Which one is the best for my space?

What is an air purifier?

The basic definition of an air purifier is a device that removes pollutants and contaminants from a space and improves your overall air quality. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Indoor air can be five times as polluted as outdoor air.” Because indoor air can have significantly poorer air quality, air purifiers are one of the most common solutions to help keep indoor air fresh, less polluted and to lower the health risks that come with contaminated air. 

Not all air purifiers are created equal, so how can you know what device is best for your facility? 

Things to Consider

  1. Size:
    • An important factor to finding the best air purifier for your space is to look at the size of your facility. Some purifiers can only cleanse the air for a specific radius of space, so if you need a device for a small office cabin, an open lobby area, or a large warehouse, you will need drastically different types of machines.
  2. Type of Pollution:
    • Another component to consider is problems in your air you want to be tackle. For example, do you know if you have a large number of biological pathogens in your air, like a healthcare environment?  

      Or do you have pollutants in your air from cooking, cleaning products or mold? While these particles may not directly harm you, they act as the carriers of the harmful pathogens in the air. Given the COVID-19 pandemic and world’s awareness of airborne transmission of germs, we should be conscious of not letting these fumes linger in the air for extended periods of time.

      Many times, we are not sure what issues we have with our air quality and want a device to cover all of our bases.
  3. Costs:
    • Finally, you should consider your budget for an air purifier. Air purifiers can become a costly investment, depending on the type and capabilities you need for your space. Having a budget in mind that you want to spend on your device can help you land on the best fit for your facility.  

      To help such devices be more affordable to a small business, be sure to ask your vendors and suppliers if they can provide financing options. 

The two fundamental Types of Air Purifiers

  1. Ionizers:
    • Ionizer air purifiers release ions into the area. This is known as bipolar ionization technology.
    • Ionizers release negative ions into the air of a space, and work by creating a static charge around the airborne contaminants that are floating around the room.
    • Once charged with static, these particles stick to each other and form larger particles. They become too heavy to remain airborne and fall to the ground. Many times, these large particles are more likely captured by air filters in the ducts. This process is known as flocculation.
    • Ionic air purifiers can effectively remove common pollutants like pollen, mold, dust, pet dander, viruses, smoke, and more. This makes them a great solution if you have allergies, asthma, or chemical sensitivities.
    • Some ionizers also release ozone molecules, which attach themselves to pollutants in the air to break them down.
    • Although ozone air purifiers are sold regularly and is a common method of air purifying, there are certain levels of excessive ozone that can be harmful. It is important to look into if the amount of ozone you would need to purify your space meets the healthy standard of ozone.
       
  2. Non-Ionizing Air Purifiers
    • The other type of air purifier that exists is a Non-Ionizing device. These air purifiers take in air from the space, internally sanitize all the particulates using various technologies and release cleaner air back into the space.
    • This is a great option for people who do not want to have ions or ozone molecules emitted into their space.
    • There are also multiple different types of Non-Ionizing Air Purifiers that use various sanitation methods.
  1. HEPA Filters
    • HEPA Filter stands for high-efficiency particulate air filter, which traps the contaminates in a filter.
    • Using HEPA filters are one of the most common techniques trusted by industries like hospitals, automobiles, laboratories, and many more to trap contaminants.
    • An important thing to keep in mind with HEPA filters is how often you need to change the filter of your device. Filters are an additional cost to your device, and it is important to factor into your budget planning how often you need to change the filters.
  2. UV Light purification
    • “UV” stands for Ultraviolet. These air purifiers use UVC lights utilize short-wave ultraviolet light to inactivate airborne pathogens and contaminants in the air.
    • Some devices have concentrated UVC lights inside the air purifier devices that disintegrate the DNA of harmful pathogens and viruses to make them harmless
    • One thing to keep in mind with UVC lights is that it can be dangerous for humans to be exposed to it. UVC lights are a known carcinogen, so you need to make sure you do not have any UVC light exposed to our skin or eyes. UVC is most effectively used inside an air purifier machine in a closed space. 

Photocatalytic Oxidation

  1. This method of air purification utilizes a combination of certain spectrums of UV light mixed with the chemical titanium dioxide nanoparticles coated on a high surface area plane.
  2. Dwell time of air particles bouncing of these surfaces in the presence of the concentrated light spectrum allows for very effective and high levels of air sterilization. Pathogens and pollutants like viruses, bacteria, dust, VOCs and all types of allergens are broken down and destroyed.
  3. In the market, it is common to see air purifiers that use one of these techniques to cleanse the air. The more expensive and effective purifiers may use a combination of 2, or sometimes even 3 of these techniques to clean the air. Studies and practice show that using all 3 methods to clean the air serves to provide the most effective air purifier for your space, allowing for up to MERV 19 level grade of clean air. 

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