The Pros and Cons of Ionizing Air Purifiers

Ionizers are a popular choice for air purification, but do they really improve indoor air quality? Ionizers are effective at killing smaller molecules, such as bacteria and viruses, but they don't remove particles from the air. They also charge particles to keep them in circulation. Unless you clean your home regularly, it can be difficult to remove particles that have settled on the floor. Ionic air purifiers, also known as air ionizers, are a popular option for air purification.

They're effective and relatively inexpensive. Ionizer air purifiers are generally safe because they don't produce enough energy to be harmful. But what do they actually do? How do they remove particles from the air or improve odors in a room? Air ionizers work by releasing ionized particles into the air. Laboratory tests and field tests have been conducted to measure the effects of ionizing devices on particulate air and gas samples.

The results of these tests have been conflicting, so I usually keep my ionizer option turned off. I have a Therapure TPP300D with UV+ ionizer that runs for 8 hours every day in my living room. Chamber and field tests have found that an ionizing device can reduce some volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including xylenes, but can increase others, particularly oxygenated VOCs. Another study of air ionizers in school classrooms reduced particle concentrations and improved respiratory health among children aged 11 to 14 years.

However, the same study found that ionizers had an adverse effect on heart rate variability (a measure of cardiovascular health), meaning that any benefit to the lungs came at a cost to the heart.

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