Poor air quality in homes and workplaces can lead to serious health issues and it is estimated that indoor air can be even more polluted than outdoor air. With the rise of energy-efficient homes and spaces that are almost airtight in order to reduce the costs of heating and air-conditioning, indoor air pollutants that have been present for years are no longer weakened by outdoor air circulation into the indoor spaces.
Polluted Air Can Exacerbate Respiratory Problems
The presence of indoor air pollutants can significantly diminish comfort levels and overall health of the space’s occupants. Certain symptoms may seem mild or insignificant at first, but they may often lead to more complicated health problems. While children and older adults, as well as people with asthma, allergies, and chronic respiratory illnesses, are at most immediate risk from airborne contaminants, many other negative effects on health may only appear years later, after continuous exposure to harmful particles and gasses.
Many of these contaminants can be effectively fought by monitoring their levels and eliminating their source, as well as by ventilating the indoor space. However, there are times when it is not possible to apply these methods. We might not want to remove the sources of the pollutants such as pets, or we cannot ventilate naturally due to outdoor pollution or weather conditions. This is when we resort to air purifiers.
Use of a quality air purifier can be helpful in improving your indoor air quality and reducing risks for development or worsening of health issues by removing harmful airborne pollutants. These pollutants can be divided into two categories: airborne particles (dust, pollen, mold spores, animal dander, etc.) and gasses (odors, smoke smell, volatile organic compounds, etc.). Most people who are looking to purchase an air purifier want it to alleviate allergies, asthma and other respiratory ailments, as well as to deal with dust, mold, smoke and odors. To remove even the smallest air particles that cause health problems you need top-quality HEPA filters while advanced activated carbon filters in combination with other substances are required to remove a number of gaseous contaminants.
Efficient removal of pollutants by air purifiers can significantly reduce symptoms of allergies and conditions such as asthma and COPD. Positive effects on heart and lung function are started to be noticed through research. Skin conditions such as acne and rashes can be improved in pollutant-free environments. Eliminating second-hand smoke can make lives of passive smokers much easier.
Beware of the Ozone
There are also other methods that air cleaners use to deal with pollutants, but some of them have a negative side effect – ozone emissions. High concentrations of ozone are damaging to our bodies, as they can worsen chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma and increase the risk for lung infections. A top quality commercial air purifier should combine different kinds of filters for maximum efficiency while not emitting harmful ozone.
Only Half the Battle
Introducing an air purifier to your home or workplace can help with avoiding new health problems and aggravating existing conditions. Conclusive research on beneficial health effects of air purifiers is still scarce, as is the general population’s knowledge of air filtration principles. Therefore, many marketing efforts to sell air purifiers may be misleading. No air purifier can eliminate all airborne pollutants, and it is best used in combination with other precautionary methods. Detecting the source of pollution and eliminating or controlling it, proper ventilation and humidity regulation and reduced use of products that can generate pollutants are the methods that will help address the issues that can’t be completely solved with use of an air purifier.