The Pros and Cons of Ionizer Air Purifiers: An Expert's Perspective

Air ionizers and their connection to negative ions can have great benefits for the respiratory system and overall health. These negative ions can even positively affect humans, animals, and the environment by creating oases of pure air. However, ionic air filters aren't without their drawbacks. When released into indoor air and inhaled, ozone is a potent lung irritant that aggravates allergies and asthma.

VOCs are considered indoor pollutants and can cause health problems. Unfortunately, ionizers are not effective in reducing VOCs in the air. Ionizers have been shown to increase hazardous levels of small particles by more than 8 times due to the chemical reactions that the ionizer helps create in the air. I recently had a conversation with an expert in air purification who has been designing and manufacturing air purifying systems for 25 years.

He informed me that laboratory tests were conducted with particulate air and gas samples in a large semi-furnished chamber and a field test with an ionizing device installed in an air treatment unit that supplies a busy office building. The results of these tests revealed that most air ionizers have no notable effect on particulate levels. One of the most popular types of air purifiers on the market today are ion generating systems, including “bipolar ionization” devices that electrically charge particles so that they settle faster in the air and are typically marketed to kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses. There is an Oransi 0V200 air purifier model with Hepic filter, 26% carbon filter, or another more expensive model of Oransi Max Izonier air filter with shutdown button for Izonier.

That said, in my experience, the vast majority of air purification power comes from the unit's airflow and the HEPA filter. Air ionization has benefits that would be difficult to achieve with a standard air purifier, but those benefits also carry potential risks. Some critics believe that air ionizers emit dangerous levels of ozone that are not only harmful to the environment, but can be just as hazardous to health. Since conflicting data related to the ionizer still persists, I generally do not use the ionizer option.

To prevent my roommate from smoking second and third hand, I now plan to keep the ionizer on for 30 to 40 minutes when no one is in the room and then turn it off before anyone comes in. In conclusion, there is no doubt that air ionization has its benefits but it is important to be aware of its potential risks as well. I especially appreciate your full and unbiased review of air ionization technology and hope to receive an equally unbiased concern in response to a question I have.

Nancy Pickell
Nancy Pickell

Evil travel scholar. Extreme webaholic. Lifelong internet buff. Total beer specialist. Unapologetic bacon maven. Wannabe internet ninja.