There is a lot of information on the internet about air purifiers. A lot.
There is also a lot of competition when it comes to air purifiers from people who sell HEPA filter air purifiers versus people who sell ionizer air purifiers.
And a lot of misinformation coming from both sides.
Many websites claim that you should never use an ionizer because it can create ozone as a by-product
And of course the other side says that the amount of ozone that ionizer creates is well below the federal limit and is not dangerous at all.
Should I use the ionizer on my air purifier?
The ionizer on an air purifier should be used because it will clump together the ultrafine particulates that are normally too small for a HEPA filter to catch. Ionization causes the tiny dust particles to become large enough to be captured inside the HEPA filter
That does not mean that you should only use the ionizer and throw away the HEPA.
These two technologies work very well together. Because ionizers work through polarization that clump particles together, they actually make it possible for a HEPA filter to capture the ultra fine particles.
Ions not only make airborne particulates too heavy to float they also have the ability to render bacteria inactive.
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An article by Newscientist claims that “repeated airborne infections of bacteria acinetobacter in an intensive care Ward have been eliminated by the installation of a negative ionizer”
Studies also show that negative ions can have a real effect on your outlook. Who would have thought that negative ions and combating depression could have any relation?
Yes, the ionizer on your air purifier is an amazing tool.
But the problem remains that ionizers do create ozone as a by product and ozone can be dangerous to breathe and can in fact oxidize your lung tissue in the right circumstance.
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So what are you to do?
The first rule and regulation for using an ozone generator is that the area must be unoccupied by people, pets, or plants.
Then once the ozone machine has been operated, the area must be allowed to air out at least an hour or two.
Why would the ionizer on an air purifier be any different?
Somehow because an air purifier has an ionizer setting, it tends to make you want to believe that it can be left on all the time.
That’s not the case.
Just because the ozone that is being created by the ionizer on the air purifier is not being distributed at nearly the volume of a ozone generator does not mean that you should not respect the ozone any less.
Just like you would not use an ozone generator in an occupied room, you should use the same logic with the ionizer on your air purifier.
Even the small amount of ozone coming from an ionizer can build up especially if the ionizer is being used in too small of an area.
Using the ionizer setting when there is no people are pets around is the best way to ensure that you or your pets are not breathing in any type of concentration of ozone,
But meanwhile still getting the benefits and advantages of using an ionizer that a HEPA filter air purifier do not give you alone.
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Why is it then that devices like personal ionizers are so popular?
Personal ionizers are usually are the size of a necklace and since you typically wear them around your neck, that’s a good comparison.
These air ionizers are so small that ozone can not even be detected as a by-product. About the equivalent of an ionizer on a fan.
But that also means that they can only work in a very small area.
Do personal ionizers work?
The point of a personal ionizer is to purified or clean the air that is directly in front of you being breathed.
The particles around you especially when you are sitting in front of your computer are positively charged.
And since they all have the same charge they repel each other and remain kicked up into the air in front of your mouth.
Adding a small personal ionizer that is generating negative ions can help clear your personal air by attaching themselves to the positive ions helping them become too heavy to float and falling out of your personal space.
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Negative ions also have some history of being believed to have a positive effect on your mood. Which can be affected by sitting in front of your screen all day.
Lots of fear and misrepresentation have kept people from gaining a better understanding of ionizers and the benefits did they can get from them.
Are ionizers can be better at clearing the air of ultra fine particles because they use polarity to clump particles together which become too heavy to float and fall.
HEPA filters as amazing as they are cannot capture particles below .03 microns.
Running an ionizer can help clumpy ultra fine particles together which become large enough to be trapped into a HEPA filter.
Cats and dogs playing together.
Ions have also shown to be capable of making germs inactive as well as create a feeling of well-being.
With so many ups, what’s the down?
Unfortunately ionizers create ozone is a by-product in Ozone can be a lung irritant in the right situation.
Should that deter you from using an ionizer for the ionizer setting on your air purifier all together?
No. Simply remember that and ionizer is meant to be ran when the room is not occupied with people or pets.
Also ensuring that the size of ionizer is congruent with the size of the room that you are cleaning the air in will help prevent any ozone build up.
Ionizers have definitely had their problems in the past with false advertising or hearsay.
But running an Ionizer is not unsafe at all as long as you do so understanding the most important rule of working with ozone.
Don’t use it around people and pets and allow plenty of time to air out.
Also there are many ionizers such as personal ionizers that you wear around your neck that do not create enough ozone to be detectable and are not a problem to use at all.
Just don’t think that you’re going to get a whole room effect out of a tiny ionizer that you’re wearing around your neck.
The point of such a device has to clean the air in front of your face when you’re stuck inside an office cubicle in front of your flat screen and not much more.