Air purifiers and humidifiers
To create a comfortable atmosphere at home, at work or in a car, you can install special equipment – air purifiers and humidifiers.
Purifiers are a system of filters that pass air flows and collect dust and microparticles in it. In combination with a humidifier, the air is enriched with water particles.
- Purifiers. They purify the air from dust, unpleasant odors, tobacco smoke, bacteria, carry out ionization and ozonization of the room. The level of work of cleaners is provided by several filters, different in their structure and design.
- Humidifiers. They are used to create a comfortable level of humidity in the room within 40-60%. Dry air saturated with dust irritates the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract. Humidifiers can be with hot or cold steam.
- Climate complexes. These are devices that combine purifiers and humidifiers with a cold evaporator. These two functions in the system work both simultaneously and separately from each other.
Air purifiers are stationary, built into the supply systems of premises, capable of servicing buildings and household ones. Household mobile appliances are more often designed to process one room. Also used in cars, and have special connectors for cigarette lighter operation. There are also models that are used to eliminate unpleasant odors in refrigerators.
Types of Air Purifiers
Filter systems are made of paper, cloth, felt, foam rubber, mesh and other materials.
According to their effectiveness, they are divided into three classes:
- the first class – catching dust of any size, the second name is “absolute”;
- the second class – the ability to capture particles with a diameter of more than 1 micron;
- the third class – trapping from particles from 10 microns.
Air filters are divided according to the material used and the principle of operation:
Mechanical – pre-filters. The task is to trap coarse dust, pet hair and hair. Installed in almost every electrical appliance to protect the inside of the equipment, they consist of a fine mesh. The used filter is replaced with a new one or washed, which allows it to be used repeatedly.
Coal – absorb gas particles. Efficiency is determined by the amount of material in the device. More micropores in the carbon allow more odors and gases to be absorbed, as well as longer filter life. Application in rooms with high humidity will be ineffective.
To increase the quality of air purification, carbon filters are combined with other types.
Replacing the carbon filter for residents living in the city should be done at least once every 4-6 months.
Oily – metal or plastic nets moistened with mineral oils. There are two types: self-cleaning or cell. Self-cleaning takes place by means of a constantly moving mesh belt through the oil reservoir.
HEPA filters. Originally designed to trap radioactive particles, they are now also used in purifiers. It is installed in medical institutions, where the condition of patients depends on air quality.
HEPA filter efficiency – 99.975%
It consists of sheets of fibrous non-woven material folded like an accordion. The factor affecting the quality of work is the diameter of the fibers in the composition and the thickness of the filter. For manufacturing, fiberglass fiber is used, with a diameter of 0.5 microns to 2 microns. Such a device in the design of the cleaner is able to capture the smallest particles due to several effective mechanisms:
- Engagement. Particles are caught on the fibers if the air flow passes close to the fibers.
- Inertia. Particles of large diameter have high inertia, which does not allow to bend around the fibers.
- Diffusion is the capture of the smallest particles.
Filters are replaced once in 1-3 years depending on pollution.
Spongy. Based on polyurethane foam, rubber and other sponge materials. They are used repeatedly, subjected to washing.
Electrostatic. There are two zones in the filter, where in the first of them the particles receive a charge, and in the second they are deposited on the plates. The accumulated dust can be easily washed off with water.
The purchase of new parts for these filters is not required, which makes them more profitable, but the performance of these devices is not great.
Electrostatic filters can spread free ozone, even in quantities dangerous to human health, therefore, at the slightest malfunction, stop using the device.
ULPA filters – more advanced than HEPA. Their efficiency reaches 99.999%. They also contain fiberglass, the pleating of which is separated by plastic threads.
Photocatalytic – work on the basis of ultraviolet radiation. Toxins, viruses, bacteria – all this does not accumulate in the device, but is destroyed to form water or carbon dioxide. Odors caused by organic compounds are destroyed by UV radiation.
Air flows through the holes, where harmful bacteria and microorganisms die under the action of ultraviolet radiation. At the exit, the user receives a sterile environment.
The use of UV radiation in cleaners is absolutely safe, but along with harmful microorganisms, beneficial ones are also destroyed.
The lamps are in a closed case and do not affect the human body, even when they are close to the device.
Units with UV lamps have the following advantages over models that do not have such lamps in their design:
- The device can be used at any time, regardless of the presence of people in the room. In the process of processing, no products of processing are released, in comparison with ozonizers. In older models, ozone particles were released during processing, but modern devices are designed with and without this problem.
