Why the Indoor Air in Your Home and Office is So Important
The following numbers pretty much speak for themselves, and can be both surprising and quite alarming at the same time…
Many homes and offices have airborne pollutant levels 25-100 times higher than the air outside.
Americans spend over 90% of their time indoors… some estimates go as high as 97%
Over 1500 substances may be found in the typical North American home… some of which can emit toxic fumes
These numbers and statistics are not meant to frighten you… but simply to give you a wake-up call to what many folks unknowingly assume is okay… and that's indoor air quality.
The good news is there are some very positive steps you can take to enhance the indoor air you breathe… and we're here to help you do just that.
Have you ever spent time in an environment that invigorated you, and inspired you to think clearly and creatively?
Chances are this environment was somewhere outside in nature.
So what causes the air inside your home or office to not come close to having the same effect… or worse, to even reach high pollution levels?
First of all, the EPA tells us that the air outside your home establishes the baseline for your indoor air. This seems to make perfect sense. It also means if you already live in an area with high levels of outside pollutants, your indoor air probably started out 'bad' before anything inside your house had a chance to impact it even further.
"Ever wonder why spending time in a natural pollution-free environment can be so invigorating?"
But once inside your home or office, the air you breathe can get worse and loads of other pollutants may be added from materials and faulty processes inside your home such as…
There is another step I recommend you seriously consider taking to help improve your indoor air quality… and that's to install an air purification system.
Could This Be One of Nature's Best Methods For Cleaning the Air?
That fresh air smell and ambiance following a
lightning storm is triggered by the natural
ozone effect on the air.
Most folks are probably unsure about what it is.
So, what is ozone?
Considered by many scientists to be nature's method for cleaning the air we breathe, ozone is a natural component of the earth's atmosphere… a naturally occurring pale blue gas.
From a molecular standpoint, ozone is actually an oxygen molecule with an extra atom attached… the chemical symbol is O3… the extra oxygen atom makes it a somewhat aggressive oxidizer.
Why is the extra oxygen atom important? The interesting thing about ozone is once it oxidizes an air pollutant, it loses one of its oxygen atoms and turns back into pure oxygen (O2).
Made in nature by ultra violet (UV) energy from the sun striking oxygen molecules
Created by lightning – The fresh air you smell after a thunderstorm is due to the ozone cleaning effect on the air.
A component of ground level air wherever you go on the earth – Such has been the case since the beginning of time.
When examining specific filtration technologies within the basic types described above, I feel there are both pros and cons... More so that I favor a unit that could incorporate multiple technologies working together, instead of using just a single one. I've felt strongly about this for quite some time.
Here’s a handy chart that outlines the basic pros and cons of some of the air purification technologies available to give you a better picture of what I mean…
Can trap very small particles (0.01 microns) using charged plates.
Are challenged to move enough air for effective indoor coverage and pollutant absorption.
Works effectively to filter particles (0.03 microns or larger) such as pet allergens, dust, and larger smoke particles.
Not effective at removing odors, gases, and chemicals due to their small particle size. Limited on coverage area.
Uses relatively inexpensive UV light to neutralize microorganisms like mildew, bacteria, and viruses.
Does not do a real sufficient job filtering particles from the air by itself and UV light degrades over time.
Able to use a very large surface area to attract and neutralize odors and pollutants.
Rarely used by itself and when the filter gets full, it stops absorbing and needs to be replaced.
Uses proven element found in nature that effectively cleans outside air.
Need to be able to control generation level to keep output within EPA guidelines.
Does remove particles using negatively charged or both negatively and positively charged ions.
Particles tend to fall out of the air and stick to walls and other items in a room. Particles are not always taken cleanly out of the air.
The point of the chart is not to identify all the air filtration technologies available, but merely to give you an example of why I don't feel a single technology is the optimum approach for an indoor unit… a combination of technologies is required.
To me, a single air filtration technology just won’t be as effective as a purifier that contains multiple ways to clean your indoor air.
