What Is An Air Ionizer? Do I Even Need One?
Without going over the top with technical jargon, ions are simply particles which are positively or negatively charged. This is a completely natural occurrence, and as with most things in nature they seek to balance each other out.
Particles such as dust, mold, pollen and other allergens are positively charged and typically small enough to remain airborne. While these particles remain airborne they are easily inhaled into our body, where they can cause a reaction. For most people this reaction is quite mild or even ‘unnoticeable’, but for a growing number of the population (myself included) the body’s reaction to these foreign particles is most certainly noticeable and can leave us feeling physically depleted.
While there are many natural cases of positively charged particles, we are also bringing more and more generators of positive ions into our homes. Electrical items such as the computer you are sitting at, your television, air conditioner, hair dryer, refrigerator etc. are all positive ion producers. Even the static charge from your clothing, carpet or upholstery is an example of generating positively charged ions.
We can’t help but have an overwhelming number of positive ion producers around the house these days. Unfortunately, the home doesn’t have a great source of negative ion generators to offset the large number of positive ions we have introduced. Typically the major sources of negative ions around the home come from running a bath or shower and having indoor plants.
There is plenty of information floating around the web about the potential harms of overexposure to positive ions (aside from dust, mold, pollen etc.) but I won’t get into that here.
For me, it is good enough to say that the natural balance of ions in the modern home is out of whack, restoring this balance can only be a good thing.
So what is an air ionizer?
Well, you may have already guessed that an air ionizer is something we can use to restore the balance between positive and negative ions – and you’re 100% correct!
More specifically, the air ionizers we are talking about are negative ion generators. Scientists took note of the staggering amount of positive ions in our modern lifestyle and developed the air ionizer as a way of counteracting this synthetic change in our environment.
I’m not a chemist or physicist, so I won’t pretend to know what goes on behind the scenes – but the main point is that negative ions are generated, and in large quantities too. Negative ions repel each other, so as more are generated they get forced further away into the air (so no need for a noisy fan) where they can start to work their magic.
Positive and negative ions are attracted to each other, so this is where the balancing act begins. Negatively charged particles attach themselves to positively charged particles. The combined weight is now too heavy for the particles to remain airborne, so they fall to the ground.
It should be noted that this does not mean the pollutants have been completely removed from your home. They have been removed from the air however (which is where they can cause us problems) and then can be completely removed when you wipe clean the floors and other surfaces.
This process is highly effective for removing particles that are too small to be captured by air purifiers which use a filter. It is now quite common to find ionizer technology attached to filtered air purifiers in order to get the best of both worlds.
Suitable uses for air ionizers
Negative ion generators come in many shapes and forms, and have been put to use in a wide range of situations. Broadly speaking, any enclosed place with a big source of positive ions from electrical equipment, wireless networks, air-conditioning or airborne pollutants (like bacteria, mold, dust or pollen) would be a pretty good candidate for needing an air ionizer.
Interested? Come and see our whole range of air ionizers and find the perfect one for you.