Operation Clean Air

Operation Clean Air «WORLD»
Most of the models of air purifiers are available in desktop and floor versions. This simplifies their installation in the apartment. Operation Clean AirCompact air purifier with Plasmacluster technology FU-21SES (SHARP) Operation Clean Air BORK Operation Clean Air SHARP
Elegant appearance will help to place the equipment in any interior Operation Clean Air VITEK
Air ionizers with night lamp Operation Clean AirIn the Green modelNara20 (CHUNG PUNG), a retractable metal plate is provided on which dust is deposited. This plate must be cleaned as it gets dirty.— remove and wash under running water Operation Clean AirELECTROLUX

Using the display, you can get information about air pollution, noise level, device operation mode Operation Clean AirThe Oxy 3 Silence models combine high performance (up to 380m3/h) with economy— in the lowest intensity mode, the power consumption is up to 30Tue The device is equipped with a removable, easy-to-clean electrostatic filter Operation Clean Air ECOQUEST INTERNATIONAL
The Fresh Air To Go ozone cleaner is designed to work in rooms up to 30m2Operation Clean AirBIONAIRE air purifiers use mechanical HEPA filters complete with carbon Operation Clean Air «FRESH AIR» Operation Clean Air «WORLD»
Most cleaners are equipped with an easy-to-clean plastic housing. Operation Clean Air BIONAIRE
The air purification mode can be changed using the remote control supplied with the BAP model1500 Operation Clean AirUsing the HEPA filter in the BAP ionizer412 (BIONAIRE) removes the smallest contaminants such as pollen, tobacco smoke and other particles as small as 0.3mk Operation Clean AirAir purifier-humidifier LW-44 from VENTA Operation Clean Air AFE
The degree of contamination of the filters can be determined visually by removing the cover of the device Operation Clean AirThis is how the assembled air purifier from AFE (Malaysia) looks like in the assembled state Operation Clean Air AIR-O-SWISS
Purifier-moisturizer AOS1355 Operation Clean AirIn addition to the Plasmacluster ion generator, coarse filter, carbon and HEPA filters, the SHARP models include an antibacterial apatite filter. Operation Clean Air NPP «DOZA» Operation Clean Air «QUARTA-RAD»
Case of gamma radiation indicator SIGRM-1208 is made in the form of a wristwatch

The air in large cities is far from natural purity and freshness. Natural cleaning mechanisms cannot always cope with exhaust gases, factory chimney smoke, building dust and other contaminants. Paradoxically, the indoor air sometimes turns out to be almost more polluted.

As a rule, in the process of building or repairing housing, the main attention is paid to protection from cold and street noise: sealed double-glazed windows are installed, rooms are redevelopment, and they are finished with new synthetic materials. All this, coupled with the general unfavorable environmental situation, leads to the fact that the air in modern city apartments is unsafe for people’s health. Allergies, decreased immunity (and, as a result, an increase in the number of infectious diseases), increased fatigue, respiratory diseases— this is not a complete list of «troubles» that threaten the townspeople.

That is why in recent years, air purification in city apartments seems to be an increasingly urgent task. Experts believe that the most effective measure is the installation of a supply and exhaust ventilation system in the dwelling with a comprehensive purification of incoming air (this was discussed in the article

«In Search of Clean Air»). Alas, with all the advantages of such equipment, its widespread use is limited by the cost ($3000 and above). A much cheaper solution should be to purchase a special device— air cleaner. There are other ways to significantly improve air quality. Owhich ones, we will discuss in this article.

Our invisible enemies

The most common cause of complaints about polluted air is dust. This «fluffy flyer» can cause many troubles. First, the smallest particles of dust— a strong allergen. Secondly, dusty air sometimes causes chronic bronchitis, emphysema and other serious respiratory diseases. Household appliances also suffer— dust deposits can, for example, cause overheating and failure of various electronic components. An important (and for some owners decisive) often turns out to be an aesthetic factor: the gray «carpet» covering the furniture makes the apartment unattractive. It is not surprising that the owners for the most part seek to get rid of dust. For this, both air cleaners, which usually operate in continuous mode, and vacuum cleaners, with the help of which periodic cleaning is carried out, are used. Preventive measures are also taken to reduce the «production» of dust. Othey will be discussed below.

