It’s generally accepted that the point of an air purifier is to clean the air and that clean air is healthier to breathe than polluted air.
Who could argue with that point?
So how is it that people can make the claim that their air purifier is making them sick?
Or that they Aggravate Pre-Existing Conditions?
Can symptoms like headaches dizziness dry cough wheezing be contributed to an air purifier?
Can air purifiers make you sick?
Yes. Air purifiers can make you sick in three different ways
- You’re sitting too close to it.
- filter not maintained
- Ionizer is releasing too much ozone and too confined of a space.
A well maintained air purifier that is being used in the proper space in the proper way can only enhance your health and well-being and won’t make you sick.
but if you feel like you are experiencing some symptoms that could be related to the air purifier in your room, then there are a few points you can run through to see if you’re using your air purifier right.
- You’re sitting or sleeping too close to your air purifier.
When you first buy a small air purifier for your living room or bedroom, it may seem to place in the air purifier are right next to your bed or easy chair where you sit in the living room would be easy ideal spot for it.
Though other appliances like humidifiers and fans can work well using that logic, it’s not quite the same with air purifiers.
Most air purifiers use a filtering system that mechanically is basically a fan running in reverse. Pushing or pulling air through the filter.
So if you think about it, if you’re sitting or sleeping too close to your air purifier,
You are basically pulling the garbage from the air toward yourself and trapping it in a filter that you are sitting next to you.
Depending on your vicinity to where the air purifier is you maybe actually breathing extra polluted air.
Defeats the point.
The ideal is that you want to place the air purifier positioned to where it is pulling the polluted air away from you.
The second most popular air purifier is the ionizer.
Ionizers or ionic air purifiers as they’re all so called are basically machines that emit ions that make the particles in the air too heavy to float so that they fall to the surface.
The kicker is that they create a low amount of ozone in the process. Ozone is known to be a lung irritant.
Most ionizers do not create enough ozone to be considered dangerous. But as you can imagine, the air directly around the ionizer will have a larger concentration of ozone.
If you are sitting or sleeping right next to an ionizer, there is a chance that you are breathing in too large of a concentration of ozone.
Also as I mentioned before, the way an ionizer works is that it emits ions into the air that causes the dust particles in the air to be too heavy to float so that they fall to the nearest surface.
So it only stands to reason that the air and surfaces directly around the ionizer
tend to get extra dusty.
So if you are sitting or sleeping next to your air Ionizer, the air you are breathing is probably pretty dusty.
- 2. Dirty filter
It can be a hard pill to swallow given the expense, when you realize the amount of grime and dust that you’re HEPA filter is capturing,
then you realize you are not changing the filter nearly enough.
If the filter in your HEPA air cleaner is too dirty to allow for airflow, then it is not useful for capturing the pollutants out of the air anymore.
Not only is it not doing its job of cleaning the air, the air moving around the gross filter has a potential of being extra polluted itself.
Keeping clean filters in these machines is essential for them to work right.
Ionizers also lose their ability to function when not maintained properly.
For instance, since the ionizer works on the principle of the are particles being too heavy to float and falling, the ionizer itself can get so dusty that it will not allow for the machine to emit ions into the air.
It is recommended that you use a can of air too lightly blow the dust away.
This is especially true if your ionizer
Uses a UV that has a titanium oxide coating.
Be very careful not to knock the coating off of the bulb, is that is the part that is giving the ion machine it’s disinfecting power.
Has the blue light turn purple?
If the ionizer that you have uses a UV bulb,( you’ll know it because of the glowing blue light)
You should know that when a UV light is no longer a deep blue color and has turned purple, it has potentially gone bad and can be dangerous is that point.
you should not use the machine til it is check or till the bulb is replaced.
- .Too much ozone.
There’s plenty of people that would stop right here and say that ionizers are horrible and should never be used because they can generate ozone as a by-product and ozone is dangerous to breathe.
I’m not in that camp and I do not agree with that statement.
Though you can understand the point of pointing people away from Ionizers, ot only do you not recommend something that’s going to hurt someone,
It is almost at the point to where it is not really feasible to offer ionizers since California will not let you by them for ship them there.
So why not just join the crowd and dismiss ionic air purifiers all together?
It’s because ionizers can do something that HEPA filters alone cannot.
Render bacteria and viruses inactive. source
It’s one thing to capture germs in a filter, it’s another thing to be able to disinfect the air as well as the table tops and surfaces in the room.
This is the capacity that both photocatalytic oxidation ionizers and plasmacluster ionizers both possess.
That is not to say that a HEPA filter is not needed. I know there’s going to actually help a HEPA filter function because they clump air particles together making them big enough to be able to be caught in a HEPA filter and a lot of cases.
But the big question is
Can ionizers make you sick?
One of the reasons that ozone generating air purifiers were about by the EPA and banned in California is that but could not be regulated to ensure that to large of an ion air purifier was not being used in too small of an area.
That is the first point.
If the ionizer that you are using is rated for 100 square feet then placing the ionizer in a room that is 50 square feet would be complete ozone Overkill.
Remember ozone is a lung irritant and can aggravate pre-existing health conditions.
At that point the machine is no longer an ionizer but a full-blown ozone generator.
That leads to the second point.
Classifying the machine as an ozone generator completely changes the way it is used.
The number one rule of using an ozone generator is it is not operated in an occupied space he’s about people pets and even plants.
Saying that your ionizer should not be used around plants maybe a little extreme,
But only using your ionizer when the room is unoccupied by either you or your pets is a safe way to get the awesome benefits of ionizing air machines and keep yourself safe from ever breathing too much ozone.
Not to mention ozone has a pretty pungent odor sometimes. Just smelling too much of it can give you a headache.
Are air purifiers harmful?
Air purifiers are not harmful as long as they are properly maintained and placed properly.
Changing the way you think of air purifiers and how to use them is the best way to keep yourself healthy and not reap any negative effects from air purifier.