Which Type of Air Purifier is Proven Safe and Ozone-Free?
When it comes to the safety of your family, be sure that your choice of air purifier is ozone-free.
If you’re on the lookout for air purifiers, that’s a good idea to add another security blanket to your family’s health. But unfortunately, some types of air purifiers are a part of the problem instead of becoming the solution. Why? Because they generate ozone, a gas that could potentially cause adverse health effects and compromise the body’s immune system.
That is why there is currently an emphasis on choosing ozone-free air purifiers. You and your family can rest easy knowing that the air purifier you’re using is supposed to help, not worsen the situation. This article compares the three most common types of air purifiers and examines which one is truly ozone-free.
Are Ionizers Ozone-Free?
Also called air ionizers or ionic air purifiers, ionizers work by electrically charging air molecules to remove contaminants in the air. The electrically charged ions attract and bind to the air impurities and get stuck into a collection plate in the ionizer. While it is excellent in removing air contaminants, it does not particularly do well against odors. Ionizers are essentially maintenance-free, although the collection plate must be cleaned from time to time.
So, about the million-dollar question, do ionizers produce ozone? Yes, they do. Some ionizer units come with ozone generators, and their effects can be devastating. Some standalone ionizers also produce ozone as a by-product of the molecular action it generates. However, in the latter’s case, the estimated ozone produced is at 50 parts per billion (PBB), generally regarded as safe. Anything in the 200 PBB range is potentially unsafe.
Are UV-C Air Purifiers Ozone-Free?
UV-C air purifiers use ultraviolet germicidal irradiation or ultraviolet light to kill microbes in the air. It works by inactivating viruses, germs, and bacteria in the air. The UV lamps sanitize the air as the air passes through the purifier.
That sounds completely safe, right? Wrong. While UV-C light exposure is not a danger in itself, it has the capability to break down the oxygen particles in the air. When broken-down oxygen atoms bind in the air, they become ozone. (Ozone is a molecule made up of three oxygen atoms.)
The disadvantages don’t stop there. While UV-C air purifiers kill bacteria, mold, and viruses in the air, it requires long exposure and intense ultraviolet light to do so. That’s not what you really want in an indoor, home setting.
Are HEPA Filters Ozone-Free?
Yes, air purifiers that use HEPA filters as their primary system to clean air are virtually ozone-free. These filters are designed to trap 99.97% of air particles and anything no smaller than 0.3 microns in diameter. This makes HEPA filters particularly helpful against allergens that can irritate your lungs.
A HEPA filter’s kryptonite does not remove odors or gaseous pollutants such as VOCs in the air. VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are a thousand times smaller than what HEPA filters can capture. That is why many air purifiers combine the HEPA filter with activated carbon filters to get rid of VOCs. They act as a very potent 1-2 punch — HEPA filters trap dust particles while activated carbon filters take care of gaseous pollutants. And yes, in case you’re asking, carbon filters are also completely ozone-free.
3 Best Ozone-Free Air Purifiers
You may have seen this coming from a mile away. We will give you three ozone-free air purifiers in the market that are proven to effectively remove dust particles and gaseous odors. Each unit works best for small, medium, and large rooms, so you can decide which one to choose based solely on the room size.
LeVoit Air Purifier Core 300
LeVoit’s air purifiers are all ozone-free, so anything that comes from them is safe, at least in terms of ozone poisoning or inhalation. The Core 300 is best for smaller rooms and can purify the air up to five times in an hour. In the forefront of the action is an H13 True HEPA filter that captures 99.97% of all common household allergens.
As for smoke and other gaseous odors, its high-efficiency activated carbon filter could adequately handle them. Another outstanding feature of the Core 300 is it is made to be upgradable for specially-designed filters like a pet allergy filter. It has a Sleep Mode function, is very lightweight and portable, and has a subtle design that won’t interfere with anything you have in the background.
Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier
This simple, elegant-looking unit is a little on the bulky side, but you surely wouldn’t mind the tradeoff. It handles medium-sized rooms of up to 540 square feet with ease, with considerable savings on the electricity bill. The Blue Pure 211+ is also certified by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (or AHAM), erasing any doubt about its quality.
The biggest downside of this machine is its lack of a True HEPA filter. However, its three-stage filtration more than makes up for it. The pre-filter stage acts as a shield against bigger dust pollutants, while the particle and activated carbon filters repel smaller air particles and gaseous pollutants, respectively.
All in all, its whisper-quiet operation, low energy consumption, and high CADR rating make the Blue Pure 211+ an excellent buy.
Alen BreatheSmart Flex
The BreatheSmart Flex is the least expensive unit in the BreatheSmart series. It is still priced at $349, but make no mistake about it; this unit can hold one’s own on any metric.
For example, the Flex comes in different colors and has an elegantly-polished surface that it can actually pass as a piece of furniture that decorates the home. Moreover, it operates very quietly and only costs 50 cents a month of electricity when used in the lowest setting.
The apparent drawback of the machine is its lack of an activated carbon filter, but purchasers swear it can clear smoke and other smelly gas contamination in seconds! Some also vouched for its effectiveness against allergens, saying that they no longer have asthma attacks as soon as the BreatheSmart Flex starts doing its job.
Final Thoughts: Do You Really Need an Air Purifier?
Did you know that, on average, levels of indoor air pollutants may reach up to five times higher than ambient pollutants? In some cases, it may even reach 100 times!
The lungs are responsible for breathing fresh air, but the more contaminants there are in the air, the harder it is for the lungs to function properly. This could lead to serious health issues today and in the long run.
Of course, it would be up to you to decide if you badly need an air purifier or you could do without it. However, if anyone in your family suffers from terrible allergies and asthma, it is highly recommended that you get help in the form of ozone-free air purifiers. These machines will save you time and money on hospital trips as it keeps the air quality inside your home in excellent condition.