Is an Electrostatic Air Purifier the Best Choice for Your Home?

The air in your home is vital to your health and quality of life. When investing in your health with an air purifier, it's important to buy the most effective technology available. Deciding which technology best suits you can be confusing, as there are a variety of air purification technologies to consider, such as deciding between HEPA air purifiers and electrostatic air purifiers. Both HEPA and electrostatic air cleaners remove particles from the air, but their processes for removing them vary significantly.

While HEPA filters capture particles using filter materials, electrostatic air cleaners trap charged particles. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters use a fine-mesh material to capture particles and are much more efficient than electrostatic filters. A HEPA filter has a first pass efficiency of 87-99%, whereas an electrostatic filter has only 60-80% first pass efficiency. In simple terms, this means that the HEPA filter traps more particles on its first trip through the system and cleans the air in rooms much faster.

Unlike HEPA air purifiers, electrostatic air purifiers do not use filters. Instead, homeowners are instructed to flush the internal filtration system every four to six weeks. Instead of the hassle of washing the filter, a HEPA filter can simply be replaced once a year. These filters will remove 99.97% of dust particles in the 0.3 micron range, while an electrostatic filter registers at 97%.

With millions of microscopic particles floating in the air we breathe, that difference adds up. Typically, an electrostatically charged panel filter is installed directly in your HVAC system and is made of coarse-grained fibers. Dust and other contaminating particles in your home that pass through the filter can be attracted to and stick to the fibers. These filters are usually cheaper than other mechanical filters such as HEPA because coarse-grated fibers are easier to manufacture. The main problem with them is that as the fibers are dusted, they become isolated and cannot attract particles as well as before.

However, these filters can be washed and reused. Ozone doesn't remove dust or particles from the air. Ozone is mainly used to reduce odor after fire or smoke damage. Ozone is documented as a health hazard by the American Lung Association and should only be used when humans are not around. I think it's very difficult for the average consumer to evaluate which is the best and most effective air purifier. In fact, it's frankly confusing.

When you read the average catalog, all the entries for air purifiers sound like the best thing that has come to this planet, they are not, but all air purifiers have their strengths. That's why at Allergy Buyers Club we set out to review and rate all of our products, and actually tell people the disadvantages and advantages of each product we sell. I think consumers should know that air purifiers are not a magic formula. They are no substitute for thorough cleaning of your home and removing settled dust with a good HEPA purifier. The educated consumer should consider several factors when choosing the air purifier.

Here is my checklist of twelve items. It's important not to get confused when air purifier manufacturers use the phrase “99.97% filtration at 0.3 microns”. This refers to the capacity of the HEPA filter under ideal conditions and is not synonymous with the actual clean air produced by the device or the overall efficiency of the air purification unit. That's why we consider data from independent testing laboratories to be very important information. There is a new trend for manufacturers to misuse the term HEPA for filter technologies that do not meet the standards of the Environmental Standards Institute,. Electrostatically Charged Fibers (Electret Air Filter) This filtration technology is used in air cleaners because it allows a relatively high initial efficiency (typically 50-90%) and allows air to move easily through the filter.

The disadvantage is that this filter technology becomes less efficient with use, as the fibers lose their electrostatic charge as they are charged. Electrostatic Precipitator This filtration technology uses ionization to charge dust particles and then metal plates or filter media, which carry an opposite charge to collect them. The initial efficiency of these systems tends to be in the 50-80% range. When the collection surface becomes soiled, this efficiency decreases significantly. In addition to losing efficiency, electrostatic precipitators can also generate ozone. Ionization of the ionizer itself uses high voltage to negatively charge particles in the air.

Since pure ionizers do not capture particles, charged particles are simply released into the room, where they tend to adhere to surfaces. This means that ionizers can only have a temporary effect of removing particles from the air. The EPA also draws attention to the fact that these charged particles, when inhaled, may have a greater propensity to get trapped in our lungs and become harmful to our lungs. Granular Activated Carbon This substance is used in many larger air purifiers. While it can be effective in removing gases and odors that are extracted through the unit,...

Wilbert Cromley
Wilbert Cromley

Extreme coffee evangelist. Evil zombie advocate. Friendly twitter nerd. Infuriatingly humble twitter trailblazer. Subtly charming introvert. Proud web ninja.