How does an air purifier work?

It's not as complicated as you think!

How does an air purifier work?

Devices like air purifiers have become a common sight within households given the increased levels of air pollution. This, combined with a hectic city lifestyle and ever-increasing environmental degradation, has started taking a toll on our health. We can’t change our schedule, but devices like air purifiers help ensure the air around us is clean. Most of us have a rudimentary idea of air purifiers. But if you’ve ever wondered about how it functions, we have it simplified for you:

What is an air purifier?

An air purifier is a portable device that removes contaminants from its immediate surrounding and improves air quality. They are also known as air cleaners.

How do they work?

Most conventional air purifiers work on a simple principle of sucking in the air around it and passing it through a filter to remove pollutants. But they have evolved a lot, and there are numerous ways in which an air purifier can work. There are broadly four ways an air purifier cleans the air:

1. HEPA filter: This is one of the conventional methods in which an air purifier works. Air purifiers with HEPA filters have an internal fan to suck the air into the machine, which later goes through this filter. It traps pollutants, dust particles as minute as 0.3 microns, allergens, mould spores, visible smoke, bacteria, etc.

2. Activated Carbon: This, too, has an internal fan in it. It also sucks the air and passes through the filter to trap contaminants. This filter is a specially treated medium that is porous. The pollutants are trapped in these pores. It removes odour, vapour, and gases from smoke, cooking, chemicals, paints, and Volatile Organic Compounds.

3. Ionizer: This is a filterless system different from the rest of the conventional methods. It emits negatively charged ions into the air that latch onto pollutants. It causes the suspended air pollutants to remain in the air. It further removes fine dust particles, allergens, smoke, and mould spores. These contaminants remain on the various surfaces in your room until you clean them up.

4. UltraViolet Light: It also uses filtered technology. It emits short-wave Ultraviolet light to inactivate pathogens & microorganisms from the air. Air Purifiers with this technology are specifically designed to kill airborne bacteria and viruses. It disinfects the air by means of germicidal irradiation.

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