If you’re concerned about the quality of air in your home, you’re right to be alarmed. Studies show that indoor air is often substantially dirtier than the air right outside the door. This is why increasingly homeowners are considering the purchase of electronic air cleaners. In contrast to mechanical air cleaners that use filters to trap particles, electronic air cleaners use electrostatic attraction to remove polluting particles from the air. Here is a look at two kinds of electronic air cleaners:
How do They Work?
Both kinds of electronic air purifiers deliver a charge to the polluting particles, but the way they do this differs from each other.
Electrostatic precipitators draw air in and, as the polluted particles pass through the ionizing mechanism, charge the particles. As they continue to flow through the air cleaner, a plate with the opposite charge attracts the particles to it, thus removing them from the air. This plate must be cleaned periodically to maintain its attractive power.
Ion generators release ions into the air that attach themselves to airborne pollutants. These are then attracted to surfaces in the room like drapes, walls or the floor, and are thus removed from the air you breathe.
How Effective are They?
The federal EPA has stated that electronic air cleaners are highly effective because of their ability to remove fine particles from the air. They will remain efficient, however, only if the owner of an electrostatic precipitator remembers to clean the plate periodically.
What are the Limitations?
Electronic air cleaners can only capture particles, not gases. Also, some are known to generate a byproduct called ozone, which could make the air quality even worse. Fortunately, some manufacturers sell electronic air purifiers that don’t produce ozone. These are preferable for this reason. Also, ion generators, while they remove pollutants from the air, can cause other surfaces in the home to become dirty. This is a tradeoff that many people aren’t willing to make.
If your goal is cleaner indoor air, an electronic air cleaner may certainly be a wise investment for you. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to find a product that doesn’t produce ozone. Since manufacturers tend to advertise this heavily, it should be easy enough to find. Contact Powers Heating & Airin Peachtree City for more information about indoor air quality.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about electronic air cleaners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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