Do air purifiers really work?

Are Air Purifiers effective?

As an inexpensive solution for indoor air quality, the home air purifier market has seen numerous transitions and restarts in its decades-long history. Along with those transitions, there have been evident breakthroughs in filtration technology, which may appear to be the next revolution in air purification. However, not all air purifiers are safe to use. Before we begin examining the numerous air purifiers on the market, it’s necessary to have a firm grasp on what constitutes a decent air purifier.


HEPA filters are the industry standard.

Using a dense, random arrangement of fibres, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters absorb airborne particles from moving air. HEPA filters extract particles from the airflow by exploiting the physics of particles passing through it. Their functionality is simple yet incredibly effective, and practically all air filtration at home now includes HEPA filters as standard equipment.


Not every air purifier design is the same.

All manufacturers of air purifiers are aware that their filters must meet the HEPA standard. However, long-standing, strict regulations for air filters can create a false sense of security regarding HEPA.

To label an air purifier as HEPA, it must contain HEPA paper, the type of paper used to make a HEPA filter. The question of whether the air purifier’s Total System Efficiency fulfils HEPA standards is another matter. Indeed, the efficiency of the majority of HEPA air purifiers is not tested. 

Leakage is the unseen element at work here. Despite the high effectiveness of many HEPA filters, many air purifiers’ housing designs are not completely airtight. This means unfiltered air travels around the HEPA filter’s frame or between the frame and the purifier housing through microscopic gaps, fissures, and spaces. Thus, while many air purifiers claim that their HEPA filters remove approximately 100% of particles from the air they purify, this is just half the story. In other circumstances, when leakage is included, the actual effectiveness of the complete air purifier design is closer to 80% or less.


Go beyond HEPA

While HypeHEPA filters are excellent at removing particles from the air, they do not remove gases or odours. In comparison to particles, the molecules that makeup gases, smells, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are not solid and will pass through even the densest HEPA filters. This is when activated carbon filters enter the picture. Activated carbon adsorption is the preferred filtration method for gases and chemical pollutants emitted by vehicles and combustion processes.

Now that you’re aware of the components of an efficient air purifier, you can now check on air purifiers online or at your local store. Always make sure to check the labels to see if it meets the requirement and standards.