How ionizers work
The ionizer in an ionic air purifier creates negative ions, which are then dispersed into the air in your home. These negative ions then attach to the positively charged particles that are already in the air. These particles include things like dust, pollen, bacteria, or smoke. When the negative ions meet the positively charged particles, they bond together, creating denser particles that are too heavy to float in the air. Instead, they drop to the ground, where you can sweep or vacuum them up during your regular cleaning routine.
Features to consider while choosing an ionic air purifier
Not all ionic air purifiers are made the same, so it’s best to know what each of the features these models may boast is good for. The following sections cover the main features offered by these units, so you know exactly what you’re getting when you purchase one.
Type of filters
Though an ionic air purifier uses ionic technology to help get rid of the unwanted particles in the air, many of them add some filters as well for an even more thorough cleaning process. There are a few different types of filters that can be added, each with specific capabilities.
High Efficiency Particulate Air, or HEPA, filters are quite common and work very well, removing at least 99.97% of the particles of 0.3 microns or larger that flow through the air purifier. This includes dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and viruses, many of which are too small to see with the human eye. These filters use fiber-like materials that are folded to create an accordion shape, giving the filter lots of surface area for the air to flow through. They are one of the best options for filtering out the contaminants in the air.
Activated carbon filters absorb the pollutants, including smoke, gases, chemical emissions, and odors in your home. These are best for people with sensitivity to certain scents or chemicals. This makes the air fresher, plus it helps reduce asthma. They don’t reduce the allergens or airborne particles, though, so are often paired with other types of filters in an air purifier.
Pre-filters are also included in many of the ionic air purifiers on the market. These take care of the larger particles in the air, keeping them from reaching the other filters in the unit. These are often washable, so you can reuse them over and over again. They also prolong the life of the other filters in the machine, so they last longer, saving you a bit of money on replacement costs.
Though not technically a filter, UV technology is also used in some models. It doesn’t get rid of the airborne particles, though it is quite efficient at killing germs in your home, like viruses and bacteria. They use a UV lamp that is installed inside the unit. The microorganisms pass by the UV rays that are radiated from this lamp, which destroys them. This type of technology is best used along with other filters.
Ozone purifiers produce ozone gas. Though this can help to control the indoor air pollution in your home, high levels of ozone can be hazardous, causing asthma symptoms and even scarring your lungs. They do help remove the chemicals and odors over time but aren’t effective for getting rid of dust or other large particles. This type of technology is best used in low doses and never around children or pets.
The coverage area of the ionic air purifiers refers to the largest area it can be used while working at its optimal level. This area will vary from machine to machine. For instance, the Fellowes AeraMax 100 has a coverage area of 200 square feet. This means it is capable of clearing out the air in a room of this size or smaller very quickly. In medium-sized rooms, it won’t be able to clear the air out as fast, and in very large rooms, likely not at all.
When you’re looking for an air purifier, it is best to measure the size of the room you’ll be using it in first, then find a model that offers a coverage area of that size or larger.
Most ionic air purifiers include different fan speeds or settings to control how quickly the unit removes the contaminants from the air in any room of your house. For instance, the Fellowes AeraMax 100 includes four speeds: low, medium, high, and turbo. The higher two settings would be used when the air quality in your house if very low. These higher speeds circulate the air quickly, removing the contaminants at a much higher rate. The low and medium speeds are meant to maintain the air quality, keeping the contaminants from collecting again and making the air unbreathable.
Some models also include settings like Night Mode, Silent Mode, and Auto Mode. The Night Mode slows down the motor and turns off any lights on the unit to make it easier to sleep with it in your bedroom. Silent Mode is similar, turning down the fan to create less noise, which is handy when you want a quiet moment at home or for those in an office who need some peace to get their work done.
Auto Mode uses an air quality indicator, which we’ll discuss more below. This mode monitors the air quality in the room, changing the fan speed accordingly, bumping up the speed when the air quality is bad and lowering it again to maintain the healthy air in the room.
If there’s an air quality indicator
There are many air purifiers on the market that include an air quality indicator. One of these models is the Green Air Encore, which has a bright LED light in the corner of the machine. The color of this light changes along with the air quality using a sensor that constantly monitors the air in the room. When the air quality it good, it stays blue. Particles and pollutants in the air will cause it to turn yellow. If they aren’t cleared out and the air quality drops significantly, the indicator will turn red. This helps you maintain healthy air in your home, reducing any allergic reactions or other issues you may suffer from if the air is full of unwanted particles and odors.
Air quality indicators also take the guesswork out of using your air purifier since it is always keeping track of how polluted the air is and alerting you when the fan needs to be turned up to deal with unhealthy air.
The dimensions of the ionic air purifier you’re considering should be looked at since these tell you whether or not the model will fit nicely where you plan to use it. If the air purifier you’ve chosen is too big, you may have to move a few things around to fit it in, or take it back and find a smaller version. To save you the hassle, it’s a good idea to measure the space you have available and find a model to fit accordingly. For instance, there are tower models, like the Envion Ionic Pro Turbo, that can fit between your furniture or in a corner out of the way. If you have some space on a desk or a table, the square shape of the Ivation IVAOZAP04 may be a better fit, leaving your floor space clear, which is a must in rooms that have limited space.
Many people don’t think of the warranty until the product they have bought has failed in some way. This is likely because we tend to believe the items we spend our hard-earned money on will last forever. When it doesn’t work properly, due to some issue with the parts, the manufacturing process, or the shipping damage, we don’t want to have to pay for the repairs or the replacement since we weren’t the ones that caused the damage.
That’s why you need to make sure the items you buy, including ionic air purifiers, have a decent warranty, so you know the company will take care of those repairs or replace the product if it isn’t working as it’s supposed to. A one-year limited warranty is quite common, covering issues with parts or manufacturing defects for an entire year. The Fellowes AeraMax 100 takes this a bit further, offering a three-year limited warranty, so if it takes a bit more time for those issues to show up, you still won`t have to cover the costs of getting your unit fixed or buying a brand new one.
The main purpose of having an air purifier is to clean the air of pollutants. Of course, some models have a few extras features that make them a bit more worthwhile to use in your home or office. One of the most important features is user-friendly controls. If the controls are complicated and difficult to use, you may get frustrated and not want to use it at all. The easier the unit is to use, the happier you`ll be.
Permanent filters are also handy. These are washable, so when they are dirty, you just clean them and then put them back in, saving you some money in the long run. Indicator lights are usually used with these, to notify you that they need to be cleaned.
You likely don`t want an air purifier that is too loud. Luckily, all of the models we`ve reviewed are quiet, even on the higher settings, so they won`t disturb you during your daily routine.
You may also want to check out the design of the unit. Many people use them in their living rooms or kitchens, so these units need to be at least a bit presentable. Otherwise, you might be a bit embarrassed having them out when you`re entertaining your guests. A model that is sleek and attractive will fit in nicely with your other décor, looking stylish while it keeps your air clean.
How to maintain an ionic air purifier
When it comes to maintaining your ionic air purifier, it is a lot easier to do so than you may think. Follow the tips below to keep it clean and running properly.
- Keep the area around your ionic air purifier as clean as possible to prevent overworking the machine.
- Make sure there is a lot of space around the air intake and release so the unit will work properly.
- Inspect any outer grills or panels for dust buildup, cleaning them with a dust cloth or vacuum when needed.
- Monitor your filters to ensure they aren`t clogged, as this will prevent them from cleaning the air effectively.
- Clean the washable pre-filters or permanent filters regularly to extend the life of the inner filters.
- Keep it in a sealed room with closed windows and doors to keep any contaminated air from entering.