An ionizer cleans the ambient air by adding an electrical charge to the molecules in the air. Other air purifiers use HEPA filters to filter out contaminants. Air ionizers use ionization to clear the air of dust, germs, and smells.
How does an air ionizer work?
Air ionizers work by polarity. By issuing negative ions into a room , they attract the positive ions, which are considered to be the contaminants in the air.
When the negative ions combine with the positive ions, the new combined ion becomes too heavy to float and falls to the ground or nearest surface.
Many ionizers are combined with HEPA filters to capture the newly formed dust particles created through ionization process.
Is ionized air good for you?
Yes ionized air is clean air.
Benefits from ionized air include
- Removal of allergens
- Pet dander
- Mold spores
- Other airborne microbes
Ionized air has also been linked to having a happy attitude. Believe it or not there is science that suggest that a room that has an overabundance of negative ions actually contributes to feelings of happiness and joy.
Air ionizer dangers
The dangers related to air ionizers come in the form of ozone.
Because negative ions are generated by using a high voltage spark, ozone is introduced as a byproduct.
Ozone is very dangerous to breathe and is not considered to be safe to use in the vicinity of people or pets are even your plants.
Air ionizers are typically engineered to create a much lower level of ozone that is not dangerous.
But the problem with that is is you cannot regulate how the consumer uses the ionizer.
For instance an ionizer that is meant to cover 500 square feet safely would be a hazard in an area that contains 100 square feet.
So what do you do? Throw the baby out with the bathwater?
Because air purifiers that use ionization can be so effective, the answer could be as simple as leaving the air purifier on for a few hours and letting it dissipate before utilizing the area again.
Whoever said you had to keep the air purifier on with your head stuck into it for it to work?
You can easily leave it on while you’re at work and turn it off when you get home or a even better idea is to buy one with a timer on it and set it to go off a hour or two before you are in the house.
Use the same precaution that you would use when operating a full powered ozone generator.
Most of these concerns come from the fact that ozone generators have been marketed as safe domestic air purifiers.
Even though most manufacturers of air purifiers want to run away from ozone because of the negative connotations,
and the fact that in California they are illegal,
you will still find air purifiers that have the ozone dial to turn on when you want to get that extra kick.
Ozone is a powerful tool that is used in many industries to not only clean air but food and water, and also exceptional at remedial mold and smoke cleaning.
But it is up to the manufacturers of air purifiers that generate any type of ozone as a by-product to educate on how it should be used safely and to definitely not lie about or deny the dangers of ozone to sell their machines.
Air Ionizer vs. Air Purifier Vs. Ion Fan
Air purifier is a generic term that covers all types of air purifying technologies.
Whereas an air ionizer is an air purifier that uses ionization as its specific technology for cleaning the air.
Also since the majority of air purifiers use HEPA filters as their primary cleaning source, the term air purifier has almost become synonymous with HEPA filter.
Though HEPA filters are extremely effective at reducing indoor air pollution, other technologies that use ionization such as photocatalytic oxidation and plasmawave can do much more to reduce certain types of poor air quality like germs and viruses and chemical pollution such as aerosols and paint fumes.
Ionizer air conditioner
Using an ionizer in your air conditioning system is also one of the best ways you can eliminate indoor air pollution in your home.
Your central heat and air system, believe it or not can be the primary source oh air contamination in your home or office.
The reason being is that the air unit itself also doubles as the perfect environment for the production of mold spores.
You may have heard of air conditioning sickness or air conditioner sore throat type problems and wondered how the two could be related.
The reason is because every time your air conditioner kicks on it also becomes a delivery system for all the contaminants that are inside of the duct work of your system.
Many people notice that at the beginning of a season after they haven’t been using their air handler for a while, they will have allergy symptoms after they turn it on.
Using an ionizer technology like photo catalytic oxidation or plasma inside of your HVAC, you can not only prevent the production of spores and bacteria inside your duct work you can also remove the the existing germs before they enter into your home.
That means your central heat and air conditioner can act as a giant whole house air purifier they cannot only deliver clean air into your home, it can also take polluted air from one room and clean it before it enters into the rest of the house.
Also with giant plus is the fact that any ozone manufactured in the ionization process by in duct ionizers will have completely dissipated before it ever enters into your home.
This is something that a HEPA filter air purifier cannot easily do.
Even though your central heat air conditioner is outfitted for filter replacements, using HEPA filter replacements can add way too much strain to your system because they are made to be so dense that are cannot easily flow through them.
This will not only inhibit the airflow, it will also add to the deterioration of your system because of its need for easy air flow.