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HEPA Air Purifier vs. Ionizer

Are you in a confused state about understanding the primary differences between the Ionizer and HEPA air purifiers? Well, both the models purify the air from the pollutants and perform in completely two different ways. Based on the purpose of why you want to have an air purifier for your home, you need to select what type of air-purifying machine or ionizer.

In this article, we have tried to give a breakdown of their operations and the main differences between these two. We would recommend reading this article before spending your hard-earned money on what you require.

How Do Ionic Purifiers Operate?

Air ionizers operate by processing the air through a fan implementing charged plates for charging the air molecules. These charged air molecules or ions get attracted to the electrodes or plates like how static electricity operates. Ionizers come in various architectures and do not work in the same way. For instance, higher air purifiers include a fan for distributing the air inside a room while many others do not. For purifying the air in a room, the machine should move the air through it and process it to eliminate the contaminants.

Usually, all ionizer models implement a fan for moving the air through an electrode series and plates. In the first stage, the plates implement an electrical charge for ionizing the particles present in the air. In the second stage, other plates or electrodes have an opposite charge. When the newly charged elements move closer to them, they get attracted and bond with them. Ultimately ionizer removes the contaminants from the air.

This concept is very much similar to static electricity. For instance, think how hair, Styrofoam, or paper pieces are attracted to the clothes and body while building up the charge on the carpet. These particles get collected on the plates of related filters, where later they get cleaned. Some models come with a standard filter, while a few other models include ionizers inside a HEPA filter.

What is a HEPA air purifier?

HEPA air purifier

HEPA air purifiers come with a design for circulating the air inside a room and eliminating every contaminant, allergens, dust, and many more pollutants by trapping them inside the filter. Unlike ion air purifiers, HEPA always implements a fan and does not affect any air molecules utilizing an electrostatic charge as the ionizers do. A HEPA or High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter refers to the specific type constructed for meeting certain air purification and efficiency levels. These filters are composed of dense fiber-like material.

HEPA describes particular standards where the filter might remove airborne particles of .3 microns size. A micrometer is 1/1000000 of a meter. This filter comes with almost 99.97% efficiency, which means that for every 10000 particles entering the machine, only three can escape it. Some of the most common places for using air purifiers are living and bedrooms. The filters need instant replacement when they get saturated with pollutants.

How Do HEPA Air Purifiers Operate?

Ionizers air purifier

HEPA filter-dependent air purifying machines do not create anything or electrostatic charge in the air, unlike ionic air purifiers. They operate on a simple principle of implementing a fan for distributing the air in a space and passing it through the filters. These filters can imprison both microscopic and bigger particles, chemical vapors, odors, and numerous household irritants. HEPA air purification machines are simple in operation, although there are many models with additional features. Unlike ionic air purifiers, HEPA filters are dependent on faster air movement and filter. The ionic air purifier implements an electrostatic charge to eliminate the air particulates you breathe and rely on mechanical means. On the contrary, the HEPA filters trap and block the filters in place of attracting the air particles.

Where HEPA or Ionizers are useful?

Ionic air purifiers are perfect for light-duty cleanings like freshening up a room or other less demanding situations. For allergies, pet dander, smoking particles, and odor, HEPA purifiers are perfect. Additionally, they offer faster fan speed that rapid cleaning of the air, and enhanced control over it. The major disadvantage of HEPA air purifiers is filter replacement, which is nearly 6 to 8 months based on various models.

Comparison between HEPA and Ionic Air Purifier

By now, you might have understood how HEPA and Ionic air purifiers operate. Thus you should spend your money without completely understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each one. To make this comparison a little bit simple, we have put together the comparison in the below table, stating the primary differences between the two.

PropertyIonic Air PurifierHEPA purifier
Process of air cleaningCharges the air particles collected on the filter or the plates. A Fan passes the air through the device.Cleans the air by distributing it. Air passes through the HEPA, pre-carbon, or carbon filters to trap the particulates
Ability to kill germsLow to average based on the modelNone to average
Cleaning of dustpoorGood
Reduction of foul smellPoor to moderateGood especially models with a carbon filter
Cleaning of pet hairpoorGood
Maintenance of filterReusable wash filter or clean platesReplacing separate or complete filters based on models with 6 to 8 months of average life
Production of OzoneVery small (less than 0.05)None
Air flowing rateLow to fair with no option to select the fan speedGood to high with adjustable fan speed
Cleaning of cigarette smokingFair to good with particles 0.01 microns in a few casesGood with limitation to a particle size of 0.3 microns and above
Cleaning of pet danderFair to goodGood
Relief from AllergyFairgood

Which Type of Air Purifier Should You Select?

Ionic air purifiers include a distinct advantage over HEPA air purifiers. They can sanitize the air and reduce the airborne germs particles that might cause various diseases. Filter-based air purifying machine does not include this ability. However, if we compare the advantages and disadvantages of both models, we will surely recommend HEPA air purifiers. They deliver a higher airflow rate with clean air and are perfect for hair and dust problems. The HEPA models with carbon filters also absorb different chemicals and absorb the odors in the air.

Another reason for preferring HEPA air purifiers over the ionizer is that they are not held to the same performance standards and include air cleaning with a filter. For instance, CADR or Clean Air Delivery Rate is tested in the laboratory and is one of the most standardized ways of demonstrating the cleaning effectiveness of the air absent in the ionizers.

Prize for HEPA and Ionic Air Purifiers

The user should also keep in mind the difference between HEPA air purifiers and Ionizers. Even if the ionizing process looks much more difficult, HEPA air purification systems come with much more advanced technology and are more efficient. That is why models with HEPA methods are more expensive. But you should also know that HEPA air purifiers need more money for maintenance. You have to replace the filters after a specific time interval and thus require more money for maintenance.

Final Words

Ionizers are cost-efficient, quiet to operate, and filter-free. HEPA filters, on the other hand, are specifically efficient in eliminating odors, the smallest pollutant, and dust particles. In both the air purification system, you can enjoy fresher and cleaner air. But whichever alternative you select, you should not go wrong with taking a significant step to ensuring your family and home health with fresh air for breathing. Consider and compare the pros and cons of each system and then make your final decision.

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