It's enough to turn you into a cynic. Like any other industry, the air purifier business is rife with hyperbole, not to mention inaccurate, fraudulent and downright absurd claims. So how does one sort out all the conflicting information and decide which one to buy?
First of all, let me say at the outset that I sell AllerAir; a brand that I am personally convinced is not only the most effective but also the best value; but more on this later. First, let's examine what else is out there.
Negative ion generators claim to remove particulate matter by releasing charged particles that attach themselves to dust and pollen. The principle is similar to rubbing a balloon in your hair to generate a static electric charge and sticking it to a wall. The problem with this approach is that, like the balloon, the particles are released once again when the charge wears off. The moral of the story is that it doesn't matter how efficient a garbage collection system you have, if the garbage does not make it into the garbage can and stay there. Also, such systems do nothing to remove common but harmful gasses such as formaldehyde. For that, you need a carbon filter.
Then, there is the cult-like multi-level marketing company whose air "purifiers" actually produce a gas that the EPA and the American Lung Association (among many others) have cautioned the public to avoid because it triggers asthma attacks and turns your lung tissue into swiss cheese.
But wait, here are some small, tabletop units, which are unbelievably inexpensive! This is due to the fact that they exist only to meet a certain price-point, sacrificing any attempt at being effective. Well, there's no free lunch. It takes many pounds of granulated carbon to effectively remove chemicals, odors and gasses at the molecular level, and these units employ only an ounce or two of carbon-dust. Since this will quickly become saturated, these units don't do much after a couple of weeks. You get what you pay for very little.
Then, there are the salespeople. In stores, Internet newsgroups and websites, and hiding behind their toll-free numbers, they make claims that even the manufacturers they represent do not dare make. The other day, a lady called and asked me why I would suggest that she purchase more than one air purifier for her three-story house when the sales rep from the other company said that just one of their units would do the same job, magically working right through the walls and ceilings.
So, just to set the record straight, here are some actual facts. Indoor air pollution consists of two types of material: gases and particles. For respiratory protection to be effective, both of these must be removed. The air purifiers from AllerAir use HEPA to trap particles and activated carbon to trap gasses, chemicals and odors.
HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance) works like a sieve or strainer. The Atomic Energy Commission developed it during World War II. Designed to remove radioactive dust particles from the air, HEPA is recognized by the EPA as the best method of particle removal because it filters out all particles down to 0.3 microns in size at an efficiency rating of 99.97%.
Activated carbon is a time-tested filter for chemicals, odors and harmful gasses. It is used by NASA to purify the air in the space shuttles, and by the military in hi-tech gas masks. Carbon works by trapping molecules of harmful gas in its labyrinth-like internal structure.
Now, let's take a moment to look at the issue of the efficiency of an air purifier as a whole. AllerAir purifiers don't just scrub the air in their immediate vicinity. They are specially designed to create two distinct currents of air within a room, one for the polluted air, and another for the clean air produced by the unit. First of all, picture in your mind the opening at the end of a vacuum-cleaner hose. If you use your hand to narrow this opening, air is drawn into the vacuum with a greater force, and therefore from further away. AllerAir uses this principle to create more air turbulence, cleaning the air in the entire room. Some purifiers exhaust air downwards, kicking up dust from the floor. The AllerAir stands on castors, a few inches off the floor, and draws in air from underneath. This is because the gasses we want to remove are either heavier or lighter than air, and, since we don't care much about what's hovering around the ceiling, we begin with the air at floor level. This causes air to be displaced, and more air descends from above to take its place. In this way, a ceiling-to-floor circulation of air is established to feed the purifier. Meanwhile, if the output louver is aimed parallel to a wall (as I recommend to my customers) another current, one which encircles the room, is established to continually carry clean air away from the purifier.These two independent air circulation paths ensure the maximum efficiency possible. This intelligent design is only one of the innovations that make the AllerAir superior to other HEPA purifiers.
For persons with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), the modern world is a dangerous place. Many household items that other people take for granted will produce gasses that MCS patients find intolerable. Air purifiers made of plastic give off Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and other gasses that are poison to persons with MCS. AllerAir is the only manufacturer that makes purifiers from steel, using a motor with a minimum of varnish on its windings as well as generally inert material in its construction. Other purifiers use glues, sealants and rubber gaskets that make those products unusable by persons with MCS.
Once I've defended my product from all the meaningless statistics and silly claims of some of my competition, and have made the sale, I begin to feel much better. Why? Because I know that my customer will fell much better, having made the right choice.
And I know they feel better, because they write me letters. Allergy-sufferers and asthmatics tell me that after just one night with an AllerAir in their bedroom, they wake up breathing clearly for the first time in years. Now, how many times has a product changed your life to the extent that you are motivated to take the time to write a positive letter to the person who sold it to you?
Written by: Brian Webber
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