Ionic purifiers are relatively new on the market, but they have a lot of potentials to make a big impact on how we look at air purification. The technology is still being refined and perfected, however, so it’s important for consumers to know what they’re buying before making a purchase.
How do Ionic air purifiers work?
Ionic purifiers use a generator to produce both positive and negative ions. These ions attach themselves to particles in the air, weighing them down so they fall out of the air quickly. At the same time, these ions create an electrical charge that attracts gases and odors – once again slowing them down and allowing gravity to do its work. Unlike HEPA filters, the filter in an ionizer does not trap smells. Instead, it attracts them, pulling odors out of the air and preventing them from reaching your nose.
While both utilize negative ions to fight pollutants, electronic purifiers don’t emit any charge on the particles themselves. This means that while they can grab gases and odors out of the air, there isn’t enough weight behind these molecules to pull them down — instead, they simply float around in the area until gravity takes effect or a fan moves new currents into place. Ionic purifiers actually weigh each particle so that it falls quickly through even small spaces like windowsills or floorboards. The anionic purifier has further differences from electronic air purifiers. Anionic purifiers use an electric field to directly attract pollutant molecules. It’s important to note that some ionic purifiers may emit ozone, while others do not. Because the technology is still relatively new, it’s more effective – and safe – to stick with reputable brands that have been tested by third-party sources like Consumer Reports If you’re interested in learning about other types of air purification solutions, don’t forget to check out our blog!
Best 5 Ionic Air purifier models
How to choose the best ionic air purifier
Anionic Air Purifiers An ionic air purifier is similar to a static electricity generator. All you have to do is plug it into the wall and enjoy healthier, ionized air that has been purified of harmful contaminants. Most units are packaged with at least one type of filter, but they typically work best when paired with HEPA filters for removing microscopic particles like allergens and smoke. The most important thing about anionic purifiers is their lack of ozone emissions. Ozone can be dangerous to humans, so many manufacturers tout this fact as a selling point. Of course, there are many types of ionizers on the market so it is important to know what you’re looking for. Cationic Air Purifiers These work by sending out negatively charged ions into your home or office and attracting airborne particles like dust and pollen. When positively charged particles pass near the purifier’s metal plates, they clump together and become too heavy to remain in suspension – which means that they fall harmlessly to the floor. This type of air purifier doubles as an ionizing air cleaner since it releases ozone during this process (which can be dangerous if not filtered). You can buy one with a pre-filter for trapping large particles, but these usually do not capture tiny ones like smoke and bacteria.
Before you buy, measure your room size. New models aren’t cheap, so buying one that’s too small for your space will be a waste of money. Pay attention to the room measurements listed for each purifier and use these as a guide before making a purchase.
Another thing to keep in mind: some air purifiers need more than six inches of space on all sides so they can work effectively – others can go right up against walls or furniture without fear of malfunctioning. When measuring the air purifier’s footprint, remember that this doesn’t include cords or other necessary equipment like the ionization chamber. In fact, many ionic purifiers do not have chambers at all. Still other units may weigh less than 20 pounds with all necessary equipment included. These are easily portable, but it is important that they be moved regularly for optimal performance. Size does matter when it comes to ionic purifiers, but consider your space before buying.
This varies based on the size of your room and other factors like watts per hour (WPH) – which means how many square feet the unit can clean per minute. Generally speaking though, you can expect an air purifier to cost upwards of $100 when purchased new. Remember that some models require replacement filters in addition to the machine itself, so keep your total budget in mind before buying one for yourself or a loved one.
When purchasing any appliance, you should take into consideration environmental concerns like your home’s heating and cooling system. If you have a central air system, you can expect to spend more because it will need to move the purified air through your ductwork. These systems often work much better than portable purifiers due to their stronger power supplies. However, if you want one for every room in your house, this might not be as effective as several smaller ones working together efficiently.
Humidity and temperature also play an important role when purchasing an ionic purifier – especially those with no filter or weak filters like HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filters. A reader on our website asked about ionic purifiers that dehumidify while they clean…and we were happy to provide her with some insight. Because the machines remove water vapor during the filtration process, there needs to be enough humidity in the air to work well. The units that dehumidify best are those which use both anionic and cationic technologies.
Cationic purifiers not only dehumidify, they also reduce odors and allergens like dust mites. If you’re looking for an ionic air purifier that offers both ionization and filters, check out this list of our top picks.