Air quality is a serious issue. It has made headlines over the past year as concerns grow around filtering contaminants like wildfire particulate matter and viruses from the air we breathe.
While wearing face masks to protect from the coronavirus is ever on the mind, the air quality of your home is often overlooked. Fuel-burning appliances, deteriorating insulation, newly-installed carpets, household cleaning products and outdoor air pollution are just a few of the sources of unhealthy air quality inside, where you live, eat and sleep.
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Thankfully, air purifiers can greatly improve indoor air quality in large and small spaces alike.
In very basic terms, air purifiers remove particles and pollutants that can trigger allergy symptoms or lead to negative long-term health effects. There are multiple proven methods and technologies for doing so, and these can vary from brand to brand.
With the extraordinary events of the past year like widespread wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic creating a larger interest in air quality, many homeowners and renters are buying air purifiers for the first time.
We’ve tested a number of air purifiers in our lab and have spoken to experts on the efficacy of their technologies. Here’s everything you need to know about air purifiers, including the all-important question of if you should be using one in your home.
What does an air purifier do?
Stagnant household air can become polluted by countless sources: asbestos, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, pesticides and lead, just to name a few. These harmful pollutants can lead to both short- and long-term health effects, ranging from mild allergy-like symptoms to respiratory diseases and cancer, when the space in which they roam doesn’t offer adequate ventilation.
Air purifiers can help to remove or reduce pollutants by using a combination of physical filters, devices, chemicals, and techniques. By doing so, air purifiers can improve the indoor air quality of your home, help soothe allergy and asthma symptoms, and get rid of toxins in the air.
How do air purifiers work?
To understand how an air purifier works, you need to understand the different types of filtration and removal technology on the market. As mentioned, air purifiers may use physical filtration processes, while others may remove particles chemically. Some use a combination of these.