What is an air purifier?
An air purifier is an appliance that reduces the concentration of airborne contaminants in a designated area according to the specifications of the particular air purifier. An air purifier is a device that cleans indoor air which is helpful to people who suffer from allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivity and other respiratory related symptoms.
What kind do I need?
The type of air purifier you need depends on the size of the area to be cleaned and what you are trying to remove from the air within that area. Is it pollen, dust, smoke, chemicals? We carry an air purifier for every need and for a variety of room sizes. If after reviewing our website you still cannot decide then just pick up the phone and call Aircon Hire on 1850 839 188.
What is an air cleaner?
An "air cleaner" is another term for an "air purifier". Both are designed to remove indoor air pollutants and particulates. When these types of appliances first came on the market, they were typically called air cleaners, but in recent years, they are primarily referred to as an air purifier.
How do they work?
There are portable room air purifiers, designed to clean a specific size room, and there are whole-house installed air purification systems that work with the HVAC system in a home. A portable room air purifier is the least expensive way to significantly reduce indoor air pollution.
Portable room air purifier models are typically categorized based on their cleaning technology: HEPA filtration, electrostatic precipitation, and negative ion generation. Some air purifier brands use a combination of these technologies. There are also air purifiers which are designed just for chemical removal. In addition to airborne particles some air purifier lines also have technologies which remove viruses, bacteria, fungi, volatile organic compounds, odors, and some gaseous chemicals. Activated carbon blends and a variety of other substances may be used to capture gases and odors. Ultra-violet light is sometimes used.
An air purifier uses fine sieves that filter particles from the air circulating in a room. As air flows into the air purifier, the finer the sieve used, the smaller the particles it traps, even microscopic particles. Depending on the technology used, some air purifier models can also trap gases and odours, along with particles. Different technologies have been developed over the years. Microns are the standard unit used by scientists to measure particles in the air and this standard is also used by the manufacturers of air purifier products. Typically an air purifier will have one or more "air filters" within them in which the pollutants are trapped.
For many years, HEPA filters have been used in air purifiers to filter particles. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are well proven filtration devices and continue to be enhanced by many manufacturers. The benchmark for air filters, HEPA filtration guarantees the air purifier will trap 99.97% of particles larger than 0.3 microns. The human eye can't see a particle smaller than 10 microns so many of the particulates captured cannot be seen, particularly bacteria and viruses. The filters found on room air conditioner models capture only large particles greater than 10 microns. For the smaller particles like dust, smoke, chemicals, pollens, asbestos, etc, HEPA filtration is needed in an air purifier.
The HEPA filtration component is essentially an accordion of very, very fine paper-like filter material. The material is loaded in an accordion or zig-zag fashion so that a very large surface area becomes available for air to be pushed through by the air purifier fan. Over time, the HEPA filter will become full and the air flow will no longer be able to move through the filter so requiring disposal of the used filter and the installation of a new one. HEPA filters typically last a number of years in an air purifier.
The more times the air in a room passes through an air purifier with HEPA filtration, the cleaner the air will become. For the air purifier to be effective it is important that it have the cleaning capacity for the size room in which it will be used. The specifications on the product will indicate what size room it is designed to clean.
Electrical attraction is another technology used by air purifier appliances to trap airborne particles. There are three types of products that use this technology: electrostatic precipitating cleaners, electret filters, and negative ion generators.
Electrostatic precipitating (also called "electronic" air purifiers) draw particles into the unit via a fan and charge them with a series of high-voltage wires. Several plates (the precipitating cells) carry the opposite electrical charge and attract the contaminants as they pass by the plates thus trapping them. They are typically not as effective as HEPA, removing 95% of airborne particles instead of 99.97% in an air purifier. Electret filters use synthetic fibres to create static charges to attract particles. Negative ion generation is a technology that is sometimes used as the sole cleaning agent, or in conjunction with HEPA filtration in an air purifier. Negative ions are emitted into the air which attach to the positively charged particles in the room, clump together and settle out of the air onto a surface.
A type of technology available which should not be used for air cleaning around humans or animals is ozone technology. Ozone is a lung irritant that is emitted from ionic air cleaners, many of which have been taken off the market.
