You’ve heard of an air purifier. You may also heard of an air ionizer or ionizer. Now that you’ve landed on this page, I know you’ve heard of an air ionizer purifier and if you are scrunching up your face wondering what that is like this girl in this photo, I want you to realize they are all slightly different things in the same unit. “But what ACTUALLY is the difference and what DOES that mean?!” Well a lot actually. Yes, they help clean the air rendering it easier to breathe and fresher to smell, and while both are different products and many models can be both, you need to know the difference and what to look for your individual wants and needs. You can also check out my article on different ways to purify the air for more info.
I’m gonna explicitly define and distinguish an air purifier from an air ionizer, give good product recommendations for both, and help clear the air…quite literally. lol You might be surprised if you’ve never looked into this—one can make your room seemed dirtier and the other won’t work after a while if you forget to do this one important thing! I don’t want you to miss this or not have your expectations met so without further to do, let’s get to it…
Air Purifier… I’ve heard of that!
Well, that’s good because that’s a start. Do you know what an air purifier is exactly or what it does? It basically is an air cleaning device that removes containments/particles/allergens from the air. Simple. How does it do it? Well, one of (sometimes both) two ways…actively or passively. Let’s start with passive because that is the most the common and effective type of air purifier since it actually removes particles from the air. (And, yes many air purifiers are both active and passive by combining technologies like the Intelli-Pro which uses 7 air cleaning technologies and you can get the whole low down on that incredible unit here…both passive and active.)
A passive air purifier unit uses a filter to catch and capture airborne particles. This is usually accomplished by sucking air into the unit with a fan so it passes through the filter, the filter catches the particles by size exclusion, and blows out the cleaner air without most of the particles. There are few different kinds of filters that can be used such as HEPA, active carbon, UV light, pre-filters, etc. The most popular and universally praised for its effectiveness is the HEPA filter (High-Efficiency Particulate Air/Arrestance) which captures and removes 99.7% of all airborne particles.
The more higher-end Bissell air400 unit uses three filters (pre-filter, active carbon, and HEPA) to capture all the particles in your room while the more mid-level PureZone 3-in-1 HEPA air purifier unit uses those the same three plus a UV-light to destroy germs and viruses for added protection.
Air Ionizer?…uhhh, I’ve heard of an ion…once
Haha, I thought the same thing when I first heard of the term. An active air purifier is essentially what an air ionizer or ionizer is. These are air purifiers that use ionization, the process of electrically charging the air with negative ions (negatively charged electrons), to make airborne particles like dust, dander, and other allergens get too heavy to float air in the air so that they stick to surfaces of air purifier or your room. So that means that YES you still have to clean your room! lol Even more so because this stuff can build up quickly.
Negative ions are so special (I mean look I made a whole website for them) because not only do they bring down harmful airborne particles, they greatly benefit our health in many ways. It’s the same invigorating effect when you go to the beach, stand by a waterfall, go for a walk in the park, or feel the weather after a rainstorm. It’s that “AHHH” feeling you get but now you can get it in your room anytime, They don’t call it the “vitamin of the air” for no reason. Here are some benefits of getting negative ions regularly:
- better breathing
- heightened focus
- elevated mood
- improved sleep
- higher energy
- reduced asthma and allergy symptoms
- combats the electropollution of ccell phones& laptops
The ionBox is a popular portable air ionizer or negative ion generator that produces up to 20 million negative ions per second and that’s powered by USB. It’s also pretty affordable. Check out my full review of ionPacific’s product line for more info. On the more high end, Rabbit Air MinusA2 (full review) is a highly-rated negative ion generator with multiple passive air filters, which is a great example of a unit that uses both active and passive methods and this is the case for most air purifiers.
In the land of cleaner air, like many topics, the semantics and terms are interchangeable depending on the context so don’t get confused. ALWAYS read what you’re buying, what features are offered, and the purchased verified comments. That’s why I go into basic concepts in my articles. For example, ionizer means active air purifier which can also mean a negative ion generator. An air purifier can mean passive air filter which can also mean HEPA filter.
The one to really watch for is “ionic air purifier“ which can mean either an ionizer OR ozone generator (which is universally known to be harmful to breathe in varying amounts over time). I’m not sure why this is intentionally done (probably to sell more product) but it’s something I want you to be fully aware of because it can damage over time. If you’re ever not sure if your product is producing ozone and the description somehow didn’t say, you can stay mindful for any faint, bleach smell which is usually a good indicator of ozone being produced. If you ever smell it, TURN OFF YOUR UNIT AND WALK AWAY.
Now which one to get is really up to you. I linked quite a few air purifier and ionizers of varying price points. My biggest recommendation is to get one that combines both passive and active methods; and, luckily, most units do now. A HEPA filter to capture particles and an ionizer to attach to particles and give you multi-beneficial negative ions is the way to go like this Atlas all-in-one air purifier. It combines technologies and is decently priced for most people. Read the full review here.
Did I clear the air? lol
Happy hunting now that you’re more aware.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments below. 🙂
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