What Are Ionizer Air Purifiers and Do They Work?

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Perhaps there has never been a time when we are more concerned about what is in the air and what is happening around our homes. If you’re looking for an air purifier, whether it’s to keep allergies at bay, combat fumes and pollution in the air, or just keep the air clean in your home, talk about air purifiers. You must have seen the term ionizer. . What does this word actually mean? Is it necessary to have in an air purifier? And what does it do?

What is ionization?

ions in the air.

To understand the term ionization, we must first understand ions and their presence in our air. An ion is an atom or a molecule with an electrical charge; The positively charged ions are called cations and the negatively charged ions are called anions. (No, there will be no quiz.)

What is an Air Ionizer?

Some Air Purifiers (read our article on the best models) The particles in the air also have the ability to ionize or charge, and often give a negative charge to those molecules. So why would you want to do this? NS The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains it this way: “Ion generators work by charging particles in a room so that they are attracted to walls, floors, tabletops, draperies, occupants, etc.”

In short, if these particles aren’t floating around the room because they fell on a tabletop, you’re less likely to get them inside. Of course, wiping the table can re-release the molecules into the air, so some ionizing air purifiers have a collector to attract charged particles to the unit, usually by activating the opposite (or positive) charge.

The EPA further suggests that “While ion generators can remove small particles (eg, in tobacco smoke) from indoor air, they do not remove gases or odors, and can remove larger particles such as pollen and house dust allergens.” can be relatively ineffective.”

You may also see ionizers combined with other air purification technology, such as HEPA filters, which trap those particles and prevent their re-release. Sometimes the filter can be charged, so it acts as an attraction for those wayward particles.

Anion and ozone concerns

In many cases, using an indoor air ionizer produces ozone, which can be troublesome for some people with lung conditions such as asthma. NS EPA says: “There is even greater concern with the direct, and purposeful introduction of a lung irritant into indoor air. Despite claims by some marketers, there is no difference between ozone in outdoor smog and the ozone produced by these devices. Under certain use conditions, ion generators and other ozone-generating air cleaners can generate levels of this lung irritant far above levels harmful to human health. A small percentage of air cleaners that claim health benefits are edible. and Drug Administration as a medical device. The FDA has set a limit of 0.05 parts per million of ozone for medical devices. However ozone can be used to reduce odors and pollutants in empty spaces. (such as removing the smell of smoke from homes involved in a fire), the levels required to achieve this are above the levels generally considered safe for humans.”

The bottom line is that if you have health concerns, you should check with a doctor to see if the benefits of removing harmful pollutants by ionization outweigh the concerns of introducing ozone into your home.

Do ions fight viruses?

While we may begin to go through medical studies and journals to debate the effectiveness of the use of ionization to combat viruses, the truth is that the jury is still out. This type of technology may have some benefits, but there is little in the way of actual scientific evidence in this area (Read our article on whether air purifiers can combat coronavirus)

If you’re looking for clean air inside your home, an air purifier probably can’t hurt. If you have a compromised immune system or lung problems, an ionizing air purifier may not be the best option. It always pays to seek reliable medical advice when your health is at stake.

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