Here we are in 2015 and the quality of the air around us is not getting better. With all of the pollen, smog, smoke, and other chemicals in the air the air quality is only getting worse and not better. So what is the state of air purifiers in 2015?
The outside air is something that must be changed on a global level. Reducing chemical emissions from cars and factories is something that is being attacked on multiple levels. We are seeing cars and trucks moving to electric, or at least hybrids, in an attempt to reduce the amount of bad waste in our air.
While the world is doing its part to try to remedy the situation with dangerous chemicals and other pollens in the air, you can do your part to ensure you are breathing quality air when you are inside, whether it is at your personal home, or your work.
Indoor Air Quality
While many people, corporations, and governments are focused on cleaning the outside air, that is a much bigger task than can be taken on by the average consumer. What the average consumer can improve is the quality of the air we breathe when indoors. Families tend to spend up to 90% of your day inside, whether it is in an office, school, or your own home. Since we spend so much time in our house it is prudent for us to make sure we are breathing clean air.
The fact is that indoor air pollution is one of the top 5 health risks from the environment for people in the US, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They are warning that, on average, the air inside your home is 2-5 times more polluted than the outside environment. If people are so concerned about the outside air and trying to clean it up, and yet the air inside your home is likely more polluted than the outside air, then why aren’t more people using air purifiers to clean up their own home?
Why is Indoor Air Quality so Bad?
The typical home uses air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter. During these seasons the windows are closed off and the air inside the home is generally recycled. That means that the heater takes air already inside your house, reheats it and sends it back into your home. The air conditioner operates in the same fashion. So what you have is a closed loop system where no new air is introduced into your home, which means that any bad things in your air stay inside your home and are never vented.
Since homes are pretty much sealed off for the majority of the year, the pollutants in the air don’t have a chance to leave the house and fresh air come in and take its place. This results in a heavily polluted environment, right inside your own home!
Indoor air typically contains the following particles:
- Smoke (from cooking or cigarettes)
- Chemical Fumes
- Skin Flakes
- Animal Dander
While opening your windows and venting your house may reduce the particles listed above, many times during the year that is just not possible. It is either too cold or too hot to just open the windows and doors and let the air mix with fresh outside air. Not only that, but during times when the temperature promotes leaving the windows open, there are usually things outside that could be worse than the particles inside. During the spring plants and flowers are producing large amounts of pollen, which would make anyone with allergies suffer outside the house as well as inside.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Air purifiers were designed and built for the purpose of scrubbing your air and removing the particles found in it. There are many different types of purifiers so it is best to find the one that is the best fit for you and the environment that is currently in your house. Those who suffer from pollen allergies may require a different purifier than those who suffer from allergies to pet dander.
HEPA filters are robust filters which will remove 99.97% of all particles from the air depending on their size. Particles that are outside of the range of a HEPA filter will require a specialty air purifier in order to remove those types of particles from the air. Things like smoke , viruses, and some chemicals cannot be captured by an air purifier with a HEPA filter and will require a specialty filter instead.