Pros & Cons of Air Purifiers: Should You Get One?
Are you wondering about the pros and cons of air purifiers?
Air purifiers have become a popular choice for people who suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory illnesses.
They are also becoming more and more popular among healthy individuals to keep the air in their homes free of pollutants.
But where to start?
Through this article, you’ll discover:
We’ll explore the pros and cons of getting an air purifier so you can make an informed decision about whether they’re right for you.
How Do Air Purifiers Work?
Air purifiers work by removing pollutants¹ from the air. Depending on what type of purifier you get, it might use a filter to remove particles like dust and pet dander or chemicals like formaldehyde present in many household products.
They also work by releasing negative ions² into the air; these bind with positively charged molecules (i.e., pollutants) before they can do any damage to your health.
As an alternative, some purifiers use ozone to clean the air³.
This is effective because it will oxidize pollutants and neutralize them to be removed by your home’s HVAC system or filtered out of the room altogether.
What Are the Benefits of Air Purifiers?
There are many benefits to using an air purifier. Here are some of the most important.
- They reduce respiratory disease⁴ by removing allergens from the air before they can cause an allergic reaction, an asthma flare-up, or other breathing problems. This is especially true for those who suffer from allergies and live with pets or smokers.
- If you have a pet, your allergy symptoms will likely improve if you use an air purifier to remove dander from the room where your furry friend sleeps.
- Due to their ionizing properties, negative ions found in many kinds of air purifiers also help combat depression and improve mood.
- Dust particles and other pollutants can cause problems such as mold growth in your home. Air purifiers can help prevent this by removing these particles from the air before they have a chance to settle on surfaces and create potential health hazards.
- If you’re going through renovations or remodeling your home, using an air purifier can help remove dust and debris from the air so you won’t suffer an allergic reaction or respiratory problems.
- Ozone generators⁵ can also help sanitize your home by removing pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, mold spores, and other micro-organisms that can cause illness.
What Are the Downsides of Air Purifiers?
There are also some drawbacks to using an air purifier. Here are some of the most common ones you should know about before making your purchase.
- Air purifiers can be expensive. It’s not just the cost of buying one, you will also have to pay an ongoing operating and replacement fee for filters or other parts that need replacing as time goes on.
- Some purifiers can be harmful to your health because of the chemicals they use. This is especially true for ozone generators and ionizing air cleaners that release negative ions into the room; these may strip oxygen from water molecules in your body tissue, which will increase oxidative stress on cells and cause damage over time.
- They can be noisy, and they’ll need to run for several hours a day to clean your home’s air supply effectively. If you live with someone sensitive to noise, such as an infant or elderly family member, this could be a problem. Think about where the purifier will sit before making your purchase; if it doesn’t fit into that space due to its size or sound levels, keep looking until you find something that works better.
- Using ionizing purifiers may cause problems with electronic devices like computers and TVs by creating static electricity on their surfaces, damaging internal components over time (especially true of plasma TVs). It might also affect other small appliances like cordless phones and cell phone chargers.
- Negative ion generators can also be dangerous to animals and people who have pacemakers or other internal medical devices. These negative ions may cause problems with people with asthma, so you should ask your doctor before using one if this applies to you.
What Things Should You Consider Before Buying an Air Purifier?
There are a few things you’ll need to consider before buying an air purifier. Here’s what they are and why each is important:
- Think about the size and configuration of your home. Will you need a large purifier that can handle an entire floor or just one small enough to rest on a nightstand?
- If allergies⁶ are your biggest concern, will it be more effective for you to use an ionizing air cleaner with negative ions instead of HEPA filters which reduce allergens by trapping and removing them from the air (though they don’t emit negative ions)?
- If you live near a primary source of pollution, such as a highway or factory, a HEPA purifier with carbon filtration may be your best choice.
- How much can you spend on one? Can you afford it outright without having to finance it over time? Or will you need to shop around for lower prices before buying?
- How loud is it? Can you put up with the noise of an air purifier all day long, or will that be too much for you to handle?
- Is there a warranty included and, if so, how long does it last, and what are its limitations (for instance, some companies won’t cover damage caused by certain chemicals used in ionizing cleaners)?
Other Ways to Improve Air Quality
Although using an air purifier can help you breathe more accessible, it isn’t always the most practical solution. Sometimes other ways are more feasible and maybe just as adequate for your needs.
Here are some suggestions:
- Vacuuming with a HEPA filter will remove dust from carpets that could trigger allergies or asthma attacks in sufferers if left unattended over time.
- Investing in an electronic air cleaner plugs into a wall outlet is another option; they don’t need replacement filters but still effectively clean household air without chemicals (some models include ionizers).
- If you don’t want to spend money on either of these options, simply opening windows when weather permits might be enough to reduce allergens and pollutants in your home, especially if you live on a somewhat busy street or next to an industrial area.
- Steaming clean carpets and upholstery with plain water can also reduce contaminants that may trigger allergies.
- Scrubbing floors every week will pick up the dirt particles that circulate through your house when it’s cleaned by hand (it may be better than using a vacuum since some vacuums don’t have HEPA filters).
Why It's Important to Know the Room Size You Need An Air Purifier For?
An underpowered unit won’t clean the air and one that’s up to size, which could be counterproductive. Plus, it will take much longer to do its job because it’ll have to run constantly to compensate.
How Much Does an Air Purifier Cost on Average?
An electronic air cleaner costs around $90-$300, while a HEPA filter model averages $150-$600 depending on its size and power source (some plug into electrical outlets).
An ionizing unit typically ranges between $50-$200 but varies widely by brand name and features included.
Why It's Important to Know How Loud an Air Purifier Is?
Noisy units can be disruptive and make it difficult for you to concentrate on what you’re doing. Plus, they may wake your spouse or children up when they need sleep the most (or vice versa).
Why It’s Important to Have a Warranty on Your Purchase?
If you’re on a budget, it may be tempting to buy an air purifier with no warranty at all. However, warranties are important for protecting your purchase against defects that can lead to damage or safety hazards down the road.
For electronic units, these are usually limited while HEPA filters have longer coverage periods since they involve more moving parts.
Air purifiers will not completely remove allergens or bacteria, but they can help reduce the number of irritants in your home.
They are a good option for people who want to minimize their exposure to dust and pet dander if they cannot afford an expensive HEPA filter system.
Suppose you’re looking for something more potent than just filtering out particulates.
In that case, an air purifier may be worth it because this type of unit has some benefits over other types of devices like humidifiers, which only add humidity into the air, leading many people with allergies to avoid them altogether.
It is important to weigh up the pros and cons of air purifiers before going out to buy one.