Humans, animals and plants suffer due to pollution. While there are ways for us to protect ourselves from water pollution and noise pollution, air pollution, being all around us, is difficult to avoid. The air contains pollutants of varying kinds and most of these are not easy to see. Many times, you don’t even realise that they are present around you until your health has been severely affected.
Presence of Polluted Air
The air around us is affected by varying degrees and types of pollutants. While we agree that the smoke from industrial plants and emissions from the vehicles are the major culprits for polluting the air outside, we fail to realise that many pollutants are present inside our house. The intensity of pollutants becomes higher indoors as we live in an enclosed area. This indoor air pollution can harm our health.
Types of Pollutants
The pollutants that can be present in our homes are dust particles, fumes from household chemicals, volatile organic compounds, synthetic fragrances, pet hair, gases released from kitchen activities, cigarette smoke and more. We do not realise the damage they can cause until the deed has been done. If someone is allergic to any of the pollutants, their presence might be easier to identify, but most of the pollutants end up being a slow poison for those who are not immediately impacted.
Improving Air Quality
Since many homes are fitted with air conditioners, the windows of the homes are kept shut and do not allow any fresh air in the house. The same polluted air circulates in the house and we breathe the same air, increasing the risk to our health. To avoid this hazardous exercise, there is a need for making sure that the quality of air is improved. This can be done by removing the pollutants from the air indoors. Hence, there is a need for an air purifier.
How Does an Air Purifier Work?
An air purifier is a machine that is fitted with one or more air filters. A home air purifier takes in the air from its immediate environment, passes it through the filter and releases it back into the atmosphere. The filters capture the pollutants and hence the air that is released is purified. A good filter of an air purifier can capture pollutants greater than 0.3microns in size, which is true for most of the air pollutants.
What Are the Filters Used?
A room air purifier is fitted with multiple filters to effectively capture pollutants of various sizes and types.
The first stage is that of a pre-filter. This captures the larger dust particles and other pollutants such as hair, pet dander and skin, cobwebs etc. The smaller pollutants get captured at the HEPA filtration stage. This pre-filter is washable, while others need to be replaced with time.
- Activated Carbon
Any invisible gases, including fumes released from the chemicals used around the house, are removed by the activated carbon filter. This also captures organic compounds and foul odours.
- HEPA Filter
The best air purifiers are fitted with High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestor (HEPA) filters. These filters have the capacity of catching 99.9% of particulate matter as small as 0.3 microns.
- Anti-Bacterial Coating
Any bacteria and virus in the house can be deactivated by the antibacterial coating.
The multi-filter process ensures that only the freshest and cleanest of air is released. The configuration of filters could vary from one brand to another. Some air purifiers may also be fitted with ionisers.
The Efficiency of an Air Purifier
The efficacy of an air purifier is measured by the rate at which it can deliver clean air (CADR). A higher value for CADR represents a more efficient air purifier. The CADR needs to be higher for larger rooms of the house.
Life of an Air Purifier
An air purifier can work efficiently as long as its filters are taken care of. While a pre-filter can be washed and used, the HEPA filter and the carbon filter will need to be replaced once they are saturated and start affecting the quality of cleaned air.
We spend a lot of time indoors and hence are exposed to a lot of pollution. If we can control the quality of the air we breathe, why not? A simple step like using an air purifier can improve our health and quality of life. So, get home an air purifier and live healthily.