Why do we need an air purifier?
It has been proven time and time again that indoor air is often dramatically more polluted than outdoor air. Indoor air pollution comes from a variety of sources like pets, plants, mould spores, fungi spores, house dust mites, chemicals used in grooming and cleaning, off-gassing of carpets, furniture, and upholstery, and particles from the outdoors such as pollens. The list of things that make indoor air unhealthy to breathe, especially for babies, children, and the elderly is long and growing. The reasons are yet to be determined, but in recent years there has been a dramatic rise across the planet of people reporting the onset of seasonal allergies in their lives for the first time. An indoor air purifier can help people to sleep better and to deal more effectively with environmentally induced stresses such as seasonal allergies. Air purifier product quality varies greatly.
How do we know an air purifier is working?
A day or two after you have installed an air purifier, the room should be cleaner. Breathing should be easier. Morning congestion and allergy symptoms should be lessened. The air in the room should no longer feel heavy. Some air purifier brands have electronic monitors which signal when the filter should be changed. Once an air purifier owner has changed a filter and seen how disgusting they are, one becomes a believer!
Are there side effects to an air purifier?
In a quality, non-ozone producing air purifier, there won't be any side effects other than improved health. The air purifiers that Aircon Hire sell and hire only emit clean air into the room. They do not emit anything that gives off an odour (such as ozone) or puts any chemicals into the air. The bad stuff is removed and clean air is exhausted. That's it. For people who are chemically sensitive, it is important that the air purifier unit itself be constructed of materials which won't off-gas. Aircon Hire sells only products which clean the air, not make it worse. There are poor quality air purifier brands on the market however, which either have such insignificant filtration that they remove very little, or emit harmful ozone.
Does an air purifier cost a lot to use?
There are two issues: power consumption and filter changes to this question. Generally, the high quality air purifier uses a minimum of electricity. They are engineered to be energy-saving. New very eco-friendly models are available which use extremely low wattage.
Different brands vary as far as filter changes go. Some air purifier brands have monitors which indicate when the filters should be changed, some manufacturers stipulate the number of months a filter should last, some filters are very large, some are small. In general, the HEPA filters last a number of years, the gas and odour, or activated carbon filters will need to be changed sooner. It is important to change a pre-filter (which gets the larger pieces of dust and dander) according to the manufacturer's recommendation.
Do I need an air purifier with filters or is filterless okay?
Although a filterless air purifier sounds like the best idea because it would be cheaper to operate, there are several considerations. First, they typically do not work nearly as well as an air purifier with HEPA filtration. Two, people tend to procrastinate on cleaning the filters, thus their effectiveness is greatly diminished.
Filterless air purifiers use electrostatic precipitation technology which has limited use since faster moving air can prevent the particles from adhering to the charged plates inside the air purifier. Large particles such as dust and dander can be collected on plates that are kept clean but do not work well on smaller particles found in smoke, molds, and chemicals. Some electrostatic air purifier models produce harmful ozone as a by-product although the amounts produced may be so minimal that a direct connection to harm may not be verifiable. However, since there are many quality air purifier models available that are ozone-free, there's no good reason to use one that produces any ozone.
An air purifier which effectively removes the toxins that are causing the owner problems is the best kind. In "real life" it is best to have an air purifier with the appropriate filters for the allergens or chemicals that need to be removed from the indoor environment. Clearly, there is no "one size fits all" when it comes to effective indoor air cleaning. The higher quality air purifier units have long lasting filters which can be quickly and easily changed.
How many air purifiers do I need?
If the budget allows it, an air purifier in the bedroom and one in the area in which the occupants spend most of their time are recommended. It is particularly important to sleep in a clean room. The respiratory system slows down at night and it can be more difficult to breathe easily. The cleaner the sleeping room, the better. A room air purifier can be moved from room to room, however, busy people tend not to do it, so it is best to designate an air purifier for the bedroom and one for the main living area. In a very large space, it will be more effective to put multiple small units rather than one large one. That will enable the owner to operate the air purifier at lower, thus quieter, speeds.
