In this day and age, everybody is crazy about shows that try to debunk the truth. People are fascinated by exposing lies and solving mysteries. How many times have you told yourself this is the last documentary you will watch on Netflix?
Lying in bed or sitting on the couch all day binge-watching your favorite show has become the new normal. The effects of the pandemic have been so devastating not just for the economy, but for our overall health as well.
Staying inside your home for weeks or months may feel safe. You might be keeping tabs on what you eat and drink, but what about what you breathe?
Having clean indoor air is so important today that many people start to consider investing in a quality home air purifier. Air purifiers have been around for decades but not everybody thinks they are essential.
In an attempt to shed some light on whether air purifiers are worth it, here are the most common myths surrounding their use. And to help you decide whether you should get one, we followed up these misconceptions with scientific facts regarding its efficacy.
Myth: Air purifiers are worthless. Just open a window and you will be fine!
Fact: Air purifiers help clean indoor air and protect you from polluted air outdoors.
Although opening windows on opposite sides of the room can create a stronger draft, not all outdoor air is good. If you live in a place with lots of vehicles passing by, you are better off closing your doors and windows to avoid inhaling pollutants from the outside.
According to research conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 91 countries and 1,100 cities all over the world, “Automobiles and electric power stations as the sources of fuel-burning are the main reasons of air pollution.” What are air purifiers used for?
Air purifiers are used in homes, offices, and healthcare facilities. It consists of filters that help remove particulates that cause asthmatic or allergic reactions, eliminates volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and greatly reduce viruses and bacteria. Air purifiers also improve airflow so your home can smell fresh and clean.
However, using an air purifier and keeping your doors and windows shut for a long time is bad because it increases the amount of carbon dioxide inside your room. And air purifiers do not remove carbon dioxide. When the air purifier is not running, do not forget to occasionally open the windows to get the indoor air moving.
Myth: If you are using air conditioning, there is no need for an air purifier. Fact: Air purifiers can filter out pollutants, air conditioners cannot.
How do air purifiers work?
According to Dr. David Stukus, a pediatric allergist and immunologist at Nationwide Children's Hospital, “Air purifiers use fans or ions to attract small particles in the air and then capture them on a filter, which removes them from circulation.”
An AC and an air purifier are two entirely different things. The role of an air conditioner is simply to control the temperature inside the room. It cools the warm air without removing the contaminants. If you are using an AC in your room and want to eliminate air pollution, get an air purifier!
Myth: Air purifiers will solve your allergies for good.
Fact: Using an air purifier is only one of the many approaches in controlling allergy.
About 50 million people in the US suffer from allergies and asthma.
"Allergens in the air in your home can trigger allergy symptoms, and air filtration can help decrease the amount of airborne allergens in your home and can help with allergy and asthma symptoms," says Dr. Meng Chen, a pediatrician at Stanford Children's Health.
Epidemiologic studies in Fresno, California also indicate that using air purifiers help control the onset of asthma and allergic rhinitis in children.
Home air purifiers will not eliminate all the dust and allergens that has settled on surfaces, so you still need to regularly clean your floors, walls, and furniture.
Used in a clinical trial at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre, the Austin Air Healthmate Air Purifier was tested to monitor a group of asthmatic children who were frequently exposed to second-hand smoke. The study concluded impressive results! Hospital visits were reduced by almost 20% when using this home air purifier in the children’s bedroom every night while they were sleeping.
Myth: All air purifiers can deal with odors.
Fact: Air purifiers are only effective against odors with high carbon concentration.
If your home smells bad after cooking or smoking cigarettes, consider buying an air purifier with a carbon filter. Carbon filters are effective smoke eliminators and remove unpleasant smells, so your indoor air remains fresh.
An activated carbon filter is extremely porous and can absorb common household chemicals, benzene, and other VOCs that linger in the air. It also has a significantly higher air pollution removal rate than regular carbon filters.
The most advanced activated carbon filters are infused with magnesium dioxide and copper oxide. These compounds are capable of removing more dangerous air pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, ethylene oxide, and ozone.
Not all air purifiers come with a carbon filter, so do your research before purchasing one.
To learn more about the performance of air purifiers in odor and smoke removal as well as the difference between an air purifier and a smoke eater, check out – Does an Air Purifier Remove Smoke And Odor?
Myth: All air purifiers work the same. Just buy the cheapest one. Fact: Not all air purifiers are created equal.
Different air purifier brands mean distinct features and technology.
Like any other device or appliance, air purifiers come with bells and whistles that can be considered unique for a particular model. Each air purifier model can have differences in airflow capacity, type of filter, or even build quality.
Air purifiers with a small coverage area will not work properly in a large room. On the other hand, air purifiers without a carbon filter will not eliminate strong odors.
Invest in an air purifier that caters to your specific needs. Read up the product descriptions and compare the specifications of every air purifier because not all of them are made to be same.
Let us circle back to the original question - Should you get an air purifier?
Absolutely! The luxury of breathing fresh air is so far from our minds that we often forget about its importance. Being at home all the time with the doors closed and windows shut hinder good air circulation and increase indoor pollution.
Home air purifiers reduce airborne and surface pollutants, contaminants, and even germs. Excellent indoor air purification can help stop the spread of diseases and improve sleep quality.
Take care of yourself and your family. Air purifiers are worth it and that is a fact.