The moment we think about ‘air pollution,’ we envision the smoke, vehicular and industrial emissions. Surprisingly (in fact awfully), many studies have proved that quality of indoor air is 2 to 5 times polluted than the outdoor air. Every one of us has to deal with indoor air pollution as most of us (Americans) spend up to 90% of our time indoors, where the risks associated with air pollution are far more than the outdoors.
Why do we need an air purifier?
Pollutants such as dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, dust mites and their feces are very common indoors (homes or offices). They cause allergies which include asthma (sometimes can be very serious), recurring headaches, fatigue, runny nose, watery eyes etc.
Apart from the airborne particles discussed above, indoors are filled with harmful gases that pose serious threat to our health. Some of the harmful gases very common indoors are Volatile Organic Compounds or (VOC’s). These gases are generally emitted from some of the commonly used materials such as cleaning solutions, building materials, adhesives, paints, varnishes etc. Other harmful gases indoors include tobacco smoke, radon, fuel combustion fumes etc. which may cause serious respiratory problems.
According to Environmental Protection Agency of the United States, indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks in America. In order to keep the indoor air clean and safe to breathe, you need to use air purifiers, which eliminate different types of airborne particles, chemicals, micro-organisms and odors present in air.
How does an air purifier work?
Basically there are three different types of air purifiers. They typically use filters, electrical attraction, or ozone to remove harmful pollutants or gases.
•Air purifiers with air filters have fine screens that filter polluted particles from the air
•Some purifiers use electrical attraction technology to trap particles. There are three types of air purifiers that work using electrical attraction. They are:
1.Electrostatic precipitating cleaners, which remove particles using the force of an induced electrostatic charge
2.Electret filters, which use synthetic fibers that create static charges to attract particles
3.Negative ion generators, which use tiny, charged wires or needles to create gas molecules with negative ions that follow the airborne particles and collect them in a filter
•Ozone generators that are sold as air purifiers produce ozone using high voltage electrical currents.
Both ionic air purifiers and ozone generators emit ozone. Remember, ozone is an irritant that can worsen asthma and compromise your ability to fight respiratory infections.
Importance of air purifiers in different areas
Air purifiers provide many benefits for the users in different areas like:
Indoor air is mostly contaminated with dust, smoke, pollen, animal dander, tobacco smoke, dust mite feces, molds, bacteria, viruses and other particles generated from cooking stoves. Home air purifiers removes all these contaminants from the air. The air purifiers must be installed compulsorily in the iaq test homes where the residents are vulnerable such as infants, patients suffering from the asthma or elderly people. Pets are part of many homes today. Air purifiers are very much useful in those homes because they clean the pet dander, which is the main source for allergies.
The quality of the air in schools or classrooms is an important aspect as their environment is exposed to lot of indoor and outdoor contaminants. Moreover, children will have less developed immune system and thus are more susceptible to harmful effects of air pollutants. Generally in almost all the schools, the class rooms are quite compact and overcrowded. This results in stagnant air with many contaminants. Cleaning or purifying the indoor air is the best solution that can be achieved by using air purifiers.
Millions of Americans today are working in buildings without proper ventilation. In order to increase the efficiency of the HVAC systems, many offices today are airtight sealed. Though many HVAC systems provide air at comfortable temperature and humidity levels, they are inefficient in bringing in the fresh air. This is resulting in Sick Building Syndrome where the building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects. This can impact the performance and productivity of the employees. A good office air purifier can reduce mold, bacteria, viruses, odors and other harmful pollutants and in turn prevent Sick Building Syndrome. If you are a business owner or a manager, it is your responsibility to make sure that your office environment is healthy.
Many of the products used in the hair salons contain volatile chemicals that easily evaporate into the air and form an unpleasant and unhealthy odor. It may cause dry throat, watery and burning eyes, headache and dizziness, both to the beauticians and the customers. Thus an air purifier is very essential for hair saloons which removes the contaminated air and sends in the fresh air.