So, you’ve been hearing your friends and neighbors praising how wonderful their air ionizers are and how they work so well keeping the air quality their homes in tip-top condition. You wanted to chime in but you were still clueless about what those things really are. And then you asked them,
“What is an air ionizer?”
An ionizer or a negative ion generator is a machine that uses high voltage to electrically charge or ionize air molecules. When a molecule has extra electrons, it becomes a negative ion or anion. When a molecule misses one or more electrons, it becomes a positive ion or cation.
Most of the commercial air ionizers you see in the market produce negative ions. These ions latch themselves on airborne particulates such as dust, pollen, and smoke particles. The ionizers then collect these charged particulates on their dust collection plates.
What are The Benefits of an Air Ionizer?
An air ionizer is effective in reducing the spread of bacterial and viral infection. That’s why some hospitals have them. They’re really good at cutting down the airborne infection rate.
Of course, an air ionizer is also beneficial to have at home. It can remove allergens from the air inside your home. Asthma and allergy sufferers will benefit from the cleaner air.
In case you have not noticed, indoor notice can be more polluted than outdoor air. Just watch the following video if you don’t believe us.
One more thing: Since odor-causing particulates in the air get trapped too, you get fresher-smelling air as a bonus. This is a huge thing when you have pets or smokers in the family.
How is it Different From Ozone Generator?
Ozone generators and air ionizers are two different beings. Ozone generators are a specialized form of ionizers. It’s designed to attract an extra Oxygen ion to an O2 molecule creating an O3. This is done using an Ultra Violet (UV) light or corona discharge tube.
Ozone generators are widely used in industrial settings for sterilization purposes, but now you can also buy them for home use. There is also an ionizer and ozone generator combo such as Ivation Ozone Generator.
Air Purifier Vs. Ionizers – Which One’s Better?
It really depends on what you want. An air purifier with true HEPA filter is still the go-to choice for people wanting better air quality in their homes. However, the added cost of replacing filters is a deal breaker for many.
An ionizer doesn’t have any filter to replace, ever. The only maintenance you need to do is to clean the dust collection plates once a week or so. The electricity cost is low too as they only use energy as much as a fluorescent bulb or less.
Most ionizers are also totally quiet as they have no moving parts. If complete silence is your cup of tea, then an ionizer makes a better choice than a filter air purifier.
The fact that air ionizers don’t have moving parts enables manufacturers to make them really compact. You can even plug a small ionizer into the 12V socket in your car.
What are The Things to Consider Before Buying an Air Ionizer?
The first point to consider is the square footage. Are you planning to get an ionizer for a 500 square feet room or a 150 square feet bedroom? While some smaller ionizers still work well in a larger room, it’s best to get one rated for the size of the room you wish to put it in.
Secondly, check if the ionizer has a fan. While it’s not mandatory, a fan helps to blow the ionized molecules to reach farther across the room.
An oscillating fan is cool too, as it spreads the ionized molecules more evenly. However, if you really want something noiseless for your cubicle, for instance, fan-less ionizers will suit you well.