Air cleaners, also called air purifiers, can help improve the quality of the air in your home by removing dust, pet dander, mold, or other irritants.
Air cleaners range from portable to whole-house models. You can even get mini, refrigerator, and car air purifiers. Whole-house air cleaners offer the greatest efficiency but typically cost more than other options and sometimes require professional installation.
AIR PURIFICATION TECHNOLOGIES
Every air purification technology has its strengths and weaknesses. In which case, an air purifier that offers multiple technologies is generally best, in order to combine the advantages, and eliminate the disadvantages of each air purification method.
Hepa Air Filtration
Hepa air filters are the most efficient type of air filter available. They are 99.97% effective at removing particles as small as 0.3 microns.
Hepa Air Filter Strengths
Removal of dust, pollens, mold spores, dust mites, and other allergens.
Removal of many bacteria.
Solid particles captured are not released into the air again.
Hepa Air Filter Weaknesses
Difficult time removing airborne particles from across the room, since they must be drawn through the filter.
Do not remove chemical fumes, gases, cigarette smoke or odors.
Do not capture ultra-fine particles, viruses or germs.
Micro-organisms captured in filter can breed and/or reproduce, resulting in increased micro-organism populations.
An air ionizer creates negative ions, which change the polarity of airborne particles, causing them to magnetically attract together. As a result, they become to large to remain airborne, and fall out of the air that you breathe in. The most effective ionizers use a stainless steel "needlepoint" to produce negative ions.
Air Ionizer Strengths
Removal of particles from the air, including ultra-fine particles as small as 0.01 microns.
Neutralization of viruses, bacteria, cigarette smoke and chemical fumes.
Can circulate throughout the room to remove airborne particles that are across the room from where the air purifier sits.
Air Ionizer Weaknesses
Does not collect many or most of the airborne particles removed from the air.
Does not remove odors.
Does not kill germs, fungi (although it does remove them from the air), and not all viruses.
Does not remove all chemicals.
GERMICIDAL UV LAMP
Ultraviolet (UV) lamps effectively destroy micro-organisms that pass by the bulb, including germs, viruses, bacteria, and fungi (such as mold). UV Light radiation is recommended by the Centers of Disease Control to prevent illness and disease.
Eureka Forbes Euroair Geneus Air Purifier - Contains UV Lamp
UV Lamp Strengths
Ability to destroy micro-organisms, such as germs, viruses, bacteria, and fungi (including mold).
Helps prevent illness and disease.
UV Lamp Weaknesses
No affect on particulate, including most allergens.
No affect on chemical fumes, gases, or cigarette smoke.
No affect on odors, unless designed to produce ozone, which may not be desired under all circumstances. Some UV lamps are designed not to produce ozone.
ACTIVATED CARBON AIR FILTER
Activated carbon air filters consist of a vast system of pores of molecular size. These pores are highly adsorbent, forming a strong chemical bond/attraction to odorous, gaseous, and liquid contaminates.
Activated Carbon Air Filter Strengths
The most absorbent filter available, making it highly effective it capturing chemical fumes, gases, cigarette smoke, and odors.
Does not release captured contaminates back into the air.
Activated Carbon Air Filter Weaknesses
Does not effectively remove dust and other allergens.
Does not effectively capture micro-organisms.
Has a difficult time removing contaminates from across the room, since they must travel through the filter.
Eureka Forbes Euroair 2000 Air Purifier - Contains Filters
Ozone is a highly reactive oxidant that destroys certain bacteria and chemicals, including odor-causing bacteria and chemical agents. Ozone is highly effective against strong odors, but is not always needed or wanted under normal circumstances. In which case, it is best if it can be completely turned off if not desired.
Highly effective against odors, including cigarette smoke odors.
Helps to destroy certain chemicals and bacteria.
The smell of it can be bothersome to some.
Can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat if occurring in high enough concentrations.
No affect on solid particles, such as allergens.
Does not neutralize most chemicals.
Particle Removal & Collection
Certain technologies have little effect in removing solid particles from the air. UV purifiers or ozone air purifiers without a separate ionizer (such as needlepoints, many only produce small amount of ions as byproduct) and/or a Hepa air filter will not be able to remove dust and other allergens from the air, the most common types of airborne pollutants people want removed.
Ionizers without a filter can remove solid particles, but do not actually collect much of the particulate. Hepa air filters, such as the filter used on the Surround Air "Multi-Tech" Air Purifier, capture allergens and other particulate, removing them from the environment, while preventing them from re-entering the air.
