Air purifiers don’t contain any cooling mechanisms. They are designed to eliminate harmful particles, gases and microorganisms from the air by pulling contaminated air in, blowing it through filters and/or other purification mechanisms, and releasing the cleaned air out the other side. This process creates air movement, which may result in a mild cooling effect, but it has no ability to change the ambient temperature in the room.
Air purifiers move air through a room, which can produce a cooling effect similar to that of a fan. Moving air feels cooler to us because it speeds up the process of convection—hot air rising and being replaced by cooler air. Think of it like blowing on hot soup—the air around the bowl is heated up by the soup, blown away and replaced by colder air that helps the soup cool down more quickly. Moving air also helps our sweat evaporate more quickly, reducing body heat and making us feel cooler.
It’s important to note that while air purifiers are equipped with a fan, it is designed to pull contaminated air into the device rather than push air out into the room like a regular fan. The air that comes into the purifier slows down as it moves through the filters, meaning that it emerges more slowly at the other end. That means that even a small desk fan will be much more efficient at emitting a fast-moving and cooling air stream than an air purifier.
Let’s take a look at these oft-confused household devices and their functions with regard to the ability to cool a room.
The main purpose of an air purifier is not to cool a room—rather, it is designed to clean the air of impurities and contaminants that could be harmful to human health. Whole house air purifiers are intended to improve indoor air quality in order to promote better sleep, reduce asthma and allergy symptoms, and much more.
There are a few different methods of that these devices use to purify the air. One of the most common is the HEPA filter, made of finely woven mesh that can trap 99.97% of even the most penetrating particles (0.3 microns in size). These filters are considered to be very effective at capturing common irritants such as dust, pollen and pet dander.
Air purifiers equipped with activated carbon filters are considered to be most effective at trapping hazardous fumes and unpleasant smells. The activated carbon chemically attracts gases through a process called adsorption, effectively trapping paint fumes, cigarette smoke and other potentially dangerous odours.
There are also residential UV air purifiers that deactivate and destroy harmful microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria and mold spores. Rather than using a mechanical filter, the UV process involves shining strong rays of light on the moving air stream to attack contaminants on a molecular level.
Air conditioners are units designed specifically to cool down a room. Warm air from the room is drawn into the device and flows over cold evaporator coils that cool it down. The excess heat is vented outside (usually via a window attachment) and the cool air is released back into the room.
While most air conditioners are equipped with filters, these are nowhere near as effective at trapping contaminants as purpose-built air purifiers. However, if you have central air conditioning, there are coil cleaners that can be installed to sanitize your HVAC system.
Dehumidifiers are designed to reduce the amount of humidity in the air. Like air purifiers, these devices don’t actively cool down the air, but they can influence how cool a room feels. When there is a lot of humidity in the air, it slows down the sweat evaporation process that helps us get rid of excess body heat. Humidity can make the ambient air feel much hotter, which is why weather reports often include the humidex to better express what the temperature will feel like. Dehumidifiers eliminate humidity from the air so that our bodies can release excess body heat more effectively.
As with air conditioners, warm, humid air is drawn into the device and blown over cold evaporator coils, removing the moisture from the air by reverting it to liquid form. The moisture is collected and the air is returned to its original temperature before being released back into the room.
As you can see, each of these devices is designed for a specific purpose. It’s best to select the one that matches your desired function for optimal results. Or, if you prefer, you can use the different devices in conjunction for cleaner, cooler, drier air.
If you’ve determined that an air purifier is indeed what you’re looking for, contact Sanuvox today! We offer a selection of first-rate UV light air purification systems for residential and commercial use. Improve your indoor air quality and breathe easy with Sanuvox!