Air purifiers for the home are not uncommon these days. Many are forced to use them because of the housing located next to the production. In addition, the environmental situation in large cities is conducive to the use of these devices, because often the air in apartments is not as clean as one would like. The use of cleaners is also due to hygienic (sanitary) considerations. For example, dust flying in the air of an apartment contains pathogens, fungus, pathogens of many infections and allergens.
All air purifiers are divided into different categories depending on the principle of their operation. Below we will consider what types of cleaners are.
Photocatalytic air cleaner
The device of this device is very simple, which makes it universal in use. Essentially, this housing with UV lamp and catalyst (acting as a filter) inside. The use of porous glass as a filter advantageously circumvents the problem of constant instrument maintenance. In other words, you don’t have to constantly change filters, and this is a significant savings on consumables. Such a filter well absorbs even the smallest particles of debris (household and street dust, lint, etc.). The application of titanium dioxide to the surface of the filter allows the transmission and absorption of light rays. In addition, it plays the role of a catalyst, which was mentioned above.
Ultraviolet rays fall on the dioxide coating and, acting on it, start the oxidation process, which does an excellent job of decomposing organic substances.
Such an approach in the air filtration system is extremely effective when it is necessary not only to purify the air in the apartment, but also to humidify it. Humidification occurs due to the fact that in the process of filter oxidation, organic matter decomposes, forming moisture and carbon dioxide. After passing through a photocatalytic filter, at the opposite end of which there is an ultraviolet lamp (range A), the air is blown out purified and humidified.
The effectiveness of photocatalytic air cleaners cannot be overestimated.
- Such air purifiers completely rid the house of germs, unpleasant odors, dust and small debris, wool.
- Skin particles, dust mites, a layer of soot, carbon monoxide, mold spores and pollen are eliminated.
- Air purifiers with such a filter will be extremely useful during prevention of respiratory viral diseases (FLU, tuberculosis, etc.) and also contribute to the purification of hydrogen sulfide.
Adsorption (charcoal) cleaners
The main task of devices with such a filter is the physical absorption of gas molecules. They literally soak into the pores of the filter. In terms of eliminating volatile and semi-volatile compounds, carbon filters are unrivaled if the molecular weight of such particles is large enough to interact. The main indicator of the resource and efficiency of the device is volume of absorbent materials. Of course, the more of them, the more dirty air the device will be able to pass through itself. The performance directly depends on this, moreover, the dependence here is direct: the larger the volume of the filter, the more pores in it through which suction occurs.
This type of air cleaner involves changing filters as part of maintenance. When the consumable is clogged, work productivity drops sharply. Simply cleaning the filter itself is unlikely to succeed, as it is literally saturated with small particles. Surface cleaning won’t do anything. In this case, pleases a small price for this type of consumable.
Charcoal filters are among the cheapest on the market and can be changed quite often without having to wait until the pores are completely clogged.
Adsorption air purifiers are often equipped with a pre-filter (mechanical). This move is quite justified: falling directly on the carbon filter, large dust particles will quickly clog micropores, which is why the consumable itself can quickly become unusable.
- An adsorption filter based on fine activated carbon will cause additional air resistance.
- In the case when the pores and granules in the filter are quite large, the blowing will be more efficient, and this will lead to a larger volume of air to be cleaned.
If the carbon filter corrugated, then the volume of the filtering surface, respectively, will be increased compared to conventional consumables. The pleated filter absorbs gases better due to the wide surface.
Charcoal filters are not recommended for use in environments with high humidity. In addition, if small molecular gases are often present in the room, the efficiency of using this type of device will be extremely low. To solve this problem, it is recommended to resort to the help of formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide or nitrogen dioxide. A device based on carbon filters will not be the most effective for use in an urban polluted environment, so it is often used in conjunction (2 in 1) with other filters. For example, one of those that will be discussed below.
Air purifiers using fine mechanical cleaning technology
Such air purifiers are also called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting or, in other words, high efficiency particle retention). Devices with a HEPA filter are in great demand in large cities, because these simple devices are very effective.
