Do Ionizers Make Air Purifiers More Effective?

Ozone, a lung irritant, is produced both indirectly and directly by certain electronic air filters and ozone generators. Indirect production of ozone is a cause for concern, but the direct introduction of a lung irritant into indoor air is even more worrying. Despite what some marketers may say, there is no difference between the ozone present in outdoor smog and the ozone produced by these devices. Under certain conditions of use, ion generators and other air filters that generate ozone can produce levels of this lung irritant that are higher than levels considered harmful to human health.

It's possible that a small percentage of air purifiers that claim to have health benefits are regulated by the FDA as medical devices. The Food and Drug Administration has set a limit of 0.05 parts per million of ozone for medical devices. Ozone can be used to reduce odors and pollutants in unoccupied spaces, such as to remove the smell of smoke from homes affected by fire, but the levels needed to achieve this are above what is generally considered safe for humans. Ionizers are better at eliminating smaller molecules, such as bacteria and viruses, so they may not be beneficial for people with allergies or asthma.

Ionizers do not remove particles from circulation. Instead, they charge them to attach to something else. Unless you constantly clean the hard and soft surfaces in your home, it becomes difficult to remove particles that have fallen to the floor. The Sunpentown SH-1508 ceramic tower heater has an ionizer and an air filter to keep the air warm and breathable, the Sunpentown SF-610 evaporative air cooler has an ionizer in its oxygen bar, and the Sunpentown microcomputer fan uses an ionic air purifier to cool you down as it cools.

Before deciding whether or not to add an air purifier with an ionizer to your home, it's important to understand what ions and ionizers are and how the ionization function of an air purifier works. Ionizers work by releasing negative ions into the air which attach themselves to airborne particles such as dust, pollen, smoke, and other allergens. These particles become heavier and fall out of the air, making it easier for you to breathe. Ionizers can be beneficial for people who suffer from allergies or asthma because they help reduce airborne allergens in your home.

However, it's important to remember that they do not remove particles from circulation. Therefore, if you want to keep your home free from allergens, you should also use other methods such as vacuuming regularly.