Demystifying air purifier jargon

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Demystifying air purifier jargon

Air purifiers are the new necessity in the list of home appliances, given the rise in alarming levels of air pollution. But it can feel a bit dizzying with all the technical terminology if you are in the market to buy one. You may feel lost owing to all the buzzwords and industrial jargon. A clear, simple, and comprehensive understanding of these terms will help you make a better purchasing decision and, at the same time, equip you with factually correct information to utilise your newly purchased devices better.


Top 7 air purifier jargon you should know about:

1. CADR : It stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). It is the most crucial metric to measure the performance of an Air Purifier. It is generally measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). It simply means the air in the specified area has been cleaned and stripped of pollutants after going through the filter. It is also measured in cubic meters per hour (CMH).

2. PM: When it comes to air purifiers and their lingo, PM stands for Particulate Matter. It is also known as Particle Pollution and Suspended Particulate Matter. These are microscopic particles, such as dust, dirt, soot, or smoke, present in the air, which can cause various health issues if inhaled for a long time. Based on the size of the particles, PM is divided into two broad categories; PM10 and PM2.5. PM10 are particles of size 10 micrometres or less, whereas PM2.5 are particles of a size of 2.5 micrometres or smaller. For reference, the diameter of a single human hair strand is around 70 micrometres.

3. HEPA: It stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. It is a type of filter most commonly found in air purifiers. It can capture Particulate Matters of almost all sizes. It removes other contaminants such as viruses, bacteria, pollen, PM2.5, allergens, and more from the air. You may have also heard of True HEPA; it is based on American standards in which a filter has to capture 99.97% of the particulate matter sized at 0.3 microns.

4. AQI: Stands for Air Quality Index. It is a real-time metric that refreshes continuously to keep you updated on the current air quality in your surrounding area. The air quality is represented by a number as well as a colour. If it is green and below 50, then it is considered satisfactory. Anything above it is considered poor and unsuitable for breathing. Most air purifiers have built-in AQI displays to show the air quality of the room in which they are.

5. Ioniser: An Ioniser is a method of air purification found in many air purifiers. Air purifiers with this technology emit negatively charged ions in the air that latch onto the pollutants and make them heavy to stay suspended in the air. The particles settle on the surface until you clean them up.

6. VOCs: This stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. It is a type of air pollutant that is responsible for several health-related issues. The primary sources of VOCs are paint, wood products, upholstery, foam, carpet, etc.

7. Activated Carbon: It is a type of filter found in tandem with HEPA filters in most air purifiers these days. It is a specially treated porous medium. It traps VOCs and other pollutants in these pores. They also help remove bad odour and smell from the air to give you fresh and odourless air.

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