Air Ionizer Purifier Misconceptions


Air Ionizer Purifiers have been around quite a few years. And for many people the success of the Sharper Image "Ionic Breeze" (and "negative ionizers") have become synonymous with air purifiers for many people when they think of cleaning the air. However there are many misconceptions when it comes to the difference between ionizers, negative ions, ozone, ionic and what they do.

There are even some dangers in certain "Ionizers" which we will explore that can negatively impact your lungs. In the videos and texts below we "clear the air" on the misconceptions to help you make the best choice in getting cleaner air into your home.

Air Ionizer Purifier Video

Ionizer, Negative Ions, or Ozone?

Air Ionizer Purifiers - These are any air cleaning machine that uses charged particles, or ions, to clean the air. This is most often accomplished by washeable plates which have an electrical charge. Common names include electrostatic, electronic, Truman Cell, Ionic breeze and others. Air ionizer purifiers work by using this "charge" to attract dirt and pollution that often have either a positive or negative charge themselves.

Inexpensive to maintain (and manufacture) they fail to work well for anyone wanting complete particle removal as in allergies and asthma. Some air purifier ionizers can also tend to create a dangerous byproduct which can be harmful: Ozone. More about that in a moment. However there are some things they do well as we saw in the video.

Negative Ion Purifiers - This is different from ionizers. Instead of attracting dirt and pollution to the plates negative ion machines generate free-floating negative ions whch go out into the room, killing odor, disabling some pollution, and creating healthy air. Negative ions are naturally ocurring and needed for healthy air.

Ozone Air Purifiers - Ozone air purifiers work by taking oxygen (which has two molecules) and creating a third oxygen molecule. This third molecule is like a free-radical which leaves the air purifier and goes out into the room - killing mold and odors. It's great for mold and odor, but too many ozone molecules can irritate or even damage sensitive lungs. Popular Brands are Ecoquest (which is now Vollara air purifiers) and Alpine (which was the original).

The Danger: Air Ionizer Purifiers That Create Ozone

The problem with some of these ionizer machines, specifically the ones that use washable plates, (EX; Oreck XL and Ionic Breeze Air Purifier) is that many air purifiers using the charged plate approach can also create ozone, even though they are not trying to. It's just one of the effects of using charged plates.

It runs out that if you have a big enough plate that is charged it can create the ozone molecule. The following Video provides the story of ionizers and Ozone:

Pros and Cons of Air Ionizer Purifiers


1 - Inexpensive

2 - They use convenient washable plates

3 - They work well for smoke and odor

4 - Smokers: it will work without hepa filter costs


1 - Does not do a good job on dust or pollen

2 - May create harmful or irritating Ozone

3 - Does not help with viruses, mold, or germs

"Richardson" Air Purifier Rating

1. Technologies Included: (out of of 10 technologies) 1

2. Particle Removal (Allergens, Dust) 3

3. Immune System Threats (Germs, Virus, etc.) 1

4. Gas Removal (Odor, Chemicals, Smoke) 8

5. Longevity/Quality 6

6. Noise Levels 4

7. Ease of Use 10

8. Warranty 3

9. Customer Service/Reputation (reviews) N/A

10. Price Value 4

Score: 40 = Fair


If you are a smoker, and only want to clear smoke then any Air Ionizer Purifiers might be a good purchase because you can wash the plates. A HEPA Air Purifier will need often replacements because of the tar. If you want to get rid of dust and pollen then you're going to want a HEPA air Purifier.

The video on the model below provides an alternatove to Ionizers...

VIDEO: The Alive Air Purifier - A Better Alternative To Ionizers:

The Alive Air Purifier uses 9 technologies:

1) Ionization - with a grid (instead of plates...DOES NOT CREATE OZONE) to clear smoke, and extend the HEPA filter life. It even extends the life of the HEPA

2) Hepa - for removing dust, dirt, and pollen

3) Negative Ions - for healthy Air

4) Carbon - for removing smoke, gases and chemical fumes.

5) A Washable Pre-filter - grabs hair and dust, extending HEPA filter life.

6) UV Light - for killing germs and viruses

7) Tio2 - for killing mold, viruses, bacteria and germs with UV.

Air Ionizer Purifier Comparison

Q: Which Air Purifier is Best for Me?

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