Purchasing an air cleaner is a great investment to help maintain the cleanest and healthiest indoor environment. Knowing how these units work is the key to getting the best return on your investment.
High quality air purifiers need to be maintained in order to work most efficiently. With proper care and upkeep, your air cleaning system will work well for a lifetime. Unlike first-generation models, the top-of-the line units now on the market are much easier to use, and maintenance can be done in a snap.
How Air Purifiers Work
Air purifiers clean the air of harmful pollutants, such as dust, dander, pollen, chemicals, and odors. They work by pulling air through a series of filters, which cleans the air by trapping polluted particles. Then, the cleaned air is blown out by an electric fan.
Why Maintenance Is Key
Maintaining your air purifier involves only a few steps, depending on the type of air purifier you have:
Pre-Filters, HEPA Filters, and Carbon Filters
Air purifiers that use filters to clean the air are the most common and the most popular units on the market:
Pre-filters can either be washed or inexpensively replaced, depending on the model purchased. They are constructed with a weave looser than the dense design of a HEPA filter. This thinner construction traps only very large particles, fulfilling the pre-filter's main purpose–to extend the life of the HEPA filter by keeping it from getting prematurely clogged.
HEPA filters are designed to pull the tiniest of pollutants from the air and trap them permanently. Their ability to effectively trap these pollutants makes HEPA filters the heart of any filter-based air purifier.
It also makes the HEPA filter the most expensive filter to replace. Therefore, keeping your air purifier's pre-filter clean and clear will keep your HEPA filter working better for a longer time–and it will keep more money in your pocket. Many of today's more sophisticated units, such as UNbeaten Ferris 360 Antimicrobial air purifier, have filter monitoring systems that let you know when to change the filter, or how much time you have left before the filter needs to be replaced.
Carbon filters, composed of activated carbon, work by trapping or absorbing the chemicals and odors from the air. Carbon filters come in a variety of densities and thicknesses, based on their level of purpose.
Because the activated filter is the component of an air purifier that absorbs chemicals and odors, the bigger and thicker the filter is (or the larger amount of carbon present in the filter), the better the air will be cleaned of chemical or odorous pollutants.
When carbon becomes activated, it opens up or becomes porous, creating tiny holes within the carbon where pollutants will be trapped. As the unit's fan sucks the air through the carbon filter, the activated carbon absorbs the impurities. Overtime, the carbon's porous holes fill up, becoming inactive and, therefore, ineffective.
Regardless of the size of your carbon filter, it is important to maintain it. If your air purifier uses a thin carbon filter, then it will need to be changed more often, depending on how much you run the unit and the conditions of your indoor environment.
For example, tobacco smoke will saturate a carbon filter quickly. With a small amount of maintenance, carbon filters will help you get the most out of your air purifier, eliminating chemicals and odors from your indoor environment.
Remember, maintaining your air purifier will keep your unit working at top efficiency and your overall costs down. With a regular schedule and proper upkeep, you will enjoy a lifetime of clean, healthy air from your air cleaner.
The most important air purifier maintenance is to replace filters as needed. This keeps your air purifier running properly and extends its life.