House dust can be classified either by particle size or by origin. To the naked eye, particles ranging in size from about 0.1mm but it— «the visible part of the iceberg», and relatively less dangerous. Much more harmful are the smallest, invisible particles. First, they, unlike larger ones, settle much more slowly from still air under the influence of gravity. Dust particles smaller than 1microns are able to soar in the room for an almost unlimited time, while particles with a diameter of 30-100microns «precipitate» in a few minutes (we are talking about still air and spherical particles; otherwise, the deposition time can increase many times). Secondly, fine dust is less well captured by mechanical filters, which are equipped with many air cleaners and vacuum cleaners. Finally, thirdly, microscopic dust particles more easily bypass the natural defenses of our body.— ciliated epithelium in the bronchi. This epithelium retains particles with a diameter of several micrometers, but «passes» in front of «small things», which freely settles in the lungs (such as tobacco smoke particles).

As for the origin, then, of course, a lot of dust enters our homes from the street. But still, most of the dust is born inside the apartment. Its «suppliers» are shabby fabrics (clothes, bedding, carpets), mattress and pillow stuffing, books, animal hair, plant pollen, and spores. It is especially important to know the source of air pollution for allergy sufferers, since its elimination is sometimes the only effective way to cope with the disease.


Along with dust, our city life is very effectively poisoned by various volatile compounds that fill the air. There are three groups of such substances:

gases emitted from building and finishing materials. It can be phenol, formaldehyde, aromatic hydrocarbons and many other harmful substances. Some building materials, due to the harmfulness of this kind, gradually fell into disuse (say, white lead). The source of harmful «flavors» can be not only the decoration of the apartment, but also furniture, especially made in a handicraft way and not having a quality certificate. It is better not to purchase such furniture made by domestic or foreign craftsmen from materials that were at hand;

«production waste» of kitchen stoves, gas boilers, stoves and other heating appliances. The most dangerous is carbon monoxide (carbon monoxide), which often causes fatal accidents in stove-heated homes. ATsmall amounts of this gas causes headache, loss of strength, deterioration of health. Along with stoves and fireplaces, sources of carbon monoxide are car exhaust and tobacco smoke;

natural gas radon, released directly from the earth’s crust (as well as water from underground sources). Radonis an inert radioactive gas. It is heavier than air and can accumulate in enclosed spaces. Most often, its concentration is dangerously high in poorly ventilated basements, on the first floors of buildings. Radon is a carcinogen and can cause cancer.

Another «risk factor» for the inhabitants of the apartments can be ionic imbalance— insufficient concentration of negatively charged air ions in the air. ATurban dwellings, according to the standards, the number of air ions in the air should be at least 600 per 1cm3 (for comparison: in nature, the concentration of air ions reaches 30000-50000 to 1cm3and in apartments it can be only 50-100 per 1cm3). Ionic imbalance causes a deterioration in well-being— fatigue, decreased performance, weakened immunity.

Ionizer: plus or minus?

There is no unequivocal opinion among scientists regarding the benefits of intensive use of air ionizers. These devices emit ozone during operation, which, being a strong oxidizing agent, can adversely affect lung tissue. Therefore, it is necessary to operate household ionizers and (especially) air ozonizers carefully, strictly following the instructions. ATin particular, the equipment must not be allowed to work beyond the specified period (one to two hours). It is also not recommended to use ionizers in heavily dusty rooms, because charged dust settles, including in the lungs of a person. It is best to turn on the ionizers immediately after cleaning the air from dust using filters.

Looking for someone to blame

So, apartment air, it turns out, requires care. How to manifest it? It is best to proceed as follows. ATFirst of all, it is necessary to establish what exactly it is necessary to «cleanse the air» from. To do this, you should contact the experts who will conduct an environmental examination of the air in the apartment. ATSimilar services are rendered to Moscow by the companies «ECOLOGY OF LIFE SPACE», «EKOSTANDART» and some other firms. Air analysis is usually carried out according to a number of indicators that allow the most accurate determination of its chemical and bacteriological composition. ATthe proposed list, as a rule, includes an analysis of the most common and dangerous pollutants, such as phenol, formaldehyde, nitric oxide, toluene, aromatic hydrocarbons, mercury and other substances, and the level of bacteriological contamination is also determined. ATdepending on the number of components studied, the cost of analysis is $150-400.

