Air purifiers are potentially useful when other measures to improve indoor air quality prove insufficient.
Dust, cleaning products, new furniture and pet dander are some of the sources of air pollution in our homes, which particularly affect people with respiratory problems or allergies. Airing, vacuuming with a suitable vacuum cleaner and cleaning frequently, avoiding carpets and reducing fabric decorations, solving leakage problems and not smoking inside the house are the first measures to adopt.
How to choose and buy an air purifier?
If you put all the measures to improve indoor air quality into practice and still experience symptoms, such as eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches and dizziness, that worsen when you are at home, An air purifier can be a solution. According to science, in order to have a clinical benefit for allergy or asthma, these devices must be integrated into a prevention strategy, which includes the said measures.
What are air cleaners?
Air purifiers, in general, help clean the air, but they do not eliminate all pollutants. In general, each device is only good for one room, not for the whole house.
These devices use different technologies, depending on the pollutants they are supposed to fight, but the only recommended one, because it is safe, is mechanical filtration. As a general rule, there are three filters: one for large particles (dust); another for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), whose effectiveness depends on the inclusion of absorbent substances such as activated carbon or zeolite; and the last, the HEPA filter, for fine particles.
Some devices complete the treatment with an ionization system, which injects negatively charged particles into the air, thus neutralizing certain pollutants. These, therefore, are deposited. But a movement of air is enough for the contaminants to circulate again.
Plasma technology is not recommended because it can be a source of pollution. It is also not recommended to buy an ozone treatment device: although it remains in the air for a short time, this gas is irritating, especially for people with respiratory problems.
How to choose the right air purifier?
When choosing equipment, in addition to choosing the most efficient operating system, it is important to ensure that it fits the surface of the room for which it is intended. Look for the Clean Air Delivery Ratio (CADR), which tells you the filtration capacity, another selection criterion - the higher the value, the better.
In addition to these two pieces of information and the air-handling system, it's also important to know the unit's wattage, how it's installed (wall, table or floor) and its noise level. A device that emits more than 35 decibels is not suitable for the bedroom; and, from 80 decibels, it can be very annoying, wherever it is located.
It is difficult for an air cleaner to perform all functions well. To remain effective in the parameters for which they are good, equipment filters should be replaced or cleaned as often as indicated in the instruction manual.
You can see our different models of allergist-approved purifiers and recommended by different independent organizations.