Follow This Guide to the Ultimate Air Purification System
If you could design the ultimate air purification system, what would it have? What would be the criteria needed to make it stand out in the crowd and deliver the best of the best indoor air purification?
To help you answer the question I created a checklist for what I consider to be the ideal air filtration system for your home…
Optimizes multiple air purification technologies – Must be included within the same unit with a strong preference for 'active' technologies as opposed to 'passive.'
Implements controlled ozone generator – Strong preference for controlled ozone generation as one of the multiple technologies incorporated in the unit. I feel that since ozone is nature's element for effectively cleaning air, this is a must-have in any system I would recommend.
Delivers solid testing evidence – Unit manufacturer must provide independent testing results as to the effectiveness of the unit. This is another must-have.
Makes use of scalable purification – It’s important to be able to have a single unit that can both handle an average size home (over 2000 sq. ft.) plus a smaller home and even a single room if needed.
Is simple to setup and use – Air purifier must be intuitive to use and not require extensive training to get the unit up and running. Once setup properly, unit should not require constant adjustments to run effectively.
Cleans up easily and safely – Cleaning the unit, whether there are filters or not, should be simple using environmental-friendly solutions. Requirements for harsh cleaning chemicals are not acceptable and should be avoided at all costs.
Is inexpensive to operate – Doesn’t consume much electricity and does not require expensive regular filter replacements.
Incorporates universal power – Unit must come equipped to handle both AC and DC power requirements for use anywhere in the world. Plus, purifier must have electrical and safety certifications for use internationally.
Provides a satisfaction guarantee – In addition to a warranty, filtration unit should come with some sort of money-back guarantee. This will ensure the manufacturer clearly stands behind the product and would allow you to test-drive the unit to observe the results.
Four Advanced Technologies in a Single Purification System –
A Truly Innovative Solution
Air purfier single purification system
My selection criteria proved to be pretty daunting in finding any solution that would satisfy expectations. But that's the way it should be. I'm not about to recommend something to you if it's not one of the best units available in the marketplace.
And sometimes, my staff cannot find anything that comes close to the selection criteria… in which case, I try and find a manufacturer who will build what we need.
Fortunately, my staff did find an air purification unit which makes remarkable use of multiple active and passive technologies. And that’s why I’m ready to introduce you to the extraordinary Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier… a truly innovative solution for indoor air purification.
One of the key features of the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier is how it incorporates four advanced technologies into a single unit to help reduce odors, smoke, pollen, dust, bacteria, minor mold, pet dander, and much more.
The four advanced technologies include…
Advanced Photo Catalytic Oxidation (PCO) Cell – The PCO technology not only destroys biological contaminants traveling through the cell, it also produces purifying plasma which reduces odors, mold, bacteria, and viruses.
Needlepoint Ionization –The Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier generates a continuous stream of millions of negative ions that circulate throughout your home. These ions charge particles of dust, dander, bacteria, and viruses… causing them to clump together and fall out of the air you breathe.
Scalable Purification –The air purifier comes equipped with adjustable purification levels based on the square footage of the area. This allows the ozone generation to work safely and effectively based on the size of the area to be cleaned.
Electrostatic Filtration – An advanced electrostatic filter comes with the unit to help keep the purifier clean while at the same time filter out particles which clump together from the Needlepoint Ionization.
Unlike many other air purifiers in the marketplace that only use one or two technologies, the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier effectively incorporates four technologies and focuses more on active types of purification.
This air purifier has been specifically designed to proactively go after indoor air pollutants and not simply wait for them to find their way into the device.
With this combination of four advanced purification technologies, tests have shown that noticeable pollution can be eliminated in as little as 15 minutes, and the most challenging pollution in as few as 24 hours. I’ll have more coming up on some of the actual available test data from the independent evaluations.
But first, let’s take a closer look at more of the features and benefits of the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier that convinced my team and I to recommend it to you…
Features and Benefits Every Air Purifier Should Have But Few DO
Quite surprising to my team, the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier quite easily satisfied all of the selection criteria… and then some.
