Perhaps the best place to start is to discuss exactly what an air purifier does.
In simple terms, air purifiers ‘sanitise’ the air by getting rid of pollutants, allergens, and toxins that are in the air you breathe.1
Good quality air purifiers will incorporate a range of different filters designed to remove different compounds. For example, there might be a filter that extracts dirt, hair, pet fur, dander, and course dust, while a carbon filter might remove odours and volatile pollutants.
According to Choice Australia2 one of the most important filters is called HEPA because it traps dust, smoke, mould and other particles down to a tiny 0.3 microns in size. To put that into perspective, a human hair is about 75 microns across, and anything below 40 microns is not visible to the eye.3,4
Sophisticated air purifiers will also include photocatalyst and UV (ultraviolet) filters that can remove toxic chemicals and kill a variety of common bacteria and germs respectively.5,6
Now that we know what they do – do you need one?
According to the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Water & Environment: “Poor indoor air quality can result in significant adverse impacts on our health and environment. Moreover, these impacts carry a significant cost burden to the economy.”7
Furthermore, the US EPA and its Science Advisory Board have “consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health.”7
PM2.5 are very small particles usually found in smoke. They have a diameter of 2.5 micrometres (0.0025 mm) or smaller. Sadly, bushfires are part of the Australian summer and in 2020 in Sydney, the city was shrouded in smoke and particulate matter.
A recent study by the University of Sydney found that “there is no safe level of PM2.5, and that 90% of cardiac arrests that occurred outside hospitals happened on days when the air quality was under 25 µg/m3 PM2.5.8
Elevated levels of PM2.5 particles are particularly dangerous for people over 65 and asthma sufferers.
But it’s not just pollutants from outside your home that can cause issues, many cleaning products (and things like glue/adhesives) are quietly polluting your indoor environment.9
With the Covid19 experience, it would be fair to say Australians are now more aware of just how easily airborne diseases can be spread. While air purifiers don’t claim to remove the coronavirus, there are still many more bacterial pathogens that can be removed. And with climate change, bushfires may become even more frequent. That might be reason enough to invest in a good quality air purifier.
And if any of your family members suffer asthma or other severe allergies, an air purifier might be a great way to help filter out the triggers for their condition.
You can check out the range of multifilter air purifiers at Welcare here.