Air purifiers are popular for their multitude of benefits, but what are they? Do air purifiers dry the air? Maybe you have an air purifier and you feel like it’s been drying your air out. We have the explaination for it all and the know-how on optimizing air quality.
Between worrying about pollutants and moisture levels, caring for your air quality can be intimidating. Luckily, we’ve done all the work to simplify the process for you and help you understand how you can improve the air your family breathes easily.
How Do Air Purifiers Work?
Similar to machines like portable air conditioners or dehumidifiers, air purifiers work by pulling in the surrounding air with a fan to be treated inside the machine before being pushed back out. Unlike those machines, an air purifier is not meant to change the temperature or humidity of the air.
Air purifiers are simply designed to clean the air. This is accomplished by circulating air through a series of filters designed to trap particles. In addition to filters that capture the contaminants, some machines even have a UV light. This UV light takes air purification one step further by actually destroying the contaminants.
In addition to the filters, you should look out for the CADR rating, or Clean Air Delivery Rate. It measures how efficiently air purifiers remove pollutants from the air. CADR ratings reflect the air volume in cubic feet per minute (CFM) that the purifier cleans.
A HEPA filter, or high efficiency particulate air, is designed to remove dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns. They are one of the best types of filters for removing a vast majority of contaminants from the air.
True HEPA filters are designated even further. Tue HEPA filters are the only filters that are certified to remove 99.7% of those particles down to 0.3 microns.
Activated Carbon Filter
A carbon filter is the only one on this list specially designed to tackle VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the air. The air is passed through a bed of activated carbon, which combats the VOCs released by common household products. They also can be used to remove odors from the air, like tobacco smoke and cooking smells.
Any effective air purifier will have these two types of filters working together.
Benefits of Air Purifiers
Air purifiers have a lot of benefits, which is why many families choose them. Some of the biggest reasons why someone may want to use one are below.
Asthma and Allergies
Asthma and allergy sufferers know that an ounce of treatment is worth a pound of cure. Anything that can ease the breathing will improve your quality of life, especially in a space where you spend so much time.
Some people suffer from outdoor seasonal allergies like pollen or indoor dust or pet dander allergies. These allergens can actually live for up to 6 months in a space if the air is not cleaned. Keeping the air clear of these triggers helps you breathe easy.
Smoke and Odors
If you frequently cook at home, you know that the kitchen can be a source of smoke and odor. Smoke can odor from tobacco products can also help be eliminated. One of the biggest sources of odor in many homes, a cat litter box, benefits hugely from clean air.
An effective air purifier will ensure that you can continue to cook, entertain or rescue furry little friends. By capturing particles regularly, it stops lingering odors from getting stuck in your upholstery.
Colds, flus and viruses, including Covid-19, can spread through airborne microorganisms. An air purifier’s filters can capture these and prevent spread. Purifiers with a UV light will go above and beyond and actually kill the virus and bacteria.
Dust and Mold
Dust and mold can cause discomfort and even health hazards in a home. Vacuums and dusting surfaces can only do so much to keep dust away. No matter how often you clean, dust will accumulate in a home, as it is made up of human skin, among other materials.
Mold spores are airborne and can be dangerous to your home and health. Mold can ruin things like books, art, furniture and even your home structure. It can also cause health issues for your family. If you find yourself feeling sick or your body irritated with no other explanation it is likely mold is the culprit. If you find yourself with dust and mold ruining your quality of life, you’ll want to get your air cleaned.
Even the most conscious home is going to accumulate harmful chemicals in the air. Everyday items like fireplaces, cleaning products, candles, kitchen appliances and more produce hazardous, gaseous byproducts. Even just structural building materials will emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds. Hazardous gases include gasoline and formaldehyde among many others.
Not only do they aggravate asthma and breathing but some of these VOCs can even be carcinogenic. In large accumulations over long periods of time, these can be extremely dangerous to your health. Other pollutants like carbon monoxide, radon and asbestos are nearly undetectable and odorless, but also extremely dangerous.
With the health and wellness industry growing, it’s no wonder people start with their air quality.
Improved Mood and Sleep
People are increasingly trying to understand and focus on the effects environmental stress can have on the body and mind. Air pollution can also lead to changes in mood and behavior as well as psychiatric symptoms, including anxiety.
The negative effects of molecular pollutants will disrupt your peaceful nights sleep and even contribute to snoring. Without being interrupted, your body can recuperate from the day at a quicker rate.
Sleep has been linked to improved cognitive abilities, reduced depression and higher academic performance. However, this can be difficult if you’re experiencing symptoms like congestion, stuffy noses, sneezing, sinus headaches.
Do Air Purifiers Dry The Air?
In short, no… or rather, not really.
Like dehumidifiers, air purifiers can help with problems like mold and mildew, but it is because of the filtration system capturing the pollutants, not lowering the humidity levels needed for pollutants to thrive in.
Unlike dehumidifiers, air purifiers do not have a water tank that collects moisture. Technically, small amounts of moisture can be absorbed into the filters, but it is undetectable. Because the machine circulates air similar to a fan, the air can feel slightly cooler and make you think it is drier. In reality, it’s just due to movement.
The recommended indoor humidity levels can vary slightly depending on the time of year, but generally fall between 30%-50%. If you believe you are suffering from mold and mildew, especially in poorly circulated, damp areas, like a garage or basement, an air purifier and a dehumidifier working together can greatly improve your air quality.
Tips For Using an Air Purifier
If you do choose to use an air purifier system in your home, there are few things you can do to maximize its effectiveness.
First and foremost you’ll want to make sure you have the correct machine for your room size. Manufacturers will indicate the square footage that their machines are designed for.
An air purifier is only as good as its filters. So, you need to keep them cleaned or replaced regularly. That time frame depends on the machine and manufacturer.
They will also only be able to fully clean the air in an enclosed space. That means you’ll want to keep the doors and windows closed in the room.
When it comes to placement, don’t block the air flow or try to stick the machine in a corner or behind furniture. Even better if you can, lift it off the ground and onto a tabletop or stand.
Our Top Air Purifier Pick: VEVA 8000
The VEVA 8000 air purifier is our top pick for a reason.
Its true HEPA filter captures tiny particles and the premium pre-carbon filter absorbs smells. It will remove all household odors such as smoking, cooking and pet smells, leaving your indoor air fresh and clean.
Better yet, the VEVA 8000 is user friendly to operate and periodically replace the filters. It also comes with suction cups and a detachable base so you can put it on your shelf for additional storage. It even captures up to 325 square feet.
The VEVA 8000 consistently gets high marks due to its value — it’s a high-quality air purifier at a budget-friendly price point.
While an air purifier has many benefits, maintaining humidity levels is not one of them. So do air purifiers dry the air? No, but they do have a slew of benefits on their own. If you are struggling with high indoor humidity, a dehumidifier working with a seperate air purifier, like the VEVA 8000, will not only resolve the issue in the air but also help with some health issues that can be caused.