Do Filterless Air Purifiers Work? Also, Can Ionic Air Purifiers Remove Odors?

The increase in harmful contaminants found in indoor air across the globe has prompted a rise in popularity for air purifiers, especially the cheaper filterless kind called “ionic air purifiers.”

Things like allergies, poor sleep quality, asthma, COPD, and respiratory irritation can all be caused by poor indoor air quality, and this has led to people to wonder, “Do filterless air purifiers work?”

If you’re wondering this as well, we invite you to read on.

Do Ionic Air Purifiers Really Work?

For certain contaminants, yes. Ionic air purifiers work very well.

Instead of the traditional filter system that you see on HEPA air purifiers, ionic air purifiers work in one of two ways:

  • By trapping the contaminants between electrically charged plates
  • By sending out ions into the air to attack airborne pollutants

Ionizers with electrically charged plates work by using a fan to pull particles through the unit. As pollutants move through the device the plates act like a magnet. It draws the charged particles to it, and they get stuck.

During the charging process, the particles change in structure, and this makes them essentially harmless. Ionic air purifiers work to remove particles such as allergens, dust, pet dander, and smoke. 

Another bonus of these types of air purifiers is that they’re relatively easy to maintain. All you have to do is routinely clean the plates. How often you do this will vary depending on how many contaminants are in your home and how large of an area the device has to cover. If this sounds appealing to you, check out our guide on the best ionic air purifier available.

When it comes to ionic air purifiers that emit ions into the air, these machines don’t use a fan to draw air through it. Instead, these ions go out into to the air and latch onto airborne pollutants.

The weight of the particle clusters forces contaminants to fall out of the air and onto the floor or nearby surface. This prevents the particles from getting into your lungs as you breathe because they’re essentially too heavy to float back up into the air again. 
This method of air cleaning often leads people to ask the question, “Are ionic air purifiers dangerous?” The answer is no, as long as it doesn’t emit ozone.

Do Ionic Air Purifiers Remove Odors?

If you’re still wondering, “Should I use an ionizer?” then this next point may help you decide, especially if you or someone in your house smokes.

If you have a lingering smokey odor around your home that seems to stay no matter what you do, an ionic air purifier can help remove it safely and effectively.

We mentioned earlier that the contaminants that pass through the filterless air purifier’s electrical fields go through a structural change. When this happens, it alters the smell of the pollutants. 

Essentially, the process negates the smell. You’re left with a harmless particle that attaches to the opposite plate, and the clean air passes back into your room.

One thing to keep in mind is if you’re trying to use a filterless air purifier to get rid of tobacco smoke odors that you really should stop the act of smoking from occuring inside the house to get maximum odor control.

If you don’t stop the smoking, your air purifier will have to keep up with both the old and new smoke odors, and this can be difficult for the machine to keep up with if the air quality never gets a break from the smoke particles.

Recap

Do filterless air purifiers really work? Now you know that the answer is yes, depending on what types of contaminants you have in your home.

Allergens, dust, and odors are all things that filterless air purifiers can take on but you have to decide which type of machine you’d rather have – one that uses a fan and electrically charged plates to collect contaminants or one that sends ions out into the air as a way to clean it. Both options work well, but it’s up to you to decide which version you’d prefer to have inside your home.