There are so many HVAC devices nowadays that their purposes and effects seem to overlap for most people. If you're buying an air purifier, it's important to know what it can and cannot do. One of the biggest questions surrounding air cleaners is whether they can cool down a room or not.
So, if you're interested in learning about them, their types, and functions, continue reading.
The Short Answer
Air purifiers don't make the room cold. They can't actually change the room's temperature directly because that's not in their mechanisms. However, most of them work like fans, circulating air around the room, hence the cooling sensation that we feel.
Types of Air Purifiers
Not all air purifiers work the same, which means that their effect on the room temperature differs from one type to another. They can be divided into filterless and filter air purifiers.
Filterless Air Purifiers
Contrary to popular belief, not all models have filters. Filterless models can in no way cool down a room since they have no fans. Instead, they rely on different technologies that work on improving indoor air quality without causing the breeze most purifiers are known for.
UV purifiers draw air inside then use UV-C light lamps that destroy microorganisms when exposed to them. So, they don't rely on the airflow circulation like other models.
Also known as negative ion generators, ionic air purifiers employ electrically charged negative ions that keep on attracting contaminating particles until they're too heavy and end up falling on surfaces. So, there's no airflow here that can make you feel cooler.
Ozone air purifiers are the strongest, most controversial among their filterless counterparts because they clean all kinds of pollutants by releasing ozone into the air and altering the pollutants' chemical composition.
Aside from the fact that they're extremely harmful, ozone purifiers can't cool a room down because there's no airflow.
Filter Air Purifiers
These are the typical air purifiers that you find everywhere. They're effective and relatively safe, as they don't release any by-products. More importantly, they use electric fans to force air into the purifiers to filter it, then blow clean air back into the room. So, they promote proper airflow.
HEPA filter purifiers are the most popular and commonly available type of all. They clean air in a way that fits all general purposes of the average consumer, thanks to their ability to remove at least 99.97% of 0.3-micron airborne particles, such as dust mites, pet dander, and pollen season contaminants.
They do so by sucking the air through the tiny holes of the fabric filters, trapping the contaminants, and pushing clean air out, so you'll probably feel cooler air around the purifiers.
2. Activated Carbon
Activated carbon filters work through a process called adsorption, where the porous carbon surface attracts dangerous air particles, such as smoke, volatile organic compounds, and odors. Then, the pollutants stick to the carbon surface, and the purifiers are able to push clean, seemingly cooler air out.
Are Air Purifiers Also Fans?
Yes and no. These devices technically have their own two-dimensional electric fans that cause air to circulate. That being said, the purpose is not the same as fans. An air purifier isn't designed with a cooling unit that can actively change the room temperature. So, don't buy an air purifier as a replacement for a fan or air conditioner.
In addition, there are many factors that come into play when considering how cooling an air purifier can be. These don't apply to actual fans because they're not equal in that aspect either. These factors include:
- The number of filters: The higher the number of filters in an air purifier, the lower the airflow rate will be, as filters slow things down. A single-filter air purifier blows air much faster than a multi-stage filtration one.
- CADR rating: Airflow rate plays an important role in making a room feel cooler because just blowing air out isn't enough to do the job. An air purifier with a high Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is strong enough to cause a direct airflow similar to fans.
- Space coverage: A filter air purifier is always restricted by its own space coverage. So, in order to feel the coolness in the air, you'll have to sit really close to the device. Actual fans tend to have wider coverage.
What Is the Best Location for an Air Purifier?
For an air purifier to perform at its highest capacity, you need to be mindful about where you place it in the first place.
If you have a certain source of contamination in the room, such as a place where someone smokes, a litter box, or a painting corner, that's where the purifier should go.
Remember that an air purifier is not a dehumidifier, so try not to expose it to too much moisture, or else the excess moisture will shorten its lifespan.
In addition, try not to restrict your air purifier. Don't surround it with furniture or put it under shelves. Since most models depend on airflow, you should give them room to do their work. So, try to give them a few feet from all sides.
Do Air Purifiers Make Rooms Smell Better?
Of course! These devices work pretty hard towards air quality improvement, so they end up removing many impurities that affect the room's air quality, and more importantly, its smell. Most people who bought an air purifier realized that they needed one because their rooms smelled "funny", and then the smell was gone, thanks to the highly efficient air cleaners.
They get rid of numerous pollutants, including but not limited to:
- Dust mites
- Volatile organic compounds
- Mold spores
- Cooking fumes
- Litter odor
- Pet dander
Overall, air purifiers don't make the room cold in the traditional sense. Yet, a filter air purifier has an electric fan that sucks contaminated air in and blows clean air out. So, the air circulation can cause a cooling sensation.
However, it's not strong or fast enough to replace an actual cooling device like a fan or an air conditioner, since the purpose of an air purifier, after all, is to remove contaminants from the air, nothing more.