Filterless Air Purifiers

There are several different types of filterless air purifiers on the market and each company, naturally, wants prospective customers to believe that its product is better than the competition. To achieve this goal, companies spend a great deal of money on various marketing promotions that tout the benefits and downplay any drawbacks. Often, a company will utilize important-sounding scientific studies to back up their claims of having the best product. For consumers, all the hype means that careful research should be done before making a final decision. Fortunately, research is easy to do. Many websites provide helpful information on how purifying units operate. One of the most well-known consumer protection companies has conducted its own experiments and evaluation of various types of filterless air purifiers. The findings of this company may help consumers in the decision-making process. Seeking good advice is wise. King Solomon wrote: "When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things" (Proverbs 2:10-12). Though manufacturers aren't necessarily evil, their advertising could be equated to a man speaking "froward things." The wise person finds out the truth behind the hype before making a major purchasing decision.

A purifier of any type, generally speaking, draws in stale air and cleanses it from any impurities. For example, cooking odors and cigarette smoke are actually microscopic particles floating in the atmosphere. A person who has pet allergies is actually reacting to the microscopic pet dander located on the pet and floating near the animal and throughout the room. These particles get inside people's noses and lungs as they breathe. For people with allergies, breathing in such allergens causes discomfort and, in more severe cases, even illness. Using filtered or filterless air purifiers can help those with allergies because the units cleanse the atmosphere. People with asthma or other breathing conditions may also find it useful to have such a unit in room where they spend a lot of time. For example, many people enjoy having a purifying unit in the bedroom. Some units have fans that make a soft whirring noise. The fans can be either a blessing or a curse. Some individuals like the white noise effect of a whirring fan. They sleep better having the fan on. Other individuals find the noise disturbs their sleep.

The filterless air purifiers operate using different technologies. Most do not have fans as part of the unit. The most common type is probably the electronic or electrostatic purifier. This type of unit uses static electricity and opposite charges to trap odor particles and other contaminants in a collection system. Another popular purifier emits ions into the room or house. An ionic unit doesn't really capture impurities the way the electrostatic unit does. Instead, the ionized particles come together into clumps. The heavy clump of particles falls to the floor or adheres to the walls or furniture. A person may not be able to see the clumps, but make no mistake they are in the room. Technology provides additional options to consumers. A photocatalytic purifier uses oxidants to eliminate odor particles and other atmospheric contaminants. Plasmacluster ionic units actually use positive and negative charges to destroy impurities by floating particles on water molecules. This type of technology is often combined with filters or ozone. The technology being used to improve filterless air purifiers is actually quite fascinating. It's also rather amazing, and disconcerting, to realize how much microscopic activity is going on under our very noses with particles becoming clumps and floating on water molecules.

A filtered system uses, as the name suggests, some type of filter to capture and trap impurities and contaminants. Practically every homeowner knows that an important part of proper home maintenance is either replacing or cleaning the heating/ac unit's filters on a regular basis. The bother of cleaning and the cost of replacing filters are marketing points used by the manufacturers of filterless air purifiers. But the claims are a tad bit misleading. Most, if not all, filterless units also require some type of cleaning or maintenance in order to work efficiently. An uncleaned filterless unit can not do the job it's intended to do when trapped particles become too many or too large. In fact, the trapped impurities may be blown back into a room if the purifier is ignored for too long.

Both filtered and filterless air purifiers utilize technology to clean a room or home from impurities and contaminants. Both types of units will need maintenance and cleaning to function properly. Before making a purchasing decision, the wise consumer will want to do thorough research on exactly how a particular purifier operates. The consumer may wish to consider such factors as whether a fan is part of the unit and, if so, the amount of noise the fan creates. Cost will almost certainly be a primary factor when making a purchase. The consumer will want to consider the initial cost as well as related costs for cleaning and maintenance. Buying replacement filters can be costly, but usually the initial cost of a filtered purifier is much less than a filterless unit. The consumer will need to balance these expenses. Another important factor is the size of the room that needs to be purified. Naturally, the larger units will purify larger areas; however, they also cost more. These are all important factors when evaluating filtered and filterless air purifiers. But with careful research and thought, a consumer should be able to make a good purchasing decision.