- Low noise level – its complete absence. A purifier with a UV lamp can work at night without disturbing its owners during sleep.
- Low power consumption, which means economical to use.
- Prevention of fungus growth and mold formation. Fungal spores are microorganisms that are always surrounded by humans. Ultraviolet destroys spores, which allows you to maintain a healthy environment in the house and increase the life of interior items – furniture.
- Possibility of installation in any place. The device is portable, which allows cleaning in any room.
For this type of cleaners, there are operating rules:
- do not open the lid on operating equipment, it protects the eyes and skin from ultraviolet radiation;
- children should not be allowed near the device, the lamp contains mercury;
- the used lamp is disposed of in a special way, but not as household waste.
Cleaners equipped with UV lamps are of different types and differ from each other in quality and principle of operation:
- Ionic purifier with built-in quartz lamp fights dust and mites living in it, destroys particles that cause allergic reactions. The latest ultraviolet does not contain mercury in the lamps. Its use is permissible even in the presence of shaking in transport.
- Bactericidal UV type recirculator. Such equipment is actively used in medicine and food production. The device removes not only microorganisms, but also toxins in the air, unpleasant odors. Used around the clock.
- Ionizer with UV lamp. The presence of such a function in cleaners is useful for people suffering from diseases of the respiratory system (asthma, allergies), migraines and other possible diseases that are aggravated by the presence of odors. The air is purified from gases (carbon monoxide or sulfur), nicotine and the smell of tobacco smoke, pollen, unpleasant odors, etc. This device provides the air with particles of air ions, and in combination with a UV lamp makes it sterile.
The lamps in the units can be different, on which the duration of their work depends. The power of the devices, as well as the area of treated air, depends on the presence of additional filters in the device. The stores present models that can process rooms with an area of 19-25 m².
Types of Humidifiers
Devices for cleaning and saturating indoor air with moisture are divided into four types.
Traditional Humidifiers – units, based on which air flows pass through a wet filter. This equipment is also called “cold humidifiers”. When using this device, there is a slight decrease in the temperature in the room.
The rate of irrigation of the room depends on the humidity of the air. To prevent rapid clogging of the cartridge, it is prudent to use demineralized or distilled water.
Steam Humidifiers. The principle of operation is similar to electric kettles. The air is saturated with evaporated moisture when the water boils. The devices have a significant drawback – this is a high power consumption.
Power consumption can reach 600W.
Ultrasonic – air humidifiers operating on the basis of ultrasonic vibrations. In the process, small drops of water are knocked out from the surface of the water. The liquid does not heat up, the process is silent. Water suspension is fed into the room by powerful fans. For equipment, the quality of the water used in the process is important.
You should not save on buying a high-quality humidifier if the choice was made on an ultrasonic model. Often fakes get into stores that can harm the health of pets, unlike humans, they are able to pick up ultrasound.
The technology of ultrasonic evaporation of liquid is actively used in medicine for the treatment of diseases of the respiratory system, so for people with abnormalities in the functioning of breathing, such a device will be especially useful.
Air washing – This is a modernized model of humidifiers, a combined system. In relation to these devices, you can hear the definition – the climate system.
This is a new generation device that combines a purifier and a humidifier in its work.
The use of such equipment in the home will increase the quality of air treatment.
To reduce the level of inorganic substances and reduce the level of water hardness for cold humidifiers, a demineralizing cartridge is included in its design.
If in steam appliances these indicators are reduced by pasteurization, then here the evaporated water passes through a filter containing special resins that trap these substances.
To create comfortable conditions for different regions, you need the selection of humidity depending on external factors.
The humidity level is adjusted manually in the range from 10% to 90%.
To create a favorable atmosphere for indoor plants or in a greenhouse, the humidity is set at 90%.
Water consumption and preparation functions
Water consumption of air humidifiers. Manufacturers indicate the flow rate in ml / hour. Productivity directly depends on the power of the unit – the higher the power, the more water is processed. Depending on the model of equipment and the size of the room, the consumption for one day of uninterrupted operation can be up to 15 liters.
To ensure that the performance of the humidifier is not reduced, the water tank must always be filled. No purifier has a reservoir volume sufficient for the smooth operation of the device. Its filling occurs 2-3 times a day.
It should be understood that a tank of 6.5 liters will be filled less often than 3. The size of the device also depends on the volume of the tank.
Water preheating. The function is used in ultrasonic models of humidifiers. Water is a habitat for microorganisms, infections and bacteria, the spraying of which adversely affects the health of the inhabitants of the room.
