You Could Be Inhaling Polluted Air At Home. An Air Purifier Can Help

Even if it may not be a complete solution to your air-pollution woes, an air purifier does check the level of some pollutants as well as common allergens in your home

Aindrisha Mitra Updated: Jul 31, 2020 19:36:37 IST
You Could Be Inhaling Polluted Air At Home. An Air Purifier Can Help Photo: Shutterstock

Most of you often worry about the alarming pollution levels outside the house. But, poor indoor air quality can be equally worrying. An air purifier can help check the levels of some pollutants (but not all of them) in your home.

Air purifiers have one or multiple filters that trap the pollutants and dust and send back fresh air which is circulated by the fan. They also help remove unpleasant odour—foul smell from the waste you have thrown in the dustbin, for instance—as well as smoke from the kitchen. They trap pet dander too.

Size matters

Bigger spaces need bigger air purifiers. Ideally, choose an air purifier meant for a room bigger than yours so that you can run it at a low speed for longer hours. Make sure you settle for a purifier with low levels of noise for your bedroom so that you can sleep peacefully.

Types of filters

An air purifier with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter can trap particles of various sizes. “The larger particles (ones bigger than the fibres) are captured via impaction (particle crashes into the fibre), mid-sized particles are captured by interception (particle touches the fibre and is captured), and ultra-fine particles are captured by diffusion (while zig-zagging the particle will eventually hit and stick to the fibre),” writes Rachel Rothman in an article for

Be wary of ‘HEPA-type’ or ‘HEPA-like’ labels as these purifiers may not have the same standard as a HEPA filter. These pleated filters, however, need to be replaced every six to 12 months.

Most filters are not able to trap gaseous pollutants—for that, you need activated carbon. Some purifiers come with HEPA as well as activated carbon filters that can trap dust particles and some gaseous pollutants, and check odour as well.  

Ionic air purifiers charge suspended particles in the air, making them stick to the machine plate or any other nearby surface. “If you’re interested in buying an air cleaner that uses ionizers, make sure it does not produce ozone, a gas made up of three oxygen atoms that is often marketed as helping break down pollutants, because ozone could be a lung irritant and further aggravate asthma conditions,” cautions Rothman.


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