Removal of Chemicals, Gases, & Smoke
Other air purification technologies are ineffective at these common contaminates, created by household cleaners, construction materials, cigarettes, etc. Activated carbon air filters are the most absorbent type of filter for chemicals, while Hepa air filters have not effect on these pollutants. The Surround Air "Multi-Tech" Air Purifier uses an activated carbon air filter in addition to its Hepa air filter.
Destruction of Micro-Organisms
Ozone and negative ions have some ability to destroy certain micro-organisms, but UV (ultraviolet) light is the most effective at destroying the greatest variety of micro-organisms. UV light destroys viruses, germs, bacteria, and fungi (such as mold) in order to help prevent illness and disease. The Surround Air "Multi-Tech" Air Purifier incorporates a UV lamp, ionizer, and ozone generator (which can be completely turned off) to team up against micro-organisms.
Thorough Coverage Throughout the Home
Multiple Units Most Effective. The most effective way, and sometimes even the more economical way to purify the air throughout the room is through the use of multiple portable air purifiers. Some companies claim their portable air purifier will purify an entire home. However, this is an inaccurate claim due to the fact that portable air purifiers cannot normally purify more than one room or open area at a time. Even an air purifier that uses negative ions (ionizer) and ozone purification cannot effectively circulate the ions and ozone throughout a home.
Negative Ions and Ozone Cannot Purify Entire Home. Negative ions have a short life (typically about 30 seconds), and can cover an area of up to about 500 sq. ft. Ozone can travel farther before breaking down to oxygen, but ozone is not effective against most common and important indoor air pollutants (except for odors).
Portable Better Than Central. The other option for purifying the air throughout a home is with an in-duct air cleaner. In-duct air purifiers are not as effective as a portable unit on a room-to-room basis. Plus, it is difficult to find an in-duct air purifier that can offer multiple technologies.
Quantity Pricing. The main limitation to using multiple air purifiers in a home or office is cost. Most room air purifiers cost Rs 10,000 or more per unit, making it cost-prohibitive to use multiple units for most people. The Surround Air "Multi-Tech" Air Purifier is priced as low as Rs 6,000 per unit (for the purchase of six or more units).
The most effective air purification technologies for eliminating odors are ozone purification and activated carbon air filtration. Ozone is a highly reactive and powerful oxidant capable of destroying odor-causing bacteria, while activated carbon is the most absorbent type of filter for removing chemical odor-causing agents. Using a combination of the two technologies, as is done in the Surround Air "Multi-Tech" Air Purifier, is the best way to remove odors.
Ozone is great for environments where strong odors exist, but can be overbearing when they do not, since ozone has its own scent. In which case, it is important to be able to control the ozone output, or even to be able to turn the ozone completely.
Air filters serve as a breeding ground for micro-organisms. The fabrics within an air filter allow micro-organisms attached to trapped dust particles to reproduce and/or breed. In which case, it is imperative that an air purifier (such as a Hepa filter) have a sanitizing device located next to the filter. Otherwise, the growing populations of microbes will be circulated into the air. A UV lamp, ionizer, or ozone generator can be used for this purpose, although a germicidal UV lamp is most effective at destroying micro-organisms.
The UV lamp in the Surround Air "Multi-Tech" Air Purifier is placed directly behind the air filter cartridge, enabling it to thoroughly sanitize the air filter. The Multi-Tech also has an ozone generator located near the filter that can be activated for even added filter sanitization.
Price and Replacement Costs
Price Can Be Deceiving. In the air purifier market, there are inexpensive air purifiers that are very effective, and extremely expensive air purifiers that do not clean the air very well at all. In which case, cost is not necessarily the way to determine the best air purifier for your situation. Instead, the criteria given in this Air Purifier Buying Guide is a better way to judge an air purifier.
Know the Replacement Costs. It is also important to verify replacement costs before buying an air purifier, so you understand the total lifetime cost. Some air filters cost a few thousand rupees a year in replacement filters.
Replacement costs for the Surround Air "Multi-Tech" Air Purifier are minimal, consisting only of the Hepa/Activated Carbon filter cartridge and the UV lamp, which last 1-2 years and 1 year respectively.
Many air filters consume heavy amounts of power so it is important to verify the wattage used by an air purifier.
The Surround Air "Multi-Tech" Air Purifier uses just 40 watts of electricity, costing lesser rupees in power consumption, if run continuously.
Air filtration units with a high wattage rating may be capable of drawing large volumes of air through the unit, but they are also very noisy. As a result, you trade in air pollution for noise pollution.
The Surround Air "Multi-Tech" Air Purifier has a powerful fan. However, it is very quiet, even on the highest setting, and will not disturb the peace and quiet in your home.
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