Here are more on the key features and benefits of the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier…
Small, compact, high-tech attractive-looking unit
Small, compact, high-tech attractive-looking unit
Easily fits into any area, room, or home without upsetting surrounding aesthetics.
Full function control panel with LCD display
Full function control panel with LCD display
Enhances ease-of-use by showing you key items like: fan speed, technology indicator, and square footage indicator. Display is also dimmable and can be turned off as needed.
Full function remote control
Full function remote control
Enhances ease-of-use by permitting unit adjustments without touching or relocating the purifier.
Adjustable fan and purifier level controls
Adjustable fan and purifier level controls
Allows just the right purification levels to be generated from 250 to 3000 square feet depending on the size of the area.
LCD Intelligent maintenance reminders
LCD Intelligent maintenance reminders
Makes maintenance easier and simpler by providing maintenance reminders on the LCD display.
Universal AC/DC power supply
Universal AC/DC power supply
With the proper local plug adapter, can be used anywhere in the world.
Filter can be cleaned with clean water and Purification plate with a 50/50 mix of warm water and ammonia.
Unit is designed to be easily cleaned for quick turnaround to get unit running again.
UL, CE, PSE, TUV, and EK certified internationally
With these international electrical and safety certifications, the manufacturer has provided the flexibility for the air purifier to work in different countries around the world.
1 Year Warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee
Let’s you try out the purifier for 30 days to observe results.
You can see from this extensive list of features and their associated benefits how the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier is an extraordinary purification system.
Independent Testing Delivered the Evidence We Were Looking For
As discussed earlier, one of the main reasons I feel that other companies failed with their air purifiers was due to inadequate testing.
As you already know, evidence of solid testing results is one of my top criteria for recommending any indoor purification system. And the manufacturer of the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier stepped up to satisfy the need.
As examples, here are two different independent sources who evaluated the technology used in the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier. Both reports were peer reviewed and published in scientific journals…
University of Cincinnati Test (published in Environmental Science and Technology).
The Test – Evaluated both PCO and Negative Ionization technologies against two active contaminants.
The Results – Combination of the two technologies provided a much more significant reduction of airborne contaminants than when the two technologies were used independently. The combination of both technologies resulted in an overall aerosol exposure reduction after 30 minutes by a factor of about 50, or an overall reduction/inactivation of approximately 98%.
Kansas State University Test (published in Journal of Rapid Methods & Automation in Microbiology).
The Test – Evaluated PCO technology against nine airborne microorganisms
The Results – After 24 hour of exposure, the nine organisms tested were reduced from a range of 96.4% to 99.9%. Even more astounding, was after only 2 hours, the average reduction was over 80%... and after 6 hours, it was over 90%.
The technology used in the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier in these two independent evaluations demonstrated significant reductions in specific pollutants found in indoor air.
Plus, from an electrical and safety standpoint, the purifier carries certifications from around the world from Underwriters Laboratory (UL – US and Canada), CE (Europe), PSE (Japan), TUV (Germany), and EK (Korean).
Scalable Purification – The Ultimate Coverage Flexibility and
One of the unique features of the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier is how flexible the unit is to set up for different size indoor areas… Scalable Purification.
Once the purifier is installed, you can easy tailor it to work in the smallest room or area, or to cover up to an open area of 3,000 square feet. This is a very powerful feature indeed and one I believe firmly sets it apart from the competition.
Here are some examples (and the corresponding LCD data displays) of typical settings that more clearly illustrate the flexibility this capability provides…
For a small area or room (less than 250 sq. ft.) – Set the unit in 'Normal' mode where the advanced PCO technology is used to get purification levels you need without the need for additional activated oxygen (ozone). Five different fan speeds can be set for further flexibility.
For a small area or room (less than 250 sq. ft.)