Does an air purifier come with filters?
Yes, every air purifier purchased from Aircon Hire whether from our site or by phone contains the filters. Replacement costs are listed on our site for future orders when the filters the unit comes with need to be changed.
When do I run the air purifier?
The air purifiers carried by Aircon Hire are designed to run continuously. The air purifier cleans most effectively and operate most cost effectively when left alone, rather than turned off and on.
Where do I place the air purifier?
If you have a place that is the source of a pollutant (such as an area where someone smokes or where the cat lays most of the time), place the air purifier near the source of the problem. Otherwise, it can be placed anywhere in the room if the room is the size the air purifier is designed to clean. Most air purifier models should not be placed flat against the wall, but it depends on the model. It is generally best that the air purifier be open to the air all around it.
How do I know when to change the filters?
Filter changes depend on the brand and the model. Some air purifier brands have electronic indicators which tell you when to change the filters. Some manufacturers designate a time period that the filter is intended to last.
Is it hard to change the filters?
The different brands vary in design, so it depends on the brand. In general, the air purifiers are designed for quick and easy filter change without tools. Replacement filters come with instructions. Help is also only an email or phone call away.
Where do I begin in figuring out what kind I need?
The place to begin is in becoming clear about the problem you are trying to solve. Air purifier brands vary greatly in their effectiveness for different problems. Some are better at removing particles, some are better at removing chemicals, some do a better job removing mould. For general purpose air cleaning, all of the air purifiers sold by us do a good job or we would not carry them. Many of our customers complain of "morning congestion" which can be remedied by keeping a HEPA air purifier in the bedroom. There are excellent small models for bedrooms. A mouldy basement would require an air purifier that can remove both the airborne mould spores and the musky odour. A home with pets will need an air purifier that can get the dander, a home with a smoker will need an air purifier with lots of activated carbon. Determine the problem, determine the best technology for the problem, measure the room in which the air purifier will go, and choose the right model for the room size.
What is the best air purifier for mould?
We receive more questions about mould than just about anything else, other than seasonal allergy relief. Airborne mould spores are extremely small and can pass by the cilia in the sinuses. They are too small to be exhaled, so they can become lodged within the lung tissue of the body. Mycotoxins, the product of mould metabolism, are even more toxic. It is important to remove concentrations of mould in the home if possible. Although an air purifier will remove the airborne mould particles, if the mould is embedded in surfaces in high concentrations, it should be professionally removed. An air purifier in the bedroom is very necessary if mould is causing a health problem. The musty smell in basements can be removed with an air purifier that is designed to remove mould. Fortunately, a good HEPA air purifier with activated carbon will remove the wide variety of toxins including mould spores.
How do I get rid of dust?
Although dust particles that can be seen by the human eye are aesthetically unpleasant, they are not as much of a health issue as the smaller particles which get past the body's barriers. That is not necessarily the case when it comes to "dust bunnies" which can be composed of dust mites and their fecal material, skin cells, mould spores, pollen, and other nasty items. It is important to clean and vacuum regularly to get the dust bunnies and clumped dust particles. However, the minute you begin to clean, particles become airborne. It is helpful to run an air purifier on the high speed as cleaning progresses. Running an air purifier continuously will help keep the dust down too.
Will an air purifier help with my pets?
A quality air purifier will help reduce the pet dander and odour associated with pets. It will be especially helpful if it can be placed near where the pet spends a lot of time. Cats lick their fur and the saliva dries to a fine dust which becomes airborne, birds shake their feathers, and the super fine dust becomes airborne. Pets also track in allergens from the outdoors which can be removed by an air purifier. The odours associated with urine can also be removed by an air purifier with activated carbon or other absorbent media.
Are air purifiers loud?
The decibel level of an air purifier varies with the speed. Most are fairly loud on the highest speed. It is wise to run the air purifier on high when you're not in the room. The highest speed will enable it to pull the air in from the farthest areas of the space. On the lower speeds, air purifiers are much quieter. Some brands are better designed for quiet operation than others. In general, silent air purifiers don't move much air and don't do much good.