Air Filters and Purifiers

filters

There are so many air pollutants out there and as a result there are many types of air filtrations as well. To be honest I don’t like filters because I believe that we have to reduce and avoid generating pollutants in the first place, but sometimes it’s hard.

High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) Filters

HEPA filters are designed to catch particulate matter >1µm to >0.3µm with an efficiency of 85% to 99.999995%. We can translate that into:

  • Pollen (5-100 µm)
  • Mold (2-20 µm)
  • Pet Dander (0.5-100 µm)
  • Dust Mite Debris (0.5-50 µm)
  • Bacteria (0.3 -10 µm)
particle_sizes
Green: Pollutants | Grey: HEPA Filter Class E10-U17

Carbon Air Filters

Activated Carbon filters have small absorbent pores that chemically react to pollutants like VOCs as they pass through the filter. The activated carbon absorbs the odors and gasses and neutralises them by bond the pollutants with the carbon. They always combine HEPA filters with active carbon filters because they can’t remove dust and other allergens alone.

Silver Nanoparticles Coated Filter

Silver Nanoparticles Coated Filters have a range of negative effects on virus strains and bacteria and they can destroy the membrane of a cell and deactivate them. They use silver as a natural antibacterial as result there are HEPA filters with Silver Nanoparticles Coated that have been proved to be 98% effective against common flu virus.

Ionic Air Filters/Purifiers

Typically, they produce negatively charged ions aka anions, which then attract positive particles in the air. As the particles make contact with the anions , these particles become too heavy to remain airborne and fall to the floor. Some ionisers are armed with some static plates which trap all those particles, but you have to clean them regularly. A very negative aspect of Ionic air filters is that they produce ozone O3 as a by-product**, which has classified as a toxic gas that causes lung damage. Some companies claim that their ioniser doesn’t produce Ozone but it’s hard not to.

  • Removes ultra-fine particles as small as 0.01µm
  • Sterilizes bacteria, viruses, smoke, and other toxic fumes

UV Light Air Purifiers

High intensity UV-C light (240-280 nm) is strong enough to break down most carbon based organic compounds like bacteria and other pathogens by breaking the molecular bonds in their DNA. As a result they are designed to destroy micro-organisms such as germs, bacteria and mold and not to catch allergens and dust like a HEPA filter. This is why many companies combine a HEPA filter and UV Light. This is not a quick process, the pathogens must pass through the UV light multiple times in order to be destroyed.

NTP Non Termal Plasma Purifiers

This is fairly new technology also called Cold Plasma that works like an Ionizer but it splits Oxygen O2 molecules into positive and negative ones. These single oxygen atoms are highly reactive and stick to particles, bacteria, viruses or gases to destroy them or to turn them into harmless substances. They also produce Ozone as a by-product** but in less quantities around ∼0.0058PPM, the World Health Oraginization, EPA and many country standards have set the maximum level of ozone concentration at 0.05PPM.

**The shocking truth is that many devices in your home produce ozone by-product like TVs, computers, electric mixers, hair dryers and ceiling fans.

Foobot “Your Air Guru”

foobot01

Foobot also called your good air guru and maybe it is a good guru, thanks to all of its sensors. One of the most powerful device on the market that it is actually available to order right now is equipped with a great variety of sensors like a tVOC: Volatile Organic Compounds (Formaldehyde, Benzene, Xylene,Toluene etc.), PM2.5, PM5 and PM10 Particulate Matte, CO2/CO Conversion from tVOC/Cross sensitivity of tVOC sensor and of course Temperature and Humidity (Full Datasheet).

They have came up with a great design, very futuristic and this is actually the second version of a formerly Alima. The only negative part of the device itself is the plastic case. They use an ABS Glossy and rubber finish which I am not a big fun, hopefully in the future they will have the budget for an Aluminium case.

A gesture friendly device that allows you to check air quality with and without internet connection or a smartphone by just turning it upside down or by tapping it. The RGB LEDs will change colour between 6 levels of orange/blue.

They also have an API that allows to see and export the data on a computer in case you are an advanced user and you need to study the data in a more sophisticated way, although the app for iOS and Android is well build with history browsing, instant readings and alerts or advices to improve your indoor air that getting better over time thanks to machine learning.

Nowadays a product is nothing without a good support from the company. They are active socially through Twitter and Facebook and you can always reach them and ask them questions about their product. Also their Blog is an awesome place (like mine) to learn how to improve your indoor air quality, one of the best article that I really love is Cigarette smoke – Polluting your indoor air.

And as they say, have safe breathing days.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

peace_lily

Spathiphyllum aka Peace Lily or Spath is a native to tropical regions of the Americas and southeastern Asia.

With wide leaves,  mostly white flowers and over 40 species, Peace Lily is well known for its air-purifying abilities. It’s great at breaking down and neutralizing toxic gases such as carbon monoxideformaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, toluene and xylene.

Spathiphyllum is mildly toxic to humans and animals when ingested. The Peace Lily is not a true lily from the Liliaceae family. True lilies are much more toxic to cats and dogs. The Peace Lily contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause skin irritation, a burning sensation in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, and nausea.

Peace lilies love shade and some indirect light. They like a consistent temperature between about 65°F/18°C and 80°F/27°C. Peace lilies like to be watered a lot at once, but also need a chance to dry out afterward. The plant will drop a bit when thirsty, telling you when it needs water. Remember to clean its leaves when dust accumulates.

It’s in my opinion a beautiful plant for the living-room.