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Electronic Air Cleaners

May 23, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

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Electronic air cleaners depend on a charged electrical field to draw particulates through the filtration system.

The Basics


  • Electronic air cleaners have two basic types:
    • Portable systems with an attached fan.
    • Units installed as central filtration.
  • Electronic air cleaners use less energy compared to other filters.
  • The most common of all electronic air purifiers is the electrostatic precipitator.
  • Constant airflow reduces the frequency with which the owner needs to buy replacement filters.
  • This air cleaner depends on one of the following particle-catching technologies:
      • Electrodes
      • Charged wires

The negative ion generator is the most basic type of electronic air cleaner. This generator delivers a static charge that causes airborne particles to attach themselves to nearby surfaces, including floors, furniture, walls, and people.

To Consider Before Buying

Unfortunately, systems that apply this method alone have a downside. They create a mess. Charged particulates will increase in layers on the walls and floors, even to the point of soiling furniture if the room is not frequently cleaned. More efficient (and expensive) electronic air purifiers suck charged particles through a filter using a fan. These additional capabilities are intended to reduce particulate matter buildup in a room.

There are yet a few other factors associated with electronic air cleaners that need to be considered.

  1. Electronic air cleaners are less efficient than some other air purifiers.
  2. These units require frequent cleaning.
  3. Many produce ozone gas.
    • Ozone gas is a proven lung irritant which should be avoided by:
      • Asthmatics
      • People with lung diseases




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