Did you know that Americans spend approximately $500 million each year on air purifiers? That’s a lot of cash. But, what’s even more surprising is that they’re spending more each year. But, why would this number continue to grow year over year? Is it a fad? A greater awareness of air pollution in general?
We believe that the increasing popularity of air purifiers is tied to the growing number of people who suffer from allergies and asthma. Many of which are constantly suffer from contaminants and pollution in the air we breathe each day; especially the air in our homes. If you’re suffering on a daily basis an investment, typically under $1,000 is easy to justify.
So, do air purifiers reduce dust?
Yes. They do reduce airborne dust, but once it settles a purifier is pretty much useless. So to keep your home’s dust problem under control you’ll have to do a lot more to keep dust at bay.
But why bother with a purifier for your home?
Isn’t the problem more closely associated with the air outside? Not at all. In fact, he air inside a typical household is dirtier in comparison to the air outside. The reason behind this is that a house can be a huge source of contaminants. Mold and mold spores develop with the help of moisture. Meanwhile, bacteria and dust particles circulate throughout the house because of the use of cooling and heating systems. Other contaminants include fur and dander from household pets.
Beyond that newer homes are much more energy efficient. This is typically due to a more robust barrier between indoor space and the structure’s exterior. This is great for your heating and cooling bill. But, it’s terrible for getting rid of bad air. The end result is that a typical household has more concentrated contaminants compared to outdoors. the EPA estimates an average of five times more indoors than out. And, some homes may be hundreds of times worse.
These contaminants are not immediately harmful to most healthy adults. However, they can be lethal to younger children and people suffering from allergies and respiratory disease. Reducing dust and other contaminants can help lessen the symptoms of allergies and respiratory ailments. One way of doing this through the use of air purifiers.
In fact, several scientific studies focus on the air purifiers’ ability to remove dust, allergens and other contaminants from the air.
This article will discuss the efficiency of air purifiers in eliminating airborne contaminants.
The Case for Air Purifiers
There are many ways in which people can benefit from air purifiers. Especially those who are suffering from chronic respiratory illness. Making use of air purifiers can help dramatically improve your indoor environment, whether at home or in the office. Put simply, air purifiers have the primary function of eliminating dust, allergens, bacteria, mold spores, odors, pollen, and viruses. Once the purifier captures these contaminants, the device will then release clean and fresh air for you to breathe, which enables you to be able to enjoy a cleaner environment and improved health.
People tend to spend so much time cleaning their surroundings to ensure that their home, children, and pet are safe from harmful airborne contaminants. If people filter the water that they drink, it is rightful that people also need to filter the air that they breathe in.
Just one example among many…
A study conducted in China concluded that purifiers can benefit people with various adverse cardiac and respiratory conditions. Experts from Fudan University employed 35 participants which were mainly healthy college students in Shanghai to act as test subjects for their tests. Researchers exposed test subjects to a 48-hour period in dorm rooms with either real or fake air purifiers. Two weeks later, researchers gave the test subjects the freedom to use their preferred air purifier for an additional 48 hours.
Based on the results, making use of air purifiers can help reduce the PM2.5 concentration in the air to 57 percent. PM2.5 refers to the particulate matter lesser than 2.5 micrometers present in the air. PM2.5 are considered to be fine particles that are believed to have an adverse impact to one’s health. Due to these particle’s small size, PM2.5 can lodge deeply into the lungs which can cause respiratory diseases.
Additionally, the test subjects have shown dramatic improvements in their systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Upon further testing, making use of air purifiers can help reduce fractional exhaled nitrous oxide. Moreover, the participants also exhibited improvements in their overall lung function.
The Journal of the American College of Cardiology also highlighted the study. To further strengthen the notion of the air purifier as effective method of reducing airborne contaminants, Robert D. Brook, M.D. and Sanjay Rajagopala, M.D., of The Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, published a short editorial saying that although strict regulations are being implemented to help improve the quality of the air, making use of air purifiers can be used to lower the exposure to different types of airborne contaminants. You can check their editorial here.
Air Purifiers and CADR
If you are wondering how you can know which air cleaners are effective, you don’t need to worry as there is a standard in the air purifier industry which can help you compare the quality of air purifiers in the market. AHAM or the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers assigns a CADR to air cleaners. CADR stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate.
Many air purifiers undergo a standard test conducted by AHAM. These tests determine how well the product eliminates certain contaminants standardized volume of air. An air purifier that comes with an AHAM seal has three different CADR numbers listed: one for dust, one for pollen and one for tobacco smoke. The higher the CADR means the greater ability to clean air, with maximums of 400 for dust particles and 450 for pollen and tobacco smoke.
According to AHAM, you need a CADR equal to at least two-thirds of the room’s total area.
For example, let’s assume you have an area of 120 square feet. In that space, you would want to look for a minimum CADR of 80. Now imagine that we move that same air purifier into a smaller area. It will clean the air at an even faster rate since the volume of air is smaller. If it were a larger room, say 320 square feet that 80 CADR purifier would struggle. Its rating would only be equal to 25 percent of the rooms area.
Another variable to consider is ceiling height. If your room has a ceiling higher than 8 feet, you will need a higher CADR. In other words, you need size the purifier for a larger room. You can check our CADR rating guide to know more about CADR rating and air purifiers in general.