How Air Purifiers Help Protect Your Indoor Air Quality


The air we breathe is filled with many particles, including substances that could be detrimental to our health. Numerous pollutants from inside sources–cooking and cleaning products, paint and building material, bacteria and mold spores will circulate through your house. As summer approaches and the scorching Southern California days force you back inside your house without fresh air to clear them out, your indoor air quality (IAQ) will begin to suffer.

Air purifiers feature advanced filtration technology capable of netting harmful particles suspended in the air. The most efficient air purifiers on the market feature superior filters with almost 100% efficiency. People with allergies and respiratory health issues can benefit a lot from this technology.


What Is an Air Purifier?

An air purifier is a device that purifies the air of particulates or gases. Air purifiers remove several types of particles, including dust, volatile organic compounds, dander, mold spores, smoke, dust mites, and pollen from the air using high heat, UV light, exhaust systems, ionic technology, or HEPA filters.

Air purifiers are becoming increasingly popular, especially in areas with high pollution levels. Air purifiers come in various sizes and types and operate in different ways to clean the air. They can be manufactured as small, stand-alone units or larger furnace air purifiers that can be attached to your HVAC.


What Air Purifiers Remove From Your Air

A HEPA air purifier removes over 99.97% of all dangerous air particles, including:

  • Allergens including pet dander, pollen, and mites
  • PM2.5 (tiny cancer-causing particles)
  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Viruses
  • Bacteria

In addition, some air purifiers include an additional carbon filter that can remove gases and smells such as:

  • Formaldehyde and other cancer-causing VOCs
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Smoke smell and other bad smells


Common Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

When thinking about air pollution, you likely imagine factories and car exhaust. However, common household substances affect the air we breathe as well. Indoor air pollution, caused by carpets, household chemicals or even furniture or building materials, may have detrimental health effects, especially for those with health risks like asthma or even allergies.

Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.

Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the area. High temperature and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of some pollutants.

Pollutant Sources

There are many sources of indoor air pollution. These can include:

  • Fuel-burning combustion appliances
  • Tobacco products
  • Building materials and furnishings as diverse as:
    • Deteriorated asbestos-containing insulation
    • Newly installed flooring, upholstery or carpet
    • Cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products
  • Products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies
  • Central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices
  • Excess moisture
  • Outdoor sources such as:
    • Radon
    • Pesticides
    • Outdoor air pollution


Common Sources of Household Pollutants

Most properties will suffer from indoor air pollution to some degree. The quality of your indoor air (IAQ) is a measure of how the air inside of a building affects its occupants’ health and comfort.


1. Household Cleaning Products

Cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting products can increase indoor air pollution. They can produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are gases that come from liquids such as aerosol sprays and liquid cleaners. VOCs also come from solvents, glues, and adhesives found in furniture and plywood.

The constant use of hazardous cleaners can make the situation worse and could lead to serious health issues such as asthma, respiratory disorders or even cancer. Ammonia and bleach are common over-the-counter cleaning chemicals, but they release harmful gasses which can lead to chronic breathing problems or even death if mixed. Carefully checking the product label will help you determine the safest cleaning products for your home.


2. Dust and Pet Dander

Dust mites and pet dander can be found on a lot of surfaces in your home: fabric furniture, carpets and rugs, window curtains and blinds, and bedding. When these surfaces are disturbed, it can send these allergens into the air.

Pet dander can be found in animals’ fur, skin, and saliva and is shed by most animals with fur. When pet dander is released into the air, it can be inhaled and cause various respiratory problems, including asthma attacks, hay fever, and other allergies.


3. Pollution from Cooking and Heating

People use a variety of heat sources to cook food, including gas, wood, and electricity. Each of these heat sources can create indoor air pollution during cooking. Natural gas stoves can release carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and other harmful pollutants into the air, which can be toxic to people and pets. Using a wood stove or fireplace to cook can result in high levels of indoor air pollution from wood smoke.

Cooking can also generate unhealthy air pollutants from heating oil, fat and other food ingredients, especially at high temperatures. Self-cleaning ovens, whether gas or electric, can create high levels of pollutants as food waste is burned away. Exposure to these can cause or worsen a wide range of health problems such as nose and throat irritation, headaches, fatigue and nausea. Young children, people with asthma and people with heart or lung disease are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of indoor air pollution.


4. Moisture and Mold

Molds and other fungi are found everywhere – both indoors and outdoors all year round. We are all constantly exposed to a wide variety of mold. Although most public-assembly buildings (e.g. campus buildings) have ventilation systems that filter out most mold spores, they find their way into indoor spaces through open windows, doors, on people’s clothing and shoes, and anything else carried into a building.

Once mold spores are present in the indoor environment, they remain dormant until conditions are favorable for reproduction and growth. Mold needs a food source (could be anything, but it is most often cellulose containing), and a source of moisture (e.g. flood, high humidity, dampness). If left to proliferate, mold “blooms” can damage building materials, furniture and other items.


5. Pollen and Outdoor Sources

Windows, doorways and ventilation systems can all provide an entrance for outdoor air pollution to infiltrate a home and become trapped. The range of outdoor pollutants varies drastically. Pollen and other sources of outdoor air pollution sometimes make their way inside, which can be problematic if anyone in your home has allergies. Ensuring that ventilation systems are cleaned and up to date, sealing doors and windows properly and cleaning dust and debris from shoes and clothing before entering your home are some simple ways to help reduce outdoor sources of indoor air pollution.

If you are sensitive to outdoor allergens, keep windows closed when allergens are abundant. If you run an air conditioner, make sure the filters are changed regularly. Run an air cleaner that removes pollen and other allergens, especially in rooms where you spend the most time.

Call Us Today!

You will never completely eliminate dust in your home, but with a little effort, and the right products you can improve your home’s air quality. If your system needs repair or inspection before winter, call Aire-Tech on 951-926-1002. You can also visit our Contact page and complete the contact form.