If you’re anything like us, you know waking up in the morning is difficult. It’s hard enough to drag yourself out of bed on a Monday, but it’s even worse when you’re dealing with a stuffy nose and a sore throat. If you’re like the millions of people (including us) that fall into this category, an air purifier may be just what you need to breathe easy again!
Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired?
Did you know that the air inside your home can be up to five times MORE polluted than the air outdoors? That’s right, the same air you and your family breathe every day can actually be worse for you than walking past a crowded freeway during rush hour. Poor ventilation, household cleaners, and all sorts of nasty mold, bacteria and viruses that are tracked inside can wreak havoc on your respiratory system!
We’re not just talking about simple colds here either.
The World Health Organization states 3.8 million premature deaths occur annually that can be attributed to exposure to household air pollution - including stroke, ischemic heart disease, COPD and lung cancer.
Luckily, an air purifier can help mitigate those risks in a big way - at least that’s what we’ve been led to believe. Before you drop some money on a device, let us help show you if it’s really worth spending on.
What Does an Air Purifier Do?
The name says it all, but it’s a little bit more in-depth than that.
Air purifiers work to rid your air of harmful pollutants and particles. These devices can help with everything from dust and mold to harmful gasses and odors. In other words, if you find yourself living with a wet basement or a smoker in the house, an air purifier might just help you avoid an expensive remedy or an uncomfortable conversation with a roommate.
Indoor air pollutants typically fall into one of two categories:
Air purifiers filter these contaminants out of the air, but each one does something a little differently, some are even considered more harmful than the pollutants themselves!
We’re about to explain what we mean….
How does it work?
It’s important know how these machines work before you can determine whether or not they’ll actually work for you.
Most air purification will fall into one of two categories - active or passive.
Active purification (otherwise known as ionizers) works to clean the air by releasing negative ions that stick airborne particles to household surfaces such as ceilings, walls and flooring. Basically, these particles are taken out of the air and then need to be cleaned up further to actually be rid of them.
Yeah, you read that correctly. Unless your air purifier also comes with an electrostatic collection plate (and even if it does, these don’t always work), you’ll still need to clean up the remaining particles yourself.
Worse than creating more work for yourself, active purification releases harmful ozone as a byproduct, which can actually be WORSE for you than the original culprits you were trying to get rid of!
See a problem here already? We do!
Why Passive Purification is the Answer to Your Sore Throat and Stuffy Nose
On the other hand, passive purification is the more effective type of air purifier you’ll come across. These are your standard machines you can find at any sort of all-purpose store. Air purifiers that use passive purification come with a fan to suck in the polluted air, then release it back into your space through a filter. Pretty simple, right?
The industry standard for the filters these machines use is a HEPA filter. HEPA filters can remove 99.7% of indoor pollutants - which means for every 10,000 particles that pass through the filter, only three will make their way back out into the air. Unlike ionizers, HEPA filters use the physics of the particles floating to suck them out of the air flow.
By now, you’ve got a pretty good idea of what these machines are and how they do what they claim to do, so are they worth it?
The Verdict: Do Air Purifiers Really Work?
The answer is yes....but it’s a little bit more layered than a one word answer.
First, let’s get into the good stuff. There’s a decent amount of scientific evidence that backs up the claims of air purifiers really working to keep your air fresh and your body healthy:
Besides the results of these studies, you can expect to wake up with reduced stuffiness in your nose, less of a sore throat, itchy/watery eye relief, and a general feeling of alertness when using an air purifier.
It’s important to remember that even with a bunch of scientific backing, air purifiers are not a cure-all for what may be ailing you. In fact, they probably won’t accomplish any of the following on their own:
Despite not being a magic bullet for all allergies and foul odors, using an air purifier will go a long way towards improving the quality of your air and your overall health!