If you ask around about options for improving the air quality in your home, you’re likely to hear a lot about electronic air purifiers, or “ionizers.” These ionization filters are toted as a great way to remove a lot of contaminants from your air, but few homeowners actually understand how they work. Let’s examine what makes electronic air purifiers work, and why you might want one for your home.
What is an Electronic Air Purifier?
The purpose of any air purifier is to improve air quality by removing contaminants from the surrounding air, preventing them from circulating. An electronic air purifier does this by creating a static field around itself. As air molecules pass through this static field, they pick up extra electrons that give them a negative charge. They will then be attracted to any positively charged surface. Most ionizers have one or two metal plates in them for this purpose, to attract the charged air molecules and the particulates they are carrying. The plates can then be cleaned and the particulates disposed of.
What are the Benefits of Electronic Air Purifiers?
Electronic ionization purifiers have a few advantages over other air purification systems. Because they draw particles in with ionization rather than passively filtering them out of the air, they tend to capture many more particles than other systems. Both organic and inorganic pollutants can be removed in this way. They also tend to be used more as portable units, saving you the time and expense of installing them in the actual ductwork of the house. However, there are some things you should consider before buying one.
Though the negatively charged air molecules usually end up on the metal plates inside the purifier, they can also stick to the walls, floor, and furniture of a room. They are not circulating through the air, which is good. However, these clumps of particles can occasionally manifest as black spots which can stain the objects they land on. Electronic air purifiers can also produce ozone, a gas that is itself a pollutant according to the EPA.