Residential Air-cleaning Devices


Indoor air pollutants are unwanted dangerous materials in the air. From dust to chemicals to radon, they all come in the category of indoor air pollutants.
To remove such pollutants, you will require air cleaners. These devices make indoor air fresh to breathe.
A primary air cleaner is the typical furnace filter installed in the ductwork of most home heating and air-conditioning systems. This basic filtration system can be improved by adding additional air-cleaning devices or adding another filter to trap other contaminants. Individual room, portable air cleaners are an alternative to enhancing the induct air cleaning system.

What Contaminants Are Of Concern In Indoor Air?

We have classified the pollutant into three major groups: particles, gaseous pollutants, and radon and its progeny.
Particles are extremely small solid or liquid objects that float freely in the air (e.g., mists, dust, or pollen). Perse materials, including inorganic and organic substances and latent and live organisms, make up these structures.
Combustion gases and organic compounds that are not connected with particles are examples of gaseous contaminants. Indoor air has been found to include hundreds of distinct gaseous contaminants.
Cigarette smoking, building materials and furnishings, and using paints, adhesives, dyes, solvents, caulks, cleaners, deodorizers, personal hygiene products, waxes, and hobbies and craft supplies, and pesticides can all release gaseous organic compounds into the air.
Exposure to gaseous pollutants in the air can have a wide range of health impacts, depending on the chemicals present, their types and concentrations, the frequency and length of exposure, and individual sensitivity. Adverse effects may include:
  • Allergic reactions.
  • Irritation of the eyes
  • Respiratory issues.
  • Effects on the respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive, liver, immune,
  • and/or nervous system.
  • Cancer.
Radon and its progeny are naturally occurring radioactive contaminants found in rock, soil, groundwater, natural gas, and mineral construction materials. In humans, these contaminants have the potential to cause lung cancer. Lung cancer risk rises with the amount of pollution in the air and the frequency and length of exposure.
Radon is a gas that emits short-lived progeny in the form of particles, some of which attach themselves to larger particles. The greatest health threat from the radon series is radon progeny, which can deposit in the lungs.

Strategies For Reducing Pollutant Concentrations In Indoor Air-

The three strategies for reducing pollutants in indoor air are source control, ventilation, and air cleaning.
The most effective technique is source control, which involves removing or reducing individual sources of pollution. Some sources, such as asbestos-containing materials, can be sealed or enclosed, while others, such as combustion appliances, can be altered to reduce emissions.
Outside air is brought inside through ventilation. Opening windows and doors, putting on local bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans, or, in some cases, employing mechanical ventilation systems with or without heat recovery ventilators can all help (air-to-air heat exchangers).
Air cleaning may serve as an addition to source control and ventilation. However, air-cleaning systems alone are insufficient to ensure optimal air quality, especially when major sources are present and ventilation is insufficient.

Types Of Air Cleaners

Usually, air cleaners are classified by removing contaminants from the air in a room to improve indoor air quality.
Three general types of air cleaners are availsble on the market:
  • Mechanical filters: installed in ducts in homes with central heating and air-conditioning or used in portable devices containing a fan.
  • Electronic air cleaners: using an electrical field to trap charged particles
  • Ion generators: use static charges to remove particles from indoor air.

In Reducing Pollutant Concentrations In Indoor Air, How Effective Are Air Cleaners?

The effectiveness of air cleaners to remove pollutants from the air depends on both the device’s efficiency and the amount of air the device handled.
Several investigators of portable air-cleaning units have characterized their results as a “clean air delivery rate,” or CADR, despite the fact that there is no commonly acknowledged method for comparing air-cleaning systems. The CADR is the product of the unit efficiency and the air delivery rate and estimates the number of cfm of air it cleans of a specific material.
Let’s check the effectiveness of air cleaners in removing particles, gaseous pollutants, and radon, and its progeny follows.

Particle Removal

The airflow rate determines air cleaners’ ability to remove particles from indoor air through the cleaner and the efficacy of its particle capture mechanism, as well as other parameters such as:
  • The size of the particles entering the device.
  • Loading causes the efficiency of the capturing mechanism to degrade at a faster rate.
  • Whether few of the air entering the unit bypasses the internal capture mechanism.
  • The properties of the particles (e.g., their size).

Removal Of Gaseous Pollutants

Some air cleaners are intended to remove both gaseous and solid contaminants. However, there have been few investigations on the efficacy of portable or home induct air cleaners in eliminating gaseous pollutants.
The most common method for eliminating such toxins from indoor air is sorption on solid sorbents. Several factors influence the performance of solid sorbents, including:
  • The airflow rate through the sorbent.
  • The concentration of the pollutants.
  • Sorbent configuration in the device.
  • Sorbent quantity used and the sorbent bed depth.
  • The presence of vapors or gases (e.g., humidity).
  • The chemical & physical characteristics of both the pollutants and the sorbent (e.g., size, weight, polarity, and shape).

Removal Of Radon And Its Progeny

In most cases, air cleaning is not the best way to reduce the health hazards connected with radon. Air-cleaning techniques are used to reduce levels of radon gas and its progeny when source control measures are not viable or do not produce acceptable radon levels. Studies on the efficacy of air cleaners in eliminating these contaminants have concentrated on either removing radon gas or removing radon’s short-lived progeny.

Essential Factors To Consider In Deciding Whether To Use An Air Cleaner

When deciding whether or not to use air cleaners, several considerations should be examined in addition to their ability to reduce airborne pollutant concentrations. These are some of them:
  • Installation. Use, And Need For Maintenance
  • Cost
  • Production Or Re-dispersal Of Pollutants
  • Inability To Remove Some Odors
  • Possible Effects Of Particle Charging
  • Soiling Of Walls And Other Surfaces
  • Noise

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