What Is An Air Purifier And Does It Work?

  • By: Monica Shulz

Air purifiers come in many different shapes and sizes; HEPA certified air purifiers, furnace filters, Ionic air cleaners, ozone generators, the list goes on. Air Purifier


With all the money that is spent on researching how to better clean the air we breathe and creating these purifiers to do just that, there has to be some legitimacy to it all.


Air purifiers as we know them may seem like such a new concept.


But really…..


Trying to find a way to purify the air we breathe dates back a solid 200 years around the time of the industrial revolution when coal was a BIG thing.


Thankfully, we have come a long way since the initial dive and coal miners personalized masks.


What You Are Going to Learn

  • How air purifiers work
  • The different types of air purifiers
  • A few useful notes
  • Do air purifiers actually work


How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Although it is hard to imagine the invisible to the naked eye particles that float around us, they are there all the time.


From dust to pollen, mold spores, viruses, bacteria, and pet dander there are a ton of things not only floating around us but that we are breathing in.

Smoke may be a better example because we not only smell it but can also see it too.


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Air purifiers push and pull air in and out and by doing so, filter out all of those aforementioned particles that we cannot always see.


How do they filter them out?


Generally speaking, they use one of three ways.

  1. Filters
  2. Electrical attraction
  3. Ozone


Air filters have fine sieves that pull particles from the air as it is circulated through the machine and pulled through the filter.


These sieves can vary in terms of how fine of a size they are. Which means that they will filter out different sized particles.


HEPA filters, High-Efficiency Particulate Air, set a precedent for other filters of 99.97% efficiency, grabbing that percentage of particles floating in the air as long as they are larger than 0.3 microns.


To gain a sense of how small that is….


The human eye alone cannot see anything smaller than 10 microns.


Wondering about the generic home air conditioner?


They only trap particles 10 microns and up.

Electrical Attraction

The electrical attraction uses… You guessed it.. Electricity. To trap particles.


These air purifiers use electrostatic to draw particles via the fan and then hit them with several high-voltage wires.


You can find this type of air purifier in electret filters, electrostatic precipitation cleaners, and negative ion generators.


These are ideal for people who do not mind a slightly more expensive cost upfront and not having to worry about replacing a HEPA filter which can get costly in and of itself.


You might remember learning about the Earth’s ozone in the atmosphere back in middle school, but they also utilize it when it comes to purifying the air.


It may sound like an oxymoron and really, it is.


Air purifiers that use ozone are not recommended as although they use ozone to destroy bad particles, they also emit ozone.


The ozone in the sky helps us, but on the ground, it hurts us and can further irritate our lungs.

Do Air Purifiers Work?

Just like any other product on the market, some air cleaners work better than others.


However, science and consumer reviews have both proven that the quality of air increases when you are using an air purifier in your home or office.


The people who may be the easiest to ask are those with allergies and or asthma.


Due to the fact that they arguably suffer most from airborne particles, particularly if it is the season or if they have pets in the house, they will notice a difference (in their breathing) much more quickly.


You may think an air purifier will protect you from those harmful outside particles, like if you leave a window open and they come inside.




Mold, Asbestos, Carbon Monoxide, chemicals are all commonly found in our homes and by having an air purifier, you can reduce the effect these harmful items have on you and your family.

Thinking About Purchasing? Keep a Few Things In Mind…

  • Room The efficiency of an air purifier relies on a few things and one is the size of the room. The more often air passes through a filter, the cleaner it will be. Therefore you cannot purchase a small filter for your large living room and expect it to be of superior cleaning.
  • UV light systems. In addition to filters, a lot of brands offer air purifiers with an optional Ultra-violet light system that kills particles like viruses, fungi, and bacteria as soon as it enters the system. For those who get sick often, this may be a preferable option!
  • Ionic air purifiers are known to be the least effective. Not only do they not work as well on chemicals, odors, and gases, but studies have shown that they may sometimes re-circulate the bad particles they initially removed!


So now that you know air purifiers really do work, you may be wondering where you can purchase one for you and your household.


You can easily find ones with HEPA filters or a system that is filterless.


There are a lot of brands to choose from, Honeywell, Molekule and the Air Doctor and all at varying prices!


Due to the fact that there are so many brands to choose from, you shouldn’t have a problem finding air purifiers under $100!!


They really can be quite cheap!


Don’t forget though, that you want a good, air purifier that will clean the air inside your home, or office for you and your family.