Therefore, to increase the useful properties of the humidifier, manufacturers have provided for the possibility of preheating or pasteurization.
The water is heated to a temperature of 80°C.
The principle of operation of the water filter
A water filter or an air washer is not a filter by its design – it is a drum in which 20 plastic disks are located, endlessly rotating and washed by water from the tank.
The raw air is directed by the fan to the discs, and here the washing process takes place: the particles adhere to the wet discs. This type of purifier rids the room of dust, allergens, infections, and odors.
Removal of large dust particles, with a diameter of 10 microns, is better than particles up to 2.5 microns.
Ionization and ozonation
Modern air purification devices are not only dust removal, but also ionization and ozonation.
Ionization. Air away from the city – in the forest or mountains, near the sea or ocean is useful for oxygen saturation and the content of ions with a negative charge in it. In the forest, the content of such particles per 1 cm3 ranges from 700 to 1500, and near the sea coast it increases from 50 to 100 thousand units.
The lack of such particles in the human environment leads to adverse consequences – the development of cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks and strokes, and impaired blood clotting.
Purifier for ionization of air in the room – an air ionizer or “Chizhevsky’s Chandelier”.
Widespread in healthcare facilities. Studies of the ionizer made it possible to establish that it is also useful for normalizing the respiratory system, blood pressure, and the gastrointestinal tract.
The motor activity of a person increases, the work of the immune system improves in resisting viruses and infections.
Ionizers are divided into two categories:
- unipolar – produce ions with a negative charge only;
- bipolar – saturate oxygen with both negative and positive particles.
Ozonation. The function scares away buyers due to the fact that high concentrations of ozone in the environment have a toxic effect on humans. As a result, there are headaches, increased heart rate or sometimes weakening of cardiac activity, dizziness, pain in the chest, inflammation of the mucous membranes, choking cough.
A dangerous concentration of ozone particles when inhaled is considered 2-20 mg/m3. Air conditioning takes place with an ozone content of 0.01 – 0.02 mg / m3 .
The use of ozone within acceptable limits is safe and beneficial. This is an effective method of cleaning the air from unpleasant odors, viruses and infections, mold spores. The effect of ozone on harmful microorganisms is only suspected. It destroys enzymes in their composition and disrupts metabolism. Ozone decomposes to oxygen within 1-3 hours.
To improve well-being, daily use of ozonation devices for 10-15 minutes is shown.
Disinfection of premises with the help of ozone is carried out without the presence of people in a closed room.
Air purifiers, depending on the source of energy consumption, are divided into three types:
- rechargeable – portable devices in a compact case, convenient for transportation. The device is convenient to use at home, for short work, and on a trip;
- network – stationary household devices that are used at home or at work. Work only from the mains;
- combined – devices that work from the network and from the battery. For places where power outages often occur, such devices are indispensable.
To adjust the saturation of air with moisture and determine the quality of cleaning, reduce energy consumption, manufacturers equip cleaners with additional functions.
Hygrostat and purity control. The absence of a humidistat or failure leads to oversaturation of the room with moisture. This device optimizes the operation of the humidifier. At the moment when the desired humidity level is reached in the room, the device turns off. This saves water and electricity.
Humidifiers are often equipped with humidity sensors, the operation of which differs significantly from that of a hygrostat.
The sensor is able to determine only the level of humidity in the environment around it, and the hygrostat diagnoses the entire room.
This function is important for steam humidifiers, and if the hygrostat is not in the design, then you will have to purchase it separately.
Air purity control is carried out by specialized built-in sensors. By passing air flows, the purifier determines the pollution of the environment.
In order for the information to be available to the user, and the equipment to be regulated for one or another processing power, manufacturers have created quality indicators. They display four degrees of air quality, defined by different backlight colors.
Scented air purifiers
Aromatization is an optional feature in cleaning equipment. The use of humidifiers implies the possibility of air aromatization for any models. To do this, add a few drops of aromatic oil to the water tank.
It will be more difficult to fill the room with a pleasant smell with the help of a cleaner. This is only possible with built-in replacement cartridges. Such an additional function affects the price in the direction of its increase.
Setting the device to turn on or off on its own – the function is useful for busy people who want to constantly maintain comfortable conditions in their home. The device will turn itself on at the time set by the user and turn off.
Wireless technologies in control
Modern equipment allows remote control of its functions not only through the remote control, but also using more modern technologies.