In addition to the fact that such filters have increased efficiency, it should be noted that they form the basis of many air cleaners. The principle of operation of such a device is as follows: air is sucked into the apparatus under pressure, and, passing through the filtration system, is blown out cleaned. Dirt from 0.3 microns in size settles inside the filter, and this is almost 99% of all small debris present in the air we breathe. According to studies, almost all known allergens, as well as mites and spores, are much larger (from 1 micron). It is because of this that HEPA filters are recommended for use by anyone who suffers from a respiratory form of allergy.
The international classification divides HEPA filters into 5 categories: H10,11,12,13,14. The filtering quality increases depending on the numbers. For example, class H13 retains debris with a volume of 0.3 microns with an efficiency of almost 100%.
In terms of consumables, HEPA filters are not much different from their counterparts. The larger the area of the filter itself, the greater the amount of dust in the stream it is able to process and absorb. In addition, large filters last longer, because it takes longer to clog them. Not the last role is played by the shape of the consumable. It is important to ensure that the pleated cover is continuous to ensure efficient filtration at all times. If the pleat is too close to the other, it can cause the filter to pass through difficultly, which will negatively affect its efficiency. Some consumable manufacturers use synthetics instead of cotton resources.
There is an opinion that the best material for HEPA filters is precisely paper and derivatives, because it is she who helps to retain debris inside the filter with the greatest efficiency. In addition, paper has the least resistance to airflow. But there are some downsides to this.
- It is important to remember that the paper from which the filter is made is very thin, so it is quite easy to damage it when replacing it. Most manufacturers try to make sure that it is protected (for example, with corrugation).
- Another disadvantage of consumables is their biological neutrality. They do not have antiseptic properties by themselves. The surface of the HEPA consumable is a great place for colonies of bacteria, both good and bad. Of course, sooner or later, this will affect the quality of the blown air.
An improved analogue of HEPA is ULPA filter, delaying particles up to 0.1 micron in size with an efficiency of up to 99.8%. The principle of operation is the same for them, but UPLA can be called the next generation of HEPA. True, so far they are extremely rare.
Coarse filters (mechanical air cleaners)
The simplest and at the same time the most optimal solution for an apartment. Externally, these filters are ordinary metal grid, which is most often used for pre-cleaning, in conjunction with others. Their main purpose is to delay coarse dust and pet hair.
Such consumables are designed to protect not only users, but also the electronics of the equipment itself from dust. For example, HEPA filters are most often protected mechanically to delay their rapid wear. The most common models of mechanical air cleaners are capable of retaining particles with a size of 5-12 microns. There are few particles of this size in the dust, but the role of the mesh that holds them back is extremely important.
Settling on the pre-filter, large debris does not fall on the fine filters, thereby prolonging their operation.
Replacing the strainer is much easier and cheaper than buying a HEPA or carbon filter. The obvious advantage of this type of filters is their long service life. That’s right – they are reusable. To clean the mesh from dirt, it is enough to remove it from the air cleaner, vacuum it or rinse it under water.
With electrostatic (ionizing) filter
Filters with an ionizer have been widely used for a long time. The principle of operation is based on a simple mechanism of attraction of different polar electric charges. Passing through the ionizing chamber, dirt particles receive a “+” charge and settle on a plate that is charged with “-”. The filter plates can be easily cleaned by washing them with soapy water. In addition, such air cleaners also act as air ionizers.
Electrostatics is able to clean the room well from the smallest particles, using simple physical laws. In some cases, experts claim that the degree of purification efficiency of ionizing filters may be higher than that of HEPA. Together with the long service life of consumables, this type of device is recommended for use in an apartment.
Quite often, electrostatic filtering air cleaners come with carbon filters or the same HEPA. Sometimes you can find an ionic air cleaner with an ultraviolet lamp.
Air cleaner based on water filter
Such devices are also calledair washer“. Most often they go in combination with an air conditioner. The principle of operation of the water filter is simple, but at the same time quite effective. The fan sucks in dirty air, giving the dirt particles a “+” charge (as in electrostatic filters), after which they fall on the disk, which has a “-” charge. Dust is attracted to the disk, after which it is washed off into a special receiver-tray.
