In the United States, air pollution is a major cause of concern as it causes close to 200,000 deaths every year. A recent study undertaken by the prestigious MIT has revealed that air pollution is also responsible for conditions like asthma, autism and even adversely affects the child of pregnant mothers.
HEPA Air Purifier or Ionic Air Purifier – Which One Is Better?
In our day to day lives, we tend to breathe in everything from furniture flame retardants to household cleaning products.
Needless to say, an air purifier has become an integral part of each and every household. However, things are not so easy as it seems. After all, given the wide choice of air purifiers on offer, it is not very easy to decide on one.
Types of Air Purifier
There are basically 4 types of air purifiers – HEPA, Ionic, UV & Carbon. Since HEPA and Ionic are the two most popular types, we will discuss these two only – their merits, demerits, how they work and why one is better than the other.
How Does a HEPA Air Purifier Work?
The HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) air purification technology was originally developed during World War II to aid the respiratory system of the soldiers but today they are mainly used for domestic purposes as it has the capacity to trap 99.97% of airborne particles and almost 95% small to minute particles.
The air contaminants are very dangerous for the body as the natural defense system takes a beating and becomes very vulnerable to small particles that are below 0.5 microns. The HEPA air purifiers are much in demand in modern households as they remove the airborne particles down to the microscopic level.
The HEPA filter can easily remove contaminants like pollen, mold and pet dander but falls short to capture cigarette smoke and fumes. It is very important to buy a HEPA air filter that also includes an activated carbon filter which will trap the allergens that a HEPA cannot.
How Does An Ionic Filter Work?
The Ionic air purifiers are also known as electronic air cleaners as they are basically filterless. This type of filter sends out electrically charged ions in the air and these bond with the harmful impurities.
As soon as the bond is made, the particles become very heavy and they are unable to stay in the air. The contaminants will fall into the floor or if there is a collection plate then they will fall into the plate being attracted to the element.
However, if the household members have a problem with pollen or dust, then we have to admit that Ionic air purifier is not the best choice as it fails to eliminate the particles completely.
But it operates very quietly as there are no fans and motors. Some people prefer to use an Ionic air purifier as it operates noiselessly and removes ultra-fine particles quite easily.
Ionic Air Purifier vs HEPA Air Purifier
- We now know that HEPA air purifiers uses a physical filter and hence cannot cover as wide as an Ionizer. In fact, the largest space that a HEPA air purifier can clean is 700 sq ft. This is good for home use but these type of filters are probably not effective for large business spaces.
- On the other hand, the Ionic Air Purifier can purify huge spaces up to 3500 sq ft. This is really a huge coverage area and this type of air purifiers are perfect for the largest homes and businesses.
- The other area of concern would be the annual maintenance cost. The HEPA air purifier is an advanced technology and these come at a cost. HEPA air filters are usually much higher than Ionizers. The maintenance cost of a HEPA purifier is also very high and since these filters use a physical filter, replacement is needed on annual basis.
- The Ionic Air Purifiers, however, do not use any physical filter thereby eliminating the need for an annual maintenance cost. Even if the Ionizer comes with a collection plate, it is good to know that these plates are fully washable and can be reused for multiple times.
- When it comes to design options the HEPA air purifier wins hands down. The Ionizers do not come in many styles as most are vertical units that are placed in some corner of the home or office. Some of them have futuristic designs, none are wall mountable thereby limiting the options. The HEPA air purifier comes in various sizes and one can buy a one that matches the decor of the room. The HEPA air purifiers come in a variety of colors and styles.
The final choice of the air purifier will definitely rest with the end user but if there is anyone if the family suffering from asthma or any kind of lung disease then the Ionic air purifier needs to be avoided as it can pose a serious health risk.
Overall HEPA is the best option as it’s the gold standard in air purifying but it costs a little more. Ultimately the choice is down to you.