Is Air Cleaner Really Important in the Home?
Are air cleaners really necessary in the home? The air in your room may look clean while it is not. Unfortunately, most of what makes it unclean cannot be seen with the naked eyes. A good air cleaner will remove all the air pollutants present in the air.
You may claim that your house is air-conditioned and so the air inside must be clean. This is not necessarily so because the conditions in the air ducts of the AC system can be a breeding ground for many types of pollution.
The humid dark conditions allow a large number of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc to survive in them and multiply up in a short while. This in turn can produce different types of pollutants which may include unpleasant odors, volatiles, bacteria and their excrement.
Building materials and interior elements such as furniture, paint, particle board and carpet, especially when they are relatively new, are a source of volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as formaldehyde, benzene, toluene and xylene.
The contaminated air that is spread throughout the building inevitably leads to health challenges and sicknesses. Some examples of such symptoms may include:
- Irritated airways
- Lung infections
- Distribution of viruses such as flu
- Irritated eyes / contact lenses
- Greater susceptibility to colds and allergens
- Difficulty with concentrating
These health complaints related to the work or living environment are sometimes referred to as the Sick Building Syndrome.
It is in order to eliminate such pollutants that air cleaners become very necessary both at home or work place.
The air cleaner of good quality is composed of components such as:
The filter system of air cleaner
This captures the majority of airborne pollutants such as dust, flakes, larger pollen, hair and skin flakes. Some of the larger microorganisms are also captured.
However, most microorganisms are not captured by the filters. The organisms (such as bacteria, fungi) that are captured get the chance to multiply by the large amounts of nutrients that are collected by the filter. This causes the microorganisms to breed much more. A large part of these microorganisms move through the filter at some point and reaches the air (such as gram negative bacteria). Such filters should therefore be treated as a biological risk (bio hazard). The volatiles pass through the filter and are hardly reduced.
This inability of filters to deal with the microorganisms and stop the passage of volatile necessitated a purification system as another component of the air cleaner.
The purification system of air cleaners
The air purification system actively oxidizes and sterilize air pollution. This system is most often complex and varies from one air cleaner to another.
The air cleaned by the cleaning system generates oxidants that may spread in the air. But the purification system eliminates the pollutants there.
There are a number of air purification or disinfection technologies available. Which technology that is used in an appliance depends on the goal of the appliance which may be as air conditioning, air circulation or balanced ventilation system.
With the above brief overview of how air cleaner works, we can now answer the question: Are air cleaners really necessary in the home?
We have seen that even a seemingly clean looking air may not be clean or safe. Good air cleaner or air treatment systems will remove harmful substances and unpleasant odors from the air. A good cleaner will be suitable for all kinds of interior spaces, be it homes or offices.
To avoid the health challenges that could possibly result from unclean air, every home is by far safer with an air cleaners than without it.
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