If you think your Air Conditioning unit is just giving you cool air, you can think again. Air conditioning is not just about controlling the temperature; it also concerns purifying the air around you. This it does by means of a simple process of filtration. When exposed to unfiltered/unclean air continuously we, who breathe it in, might end up with difficult diseases like asthma or other allergies. Most Air-Conditioning units have a built in electronic air cleaners. These make use of the basic principle of electrostatic energy to drag out about 95% of the irritating elements we have floating around in the air around us and store it on plates in them. Cleansers like these are fixed in between the furnace and the air ducts so as to help filter the air indoors.
The air in your home contains dust particles, fumes, allergens and a dozen other substances which simply won’t go away no matter how much you clean or vacuum. When you switch on your AC this air will flow through the cooling system with the elements described above. It will then be dragged through a pre-filter in the electronic cleanser; this usually cleans it of the majority of irritating substances. Those that it does not are given an electric charge once they enter the filter. These charged particles are then drawn to the plates where they remain deposited until the plates are cleaned.
Broadly speaking electronic air purifiers can be classified under two categories; electrostatic precipitators and charged media filters. Electrostatic precipitators collect particles on charged plates installed in them. In Charged Media Filters on the other hand the same substances are deposited on the charged fibers provided in the machine. The first kind of Purifiers are usually considered to be more effective than the latter. This is because Electrostatic precipitators supply dirt particles and other irritants in the air with a charge before depositing them; this causes a larger number of particles to be collected. Any common electrostatic precipitator can be expected to produce anywhere around 20,000 volts just to provide the particles with charge.
There are two easy tests to find out how efficient an electronic air filter is. These are what is popularly called the weight-arrestance test and the dust-spot test. The first tests the machine’s cleansing capacity in terms of the weight of the dirt the filter can remove. But this test will not confirm whether or not the machine is capable of removing small particles from your breathing air. The second test checks to see if the filter can catch substances between 0.3 to 6 microns, that is really minute substances and particles.
No matter what purifier you own make sure to keep it squeaky clean, clean it regularly and religiously.