Friday, January 15, 2010
Top 10 Myths About Air Purifiers
1. The “Clean Air Delivery Rate” is a clear way to compare all air cleaners.
Many air cleaners are marketed with a “CADR” rating. This rating is based on a test used by a trade organization; The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. Their test measures an air cleaner’s ability to reduce airborne solid particulate matter and does not test a unit’s ability to reduce gases, odors or microbiological components, which the AHAM says is “outside the scope” of their test. Therefore, if you’re shopping for an air cleaner to reduce airborne chemicals, gases and odors, the CADR rating is not applicable. The only clear way to compare these air cleaners is by filtration media. For example a unit with many pounds of activated carbon will be able to adsorb vastly more pollutants than a thin filter with a sprayed-on layer of carbon. Depth is also an important consideration. The more carbon the pollutants are forced to travel through, the better chance they have of getting caught. So if a carbon filter is three inches deep, it will perform more efficiently that a filter that’s one inch deep.
2. You should buy an air purifier to match the square footage of your room.
Many consumers don’t realize that most recommendations based on square footage only take into account an empty room. Air doesn’t flow as efficiently in rooms with lots of furniture so it’s advisable to ask for a product recommendation based on your most prominent air quality concerns and lifestyle needs.
3. HEPA air purifiers are the most effective.
The poor air quality affecting most homes and businesses today is directly influenced by the numerous everyday products that off-gas chemicals and odors. While an air cleaner with a HEPA (high efficiency particle air) filter is the gold standard in particle filtration; it can’t remove airborne chemicals. Therefore, HEPA alone can not be considered the most effective filtration method.
4. All air purifiers can remove smoke, fumes and odors.
In fact most air purifiers on the market today can not remove any type of airborne chemical, gas or odor. Many online buying guides actually warn consumers to be wary of units which make these claims. That’s because so few air purifiers contain the type of filtration required to extract anything other than dust and other particles. It’s the same principle as equipping a solider with a gas mask that can only remove dust. It wouldn’t offer any protection against airborne toxins because the technology isn’t designed to remove chemicals. AllerAir units were designed primarily to treat the dangerous air borne toxins that other units leave behind. We use the deep bed activated carbon filters as well as a HEPA filters effectively remove smoke, chemicals, gases odors and particles.
5. The most important characteristic of an air purifier is how much dust it can remove.
Dust isn’t the most serious threat to our health when it comes to indoor air pollution, so why buy an air cleaner that only removes dust and other particles? An air purifier should remove all the components of air pollution including chemicals, gases and odors.
6. An air purifier is a luxury item.
Of the thousands of chemicals used in consumer products only a handful have been tested for their effects on humans, even fewer for their effects on children. Chemical lobbyists often tout that their products contain “below legal limits” of a particular toxin, however science is only beginning to study the cumulative effect of life-long exposure to a barrage of chemicals. It will likely be decades or longer before government regulators move to ban harmful chemicals. For more and more average consumers, an air purifier is no longer being seen as a luxury item, but a powerful tool in preventing exposure to common airborne chemicals.
7. Air purifiers can’t contribute to air pollution.
Sounds illogical that a device which claims to clean your air may actually be contributing to your poor indoor air quality, but units that use ozone to clean the air or are made with mostly plastic, styrofoam and other synthetic materials may actually be off-gassing chemicals.
8. Only those who have asthma, allergies or some other illness need an air purifier.
Actually anyone can benefit from cleaner air. According to the World Heath Organization 2.4 million people worldwide die each year from causes directly related to air pollution. That’s three times the number of people who die in car accidents. The simple truth is that if you don’t have an air purifier your lungs are the only thing filtering the air you breathe. Unfortunately, lungs can’t be replaced as easily as a dirty air filter.
9. An air purifier is the “magic bullet” for indoor air quality problems.
While an air purifier can be a key tool in fighting indoor air pollution it can’t solve all air quality problems instantly. It is always advisable to try and address the source of any major factors contributing to poor air quality. Prime examples are mold and radon which must be property remediated. A room affected by long-term smoking meanwhile, may take days, weeks or longer to show a major improvement as the odors and chemicals have likely permeated walls, upholstered furniture and draperies.
10. All air purifiers are basically the same.
Air purifiers vary greatly in design, filtration methods, level of efficiency and price, however very few actually target the wide-range of contaminants present in indoor air. That’s why we believe that carbon filters are a necessity. Why spend the money on an air purifier if your lungs are left to filter airborne chemicals?