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What's an Air Purifier Exactly?

Most people have heard about air purifiers, but what are they and how do they work? Why would it benefit your life and health? Find out everything you need to know right here!
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2021 ushered in over 20 new air purifier models that are now available on the marketMany of these models have introduced new technologies that most people haven’t heard about before. While these air purifiers might take you a step closer to kicking out all the allergens and VOCs in your home, it makes purchasing one a daunting task, especially if you have no idea where to start when shopping for an air purifier.

Well, lucky for you!

Here’s a detailed guide to help you navigate the world of air purifiers.

The Basics

An Air Purifier- The Basics

Break down the words “air” and “purifier,” and you realise that an air purifier simply purifies the air.

However, the main question is how these systems work. Do they work through the miracles of science? Do you spin a wand, and ‘voila’ all pollutants in your home are gone? The answer is much more straightforward than you think.

Here’s the trick:

Well, according to EPA, air purifiers rid the air of airborne contaminants by trapping them in filters.

Dust, cigarette smoke, mould spores, dust mites, pet dander, chemicals, and odours are a few airborne contaminants that an air purification system can capture, so you can decide between ionic vs HEPA air purifiers. However, depending on the specific technology that the air unit uses, specific air purifiers are more adept and safer at capturing particles.

Types of Air Purifiers

Types of Air Purifiers

#1. HEPA Air Purifiers

True HEPA1  filters entrap 99.97% of airborne particles up to .03 microns. Moreover, because of the technology used in hepa air cleaner, airborne bacteria and viruses can’t multiply in the filters and spread throughout your indoors. However, you need to beware of air systems that claim to have a True HEPA filter but instead have a HEPA-blend filter.

#2. Ozone Generators

Even though ozone generators are efficient in trapping odours, they release high levels of ozone, a common respiratory irritant. Most commercial industries and hotels use an ozone generator in their smoke-allowing rooms to entrap smoke odours, check this article air cleaner for allergies.

#3. Electrostatic Precipitators

Through charging incoming particulates with negative electrical charges, these negatively charged particles collect onto electrostatic plates.


Trying to maintain the electrostatic2  precipitators is challenging since the metal plates can become overrun with particles. Furthermore, with ozone as a by-product, this once highly sought-after filtration option has all but disappeared in homes.

#4. Ultraviolet Light Air Purifiers

By using radiation from UV3  lights, the UV Light air units get rid of particles like bacteria, viruses, and mould spores. They do this by passing these contaminants and killing them instantly. Unlike filters and plates that collect particles as they pass through, ultraviolet light purifiers penetrate the outer structure of a microorganism’s cell, altering its DNA permanently and averting replication and, eventually, cell death.

#5. Activated Carbon Air Purifiers

They work by involving a highly porous form of carbon that is heated to extreme temperatures to increase the surface area.

Let me tell you more:

Once the activated carbon has a surface area of 500 m2, the work begins. However, it’s vital to note that even though these purifiers don’t trap particulates, they’re instrumental at trapping chemicals, odours, VOCs, and off-gassing.

Other Vital Factors

What Other Factors Are Vital When Choosing an Air Purifier?

When shopping for an air purifier, you need to ensure that you consider some essential features like the:

CFM: It stands for cubic feet per minute, and the number provides insight into the efficiency of the air purifier, namely how many cubic feet per minute this air purifier can scrub.


The CFM number mainly describes the amount of air that passes through the system at a certain point, and it’s usually measured as the air exits the air purification system. The higher the CFM count, the larger the home or office space, the air purifier can rid of pollutants.

To figure out how high the number of your air unit needs to be, you need to know the size of your home. A rule of thumb is that you require about 100 CFM for every 250 square feet of space. If you’re looking for a small air unit, for instance, you’ll need about 100 CFM. Most air purifiers typically have about 400 CFM. 

Noise Level: When operating at high speed, air purifiers can be noisy. Therefore, be on the lookout for the lowest decibels possible. It enables you to have an undisturbed sleep, especially at night, when it’s all quiet.


LED lights are instrumental in communicating the status of the air. Nevertheless, they can, at times, be irritating to the eyes, especially at night. Hence, an air purifier with an LED on/off option or automatic dim feature would be the perfect option.

CADR, or Clean Air Delivery Rate: It’s a standard of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers and is the clean air delivery rate. The CADR measures the cleaning speed of the air purifier for eliminating smoke, dust, and pollen. Be sure to look for a purifier with a CADR of at least 300, and above 350 for the best results.

Common Questions

What Is An Air Purifier And How Does It Work?

What Are The Benefits Of An Air Purifier? 

Where Should You Place Your Air Purifier?

Is It Advisable To Sleep With An Air Purifier?

In Conclusion

There are several factors to consider when selecting an air purifier for your family. You can choose to consider the size of the unit and how it blends with your furniture and walls, or its convenience based on your home needs. And, luckily you have 5 types to choose from!

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson

Mark advises business, individuals, and organisations on how to use and get the best purifiers so as to maintain their offices and homes. For a fresher and cleaner environment, he is the man for you. He loves ideas and concepts and uses his skills to make them a reality.

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