What is a Plasma Air Purifier?
Plasma purifiers were originally designed for use in hospitals because of their effectiveness in eliminating bacteria, viruses, and other allergens. They were also quite large and not feasible for in-home use. However, in recent years the technology has improved and plasma air purifiers are now much smaller, and consequently have become more practical for home use. They’re installed as part of your overall HVAC system and use a combination of ionization and very small filters. Together they eliminate dust, smoke, and pollen, which other types of purifiers can miss.
How Does a Plasma Purifier Work?
A plasma purifier forms ions (negatively or positively charged particles) as air circulates over the ionization tubes. These tubes are usually mounted in the air conditioning, either in the unit itself or in the ductwork. The ions that are produced act in three basic ways to purify the air:
- Reduce particles in the air. The ions produced by the system bond with toxins in the air, causing those particles to become larger. That makes them easier to capture in the filters, even lower-grade filters, reducing the number of toxin particles in the air.
- Sterilize bacteria and mold. When bacteria and mold spores come into contact with the ions, they are oxidized and destroyed. They can no longer multiply and are eliminated from the air.
- Control odors. Odors associated with household aerosols or cleaning products are “captured” by the ions, oxidized, and eliminated. Plasma purifiers are especially effective at eliminating odors of an organic nature — think cooking odors and kitchen scraps.
How Does a Plasma Purifier Compare to Other Methods of Air Quality Control?
Plasma purifiers are highly effective at removing most household contaminants and allergens, so they compare quite favorably to other types of air cleaners. They’re also very easy to maintain. They don’t require frequent filter replacements, which is an advantage over other systems that require regular monitoring and changing of filters.
Some consider plasma purifiers comparable to UV lights as purifiers. The initial cost of a plasma purifier may be higher than installing UV lights, but you’ll never have to replace bulbs. That can save you time and money in the long run. Plus, energy usage of a plasma purifier is very low — about the same as operating a standard light bulb.
That being said, electric air cleaners (or EACs) are also a great solution for home owners looking to improve their indoor air quality. The high performance of the electrostatic process means that any particle of any size, even microscopic particles too small to be seen with the naked eye, are captured by the EAC.
If you’re interested in better indoor air quality for your family, get in touch with an HVAC pro in your area. They’ll be able to analyze your system and offer you options that fit your needs and budget.