Such a filter also does not need to be changed, it can be serviced at home. Simply remove it from the device, clean it and put it back in. Of course, this has a positive effect on the evaluation of devices based on water filters. Quite often, the last word belongs to the one who can offer a cheaper, if not free, service.
The water filter can also be supplied as a class 2 in 1 device. For example, a HEPA filter can be installed to assist the water filter, but this is not a requirement. We will talk about such devices below.
Two types of filtration in one device
Quite often, one type of air filtration from dirt is not enough. For example, in the case when dust and dirt can have different sizes: wool, house dust, allergens, etc. There is a quartz air cleaner on the market that has photocatalytic filters. HEPA filters often have humidifiers as an additional source of pre (coarse) filtration.
Such devices are widely represented in the domestic market and are widely popular among people suffering from allergic diseases. A carbon filter in combination with a mechanical one will be a great helper in the fight for clean air in any apartment.
The disadvantage of this type of device is maintenance, which will require certain investments, because. consumables, however, will have to be changed from time to time, and in the case of HEPA filters, they can be expensive. Water and mechanical filters (mesh) do not need to be replaced.
3 degrees of air filtration in one device
When it comes to a multifunctional device, most often we mean hydro-air filtration. with the possibility of ionization. Such devices are needed where the highest requirements are placed on cleanliness in the room (for example, a hospital ward).
As a nice bonus, such a multifunctional device (3 in 1) can also be used as a fragrance to give the air in the room a pleasant freshness and fill it with your favorite aromas. This is done with the help of aromatic oils added to the humidifier sprayer.
As a rule, such devices operate in turn: cleaning, then ionization or humidification. It is not possible to use all three modes at the same time. Consumables must be changed in a timely manner, since a clogged filter impairs airflow, and therefore its optimal operation is disrupted. This may lead to breakage.
The simplicity of the device allows the use of such air cleaners for a long time. If you do not forget to change the filters on time, then such a device will last more than one year, helping to freshen and purify the air in your apartment or any other room.
UV air purifier
Most often found in the composition of multifunctional air cleaners. The UV air purifier is one of the very first devices of this type, and at the same time the safest. The principle of its operation is similar to quartzing (this device is built on its basis). Dust, falling into the hole on the case, is exposed to UV rays, which change its structure. The result is completely clean air.
UV cleaners are often used in medical institutionswhere it is necessary to maintain sterility without resorting to additional methods of sanitation of the premises.
Numerous studies confirm the harmlessness to humans, so these air purifiers are used even in apartments where there are small children.
In the Soviet Union, for some time they were very popular quartz lamps, were in great deficit. It was hard to get them out. They can be considered the first domestic air purifiers, on the basis of which numerous analogues have appeared over time.
The device of such a device is very simple: a fan with a UV lamp inside the case. Passing through its light, the air becomes purified. The obvious advantages of such devices include:
- no ozone formation,
- the air in the room does not contain its decay products – this means that the operation of the device is possible even when there are people in the room;
- consumes little electricity, does not make noise, is very simple and unpretentious in maintenance;
- copes well with mold and fungus, compact and easy to transport.
Air cleaner for car
A car air cleaner is just as necessary as a home air cleaner, and in some cases even more so. The car is a direct participant in the road traffic, being in the middle of the road filled with hundreds of the same cars, constantly throwing oil products into the air.
If air purification in an apartment depends on many factors (remoteness from hazardous production, etc.), then a car air cleaner is needed immediately, by default. In order not to inhale all the “aromas” of a multi-kilometer traffic jam, many people purchase an ionizer. Most often, this device powered by cigarette lighter. Despite its small size, such a device copes with its work perfectly.
The principle of operation of an ionizer for a car remains the same as in the case of a stationary device: the generation of crown charges that slip between the cathode and anode, i.e. electrodes with positive and negative charges. The air intake blows dirt from the street into the car, ions, meeting with dirt particles, transfer a charge to them. Carried away by the air flow, the particles settle on the plates (electrode), which are the “traps” for charged dirt, completely settling on them.
As you can see, the problem of air filtration in various rooms and car interiors is quite acute. The ecological situation does not give reason for optimism, which means that you need to take care of your health on your own, resorting to the help of specialized tools.
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