Often without realizing it, the air we are breathing inside our homes is far from clean. The use of air purification devices is a growing trend in households up and down the country.
We may believe that the air in our homes is clean and safe because we keep the house clean and looking nice. However, in many cases it may not be quite as clean as it appears.
To vastly improve the quality of the air in your home, use an air purifier in each room to continually clean airborne toxins and particulates from air.
What is Bad in the Air?
While energy efficient windows and doors may be relatively effective at keeping pollutants out of the home, they are also responsible for also trapping in a lot of undesirable airborne particulates.
Pollutants such as gaseous discharge from cleaning products, furniture components and building materials; smoke produced from cooking, wood and coal burning, tobacco; mold; dust mites and pet dander all collectively contribute to an unhealthy indoor atmosphere that can have ill effects on human health.
The air quality gets even worse if you use a lot of chemical cleaning products each day or if you use insecticide sprays or plug-in vaporizers to kill flies and mosquitoes.
Fine particulates of 10 micrometers in diameter or smaller, which includes those found in general house dust and smoke, are of special concern. This is because they can be inhaled deep into the lungs.
Breathing in these particles for several hours or even days is sufficient to aggravate the lungs and lead to asthma attacks. This has also been linked to triggering heart attacks in people that have heart disease.
According to information provided by the EPA, long-term exposure to high airborne particle levels has links to bronchitis, reduced lung function and even premature death.
There are other airborne irritants to be aware of, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These include particulates of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen (cause of cancer), released into the air from paints, adhesives, and certain cleaning products.
These can cause irritation in the sensitive tissues of the nose, throat and eyes. They can also cause headaches and nausea. They can also cause damage to the liver, kidneys and nervous system.
Some toxic gases, such as radon, when found in the home's atmosphere can cause lung cancer and death.
How Air Purifiers Tackle Airborne Pollutants
To improve indoor air quality, the best way is to remove the source pollutants and ventilate the indoor air with clean outdoor air. However, this may not always be viable.
Air purifiers can help when the above methods are insufficient or not at all possible. Also known as air cleaners or air sanitizers, air purifiers filter the air in a single room. To clean the air in an entire house, as central air conditioning does would require multiple portable air purifiers, with one working in each room. While they indeed help to reduce the instance of indoor pollution, there are still limits to what they are capable of.
A good quality air purifier will also be fitted with a HEPA filter for additional cleaning power. Multiple studies conducted about portable air purifiers have shown that the use of HEPA filters will result in the reduction of air pollutants and particulate matter of 50 percent or higher.
It should be noted that an air purifier can remove toxins and allergens while they're floating in the air. However, larger and heavier allergens, such as mold spores, mites and pollen, tend to settle to the ground more quickly and the air purifier may not always capture them in time.
Finally, common sense tells us that it is better to use an air purifier to remove as much of the toxic pollutants that are in the air as possible so that at least the air is not so detrimental to our health as it would be if left unfiltered.
To learn more about purifying the air in our homes, please reference the additional articles listed below: