|Home Improvement Information|
Understanding Air Purifiers
Purchasing an air purifier can be confusing, and you do get an awful lot of information thrown at you when you visit the different manufacturing websites, don't you? How can you tell what's what, and why do we need air filters anyway? And how do air purifiers work? Is the air really that bad? Haven't we been breathing the same air for thousands of years?
Yes and no. First of all, we've been breathing the same air for thousands of years, but we live in a symbiotic relationship with the plants around us ? that is, we rely on each other to survive. We breathe oxygen to live, and give off carbon dioxide. Plants exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen, effectively "exchanging" the air in a healthy relationship with us. This makes plants the first primitive air purifiers on earth, and explains why scientists are so concerned about the ecological balance on earth and the need for the survival of rain forests and plants ? they ensure our own survival as well by preserving oxygen in our atmosphere.
Nature cleans the air in other ways as well ? ozone (positively charged oxygen molecules) is generated by waterfalls and thunderstorms. Ozone also cleans impurities and particulates from the air naturally.
The Industrial Revolution and Air Quality
The industrial revolution made great strides in everything but air quality. In fact, pollution such as emissions from automobiles, smog and pollution from everyday chemicals like cleaning fluids, carpeting and paints enter the air every day. In industrial settings, air purifiers clean the air before it is released into the atmosphere in order to meet government requirements.
Today's homes are also more energy efficient and cost effective, but to get there they have become much more "closed in." When they are this sealed up, indoor pollutants are shut in so that today's homes are actually two to five times more polluted than outdoor levels! Obviously, air purifiers are essential to improving indoor air quality to combat the effects of this stale, recirculated air.
Beginning in the 1980's, medical practitioners began to take note of the direct link between poor air indoor air quality and the increased incidence of conditions such as asthma, allergies and recurring colds and upper respiratory infections. The development of a variety of improved, scaled-down air filtration systems for in-home use soon emerged.
How the Main Types of Air Purifiers Work
One of the most commonly used type of air purifier is also one of the first developed, and is used in most hospitals and clean rooms. This is the HEPA filter.
During the Manhattan Project in the 1940's, the Arthur D. Little firm developed the first HEPA filters in order to filter out very small particles that had become contaminated by nuclear radiation in atomic bomb testing areas. It was during this initial development that the HEPA standards were set at 0.3 microns, which could effectively capture condensed radioactive iodine.
The filters at that time were called "absolute filters," and not called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) until the filters were marketed in the 1950's. Today these filters are used by hospitals, surgical wards, biopharmaceutical research labs, micro circuitry labs, and the aerospace industry for their exceptional ability to control dust and particulates.
HEPAs remove 99.97% of particles of 0.3 microns or larger. For even more intense filtration, there is an ULPA, or Ultra-HEPA filter, which filters out 99.99% of contaminants pass through the filter.
Obviously, something has to draw the air through the filter, and with HEPA filters this is a motorized fan. This can make them noisy, which makes them an annoyance to some people. A HEPA filter will need to be replaced every 12-18 months, depending upon how it is used and the interior environment of your home. For instance, if you have pets, especially cats or dogs that shed a lot, you may need to change it more frequently because of the dander. If there are smokers in the house you will also need to change your air filter more frequently to ensure proper filtration.
However, for overall performance, nothing filters out or eliminates more particulates than a HEPA filter, so it is a matter of balancing cost, sound preference and convenience against your relative needs when choosing the right model of air cleaner for your home.
Ozone Air Purifiers
Ozone is created in nature by everything from waterfalls to thunderstorms, and is responsible for that fresh, clear smell after a heavy rain or storm has passed. It's nature's way of cleaning the air. Ozone air purifiers essentially do the same thing indoors by artificially mimicking the natural process that creates ozone.
Ozone molecules exist in the air all around us, and will react with any particles they come into contact with, but are very unstable and tend to exist in small quantities for short periods of time.
Ozone air purifiers work by using electricity to generate more ozone molecules, which have one more oxygen (O3) than we normally have in the air (O2) around us. Since ozone is highly unstable, one of the oxygen atoms is always inclined to break away and find another molecule to bond to. This process causes a chemical reaction which destroys odors and germs in the air and then converts what is left of the molecules into harmless oxygen and CO2.
There is some confusion between ozone air cleaners and ionic air cleaners, but there are some differences. With an ozone air purifier, the ozone that is released into the air will be unstable and cause a reaction that will alter and destroy certain germs, viruses, bacteria and molds. It does not, however, have a collection plate where dirt or grime collects.
Ionic Air Cleaners
An ionic air cleaner also uses electrical charges to alter oxygen atoms in the air, like an ozone air cleaner. But unlike an ozone cleaner, an ionic air cleaner will rid the air your breathe of dust and pollen as well.
Ionic air cleaners negatively charge the air particles in a room, which will cause a magnetic attraction to occur. The positively charged particles in the air, such as dust, pollen and pet dander, will naturally be attracted to these and they will "cling" to each other, creating a sort of magnetic bond. Particles that form into bonds like this become too heavy to remain suspended in the air and fall to the ground, where you will no longer be able to breathe them into your system.
Vacuuming and regular dusting can get rid of these particles. In today's ionic cleaners, there are also fans that move the room air over negatively charged metal collection plates that the positively charged particulates will stick to. These can be regularly cleaned by simply wiping them with a soft cloth.
The original electrostatic precipitators were huge monsters used to control
pollution emissions from industrial plants. The waste by-products of a plant
were sent through large chambers that were charged by electrodes that acted as
enormous collection plates to attract the oppositely charged waste products
(such as dust, lead, sulfur, fly ash and other hazardous chemicals) from the
materials passing through, filtering out all harmful materials. Periodically,
the precipitators would be "tapped" so that these materials could be dumped from
the chambers into disposal units.
With electrostatic filters, a small static charge is created that attracts airborne particles as they go through a filter, capturing even those particulates which are too small too be captured by the relatively loose weave of the filter itself. Because of the looser weave, the air flow in an electrostatic filter is very good, but the filtration is very effective because of the electrostatic charge.
These filters do have to be carefully maintained and cleaned at least monthly, and should be replaced every year for peak effectiveness. As the filters do become dirtier, the air flow will become less efficient.
Finally, there are systems that combine two or more types of air purification system. While these are usually more expensive, they can be worth the price if you are looking for the best possible combination of features. For instance, an air purifier that will kill viruses and bacteria like an ozone air purifier, but will also effectively filter out dust and dander with a HEPA filter.
About the Author
Planning Permission Tips UK - Agricultural Plots of Land for Sale - The Latest Mug Punter Scam?
The first part of most years brings a flurry of trade shows aimed at the public & trade alike such as The Ideal Home Show, Interiors & just recently the Building Exhibition at the NEC. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of new gadgets & Gizmos (along with the usual tat) that companies invent for our consumption. Most seem to have a shelf life of about 2 days once home where it is usually broken, binned or stored never to be seen again. What seemed like a great idea turns out to be nothing more than a poorly designed & manufactured item aimed squarely at the naive & impulsive home owner.
Installing Vinyl Replacement Windows In A Wood Frame Opening
When we left off last week, we had removed the old wood sash windows and prepared the opening for the vinyl replacement windows. Now it's time to install your new windows. You should have someone there to help you when doing the installation. First, Remove all shipping materials from the window. Now, if you are installing several different sizes, make sure you are putting the correct window in the correct opening. You need to put the window into the opening to make sure it's going to fit, then remove it and run a bead of caulk on the face of the outside blind stop where the window will rest. You don't want to caulk, only to discover the windows are too big. It's worth the extra few minutes to make sure it's going to fit. Lift the window and set the bottom in first. Then raise the top until it rests against the outside blind stops. Sometimes, when raising the top into position, the window frame will hit the top of the wood frame. You need to tap down on the top of the vinyl frame while keeping pressure towards the outside.
Planning Your DIY Project
Ready to start your first serious DIY project? Read through the checklist below to make sure you are well prepared to start - and finish! - the job:
Building a Home Addition
Besides providing your home with more living space, a home addition can be a terrific investment. However, before embarking on such a project the homeowner should first consider several important items. These items include: home market values in the neighborhood, financing, size and scale of project, architecture, timetable for completion, personal disruption/inconvenience threshold and the sweat equity commitment level.
Apartment Inspection Checklist
You have found an apartment you like and you are eager to move in this lovely place. Hold on! Before you sign the lease with the landlord, some inspection is necessary and it might save you a lot of trouble. If you have already signed the lease, it will still be helpful to carefully inspect the apartment if you haven't done it yet. In case you find any problem, you should let the landlord know and get the problems fixed.
The Health Benefits Of Drinking Water - Is Bottled Drinking Water Healthier Than Filtered Tap Water?
Water is a key ingredient in a healthy diet and lifestyle. There are many health benefits of drinking water. It helps flush impurities and toxins out of our systems. It aids in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients. In fact, nearly every system in our bodies relies on water for proper functioning. But what if your water is unhealthy?
Color Help: Many Factors Affect Color Preference
Understanding color psychology helps home makers choose colors for home decorating.
Where Did We Get Clocks From Anyway?
A clock is simply a device that measures time. Typical clocks have faces and hands. The long hand measures time in minutes while the short hand in hours. Clocks vary in forms, sizes and shapes but all perform the same task-to tell time. Almost all activities depend on this device, making life easier and more organized.
Single Pane Glass Repair in an Aluminum Frame, Part 2
This week we are going to continue our series on single pane window glass repair. Let's talk about broken glass in a fixed window, usually referred to as a picture window. The most common type will have metal stops on the outside, around all four edges of the window glass. Sometimes these stops will be held in place with screws, and other times there will be aluminum stops that snap in place. In some rare instances there will be a rubber material in place of metal. If you have the screw type, you remove all of the screws and each piece will come out. If you have the metal snap in stops, carefully pry the stop from the frame using a small, flat screwdriver or a putty knife. You want to start in a corner and work along the stop until it comes out. Don't pry too much because the stops can bend very easily. If you have the rubber type, pry a corner away using the screwdriver, grab it with your fingers, and pull out the rubber. The glass shouldn't fall out because there is a glue or tape on the edge, holding the glass in place.
The Advantages of Steel Buildings
Use of steel as a construction material has seen phenomenal growth in the last few years. Although steel buildings have been used in the commercial and industrial sectors for a long time, they are increasingly gracing the skylines of countries all over the world.
Enjoy The Beauty Of Hardwood With The Endurance Of Laminate Flooring
Everyone likes the beautiful, timeless look of hardwood floors. Elegant, yet simple, hardwood is stunning. But take a closer look. Is that hardwood scratched and dented? Are those stains and fade marks that you see there? Maybe that hardwood floor is not as nice as you originally thought.
Making a Pen with Your New Wood Lathe
So you just purchased a wood lathe but do not know what kind of project you should start out with. As soon as the right amount of skill is obtained, beautiful pieces of woodwork can be created with a wood lathe. However, before you get too over your head, it is best to start out with a basic woodturning project. My recommendation would be beginning by carving your very own pen.
FAQs About Using Stone In Your Home
1. Q. IS NATURAL STONE A GOOD CHOICE FOR HOME USE? A. YES. Natural stone is a terrific (not to mention beautiful) material to use in all areas of your home. Knowing the different types of stone, their finishes and applications will help you to make an informed decision on which stone is the best for your project.
Lighting and Your Emotions (Part One)
Do you feel unhappy in your home and you don't know why? Maybe you need to let the light shine! Add new light to your rooms for an instant uplift.
Log Homes - Is a Log Home In Your Future?
Many people dream about a log home in their future but never get around to making their dream come true. Here's how to get past the hurdles and start living your dream.
Basic Methods of Foundation Waterproofing
It is absolutely necessary to waterproof the foundation of your home. Foundation waterproofing is a critical step in maintaining your home's value and an important measure for preventing very serious damage. Usually done by professionals, foundation waterproofing is generally not recommended as a do-it-yourself project. Your home is likely your biggest investment, and foundation waterproofing is imperative in order to protect that investment. Ideally, foundation waterproofing takes place as the home is being built, but years of settling and water leakage or negligence on the part of the contractors often leaves the home's foundation unprotected.
Got Attic Mold? Lets Talk Energy Conservation!
It happens to countless homeowners around the end of the year - you make the annual visit to your attic to collect the holiday decorations and what do you find? Spots and blotches covering the bottom of the roof sheathing.
Choosing the Right House Plan
Now that you have made that bold decision to build a home of your dream, it absolutely important to get the best home you can imagine. For you and all of us, building the home of our desire is one time affair in our life time. As a consequence, the right home plan is very crucial in your scheme of things. One can't build a home until a blue print is clearly drawn initially in the mind of the owner; perhaps the idea of a great home is planted in the mind, just like a seed is sown in the soil. Once the seed is nurtured in your mind, you can start laying the foundation; visualize how the home looks and the exact needs of your family. Just try to nurture the idea of that dream home in your mind.
Strongly Scented Candles: Use your mouth, nose and eyes to tell
Triple scented, heavily scented, strongly scented - these are all phrases candle manufacturers are using to tout their claim that their candles have more "smell" for your buck. In reality, these claims only act to confuse most consumers. Candles are made with so many different wax blends, it can be difficult to know for sure how well a cold candle will perform until it is lit. That means, in most cases, buying the candle first. So what can you do if you're eager to try a new candle scent or candles form a new company? Use your senses to make sense of the scents!
Can You Buy Luxury Home Brands Online and Save - Worry Free?
Are you frustrated with the high prices you've been quoted for luxury home decor?
|home | site map|