Air Purifiers 101 for K-12 Educators: Understanding the Different Technologies and How to Choose the Right One for Your School
TLDR: This blog post discusses the different types of air purifiers available in the market, such as mechanical filters, electronic purifiers, and photocatalytic purifiers and provides guidance on how to choose the right one for schools. It covers the pros and cons of each technology, and factors such as specific needs, room size, maintenance, filter replacement cost, and manufacturer reputation.
Air purifiers are becoming increasingly popular in K-12 schools as a way to improve indoor air quality and reduce the spread of airborne contaminants. However, with so many different types of air purifiers available on the market, it can be challenging for educators to know which one is right for their school. In this blog post, we'll take a look at the different technologies used in air purifiers and provide some guidance on how to choose the right one for your school.
Three Main Types of Air Purifiers
There are three main types of air purifiers: mechanical filters, electronic purifiers, and photocatalytic purifiers.
Mechanical filters are the most common type of air purifier and work by trapping particles such as dust, pollen, and pet dander in a filter. The most common types of mechanical filters are HEPA filters, which are able to capture 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. This makes HEPA filters very effective at capturing small particles such as bacteria and viruses. However, HEPA filters do not remove gasses or odors, and they can become clogged with particles over time, which reduces their effectiveness.
Electronic purifiers use a process called ionization to remove particles from the air. They work by charging particles in the air, which causes them to stick to a collection plate. However, electronic purifiers also produce ozone as a byproduct, which can be harmful to human health at high levels.
Photocatalytic purifiers use a combination of ultraviolet (UV) light and catalysts to remove particles and gases from the air. They work by breaking down pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into less harmful compounds. Photocatalytic purifiers are often used in industrial settings, but are less common in schools.
When choosing an air purifier for your school, it's important to consider the specific needs of your school. For example, if you're looking to remove allergens such as dust and pollen, a HEPA filter would be a good choice. If you're looking to remove gases and odors, a photocatalytic purifier would be a better option.
Another important consideration is the size of the room or area where the air purifier will be used. Larger rooms will require a more powerful air purifier, while smaller rooms can be effectively served by a smaller air purifier.
Another important factor to consider when selecting an air purifier is the ease of maintenance, replacement filter cost and replacement filter size. Many HEPA filters are designed to be washed and reused, while others must be replaced. Ensure that you can afford to replace filter on time so as to not undermine the overall purification.
Finally, it's important to choose an air purifier from a reputable manufacturer and to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for maintenance and replacement of filters. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that the air purifier you choose will effectively improve indoor air quality in your school and help to reduce the spread of airborne contaminants. In conclusion, air purifiers can be a valuable tool for improving indoor air quality in K-12 schools and reducing the spread of airborne contaminants. By understanding the different technologies used in air purifiers and considering the specific needs of your school, you can choose the right air purifier to meet the needs of your students and staff.