Most air purifiers work in order to restore a healthy balance of particles in the air and destroy those which can harm us, but other air cleaners work specifically to neutralize odors in the space in which we live.
No matter why you’d like to have an air purifier, each one has different specifications which are responsible for permanent or temporary solutions regarding odors or pollutants. Not every cleaner has the ability to tackle each pollutant in the same manner, so I decided to address the issue. Let’s see what the best options for each situation are.
Not all odors are the same and not all techniques are the best for removing them. I’ve classified the most common nasty smells, and which air cleaners do a fantastic job of removing them.
- Cigarette Smoke
The smoke that comes from cigarettes is made out of fine smoke particles which are chemically based and cause unpleasant odors. Ozone generators are known for their superb performance in removing unpleasant odors, which can be anything from cigarette smoke to old and musty furniture.
Another great alternative is to use an air cleaner that contains an activated carbon filter because the fibers of the filter react chemically thereby attaching to the particles of smoke. The third alternative for removing cigarette smoke is a photocatalytic filter which actually breaks down the odor producing chemicals found in smoke.
- Volatile Organic Compounds
Certain chemical compounds produce VOC, and the most common producers are mold, smoke, bacteria and formaldehyde. The three most effective units used for this type of contaminant are ozone generators/sanitizers, air purifiers which contain an activated carbon filter, and finally photocatalytic filters that successfully destroy any kind of vapors and gasses.
- Household Chemicals and Pet Odors
Household chemicals we use to sanitize our homes can actually work against our health. Although they are meant to sanitize every surface from counter-tops to floors, they release toxic fumes and odors which are sometimes unpleasant and dangerous. In this case, the best solution is to use an air cleaner with an activated carbon filter because the fibers react with the fumes, and the bond they create ensures the household is free of any smells or toxic fumes. You can also go for oxidation filters as mentioned earlier.
The same options go for pet dander and pet related smells. Although we love our fury companions, sometimes the smells they leave behind can stay for a long time and be unpleasant. Luckily, an activated carbon filter will take care of the most common pet related smells, leaving you with clean and fresh air.
Common Air Pollutants
Now that we’ve dealt with the most common odors, let’s look into the different type of pollutants in the air around us.
- Pet Dander
Pet dander can be a powerful allergen that triggers severe reactions in people suffering from allergies. The most common treatment would be to have an air purifier that contains a type of HEPA filter. True HEPA filters are certified and best known for removing allergens of all kinds, especially pet dander.
- Dust, Dust Mites and Pollen
If you want to remove more solid particles floating around in the air like pollen or dust mites, a HEPA filter is all you need. The Department of Homeland Security has recommended the use of HEPA filters in homes in order to create a safe, allergen-free environment.
Another option that’s especially good for dust is an ionizer. Ionizers are very similar to air purifiers, only their technology utilizes negative ions which attach in the air to the positively charged particles of dust. This makes the dust drop in front of the ionizer. It might mean more maintenance but at least the air you’re breathing is clean! There is also the option of an air purifier that has a HEPA type filter with an inbuilt ionizer that gives double the results.
- Viruses and Germs
The most effective purifying method for viruses and germs, recommended by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control is a germicidal UV lamp. They are able to destroy microorganisms because the UVC wavelength radiates UV rays that are lethal to the DNA in bacteria. This way, the smallest of germs can’t live and spread diseases in the air. Another efficient treatment would be to use a Photocatalytic Oxidation filter that breaks down the DNA of bacteria and destroys them for good.
- Mold and Mildew
Most households have experienced some kind of mold or mildew problems which occur in humid environments. Fungi such as mold, gather together when building materials and moisture collide. Once mold has spread, it produces airborne spores that can be dangerous to your health. The best treatment out there is an air purifier with a certified HEPA filter, and if it comes with an inbuilt ionizer even better! HEPA filters are great at removing solid particles out of the air, while Ionizers produce negative ions that attach to the spores and neutralize them.
There are other alternatives such as activated carbon filters, along with germicidal UV lamps that successfully destroy microorganisms like mycotoxin which is produced by mold.
The Choice is Yours
Different treatments can win the battle against different pollutants, and the good news is ever since air purifier technology showed up manufacturers have been working on creating units that are even more efficient. Whether you’re looking for something to give asthma or allergy relief, or even neutralize unpleasant odors there are several available options to look into.