Updated April 15, 2024

If you’re concerned about indoor air pollution, you might be considering an air purifier. Air purifiers can improve your health by keeping the air inside your home clean, and preventing allergies and reactions to pollutants. For those wondering how do air purifiers work, we’re sharing everything we know.

Air Purifiers – Why Use Them, and What Do They Filter?

An air purifier can help reduce the number of allergens, dust, pet dander, and other airborne contaminants in your home’s air. It may also help reduce odors such as cigarette smoke or cooking smells. Air purifiers can also help keep your home free of mold spores and dust mites.

If you have allergies or asthma, using an air purifier may help you breathe better at night when these allergens are most active.

How an Air Purifier Works

Household air purifiers work by filtering the air that passes through them. The air is pulled into a central core of filters, which trap particulate matter and other pollutants in your indoor atmosphere. Then, the purified air is released back into the room. The more efficient the filter, the better it will protect your health from undesirable elements in the air.

Different Types of Air Purifiers

  • HEPA filter. These are the most effective at removing particles from the air. They use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to trap particles like dust, pollen, and pet hair. Some HEPA filters can also remove odors and gaseous pollutants like formaldehyde.
  • This air purifier uses an ionizing feature to neutralize odors and freshen the air by emitting negative ions into the room. They don’t remove particles from the air but instead alter their electrical charge, so they attach to other particles in the room, causing them to drop to the floor or furniture below.
  • UV light. Ultraviolet light (UV) radiation is used in some models to kill bacteria, mold spores, and viruses in indoor environments. But UV light doesn’t affect larger particles such as dust mites or pollen.

What to Consider When Searching for the Best Air Purifier

When buying a home air purifier, you should consider these points –
  • Coverage Area. The larger the area of coverage, the more money you’ll spend on filters and cleaning supplies. If you live in a small apartment, a small unit is fine. But if you live in a large house, it’s better to get something that can handle bigger spaces.
  • Energy Efficient. Energy consumption is measured in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW). The lower the number of watts or kW consumed, the less money you’ll spend on electricity over time.
  • Simple Controls and Maintenance Requirements. You want an air cleaner that’s easy to use and maintain so that you don’t have to worry about it while trying to enjoy your home’s clean air.

How Effective are Air Purifiers?

It depends on your purifier and the contaminants you want to eliminate.

An air purifier may help reduce symptoms if you have allergies or asthma. But certain purifiers can’t eliminate odors or smoke.

For example, a HEPA filter is designed to remove particulates like pollen, pet dander, and dust mites from the air. But it doesn’t remove gasses like ozone or carbon monoxide that can cause health problems.
A UV light on an air filter will kill bacteria and viruses, but it won’t stop mold spores from growing in your home — especially if you have damp problems such as excess moisture in your walls or basement.

What do I need to do to get the most out of my Air Purifier?

You can do a few things to maximize the benefits of your air purifier.
  • Regularly brush your pets. Ideally, you should brush your pet every day or two to help keep its skin healthy. But even if you can only manage once a week, it’ll make a difference in how much dander is released into the air when they’re shedding.
  • Schedule regular HVAC tune-ups. Your heating and cooling system is an integral part of your indoor air quality, so make sure you schedule a tune-up once a year. During this visit, a technician will inspect all parts of your HVAC system and clean any necessary filters — including ones in your air conditioner or furnace.
  • Vacuum regularly and change your bedding weekly. This keeps the air in your home clean, which keeps your air filter from working as hard. It also reduces the amount of dust trapped in your filter. Bedding can trap dust and dirt and should be changed at least once a week — especially if you have allergies or asthma. Changing your sheets more often is also recommended if you allow pets to sleep in your bed.

Reach Out to JW Plumbing, Heating and Air

If you’re worried about indoor air quality in Los Angeles, an air purifier will give you peace of mind. Contact our HVAC experts today for more information about keeping your home free from pollutants.

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