Air purification is currently creating a bit of a buzz in the health world, but what does it mean and how can it benefit our wellbeing?
The starting point is understanding the air quality around us and its impact on our health. Polluted air is proven to be bad for our health, particularly for anyone who suffers from allergies or respiratory issues. Pollution levels are measured worldwide using an Air Quality Index, or AQI.
The AQI is like a benchmark from 0 to 5001. The higher the measurement the poorer the levels of air pollution and the greater the impact on health. Under 50 is considered good air quality, while over 300 becomes increasingly hazardous. Although the inside of our homes and workplaces benefit from a certain level of protection, research shows that outdoor air quality has a big impact on indoor air quality. That is why you can still be affected by indoor particles and pollutants, particularly if you have allergies or lung-related diseases.
Pollutants are normally invisible to the naked eye, but they can cause irritation in many ways, from sneezing, coughing and a runny nose to headaches, general nausea, or allergic reactions. Long term they can also be harmful to your lungs or other parts of the body.
Pollutants and allergens can also worsen the conditions for anyone who suffers from allergies and asthma, whether from dust, dirt, pollen, mold and mold spores, bacteria or other micro-organisms, animal fur, fibers, plaster or wood particles. Pollutants such as smoke or indoor toxins from everyday items or activities can also be harmful to us, whether from chemical cleaning products, cooking fumes or personal care products.
How can you improve indoor air quality?
While in many homes, essential oil diffusers and humidifiers are already popular, these actually add particles to our air. In contrast, air purifiers work to improve indoor air quality by sanitizing the air from allergens, toxins, and pollutants.
Creating healthier environments has always been a priority for Sunstar, as air quality plays a major role in our quality of life. As we become increasingly aware of the importance of air quality, we are also developing new ways to increase the purity of indoor air.
The different types of air purifier
It’s key to remember that air purifiers work differently to filters. Air purifiers sanitize particles while filters just remove them.
The exact particles removed via an air purifier ultimately depend on the type you choose. Certain types use filters such as a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter to trap particles as the air passes through, other products neutralize particles in the air without filtration first. While a negative ion air purifier neutralizes by attracting positive ion particles in the air. Sunstar QAIS- air-01 system deodorizes indoor air by decomposing odor-causing substances and harmful organic compounds (such as bacteria and viruses) into water and carbon dioxide through a photocatalytic reaction.
Before choosing an air purifier you also need to consider the size of your home, or the space most important to you. For example, if you want cleaner air throughout your home then you would need either a large system or lots of smaller purifiers throughout. If you spend little time at home, you might just want a purifier in your bedroom to give you clean air while you sleep.
But air purifiers work most effectively when combined with other household routines. For example, if your cleaning is a bit haphazard, a purifier will not remove any particles that settle onto household or soft surfaces – they can only remove what is already in the air. Whether that’s your kitchen worksurfaces or your carpeting and bedding. Keeping a good cleaning routine and combining this with a good air purifier (and regular changing its filters) will help to remove allergies and allergy symptoms in the home, especially if taken with other household precautions.
Other measures to reduce domestic allergens and pollutants include replacing carpeting with easy to clean hardwood flooring, regularly washing bedding and pets, using natural cleaning products, and never smoking at home. Combine these actions with an effective purifier and routine cleaning and your air will be as pure as it can be.
- Freijer JI, Bloemen HJ. Modeling relationships between indoor and outdoor air quality. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. 2000 Feb 1;50(2):292-300. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10680359/
- Curtis L, Rea W, Smith-Willis P, Fenyves E, Pan Y. Adverse health effects of outdoor air pollutants. Environment international. 2006 Aug 1;32(6):815-30. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16730796/