Air conditioning is something most of us take for granted. But few of us realize how lucky we are to have air conditioning. Combining the ability to sanitize and clean the air in a room with the same system that delivers cool air only seams logical.
What is an Ionizing Air Conditioner?
The Ion or Anion mode on an AC reduces indoor air pollutants like germs and bacteria by emitting negative and positive ions into a room.
When the AC ionizer is in operation, Plasma ions ( ions with both polarities)
surround airborne contaminants like viruses and effectively damage the cells and make them inactive.
It is interesting that the anion symbol on an ion air cooler is a pine tree. This probably is a reference to fact that negative ions exist in abundance in the forest.
Negative ions are also known to be in abundance at beaches. Negative ions are found in their highest after a thunderstorm. Lightning is where they source from.
Plasma Air Conditioner
Though only a couple or few years ago, Ion air conditioners seemed like the new rage. Models like the Sharp Plasma Air Conditioner and LG Residential mini split with Plasma Mode had amazing features, yet didn’t become the great sellers you would think they might have.
Regardless whether your air conditioning is equipped with an Air Ionizer, Bi Polar Plasma air purifiers are still available as induct HVAC air purifiers.
Plasma Induct air purifiers are actually more efficient than a mini split with a built in Ionizer.
Induct air purifiers use the existing HVAC ductwork to create a whole house air purifier.
Since the air inside of the house is already being circulated through the central heat and air system, it makes sense to clean the via the system that is distributing it.
Additionally, the HVAC itself is one of the main sources of indoor air pollution in the first place.
Because of the climate of moisture and darkness inside of the air handler, mold has everything it needs to become a issue inside of your system.
And once the air kicks on, mold spores and bacteria existing inside the unit are then moved around through your entire home.
Induct air purifiers clean the air at the source of the pollution and distribute clean air throughout.
Doesn’t that mean you have to leave the fan running for the air purifier to work?
There are expenses that come with come with leaving the fan running like an increased energy bill and more degradation through the filters since they are in use all the time.
But the cost between using a plasma ionizer in the HVAC compared to using HEPA filters in the HVAC is pretty small.
The reason is, central heat and air needs good airflow to work properly. HEPA filters are so dense that they tend to overworked the air conditioner.
Which leaves higher energy bills and a little lower life expectancy for the HVAC unit itself.
Another bonus to using induct ionizers is space that it goes any ozone created to dissipate without becoming an indoor air pollution problem itself.
Also stand-alone ionizers tend to make all the surfaces around the ion machine extra dusty.
The reason for that is that ions weigh more than dust. So when the ions that are emitted from the machine connect with the particulates in the air, they clump together and fall.
Grey Wall syndrome is a phrase that describes the dust that gathers on walls when an ionizer is present.
Induct ionization doesn’t have the same problem because the ionization process happens inside of the ductwork.
That doesn’t mean that it will not leave extra dust behind inside of the ductwork.
And unfortunately an ionizers in air purifiers do not filter dust so you will still be flipping the cost to have the ductwork cleaned out from time to time.
What Does Ozone Smell Like?