For larger areas (250 to 3000 sq. ft.) – Set the unit to the square footage needed and it will automatically go into ‘High’ mode. This indicates that measured levels of activated oxygen (Scalable Purification) will be employed to enhance the purification process. However if you use the higher levels it is best to make sure you are not at home and do not expose your pets to the higher concentrations as rooms closer to the unit will have higher levels. The levels drop within minutes of turning the unit off, so this is not a long-term problem.
For larger areas (250 to 3000 sq. ft.)
When you’re away from home or want faster air cleanup as needed while no one is in the area – Set the unit to ‘Away Mode’ and the flexible timer to have it automatically shut off.
• When you're away from home
It's important to point out that the manufacturer of the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier has taken a very conservative approach when it comes to Scalable Purification… and how much activated oxygen (ozone) is used to reduce air pollutants and odors.
As an example… even when set at the highest coverage level of 3000 square feet, the unit would have to be placed inside a very restricted area (theoretically, like a cardboard box) to have any chance of releasing undesirable levels of ozone. Of course, no one will practically use it this way.
The manufacturer has gone to great measures to ensure when the unit is set properly, the Scalable Purification technology will not release ozone greater than the EPA guidelines except in ‘Away Mode.’ This was a real important factor in my final selection process.
Keeping Your Air Purifier Clean is Quick and Easy
The Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier is very simple to clean and maintain. This is a key consideration when purchasing any air purifier system. If cleaning is expensive and time-consuming, I wouldn’t waste my time and even consider such a unit.
Here are a few examples of how cleanup is a breeze with the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier…
The filter assembly (with 3 filters) is easily removed and cleans up with plain water or compressed air.
For the PCO Cell, using compressed air or a vacuum quickly removes any dust buildup.
The Purification Plate (main component in Scalable Purification technology) can be cleaned using a 50/50 mix of warm water and clear ammonia.
These are the key areas to be cleaned and make this air purifier one of the easiest to maintain.
Plus, no harsh chemicals are required in any of the cleaning processes.
The Final Score Card is In
Here’s a quick review and summary of how well the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier busted through our rigorous selection criteria with flying colors. It’s now the only unit I rely on in my own home to help reduce air pollutants and odors.
Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier
‘Other’ air purifiers
Optimizes multiple air purification technologies?
Yes – With a combination of PCO, Needlepoint Ionization, Scalable Purification, and Electrostatic Filtration.
Most indoor air purification systems only incorporate one technology, at most two technologies.
Implements controlled ozone generator?
Yes – Using the Scalable Purification technology and flexible square footage setup capability, ozone levels are kept within EPA guidelines.
Very few indoor air purification systems provide this type of control and flexibility to take advantage of nature’s own element for cleaning air.
Provides air cleaning coverage over 2000 square feet?
Yes – Unit is scalable from areas that are 250 to up to 3000 square feet of purification coverage.
Some indoor purification units provide 2000 or more square feet of coverage. But not many allow you to set the area size you need.
Makes use of scalable purification?
Yes – As already detailed above, unit can be set to handle areas and rooms from 250 to 3000 sq. ft. Plus, small areas less than 250, can be handled as well.
Very few indoor air purification systems provide this scalable flexibility.
Is simple to setup and use?
Yes – This is one of the easiest units to setup and get running. And with the remote control, changes to settings are quick and simple to get done without touching the unit itself.
Some air purification systems can be easy to use. Others are not, and not many provide a remote control feature that allows you to make changes without having to touch or move the unit.
Cleans up easily and safely?
Yes – Very simple cleaning procedures are detailed in the Owners Manual. Use of harsh chemicals is not required.
Not all indoor air purifiers are easy to clean. Some may even require harsh chemicals to get the job done.
Is inexpensive to operate?
Yes – Due to the unit’s low energy use, it is very efficient. Cost to run the purifier 24 hours a day should only be around $0.09 per day or $33 annually (depending on where you live). When following the recommended cleaning schedule for the unit, annual part replacement costs should average around $0.23 a day.
Some air purification systems consume more energy and could cost as much as $0.55 a day to run 24 hours. That could amount to over $200 to run the unit annually. Some purifiers also may require more frequent part replacements with more expensive parts.