To control a household appliance, you only need a smartphone with a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi module.
It is worth considering the fact that the use of Bluetooth is designed for a distance of no more than 10 meters, without obstacles. If these conditions are met, then the user receives a high-speed connection to the device and the ability to control it from the phone: turn it on or off, set the mode, set a timer.
WiFi support. Using the built-in Wi-Fi module, you can give commands to your climate system from anywhere. To work, you need to be in the coverage area of the WIFI network and provide constant access to the Internet for the device.
Another additional parameter that does not affect the quality of the equipment is the illumination of the case. This feature is purely decorative.
The illuminated purifier can serve as a night light or simply illuminate beautifully at night.
Advantage – the device is always noticeable, and the possibility of accidentally dropping it in the dark is reduced to a minimum.
Fixing the device
The purchased equipment requires the allocation of a special place for it, which will not be accessible to small children or animals that can drop the device. To prevent the user from looking for a place on a table or cabinet, the manufacturers took care of the possibility of mounting the device to the wall.
Management and regulation
The way the device is controlled affects the ease of use. There are two ways – mechanical or electronic.
Humidifiers, in the design of which there are no functions for adjusting the direction or strength of evaporation, lose to those models that have these functions. For a more accurate operation of the equipment, it can be installed in any position, and after adjusting the direction.
The intensity of evaporation in humidifiers, and in purifiers, the volume of processed air also depends on the fan speed. With the presence of a regulator in the design, it is possible to adjust the operation of the equipment depending on the prevailing circumstances. For example, the smell of burnt food is eliminated faster if you increase the fan speed. And dry air is softened by increasing the intensity of the evaporator.
When purchasing equipment for uninterrupted operation, it should be borne in mind that ensuring constant cleaning is available only at the minimum performance of the regulators.
Add-ons in the package
Some models cannot be adjusted and default settings are set to medium humidity and air pollution levels.
Most models have a display on the body of the device. Settings are displayed here: operating mode, humidity level and others.
It is convenient to follow the settings on the display, but it is even more convenient to set them remotely using the remote control.
The remote control is more often attached to combined systems, but they are also found in models of simple cleaners or humidifiers.
If you plan to periodically change the settings for the room, or if the device is installed high or difficult to access, then the remote control will come in handy.
Ways to notify the user
For the convenience of the user, manufacturers have prepared several additional functions that allow you not to be distracted by the constant monitoring of consumables in the device, or clogging of its filters.
To simplify the operation, indicators that alert a person about the need for intervention, namely indicators of filter contamination or low water levels, allow.
Models with electronic control and display have features such as a dirty filter indicator. If the device has several filters of different cleaning principles, then the pollution sensor is installed only on the cassette that collects the smallest particles. Flashing or the appearance of a characteristic indicator on the display indicates the need to replace or clean the filter.
The low water level sensor is present in all models.
But he does not say that the water has completely evaporated. When the liquid evaporates completely, the equipment is switched off. The indicator only warns of its small amount. The signal can be both sound and light.
An audible alert is a guarantee that the user will receive information from the equipment and correct the problem, while the light indicator can be overlooked. A notification with a sound in the device can interfere during sleep, so if the owner is a light sleeper or small children live in the house, then it is better not to purchase such equipment.
Power indicator. It looks like a light signal or the backlight of the power button and indicates the health of the equipment. Such an indicator is unimportant, at first glance, but if a malfunction occurs, it allows you to notice it immediately.
Manufacturers of cleaners care about the health of the consumer, not only at home, but also on the move.
Air conditioners installed in the car do not always cope with the processing of air in the cabin. Users notice that during their work the air becomes dry.
It is especially difficult for drivers to be in constant tension, watching the road, and inhaling dust and exhaust fumes. Irritability increases, concentration of attention decreases – emergencies arise.
To solve problems with cleaning the air in the cabin, there are compact models of cleaners.
Their work is provided from the cigarette lighter, so they are available for any brand of car.
Devices for the car are of three types:
The principle of operation of such equipment does not differ from household appliances, despite its compact size. They are not designed for permanent operation, but still they will have to be serviced more often.
For people who smoke, or for those who have purchased a used car, it will be useful to purchase a car ionizer. It is able to remove smoke and smell of tobacco in the cabin.
How to choose
If the choice is on purifiers with a non-photocatalytic and non-electrostatic filter system, then it is better to purchase equipment with an ozonation or ionization function. The fact is that after passing through several filters, the air becomes empty, they collect not only harmful, but also useful substances.
