteria and viruses.
This filter, present in the P3001 and P6006 purifiers, degrades pollutants and binds them. It is often the last filtration stage before clean air is expelled from the purifier.
The production of negative ions helps to bind pollutant particles in the air and cause them to fall to the ground. Various studies suggest that negative ions have properties on our moods. We naturally find many of them near watercourses, in forests or in nature. On the other hand, they produce very little ozone, and should only be used during the day for asthma sufferers. This function is only available on the P3001 air purifier air purifier, but you have the option of switching it on or off.
We hope we've taught you more about the importance of purifying your air, and wish you the very best of health!
The Protech Allergies team