No matter how much of a clean freak you are, unless certain precautions are taken, there will always be an abundance of air pollution within your home. Although there are no car fumes or smog to deal with indoors, there are a whole host of other harmful irritants and allergens lurking around, including dust, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, and viruses. And while these particles are pretty small in size, they’re potentially quite dangerous if breathed in over a long period of time.
It’s estimated that as much as 90% of our time is spent indoors. Therefore, it’s vital you eliminate any indoor air pollution. One of the most efficient ways to do this is through the use of an air purifier. These devices are readily available, have models that can cater for all kinds of room sizes and budgets, and work wonders at ensuring you get a fresh supply of filtered air to breathe. And in this article, you’ll get to learn a little more as to how these amazing machines work and some of the fantastic benefits they have to offer.
What is an Air Purifier and What Does it Do?
The main role of an air purifier is to remove harmful containments and other airborne particles from the air and supply you with fresh, breathable air to inhale instead. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and can be used as stand-alone devices or whole home units that are integrated with the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit. It’s estimated that on average, we spend around 90% of our time indoors, so it seems only right that we should all have a constant supply of fresh air to breathe. And with an air purifier, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
Air purifiers work by sucking in passing air and filtering it through its various filtration stages which may include one or more pre-filters, a HEPA filter, an activated carbon filter, and/or an ionizer. Once the air has passed through all levels of the air filtering system, it’s then expelled back into the room as clean air.
10 Health Benefits of Air Purifiers
Every home has dust mites, whether we like it or not. The problem with dust is that it floats around often undetectable to the human eye. But it is there, and the damage it can cause, particularly to those with allergies, can be very detrimental. Investing in air purification system can prevent these health problems from worsening as they are designed to trap and remove dust particles from the air before it’s even had a chance to settle. Not only will this leave you more breathable air, it will cut down your home’s overall dust accumulation too.
In addition to clearing your home of mounting dust, air purifiers are also very effective at eliminating pollen, mold spores, and pet dander. This is especially helpful for those suffering with allergy or asthma symptoms as any of these irritants have the potential to set off allergic reactions. Installing a good quality air purifier into the home will help reduce allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and other health issues.
In addition to removing contaminants from the atmosphere, air purifiers are also very effective at tackling both smoke and odors. This is a major benefit for anyone exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke, or simply just smoke created from cooking. Some of the long-term health implications associated with over-exposure to smoke include asthma, bronchitis, and even an increased risk of ear infections.
HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air and air purifiers fitted with this kind of filter are some of the most effective out there. Air purifiers that are equipped with a HEPA filter are capable of removing particles that are 0.3 microns in size, and this includes cigarette smoke. And those that are equipped with an activated carbon filter as well, remove even more. Any smoke that’s not captured by the HEPA filter will get stopped by the activated carbon filter, as well as any lingering odors.
Children are at greater risk when it comes to damage caused by smoke as their lungs are still developing. Elderly people are also a concern as they have a greater risk of developing dementia if exposed to excess amounts of second-hand smoke. Therefore, if you do have any family members that are very young or old, or persons with any pre-existing medical conditions living within your home, having a good air purifier in operation is vital.
While most people are aware of the high levels of pollution outside our homes, we often forget about the pollution levels inside our home. Air pollutants can be drawn into the home in various ways. If you live in the city or near a busy highway the chances of the air in your home being badly polluted is quite high, due to the amount of high level of pollutants found here, including ozone, exhaust fumes, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. As a result, both asthma and allergy rates are higher in these areas. Thankfully, air purifiers can help reduce the pollution level inside your home by interrupting the flow of outside air pollution into your home by way of filtration.
Removal of Asbestos Fibers
Asbestos is a mineral that up until the late 1970s, was used quite regularly in the insulating of buildings. And while this mineral worked wonders at keeping the home warm and free from the outside elements, it was found to be very damaging to your health if the fibers broke and you breathed them in. Damage caused by asbestos can takes decades to come into fruition, but when it does, it often results in a diagnosis of advanced lung cancer that’s near impossible to cure.
If you do live in an older property, it’s important to have any asbestos-containing materials tested and removed by a professional. While asbestos won’t cause any issue when it lays dormant. The moment it becomes disturbed, your health becomes at risk. So it’s always best to use an air purifier as a backup for capturing potential fatal asbestos fibers, just until a more permanent solution can be sought.
Eliminate Radon Gases
Radon is a gas that’s produced naturally from the uranium in soil, rock, and water. Because it’s a gas and has the ability to seep through cracks in both floors and walls, radon is found in most homes. While breathing in small amounts of radon won’t cause you too many problems, if continually exposed to high levels of the gas, you could be in serious trouble. Over-exposure to radon is one of the leading causes of lung cancer, responsible for thousands of deaths per year. Using an air purifier can help eliminate radon gas within the home, and ultimately, help prevent the development of lung cancer.
Volatile Organic Compounds, otherwise known as VOCs, are chemicals that easily reach high vapor pressure even when at normal room temperature. As a result, they tend to give off an irritating aroma that can be detrimental to your health and have been known to cause certain cancers. They are often found in everyday products such as paints, sprays, and other chemicals you use around the home. While you can avoid over-exposure to these by reading the back of the label and opting for products that are VOCs-free. This isn’t always possible. In which case an air purifier is a nice backup solution.
Reduce Carbon Dioxide Levels
In addition to nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide, another gas in the air you’ll want to limit your exposure to is carbon dioxide. We all inhale and exhale carbon dioxide as part of our natural carbon cycle. However, breathing in too much of it can be extremely harmful to our bodies and can cause problems such as headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and even death. Having a HEPA-type air purifier in the home can reduce carbon dioxide levels, giving you much cleaner, healthier air to breathe.
Improves Mood Levels
Not only are air purifier good for helping to improve your physical health, they’re also good at enhancing your mood too. You can instantly tell the difference between fresh and dirty air. Stepping into a room that feels dirty and dingy will automatically make you feel the just that – dirty and dingy. However, step into a room that’s fresh and airy and you will instantly feel more awake, revived, and ready to face just about anything. Some air purifiers are equipped with ionizers which are also known to enhance moods and lessen depression.
Improves Sleep Quality
Your body needs a good night’s sleep in order to fully recharge ready for whatever challenges the next day brings. If you don’t get enough sleep to fully recharge, your cognitive abilities are much slower, and you’ll feel less energetic in general. You also put yourself at higher risk for developing heart disease and stroke. Having an air purifier in the bedroom can help you get a better night’s sleep. In addition to improving the quality of the air within your room, it can also produce a calming sound that can help you relax more easily.
You can improve your indoor air quality naturally just by opening the windows on a regular basis. However, it’s not very practical in the winter, and even in the summer, you increase the chance of allowing a whole range of creepy crawlies to enter your home. And while dusting and vacuuming daily will no doubt help, it’s not enough to give you a continuous supply of fresh air.
Therefore, investing in an air purifier for the home or office is a no-brainer. Not only will it help keep your air continuously clean, leaving you with a much cleaner bill of health, it will also help rid any bad odors from the room and save you time in housework too.