Incorporates universal power?
Yes – Unit can be used internationally and has been electrically and safety certified by the following: UL, CE, PSE, TUV, and EK.
Many units have been designed to work in specific countries but not necessarily around the world.
Provides a satisfaction guarantee?
Yes – A 30-day money back guarantee is provided.
Most competitive units provide a limited warranty, but few provide any sort of money-back guarantee.
Notes on cost and maintenance calculations: See spreadsheet (“Air Purifier Annual Maint Cost Analysis”) for how numbers were estimated. Verification of calculations and assumptions highly recommended from GreenTech.
By using the guidelines and tips provided above, you can take great strides toward improving the indoor air you breathe.
Plus, included in your overall plan should be the advanced technology purification unit, the Mercola Pure and Clear Air Purifier, to help reduce air pollutants and odors in your home or office.
There are many choices out there when it comes to selecting an air purification system, but I believe I’ve removed all the guess-work in trying to find the most effective unit… and the one that beats stringent selection criteria hands down.
My simple advice: Don’t settle for second best when it comes to the indoor air you breathe. This is simply one area you should not compromise … I certainly won’t. Order the Mercola Pure & Clear Air Purifier today so you can begin reducing pollutants and odors right away.
At $587.00, this air purification unit is worth its weight in gold with the four advanced technologies and incredible ease-of-use.
And with my 30-day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (see details below), you can try the unit out without any real risk.
Many of these materials and situations listed above emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are unwanted gases.
Here's what I recommend you do to begin alleviating as much of this as possible…
Materials and faulty processes:
Potential indoor air consequences:
|Building materials||Emitted chemicals .|
|Carpeting||Can harbor molds and dust mites .|
|Flooring||Many engineered flooring products use formaldehyde-based resins to hold them together .|
|Household cleaners and chemicals||Common cleaning products can contain toxic substances that adversely affect your indoor air.|
|Damp inside environment and faulty plumbing||Can precipitate release of toxic substances into your air from mold, mildew, and other pollutants.|
|Pets and other animals||Can often increase your exposure to allergens.|
|Tobacco smoke||Particularly, second-hand smoke.|
|Faulty ventilation, heating, or air conditioning equipment||Poor ventilation adds to the level of indoor pollutants. Dirty filters can make matters worse.|
How Ozone Can Be Both Effective and Safe
At the appropriate, natural, levels like you find outside on a non-polluted day, ozone is not only effective, it's naturally safe… typical levels run 0.01 to 0.05 ppm (parts per million). But it's like anything else in nature… even too much pure water can kill you… too high a level of oxygen can as well… and electricity kills thousands every year.
The bottom line with ozone… this natural element must be respected and low levels controlled to make it safe for human exposure.
When it comes to air purification units for your home, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established clear ozone limits for occupied spaces… and that’s 0.05 ppm.
And this establishment by the EPA seems to make a great deal of sense… since typical levels outdoors are present at 0.05 ppm and are still considered safe.
So, to me, blindly banning ozone generation from air purification units makes little sense at all. What does makes sense, is requiring manufacturers to control the amount of ozone generated in indoor environments. Besides, why would you want to ban the very element used in nature to oxidize pollutants and clean the air? Sounds like something that works very effectively to me
And that’s why I feel it’s important that controlled ozone generation is part of any air purification system I recommend. More details on my complete air purifier selection criteria coming up…
Why Single Air Purification Technology is NOT a Recommended Solution
One thing that’s become apparent to me after years of analyzing effectiveness and using different air purification units personally in my home and office, is that I feel a single technology is NOT the answer.
What do I mean by this?
First of all, there are really three basic types of air filtration systems…
Passive – A filtration and cleaning process that takes place inside the unit. Air is drawn into the purification unit for cleaning.
Active – The air cleansing and purification process occurs outside the unit. The technology triggers a process that goes out to clean the air.
Passive/Active – Doesn’t apply directly to a specific technology, but is based on a unit containing multiple technologies of both passive and active.