With the introduction of technological improvements, many appliances are now designed to help clean the environment. One of which is the air purifier.
As the name implies, this device can purify the air from dangerous particles that may cause asthma, allergies, and other respiratory problems. There are various air purifiers sold in the market nowadays.
Generally, the two most popular types of purifiers are available in the market. These are the HEPA air purifiers and the Ionic air purifier. However, consumers are asking whether one of the two is better.
So, to help you decide, let’s first know their difference and compare their benefits and disadvantages.
What Is an Ionic Air Purifier?
The ionic air purifier works by applying electrically charged air particles toward those air pollutants. Air will pass through an electrically charged sphere that charges particles like dust, pollen, and smoke.
These particles are believed to be positively charged, and the air from the purifier is harmful. With the opposite charges, these particles attract one another and bind together, forming more massive airborne particles making them fall out of the air.
This means that the particles are removed from the air but not the room.
It is believed that the ionic air purifier can kill bacteria and microorganisms through this process. It can also kill 0.1 micron-sized particles.
Pros and Cons
Yes, ionic air filters can kill finer particles than the HEPA air purifier anywhere in the room. This is why it is suitable for larger spaces.
The ionic air purifier is the choice for large rooms and commercial areas to keep dust at a controllable level. Some say that it is straightforward to maintain and less noisy.
One major known disadvantage of ionic air purifiers is that they generate a by-product: ozone. This is extremely irritant to the respiratory system, especially the lungs.
That is why it is not recommended for those with current lung ailments because it can worsen the situation. The second is that it does not remove particles from the room; therefore, they may go back again to circulate in the air.
How About the HEPA Air Purifier?
HEPA air purifier has a HEPA filter, which stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. It catches dust, pollens, pet dander, and other particles in the fibers’ mat.
HEPA Filters do not only catch non-living particles but microorganisms as well. The fibers’ dry area is a bad medium for bacterial growth, thereby preventing germs from multiplying.
When buying a HEPA air purifier, make sure you buy HEPA-true, not HEPA type or any other.
Pros and Cons
Without a doubt, HEPA air purifiers are the best option for allergies. This is because they are more effective in trapping allergens in the air, especially those larger than 0.3 microns.
These include dust, pollen, mites, and pet dander. Moreover, HEPA filters have another filter system like a charcoal filter for odors and a pre-filter that removes other large particles.
Unlike the ionic filter, these particles are surely trapped within the filter.
BUT, this cannot remove strong odors like chemical fumes and cigarette smoke. These machines, too, are considered noisy because of the fan system.
True and False About Ionic And HEPA Air Purifiers
Many commercials claim that the ionic air purifier is much better than even the best HEPA air purifier units on the market.
However, more and more people say that it’s false. So here’s a quick test for you to answer with true or false. Then scroll down to know the explanation for each item.
- Ionic air purifiers are better than HEPA air purifiers.
- The efficiency of an ionic air purifier can drop quickly.
- Ionic purifiers have a longer life.
- Ionic purifiers are safer.
- HEPA air purifiers are more expensive.
1. Ionic air purifiers are better than HEPA air purifiers.
FALSE. Most people say that ionic air purifiers are much more effective than HEPA air purifiers because they can filter up to 0.1 micron-sized particles. However, there are no scientific or state standards that can prove so.
The best HEPA air purifier units have a visible and accurate way of discovering their filter capacity. This is through the CADR efficiency rating the Department of Energy gives.
Technically speaking, there is no efficiency rating for ionic air purifier reviews. Only 80% of efficiency is expected in any electrostatic air cleaner in the market.
2. The efficiency of an ionic air purifier can drop quickly.
TRUE. Ionic air cleaners rapidly lose efficiency, unlike HEPA filters. As the ionic air purifier’s system attracts ionized particles to the plates like a magnet, these particles load up the plates, weakening the strength of the charges released.
You may know that ionic air purifiers work by charging particles, so the efficiency drops if charges are lessened.
Moreover, failure to perform regular cleaning will degrade the performance of HEPA and ionic air purifiers.
However, in HEPA air purifiers, you can address this problem by buying a new filter, and lo! It’s as if you have a new machine.
In the case of ionic purifiers, if you fail to clean the particles off the plates, they tend to be cooked on the surface, which makes them difficult to clean. Pollutants can stick to the plate.
3. Ionic air purifiers have a longer life.
FALSE. To clean the ionic air purifiers well, you must use other chemical substances to clean off a metal plate.
Moreover, since this uses electrically charged ions, corrosion and oxidation can cause a significant change in any metal materials around the plate. (Not to mention, most of the spare parts are metals)
You can also compare the warranty for these products. HEPA air purifiers have warranties as long as 3-5 years and even ten years, unlike ionic air, with only months to a couple of years.
This means that they are expecting their product to be unusable beyond the warranty time.
4. Ionic purifiers are safer.
FALSE. Though appliances nowadays emit a by-product of gases and radiation toxic to the environment, the ionic air purifier has more proof that it can produce an alarming amount of ozone.
Ozone has many effects that are dangerous to your health. It can damage cells in your airway.
5. HEPA air purifiers are more expensive.
FALSE. You might be convinced that HEPA air purifiers are more expensive because of the need to change filters (which are indeed expensive).
However, looking at the quality and benefits side, you will see that HEPA air purifiers can give you more than what you paid for with less harmful effects. It is more durable.
One filter is less expensive than buying a brand new air purifier if your ionic air purifier bogs down, right?
Now that you know the Pros and Cons of each type of air purifier, you can decide which one to buy.