Air Purification Systems

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Air purification systems are easily researched and purchased online. Sales of air purification systems in recent years have increased 70 percent. In 2003 alone, 3.4 million units were purchased.

Air purification systems work in one of two ways. One is the filter method, in which a fan draws air through a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, made of either paper or fine-mesh. Most air purification systems use HEPA filters. Another way air purifiers work is through an electrostatic precipitator. These types of air purifiers draw air through an electrical field. Charged particles are then trapped on oppositely charged collector plates. Drawbacks of the latter system are that they make a loud static sound when dirt is drawn into the system, and in many cases emit an odor that some consumers find objectionable.

Air Purification Systems: Who Should Purchase Them?

The Environmental Protection Agency reported recently that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air. Most people can remedy this by simply opening their windows when weather permits. Severe allergy or asthma sufferers, however, for whom this is not an option, are well advised to consider the purchase of an air purifier.

In selecting the air purification system, be sure to check for certification by the Association of Home Appliances Manufacturers. This organization is volunteer based and considered by Consumer Reports to be an unbiased evalulator of home products. The AHAM certification label will clearly tell you the clean-air delivery rate (how fast the room is cleaned) as well as the maximum coverage area.

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