How do our air purifiers work ?

How do our air purifiers work ?

The air purifier functioning and maintenance

Today we spend much more time at home, and are therefore more exposed to fine particles and indoor pollutants that are harmful for our health in the long run. The need, importance and popularity of indoor air purifiers is on the rise and these devices respond to concerns about air quality and the presence of viruses and bacteria. Learn how these machines work, how effective they are and how to properly maintain them.

How does an air purifier work?

An air purifier is a device that filters the indoor air and clears it of biological and chemical pollutants, particulate matter and indoor pollution to improve the air quality in your home.

Air purifiers without filters

The most popular mechanical filtration air purifiers on the market use HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, activated carbon filters and catalytic screens. There are other types of technology used for different needs :

  • Photocatalysis : Its purpose is to decompose biological and chemical pollutants into water vapor and carbon dioxide. The VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) as well as the particulate matter (PM) are treated through the catalyst (titanium dioxide) and under the action of a light ray (UV lamp, in the case of an air purifier). It is a question of ensuring their design and production so that they do not produce waste materials such as ozone (O3).
  • The air ionizer : This type of device releases/emits negative ions into a room to trap positive ions. With the ionizer, negative ions are released into the air and mixed with pollutants, dust, fine particles and VOCs, which become heavier and fall to the ground. They can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner (with or without HEPA filters).
  • Cold plasma : Viruses are sensitive to cold plasma which is a created product and does not come from a natural environment. It is the fourth state of matter after solid, liquid and gas. Cold plasma affects the atoms and viruses on the surface of objects and is neutralised by the principle of oxidation. The constraint of cold plasma purification is that it generates pollutants such as ozone and nitrogen oxide, which are harmful to health if exposed to too much.

Medical grade air purifiers using filters

A HEPA filter is considered medical grade from level H13.

The indoor air purifier with filter helps fight against pollution, allergens, asthma, viruses and bacteria, VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and odors (tobacco, aerosols, etc.).

Our AIR ET SANTÉ air purifiers come in several lines, each adapted to the needs of a particular individual, to the surface area (from 20 to 800 m2) and volume (from 100 to 2000 m3/h) of the indoor space to be purified.

  1. The air drawn into the air purifier passes through an antimicrobial pre-filter. This removes any coarse dust that could block the filtration system, slowing down clogging and extending the life of the HEPA filter.
  2. The air passes through the HEPA filter. This filter captures 99.95% of ultra-fine particles down to a size of 0.1 µm.
  3. Then the air passes through the activated carbon filter which eliminates VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) contained into the air. It also has an action on many odors like tobacco and humidity.
  4. The air passes through the catalyst, a filter treated with lanthanes which has the property of transforming pollutants into carbon dioxide and water vapor.
  5. The air passes through the photocatalysis, activated only with UV lamps. The last fine particles, converted into carbon dioxide and water vapor, are then eliminated.
  6. The purifiers have negative ion diffusers (ionizers) which bind to the pollutants and make them fall to the ground.

Finally, thanks to the fan, the treated/purified air is released into the room, cleaned of its pollutants.

Some of our devices have specific features : the AS300 Premium also offers H14 filter packs that remove up to 99.995% of fine particles of 0.1 micrometers and the AS200 Medium is our only air purifier that offers the humidifier option.

Overall, our packs of filters are composed of pre-filter for larger particles, HEPA filters, activated carbon filters and photocatalysis grid.

How to keep an air purifier clean?

In order to extend the lifespan of the filters and to ensure a good functioning of the air purifier, it is advised to vacuum the pre-filter every two weeks on average, and to frequently clean the inside and the grids of the device.

Depending on how long the device has been in use, the pollutants treated and the environment in which it is installed, the filters should be replaced every 6 to 12 months.

Each model has an indicator light that will light up to show when the filters need to be replaced.

How to replace the filters?

Replacing the filters on AIR ET SANTÉ air purifiers is very simple and similar on all units.

Step 1 : Turn off the AIR ET SANTÉ air purifier and unplug it from the electrical outlet.
Step 2 : Open the front cover of the air purifier by lifting it up and pulling it slightly towards you.
Step 3 : Turn the hooks that hold the filters in position (there are 4 or 2 depending on the range of devices).
Step 4 : Remove the filters wearing gloves and mask if necessary; be careful not to shake them during this step to avoid dust, other fine particles and VOCs falling out.
Step 5 : Insert the new filters in the correct position.
Step 6 : Fold down the hooks to secure the filters.
Step 7 : Close the air purifier, plug it back in and put it back into operation.

Simply insert the filter pack in the same direction as you removed it, with the white HEPA filter facing you.

How long does it take to purify the air in a room?

The time required is variable. We don't know exactly how long it takes for a purifier to be able to clean the air inside a room. There are some factors to take into account :

  • The setting of the purifier's filtration speed, which regulates the absorption of pollutants and the release of a purified air.
  • The air volume and surface area to be treated. The more space there is, the more time the air purifier needs to analyse and retain the fine particles and pollutants contained in a room.
  • The environmental factors that can move the pollutants in a room, for instance if a window is open, after the use of cleaning products or the infiltration of external pollution in the interior.
  • The frequency of use of the space to be purified, the number of people in attendance as well as their behaviours and lifestyles.
  • The size of the fine particles, if they are lower than 0.1 micrometers.

To understand the specificities of each filter :