Air Purifier Myths Debunked: Part II
Last week, we took a look at three of the most common myths around air purifiers. Today we’ll look at an additional three myths. Check out last week’s list to get caught up.
Myth 4: One air purifier will be enough for my whole house.
My air purifier covers 1,100 square feet, and my apartment is only 1,000 square feet. That’s all I need right?
Maybe, but more than likely you’ll need another one.
Air purifiers work by creating an air current that circulates around the room, blowing clean air out into the room, and drawing dirty air in towards the unit. This air current is not very effective at moving down hallways, through doors or into other rooms.
In addition, your home AC/Furnace system may be blowing dirty air into one room while your air purifier is in another room. So it won’t be very effective at keeping up with the influx of dirty particles in the first room.
This is why we recommend air purifiers for each room where you or your family spends a fair amount of time. Check out what we recommend for small rooms, medium sized rooms and for open-concept layouts.
Myth 5: I got an air purifier. I'll never have to dust again!
Lots of people notice a significant reduction in dust accumulation in their home after getting an air purifier. They soon see where all that dust has gone the next time they change their air purifier filter.
However, does that mean that you’ll never have to dust again? Probably not.
An air purifier can only remove dust while it is airborne. It can’t go over and suck it up off of a shelf like a vacuum. So when you kick up some dust in the air, the air purifier only has a short window to remove it before it settles down and is stuck for all of eternity! … or until you come along and dust it up.
Therefore, the more rooms you have covered with air purifiers, and the more often you run them, the less dust accumulation you will see. If you still see dust accumulation, it might be a sign that you could use a second air purifier in the home to help the first one keep up.
See our recommendations on air purifiers specifically for dust.
Myth 6: All air purifiers remove chemicals and odors.
This is the myth that really upsets us.
We see countless air purifiers claiming to remove chemicals and odors that we know are completely ineffective at doing so. What’s worse, is that a customer that buys one of these units now thinks they have protected themselves, when in fact, they may be putting their family at a higher risk of exposure.
Why does this happen?
Because some people like to make bold claims based on loose connections.
For example, it’s pretty widely accepted that activated carbon removes chemicals and odors. Most air purifiers use some activated carbon. So most air purifiers remove chemicals and odor, right?
Not even close!
We think of it like this.
Rubbing alcohol can be used to sterilize things. You have a bottle of rubbing alcohol in your medicine cabinet. So would you say that the inside of your home is now completely sterile?
Why not? Well, the alcohol has to come in contact with the surface of whatever you want to sterilize for long enough to actually kill germs. Next, even if you did start putting rubbing alcohol on every surface in your home, one bottle isn’t nearly enough. Finally, rubbing alcohol is fine for hard surfaces, but what about things like pillows, food...or your pets?
Which brings us back to activated carbon and air purifiers.
First, you need an air purifier that has enough power to cover the area that you need cleaned of chemicals and odors.
Next, you have to have a significant amount of carbon to effectively remove those chemicals...pounds, not ounces. A simple charcoal pre-filter may be effective for a few days, but most likely you want them to last for several months between filter changes.
Finally, while plain activated carbon is great for many chemicals, you may need a special blend of carbon or other additives to target specific chemicals or odors you are trying to remove.
Take a look at the list of air purifiers that we recommend for chemicals, and you’ll notice that there are a lot of units with large amounts of carbon, very high coverage areas and lots of choices for specific chemicals.