Electrostatic Air Purifiers

Filterless electrostatic air purifiers use the principles of static electricity to purify the atmosphere. These may be the most popular type of purifier on the market. Basically speaking, incoming air is electrically charged by the unit and the dust particles and other contaminants are electrically zapped with the opposite charge. This electrical charging causes the impurities to be trapped in a collection system. Other types of filterless systems include ionics, photocatalytic units, and plasmacluster ionics. An ionics system emits ions into the home that attract dust particles and other microscopic impurities. The particles clump together and either fall to the floor or adhere to the wall or furniture. Though the ionics systems are also very popular, they aren't really clearing out the microscopic impurities in a room. The photocatalytic system actually destroys chemicals and odors by using ultraviolet light and metal semiconductors to produce oxidants. Plasmacluster ionics systems use electrical charges to attract particles to floating water molecules; the particles are then destroyed. As technology advances continue, a system that actually destroys contaminants, instead of just trapping them, may leapfrog over the electrostatic air purifiers in terms of popularity and sales.

A conventional purifying system uses filters. This technology is often referred to as HEPA which stands for High Efficiency Particulate Arresting. Many homeowners have HEPA systems in their homes and face the routine chore and costs of replacing filters. The marketers of filterless purifying systems sometimes use that dislike of maintaining a filtered system in their advertising. Though it's true that a filterless system eliminates the costs of buying replacement filters, it's not true that the filterless system is maintenance-free. Filterless systems such as the electrostatic air purifiers still need to be cleaned. The homeowner will want to pay attention and follow the manufacturer's instructions to keep the unit operating at peak efficiency. If the unit isn't cleaned properly, the collection grid will not be able to trap additional impurities on top of the build-up of dust particles and contaminates. Eventually, these impurities may even be blown back into the space. It's amazing that this could happen with microscopic impurities, but it does. It's one of those miracles of creation. "Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out. For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof: Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly" (Job 36:26-28).

Systems such as the filterless electrostatic air purifiers sometimes release minute amounts of ozone into area being purified. Ozone is one of several trace gases that make up the earth's atmosphere. Other trace gases are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and water vapor. Everyone knows that people need oxygen to survive. Ozone is made up of molecules that consist of three oxygen atoms and plays an important role in protecting all forms of life from the sun's deadly ultraviolet rays. The trace gases are sometimes referred to as greenhouse gases because, like a greenhouse, the gases allow the sun's rays to enter the atmosphere and then trap the sun's heat. If that didn't happen, the earth would be too cold to sustain life. This is why there is concern about the possibilities of holes in the ozone layer above earth's atmosphere. In addition to being a naturally-occurring trace gas, ozone is created when fossil fuels are burned and as output in some purifying systems. According to some research, this created ozone is only dangerous when it's super-concentrated in a small enclosed space. A person who is exposed to too much ozone may get a severe headache. But the amount of ozone that may be released by filterless units such as electrostatic air purifiers isn't enough to create any health issues. The fresh smell after a cleansing rain is actually a concentration of ozone.

For many people, purifiers are a great addition to the comfort of a home. Perhaps someone in the family has an allergy to a beloved pet. Getting rid of the dog or the cat isn't an option, but no one wants the family member to suffer either. A purifier can help rid the atmosphere of pet dander and other allergens. Though this may not be a total cure-all, the purified air may alleviate the worst allergy symptoms. People who smoke in their homes often need systems such as electrostatic air purifiers to keep the acrid odor of cigarette smoke from lingering in the air. However, a system that actually destroys particles instead of trapping them may be more effective at keeping the odor of smoke from settling onto furniture or draperies. Cooking odors and other pollutants also create particles that can be trapped or destroyed by purifying systems.

Systems such as electrostatic air purifiers are usually more expensive than filtered HEPA units. Homeowners may find, however, that a small unit that purifies the atmosphere in a bedroom or a family room is worth the investment. As with all major purchases, consumers are encouraged to do their research and compare different technologies, sizes, and prices before making a final decision. People with allergies, asthma, and other breathing conditions especially will want to purchase the best system that they can afford to provide additional comfort in their homes. The best solution may be to purchase two or more smaller units instead of one large one. By properly researching electrostatic air purifiers and newer technologies, such as the plasmacluster ionics systems, the consumer can be assured of making the best purchasing decision for her family.

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