Based on the results of the analysis, experts will give specific recommendations: what type of cleaner to choose, they may also advise a specific model. This approach appears to be correct.— after all, glasses, for example, people choose for themselves with the help of an ophthalmologist, and not on their own. In addition, professionals will be able to determine the source of contamination. ATIn some cases, the exact knowledge of the «culprit» helps to cope with the dangerous consequences. For example, it is easier and cheaper to replace too “fragrant” furniture made of “suspicious” chipboard than to regularly degas the air. When the air is heavily saturated with toxic products, a special cleaning agent is sprayed in the room, which neutralizes harmful molecules. Aromatic hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide, mercaptan and other hazardous substances are eliminated in a similar way. But, of course, if the source of pollution is not eliminated, degassing will only be a temporary measure.

Or, say, you are going to buy a cottage, and an increased concentration of radon is found in it. It is likely that a set of measures to ensure your safety will be so expensive (total sealing of load-bearing structures and basement floors) that it will be cheaper to find another cottage.

What is dust?

In scientific terms, dust is a type of dispersive aerosol— a suspension in the air of the smallest solid particles. The maximum size (diameter measured in micrometers, thousandths of a millimeter) of particles does not exceed 200-300 microns, since larger dust particles lose their volatility. The minimum particle size is limited by the molecular size of the dust-forming substance. Dust concentration is measured by the total mass of all dust particles per unit volume of air. ATIn nature, the main air pollutants are soil particles that enter it due to erosion.

Aces of air combat

Next stage— selection of an air purifier. Today, there are several types of these devices on the market that use different types of filters. There are mechanical filters (coarse and fine filters, the so-called HEPA filters), electrostatic, photocatalytic, water filters (their design was discussed in detail in the article «Filters for city water supply»). Atall of them have their advantages and disadvantages. Thus, mechanical HEPA filters are simple in design and, depending on the class, are capable of retaining up to 99.995% of particles with a diameter of more than 0.06 microns. However, the denser the filter, the more powerful fan it needs to move the air. Therefore, some air cleaners equipped with mechanical filters are quite noisy.

Electrostatic filters trap dust particles that acquire a charge in an electrostatic field. For these filters, unlike mechanical ones, the particle size does not matter.— on the contrary, the smaller it is, the more efficient the device works. In addition, purifiers equipped with electrostatic filters are less noisy, as they require less powerful fans to operate. The disadvantage of «electrostatics» is low productivity. To increase it, electrostatic filters with large area dust collecting plates are required, and their use leads to an increase in the size of the equipment and its cost.

But both mechanical and electrostatic filters are not able to «deal» with gaseous pollution. For this, carbon, apatite or photocatalytic filters are used. ATIn the first case, activated carbon is used, which can absorb most of the pollutants from the air.— under the action of the fan, the air passes through the coal powder, which detains «undesirable elements». «Close relatives» of such filters— apatite— work on a similar principle. BUTin photocatalytic, a more complex technological process is used. Here, organic contaminants decompose to harmless components under the action of ultraviolet radiation in the presence of a catalyst (titanium oxide). The advantage of this cleaning method is that its efficiency does not depend on the depletion of the resource, as, for example, in carbon filters. However, it should be noted that these two types of filters are not able to completely clean the air from harmful contaminants. So, with their help, it is unlikely that it will be possible to “neutralize” or “decompose into its component parts” radon gas and some of the simplest chemical compounds.

ATModern air cleaners use one or more different types of filters. Their combination allows to achieve the greatest efficiency of work. For example, the FU-425ES model (SHARP, Japan) is equipped with a coarse filter, a fine HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter that deodorizes the air. ATZ models7040 (ELECTROLUX, Sweden) has a coarse filter, electrostatic and carbon filters. The photocatalytic method is traditionally used in appliances Daikin (Japan). They also have coarse air filters and electrostatic filters (for example, in the MC704AVM model). A variety of filter combinations are found in the models of the Canadian company BIONAIRE, the Swiss PLASTON (trademarks Air-O-Swiss, Boneco) and other manufacturers.