Air saturated with ozone or ionized, in the range acceptable for human benefit, improves the general condition
Consideration should be given to the time that the user will be able to devote to the device. Even a device that cleans itself requires periodic cleaning. A device that has worked for a long time without prevention may no longer be able to be repaired.
Consider the following:
- For those who are ready to devote time to cleaning every day, the choice should be stopped at an air washer or other humidifiers. Such equipment has high cleaning rates, but you will have to add and change the water in the tank quite often.
- For those who are able to allocate time only once a week, it is better to stay on electrostatic devices. Here you will have to process only the plates, which is not often done.
- If time can be found only once a month, it would be wise to choose devices with photocatalytic, HEPA filters, ozonizers and ionizers. Replaceable filters save time on maintenance.
Frequency of use. To create an optimal environment in the room, you need to use filter systems constantly, but this is quite expensive in terms of energy consumption. Moreover, for the operation of some devices, the presence of a person is necessary.
For periodic use, air washers or combined devices in which water can turn sour are not suitable.
If every time, after use, you are ready to rinse and dry all the parts, then there are no restrictions on the choice.
Performance and footprint
Performance. It is calculated depending on how much air the equipment can process in one hour. Indicators vary from 3 to 700 m3/hour.
Good performance is the ability of the equipment to process all the air in the room 2-3 times over a set period. You can independently calculate what kind of performance is needed for a home or office by multiplying the volume of the room by 2.
Service area. The area for which household appliances are designed is from 3 to 200 m². The larger the area of the serviced room, the higher the power ratings of the equipment.
Before you go shopping, you need to determine exactly the area of \u200b\u200bthe room in which the device will be installed and make a choice according to these parameters.
If you need to buy a universal device that will be moved from one room to another, then you should take into account the area of \u200b\u200bthe largest room. For rooms with a small area, you can use the equipment for the car.
The service area is an individual indicator for each model of the cleaner, regardless of its type.
The duration of continuous operation of the device is another significant device option when choosing. The following factors simultaneously influence the duration – the mode, power and volume of the water tank. Only the time during which the device was not turned off, the mode was not changed or water was added is taken into account.
Indicators may vary from 5 to 80 hours.
If the functions in the devices are not regulated, then it is impossible to adjust the noise level that is created by the operating device. It all depends on the features of the model, on average, noise indicators vary from 5 to 69 dB. The sounds emitted by the device can interfere with sleep, and if the noise is too loud, then distract during the day.
When choosing a device, you need to take into account the place of its installation – a room, a living room, an office, etc.
The purifier, which will not interfere during sleep, has a performance of no higher than 37 dB.
For the living room, it is not scary to buy a more noisy appliance.
Noise is reduced by reducing power. Such mechanisms in the structure, such as a fan or motor, are sources of loud sounds. Sounds are also emitted by water bubbling during boiling in steam humidifiers.
Influence of manufacturers on pricing
Many factors influence the formation of value, and one of them is the popularity of the manufacturer. Sales consultants in stores can advertise any, even not the highest quality developer, so you should not blindly trust them.
After weighing the need for certain characteristics of the cleaning system, and going to the store, the first thing you should pay attention to is the name of the manufacturer.
By purchasing products of a popular brand, the buyer increases the guarantee of its service life, and in the event of a breakdown, provides repairs at the service center.
Why is it dangerous to buy equipment from little-known manufacturers?
To attract the attention of buyers, manufacturers reduce not only the selling price, but also the cost, replacing high-quality parts with cheaper ones. Such equipment costs less, but also does not last long.
There is no service center. A broken device that is under warranty must be returned for repair. But not always there are service centers in the city. Perhaps they don’t exist at all.
It will be difficult to find a spare part or a replacement cartridge.
Self-cleaning of combined equipment or humidifiers must be carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Cleaning is done to meet several goals:
- Daily. Change of water, washing from accumulated dust.
- Deep. This method of cleaning is necessary every 3-5 days. This will prevent the occurrence of mold and mildew. Processing occurs with the addition of table vinegar.
- Disinfection involves the use of household disinfectants or hydrogen peroxide.
- Seasonally. The use of humidifiers is more in demand during the heating season. Therefore, at a time when the device is not in use, it is reasonable to put it away for storage. First, a complete washing of all parts of the equipment and their drying is carried out.
Air purification systems, like any other household appliances, require attention and care. In the event that a person takes care of the equipment on time, then the device will perform its work at a high level.
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