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How to Choose the Best Air Purifier
Air purifiers play an important role in eliminating air contaminants such as dust, smoke, bacteria, Chemical fumes, gases and other pollutants in the atmosphere. Finding the best purifier for your home or office depends on the kind of research you do before deciding to purchase.
Although different airs purifiers exist in the market, not all can satisfy your requirements. Some of the air filters are more effective as opposed to others. Having more information before purchasing an air purifier helps in identifying the qualities or features of the filter such as; filter life indicator, technological advancement, and other essential features.
Intense research will help in determining the effectiveness of the air purifier in removing airborne particles from the air. For example, higher quality purifier can eliminate up to 99.97% of particles, whereas low-end quality can eliminate only 30% of particles.
If you are thinking of purchasing an air purifier, it is advisable to take your time to get more information about the best purifier. Below are different types of purifier available in the market.
Don’t worry, we were frustrated once too, and that is why we put together all of this information including reviews of the top 5 Best Air Purifiers and the most popular.
Types of Air Purifiers
It is essential to know how every technology operates before choosing the right air purifier that meets your specifications. Here are the five most common types of air purifiers in the market.
Ozone air purifier
Ozone is a critical feature of the atmosphere. Many purifiers use ozone since it serves best in protecting people from UV rays and other air contaminants. These types of purifiers are used to pump ozone into the residential air. Ozone purifiers are best applied for emergency reasons and commercial purposes. Ozone purifiers are also used to clean mildew and mode in case there are floods in your home.
UV air purifier
Most probably you are conversant with UV light, but chances are you don’t know that it can be used in creating a healthier atmosphere in your home. UV purifiers convert electromagnetic radiation to destroy pathogens in the air and other types of bacteria that may be dangerous. These filters are also used to handle challenges in your home caused by yeast, viruses, and mold.
Unfortunately in case of dust, allergens and solid material in the air this high-tech option cannot be applicable. Chemical fumes, gases, and cigarette smoke cannot be cleared using UV air purifiers. As a result of this, most people will prefer to combine UV purifiers with other filters to ensure that the whole spectrum is covered.
Another way to maintain health and clean home is by use of the carbon filter. The activated carbon in this filter is produced in a granular and sometimes as powdered block. These filters have a big surface area which helps in absorbing a large number of contaminants and allergens. When combined with HEPA units’ carbon filtration perform best in removing smoke, pet hairs, mold, and dust.
Ionic air purifier
These are filters constructed around ion generators. The ionic generators attract dust, allergen particles, and other debris. It is easier to sweep the dust without inhaling them. These purifiers are effective in removing second-hand smoke. Before considering purchasing this ionic air purifier, you need to be careful as they also produce ozone which is dangerous when inhaled.
HEPA air purifier
HEPA air purifiers can be used in residential homes, beauty salon and hospitals. There are three separate components used to filter small particles in the atmosphere. The initial filtration component intercepts particles from the atmosphere. Impaction method is used to remover larger particles. Diffusion method distorts the flight of these particles, facilitating interception and impaction to perform their roles. Today HEPA are the best filters in the market. However, it is advisable to do thorough research before purchasing an air purifier.
A Brief History of Air Purifiers
The primary purpose of air purifiers is to eliminate harmful and irritating contaminants from the atmosphere or at least to prevent them from finding their way into our respiratory systems. The air pollutants come in many forms including pollen, dust, mold spores, pet dander, smoke, and dust mites among others. Although air purifiers are ubiquitous today, very few people have thought about the history of these essential items. The truth is that air purifiers, as we know them today, have come a long way. Below is a brief description of their history.
The 16th Century
The concept of air filters first emerged in the 16th century when Leonardo da Vinci came up with the idea that a soft cloth material dipped in water could protect sailors from inhaling harmful powders that were used as weapons. This was followed by the development of a protective air respirator. The product would be worn on a person’s nose, and mouth with the aim of filtering the air breathed in through it. As a result, it protected the wearer from inhaling air contaminated with harmful impurities such as vapors, fumes, gases, and particles.
The 1700s to 1800s
Although the industrial revolution brought a positive transformation of societies in the western countries, it also came with myriad environmental challenges. As a result, this period saw significant advancements insofar as air filtration technology is concerned.
While working as a mining engineer in 1799, Alexander von Humboldt developed a simple air-purifying respirator. Later on, Lewis Haslet built the Haslet Air Protector and had it patented in 1848. It used wet wool and a clapper valve to remove dust particles from the air.
In the 1870s, Hutson Hurd developed the cup-shaped mask and received its patent in 1879. Eventually, the mask would become commonplace for industrial workers. The manufacturer, Hurd’s H.S. Cover Company, was still producing these masks in the 1970s.
In the 1900s, more efficient air purifying devices were developed. For instance, in the 1940s, the US Atomic Energy Commission and the US Army Chemical Corporation came up with the first High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. The aim of these filters was to protect people from inhaling tiny radioactive particles emitted by chemical warfare elements. These purifiers would later be identified by the acronym, HEPA.
The early HEPA filters were built with rigid frames, and they had a minimum particle removal efficiency rate of 99.97 percent. They were first used in World War II, as a part of the Manhattan Project, during the development of the first atomic bomb. After the war, the US government declassified the technology giving way to residential and commercial applications.
Originally, HEPA air filters contained African or Bolivian asbestos components, which were not readily available in the United States and there was growing concern over the toxicity of their fiber. Besides, there was uncertainty surrounding the future availability of these materials. Therefore, the US government called upon Arthur D. Little, Inc to develop domestically available HEPA filters using other non-combustible materials. They came up with the Absolute Filter, which was absolutely fire resistant. Eventually, the commercial use of asbestos in the production of HEPA air filters was abandoned.
Modern Air Purifiers
The modern air purifiers as we know them were first developed in Germany by Klaus Hammes in 1963. The system had filter pads attached to the air outlet of coal ovens. It was used to trap dust found in cold air as it went up due to temperature increase. Its main purpose was to slow down the buildup of black dust on the walls of ovens. However, with time, it was discovered that it reduced cases of asthma flare-ups.
Later on, Klaus Hammes and his son Frank developed carbine air filters for vehicles and eventually, Frank focused on air purifiers powered by fans. In the 1990s, he worked with a team of engineers from Germany and Switzerland to develop a highly effective and efficient consumer pact air purifier.
Clearly, the air purifiers that we often take for granted today have come a long way. Over the years, humans have tried to come up with innovative ways of ensuring that they protect themselves from inhaling toxic or irritating particles found in the atmosphere. In the process, they have gradually developed complex and highly efficient air purification products that we know today.
Overall, it is apparent that the evolution of air purifiers has been going on since the 16th century when Leonardo da Vinci thought of using wet soft cloth materials to create air filters to prevent sailors from inhaling toxic gases used as weapons. More complex air filtration and air purification systems were then developed during the industrial revolutions and in the 20th century. Today, air purification systems are more effective and efficient than ever before. Besides, there are many different types available in the market that can serve different purposes with the overall aim of creating clean and fresh environments in homes and even in commercial settings. Thus, if you are shopping for an air purification unit, you should familiarize yourself with the various options available to ensure that you get a product that will serve your intended purposes.