Filtration systems can be supplemented with ionization units (for example, in models 1773, 1774 from VITEK, Russia; Boneco7162 from PLASTON; LC-1060 from BIONAIRE), as well as air ozonizers. Ionizers are designed to eliminate ionic imbalance. There are also models of air purifiers-ionizers produced in a solo version, say XJ-888 (AIR COMFORT, Italy), «Super Plus Turbo» («CLEAN AIR», Russia). These and similar devices operate completely silently (there is no fan in them), but they differ in rather modest performance.— it usually does not exceed 40-60m3/h

ToSeparate types of devices include air purifiers, humidifiers, as well as installations for cleaning kitchen dirt (kitchen hoods). This technique deserves a separate discussion. We talked about humidifier cleaners in detail in the article “Don’t let yourself dry out!”, And kitchen hoods are devoted to the article “Why is there an umbrella in the kitchen?”

Classification of HEPA filters according to EN 1822

Filter class H10 H11 H12 H13 H 14
Percentage of retained particles with a diameter greater than 0.06 µm 85 95 99.5 99.95 99.995

Keep your nose to the wind

When choosing an air purifier, future owners need to remember the following factors:

Performance. ATideally, the device should pump over an amount of air per hour equal to several volumes of the living space (2-4 for the bedroom, 3-6 for the living room). At the same time, the device must have a power reserve so that it can quickly cope with sudden pollution (for example, clouds of tobacco smoke formed after the visit of numerous guests).

type of pollution. The aforementioned tobacco smoke is one of the most problematic household pollutants. Not all models of air cleaners are able to neutralize it. It is no coincidence that the cost of devices designed to work in heavily smoky rooms can be quite high. Thus, the Grace Electrostatic model of the Dutch company EUROMATE is able to “smoke out” a room with an area of ​​up to 90m2but also costs about $1100-1200. ATIn any case, when purchasing an air purifier, be sure to specify what type of pollution it is primarily designed for. ToUnfortunately, some unscrupulous sellers can mislead buyers, assuring that their air purifiers are able to cope with any conceivable and unthinkable pollution. However, reputable manufacturers prefer to confirm the quality of their products in the «dry language of numbers». ATIn this regard, the experience of the American Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), which developed the CADR index for air cleaners, is indicative. This index is measured for each model by three indicators: the degree of air purification from dust, tobacco smoke and pollen. The higher the CADR number, the more clean air the air cleaner produces. Among the devices certified by the CADR index and supplied to Russia, we will name the products of the companies DELONGHI (Italy), BIONAIRE, SHARP, ELECTROLUX and almost all American manufacturers.

Noise level. The noise parameter is especially critical when choosing air cleaning devices for the bedroom. Sanitary standards prescribe: the noise level of equipment at night should not exceed 35dB A. It is good if the air cleaner has a night mode with reduced power— let the performance (we will talk about it below) is reduced, but the noise does not interfere with sleep.

Wash or clean filters? Sooner or later, the air cleaner filters overflow. Contamination rate and reusability— these parameters should be paid attention to when buying. Electrostatic filters can be washed, carbon and apatite must be replaced (washable carbon filters appeared in the latest FU-440E / 425E models from SHARP), among HEPA filters there are both washable and not (now almost all manufacturers use washable ones, but they also have service life is limited to several years of operation). Be sure to specify when buying how much consumables for the air cleaner cost, how often they will have to be changed, where you can buy them in the future.

Also remember: operating the air cleaner with an excessively dirty filter can be inefficient and even hazardous to health! Therefore, it is best if the device is equipped with a dirty filter indicator, such as the MC704AVM models (Daikin), Z8030 (ELECTROLUX).

Ease of use. Some modern air cleaners have a number of devices that make their operation as comfortable as possible. Tothis includes, say, a remote control (models Z8030 from ELECTROLUXMC704AVM from Daikin, FU-440E from SHARP). Also in a number of models (see table) there are: the option of automatic selection of the fan operation mode depending on the noise level in the room; indicators of noise level, power, air dust content, odor intensity; automatic performance adjustment system depending on the level of air pollution; timer with the ability to automatically turn on / off the device; child lock. All these improvements allow the cleaners to be used in a fully automatic mode.

