How an Air Purifier Protects your Health
Are you spending more time in your home than you did a few years ago?
The Covid pandemic has made all of us change some of our previously normal habits.
At first, we were forced to spend more time at home because of lockdowns. But for many people, this has changed how and where they spend most of their time.
Of those who were forced to work from home during the lockdown, many are still working from home, while others are choosing to remain working from home, and employers are increasingly advertising job opportunities where the location is remote.
This allows employers to access the best available employees in the country, or perhaps the world, rather than just those who are prepared somewhere close to the employers’ base of operations.
Are you getting the same opportunities for exercise when you don’t even have to walk between the front door of your home to your car twice a day?
What about the air you’re breathing? Spending more time at home can add to heating costs in winter. To avoid wasting power, you are probably keeping windows closed.
We are now far more aware of the potential for coughs, colds, influenzas, and Covid to invisibly float in the air for us to breath in and get sick.
A portable air purifier is one solution you can use in your home to keep the air clean, and being portable, it can be moved to different rooms to keep the air in the entire house clean and healthy for you and your family.
How do Air Purifiers Work?
These devices sanitize the air to remove nasty impurities, allergens, toxins, and pollutants in the air. An air purifier is different from an air filter which only remove these nasties from the air.
An air purifier has a simple set-up. A fan sucks air through one or more filters. The filters are made of paper, fibers like fiberglass, or a mesh. These filters capture and neutralize pollutants and particles as air passes over them and then clean air recirculates into the living area.
Indoor Air Pollutants
But how bad can the air in your home be?
Indoor air quality contributes to the development of infections, chronic lung diseases like asthma, and lung cancer.
Here are the main pollutants found in the home:
Asbestos – commonly used in products such as insulation, roofing, siding shingles, floor tiles, acoustic ceiling tiles, wallboard, textured paints, and heat-resistant fabrics up to the 1980s, Old and brittle asbestos products can release tiny, even microscopic, fibers which can remain suspended in the air and enter your lungs when you inhale. This can lead to lung damage, including cancer.
Bacteria and viruses – Most infectious respiratory diseases are spread from person to person, if one person in a home gets an infectious disease, they can spread it to others. This occurs through the air or from direct or indirect contact with an infected individual.
Building and paint products – these may emit fumes or dust that can endanger your health. Lead, asbestos, and benzene are particularly dangerous, leading to lung disease and cancer.
Carpets – these can trap pollutants like dust mites, pet dander, cockroach allergens, particle pollution, lead, mold spores, pesticides, dirt, and dust, and toxic gases in the air can stick to small particles that settle into carpets. These pollutants can become airborne during vacuuming and walking on the carpet.
Lead – Commonly used in paint prior to 1978, exposure can harm nearly every system in the body. It can even kill. Lead accumulates in our bones, liver, and kidneys and can get into our blood. The effects of lead poisoning may continue after the source of exposure has been eliminated. The nervous system is the main target and effects both adults and children.
Mold and dampness – excessive moisture promotes the growth of dust mites, cockroaches, bacteria, and viruses. Mold spores grow and lead to asthma attacks, respiratory problems.
Secondhand smoke – the cause of approximately 7,330 deaths from lung cancer and 33,950 deaths from heart disease each year, even with only brief exposure. This can cause cancer-causing residue to stick to furniture and walls, then re-enter the air as third-hand smoke, lingering for months.
Other air pollutants in the home include – cleaning supplies and household chemicals, cockroaches, dust mites and dust, floods and water damage, formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, pet dander, radon, home fireplaces, and volatile organic compounds.
What About Protection from Covid-19?
COVID-19 particles are thinner than a strand of a spider’s web. However, they are always bound to something much larger, like a water droplet or aerosol. This means that just like other airborne viruses and bacteria, these droplets can be removed by air purifiers.
This means that Covid-19 can be filtered out by air filters that have the high-efficiency particulate absorbing filters, but it may not stop direct transmission.
When an infected person sneezes, or infected particles on their hands are transferred to a piece of furniture, it takes time for an air purifier to capture these particles. It is quite possible to inhale these particles or transfer them onto your body, before ethe air purifier has captured the particles.
Air Purifiers Can Provide Health Protection
The filters on most air purifiers will trap and remove large coarse molecules measuring up to 5 microns or less. This can include dust mites and pollen.
To remove smaller particles, you will need an air purifier with high-efficiency filters that use a dense network of fibers and layers of intricate weaves to remove pollutants and allergens measuring as small as 2.5 microns.
If you want an air purifier because you are allergic to the animal dander shed by dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, and hamsters, you will want an air purifier with high-efficiency filters.
Ultraviolet filters are used in some air purifier. These use light to destroy biological impurities such as mold and bacteria. Other air purifiers use activated charcoal to remove gases like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and smoke particles. These air purifiers can also give some relief with allergies.
Most polluting particles are effectively filtered out by air purifiers, although some will remain on soft and hard surfaces like walls and furniture. The airborne particles that are pulled out of the air will depend on the type of air purifier and the filters it uses.