The consumer report air purifier deals with the different types of air filter, there classification, and there application. If you suffer from allergies or asthma then you need to buy the air purifier that is right for you.
There are several type of air purifier and just as many brands out there, what I want to do is to talk briefly about the different methods employed by the air purifiers to remove pollutants and there effectiveness. Some air purifier uses a combination or techniques to clean the indoor air.
The four main types of applications that air purifiers use are:
1. HEPA air purifier or filtration system
2. Electronic ionizers
3. UV purifiers
4. Ozone generators
HEPA Air Filters
The first of the lot is Hepa filtration system or High Efficiency Particle Air or High Efficiency Particle Arresting. These purifiers use pleated filters and a fan of some sort to pull the air through the filter and then beck into the air. This method of purifying the air is by far the best and most effective. The hepa purifiers are able to remove particles as small as 0.3 microns. So even some viruses and bacteria, mold and minute dust particles will be removed. Because they use fans to pull of push air through the hepa filters, these type of air cleaners can be a bit noisy, but the air will be much cleaner.
This process of removing particles from the air uses an electronic process that reverse the electric charge of particles in the air. The charged particles in the air are then collected on metal like plates in the device. The problem with this type of pollutant removal system is that most of the dust and the contaminants will be deposited on your furniture and your clothes and floor and drapes and your dog. So you will have to vacuum and dust and clean which means that the pollutants will be air borne again.
These purifiers work by using UV to destroy microbes such as some mold spores, viruses and bacteria, and some dust mites. It is a proven fact that these contaminants can be killed if they are subjected to enough UV for a good length of time, however, most of the UV air cleaners on the market fail to expose these pollutants to the UV long enough to kill them, rendering them ineffective unless they also have a filter.
I hope no one is using these anymore but just in case they are still out there, you should get rid of them. These do absolutely nothing to remove pollutants from the air and they produce a lot of Ozone that is can be dangerous for your health. A large amount of ozone can neutralize some bad odors like smoke but that all they will do. They are also banned in California.
Any air purifier you plan to get should have hepa filtration. This is the most reliable and effective way to get rid of air pollutants and contaminants in your home.