Model, manufacturer maximum performance,m3/h Filter type Noise level, dBBUT Additional Information Price, $
Green nara СР-10 (CHUNG PUNG) n/a ionizer Recommended room area— up to 33m2 110
7162 Boneco (PLASTON) 220 HEPA, carbon, air ionizer n/a Four power levels, operation mode indicator 130
BAP223 (BIONAIRE) Up to 80 Pre-treatment, HEPA, carbon, ionizer n/a DIP switch for fan speed, recommended floor space— 12m2 120
Oxy3 Silence Z8030 (ELECTROLUX) 380 Pretreatment, electrostatic and carbon 31- Indicator of air dust content, power level, noise level, the degree of air purification automatically changes according to the readings of the air pollution sensor, automatic adjustment of the degree of purification depending on the noise level, timer, remote control, child protection, blocking the inclusion without cover and filter 380
«Super Plus Eco» («CLEAN AIR») n/a Air ionizer Does not produce Recommended room area — up to 20m2 fifty
Fresh Air (ECOQUEST INTERNATIONAL) Up to 650 Ionizer-ozonator, photocatalytic filter n/a Served area— up to 180m2body finish— walnut veneer, remote control, LCD display showing all the processes taking place at the moment n/a
MC704AVM (Daikin) Up to 420 in turbo mode Coarse cleaning, plasma ionizer, electrostatic, photocatalytic, ionizer 16- Remote control, automatic power saving mode, air dust level indicator, timer shutdown, ionizer dirty indicator, filter dirty indicator, odor level indicator, air purity sensor n/a
*— purified air

Expert opinion

“Artificial long pile carpets can be a source of air pollution with aromatic hydrocarbons. In the manufacture of such carpets, so-called short-chain polymers are used, which break down much faster than the polymers used in the production of carpets with short pile.”

Yulia SABLINA, specialist of the company «EKOSTANDART»

Not just an air cleaner…

Good air purifieris just one of the solutions to the problem. There are other ways to improve the home «atmosphere». Here are some tips on how to do this:

Furniture made of laminated chipboard causes air pollution if used improperly. For example, with sudden changes in temperature in the room, the laminate coating may crack and more intense emission of harmful substances will begin from the «bowels» of the chipboard. Therefore, items made of laminated chipboard are not recommended to be installed in close proximity to central heating radiators, stoves, electric heaters.

When buying furniture made of chipboard, you should carefully check. It should be seasoned, not smell. You should also inspect the laminated surface to make sure there are no cracks. Of course, any furniture must have a certificate from the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service of the Russian Federation, confirming its environmental friendliness and safety.

When in-house repairs, sealants, varnishes and paints intended for outdoor work cannot be used. Often such products are distinguished precisely by an increased level of release of harmful substances (or a longer period of their emission hazardous to health).

Some building materials, on the contrary, help improve the air. Such, for example, is a tile coated with titanium dioxide TiO2 Italian factory GAMBARELLI, produced for the company IDEAL STANDARD (Italy). This substance is a catalyst in the process of formation of ionized oxygen under the action of ultraviolet radiation (titanium-containing materials in photocatalytic filters operate on the same principle). Such “active” oxygen effectively neutralizes compounds hazardous to health, such as carbon monoxide CO, and has a detrimental effect on pathogens. True, the beneficial properties of tiles appear only in open sunlight.

Radon— a rather «rare guest» in modern apartment buildings, which are subject to mandatory examination for his absence. BUThere in the «private sector» the probability of an increased concentration of radon is higher. It can be detected either by examination (as discussed above), or with the help of a household gamma radiation meter. The cost of similar household dosimeters of domestic production (for example, «SIGRM-1208″ from NPP «DOZA», «Radeks RD1503» from «QUARTA-RAD») is $100-300. If the level of gamma radiation exceeds 25-30 microroentgen per hour, you need to look for the source.

ATIn conclusion, I would like to remind you that even with the most modern air purifiers, apartments must be periodically (at least two or three times a day) ventilated. ATin urban environments, this is best done early in the morning when traffic is at its lowest. Of course, few of the owners are capable of getting up early every morning to open the window. Therefore, in such cases it is much more convenient to use automatic ventilation systems. Owe will describe them in the following issues.

The editors would like to thank the representatives of the companies ELECTROLUXSHARP, SONY, MIR chain of household appliances and electronics stores, BAUKLOTZ, DAICHI, IDEAL STANDARD-MOSCOW, CenterClimat, CENTER PLUS, ECOSTANDART, METEOLINE trading system for their help in preparing the material.

  • Source: Ideas for Your Home Magazine#89


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