With winters setting in, the air we breathe begins to get polluted.

This happens due to various factors. Since cold air is denser, particles remain suspended in it for a long period and remain on the surface. This is also aggravated by low winds, farm stubble burning, and construction activity.

Indoor air is as polluted, sometimes more so than outside air. This is because toxic particles can remain trapped inside closed spaces. In order to clean up your indoor air, there are plenty of air purifiers available in the market. 

What is an air purifier?

An air purifier is a number of filters put together, along with a fan that pulls indoor air onto the filters and gives out cleaner air after filtration.

What kind of air filters are commonly used?

1. A dust filter - the simplest filter which is also present in most air conditioners.

2. An activated carbon filter - more of an adsorbent (a substance that adsorbs another), it is specially treated to traps odors, dust, smoke from cooking,  chemicals, etc. in its surrounding areas.

3. An ionizing filter - This is a device without filters, that sheds negatively charged particles into the room. These combine with pollutants in the air to neutralize them. It effectively removes dust, spores, pollen, etc.

4. A HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter - one of the most efficient filters, it has a mesh of 0.3 microns which cleans up the air containing dust, allergens, mold, smoke, and microbes.

5. UV (Ultraviolet) light - Ultraviolet light is commonly used in air purification. When properly utilized, this invisible form of light can safely kill germs, mold, mildew, and in some cases even bacteria and viruses.

Caution: Ensure that the UV bulb is enclosed inside a casing and that the rays are not visible to the naked eye.

In addition to air purifiers, it is important to clean up your room in various other ways:

  • Wet mop dusty surfaces.
  • Replace carpets with solid flooring - vinyl or hardwood.
  • Wash and clean curtains, bedding, etc., frequently in hot water and put them in the sun to dry.
  • Get rid of mold- this grows on wet surfaces. Ensure to fix seepages from your walls and bathrooms.
  • Avoid opening doors and windows early in the morning since the outside air is most polluted at this time. Midday would be a better time.

Points to consider when getting your air purifier

  • After having considered your requirement and budget, go for air purifiers that have a HEPA filter.
  • If there are elderly or immunocompromised persons in the house, consider buying one with a UV filtration device.
  • Buy an air purifier that is of a larger capacity than your room size, so that it works more efficiently. For instance, for a room size of 200 square feet, buy an air purifier that would fit in a 300-400 square feet room.
  • Buy one that has an inbuilt air quality meter, so that you can evaluate the efficiency of the purifier. 
  • Go preferably for an air purifier that works with a mobile application.
  • Understand the functioning, requirement, method of filter cleaning and replacement of the filter from the expert.
  • Buy local brands that are current and popular, so it is easy to replace the filters.

Once the season is over and the air purifier is no longer required, remember to clean up its filters and pack it up carefully so as to use it safely the next year.