Air Purification Basics


Air Purification FAQs

To ensure maximum performance, an air purifier should run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For that reason, Blueair devices are developed with low power consumption in mind, making sure environmental impact – as well as cost of ownership – is as low as possible. The low energy consumption is made possible thanks to the HEPASilent™ technology, which combines two types of particle filtration, electrostatic and mechanical. Due to this combination, Blueair’s air purifiers are able to use less dense filters, resulting in a high Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) while keeping the noise levels and the energy consumption down.

Blueair products are certified by Energy Star, a globally recognized program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy. In addition to being Energy Star certified, Blueair products are also tested according to local energy efficiency programs such as MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standards) in Korea and GB/T 18801-2015 in China.

Particles, bacteria and viruses

Blueair air purifiers are designed to remove both ultra-fine and coarser particle pollutants from the air. Most particle pollutants are natural or come from the incomplete burning of fossil fuels. The most common natural pollutants are dust, pollen, mold, pet allergens, viruses and bacteria. The pollutants from incomplete burning of fossil fuels come from vehicle motors, industrial processes and power plants.

Follow the links below to learn more about the benefits of Blueair air purifiers with specific pollutants.

Air purifiers for pet allergens.

Air purifiers for dust mites.

Air purifiers for mold.

Air purifiers for pollen.

Optimizing the air for your baby.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

VOCs are gaseous organic chemicals found in both outdoor and indoor air. “Volatile” means that a compound easily evaporates at normal temperatures and pressures. VOC sources are widely used as ingredients in household products. Paints, varnishes and wax all contain organic solvents, as do many cleanings, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing and hobby products. The irritating gases may play a role in many illnesses, from respiratory disease to chemical sensitivity.

A quick reduction of gaseous pollutants is best achieved by the filters with activated carbon, such as SmokeStop™, DualProtection, MultiSmokeStop and the Particle and Carbon filters.

Check the following topics to learn more about the effects of Blueair air purifiers against smoke and VOCs.

Air purifiers for tobacco smoke.

Air purifiers for VOCs, odors and gases.

The indoor air quality thresholds are based on several regulatory values recommended by the United States Environment Protection Agency (US EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). For outdoor ambient air, the Blueair Friend app uses the thresholds from the US EPA Air Quality Index (AQI).
Understanding [Air Purifier] Performance
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HEPA grades a filter’s filtration efficiency grade following American and European HEPA Standards:.

-American HEPA: The American standard requests a filter media to have at least 99.97% efficiency at 0.3 micron to be classified as a HEPA filter. 

-European Standards: In Europe, there is a numerical grading system from H10 – H14 depending on the filter’s filtration efficiency.





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True HEPA is defined as a filter media with at least a 99.97% efficiency at 0.3 [OL1] micron. Through a combination of mechanical and electrostatic filtration, Blueair’s HEPASilent has been independently tested to show a 99.99% filtration efficiency at 0.3 micron, meeting the HEPA definition.

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HEPA grades a filter’s filtration efficiency grade following American and European HEPA Standards:

  1. American HEPA: The American standard requests a filter media to have at least 99.97% efficiency at 0.3 micron to be classified as a HEPA filter. 
  2. European Standards: In Europe, there is a numerical grading system from H10 – H14 depending on the filter’s filtration efficiency.
     

There is no such thing as a “medical grade” HEPA filter. In the US, the FDA does not grant approval or certification for a “medical grade” HEPA filter. Buyers should be aware that there is a lot of miscommunication and lack of enforcement in the air purifier market regarding these false claims.
H13 HEPA is based on the European numerical grading system. H13 indicates the filter has 99.95% filtration efficiency.
HEPASilent and HEPASilent Ultra are Blueair’s unique air filtration technology that uses a combination of mechanical and electrostatic filtration to capture and remove particles from the indoor air. Blueair HEPASilent™ technology removes 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.1 microns in size. Our HEPASilent™ technology is unique in that it uses the mechanical filtration to draw in polluted air into the air purifier, then electrostatically charges particles to allow particles to better cling to the filter media in the unit, which in turn increases the air purifier’s filtration efficiency and overall performance.

Blueair’s HEPASilent technology uses a combination of electrostatic and mechanical filtration to capture and remove particles from the indoor air and should not be associated with air-cleaning techniques based on only ionization, or with systems using ozone to clean the air. Our HEPASilent™ technology is unique in that it uses mechanical filtration to draw in polluted air into the air purifier and then specifically and strategically uses an ionizer to electrostatically charge particles inside the air purifier, allowing particles to better cling to the filter media in the unit, which in turn increases the air purifier’s filtration efficiency and overall performance.  Blueair’s electrostatic charge technology is fundamentally different and should not be confused with technologies that use only ionization as a means of directly creating and releasing ions or ozone, because our technology also utilizes filter media to capture pollutants. An air ionization device, corona discharge or ozone generator air cleaners rely solely on techniques that produce and release ions into the space or uses ionization to intentionally emit ozone.   

  • Our ozone emissions are rigorously tested to ensure they do not exceed any harmful levels. 

  • All Blueair air purifiers conform to international and local ozone emission requirements in EU/CE, US/EPA & ARB, China/GB. 

  • Blueair air purifiers have also been tested to reduce ozone in the air. Our ozone reduction tests have shown lower ozone concentrations in the air directly after passing through Blueair’s air purifiers and filters than the ozone concentrations in the surrounding air.  

VOC & Gas

Low tVOCs levels can occur for various reasons:

  • You actually have low tVOC levels in the air.
  • Your device has recently been restarted (unplugged or after a power cut). In this case, the sensors need a little time to re-adapt. This can take up to one week.
  • Your device has been turned on and off in environments with different humidity and temperature. If so, the sensor needs a bit of time to re-adapt. This can take up to one week.

Your air might be temporarily polluted.

Blueair's tVOC sensors are designed to react to most gases (tVOC = Total Volatile Organic Compounds). The concentration of the gases is summarized into air quality levels in the app. If you see high tVOCs levels, the air is probably temporarily polluted with gaseous pollutants. There can be many sources, such as perfume, new furniture, humidity, repellent, nail varnish, scented candle, disinfectant cleaner, laundry detergent, softener, paints, solvent, varnish, glue, dry-cleaned clothes, air fresheners, etc.

Also, the presence of humans and pets can provoke high tVOC levels (body odors and gasses), which is not harmful to your health. It only means that it is time to ventilate the room!

Here is what you can do to lower the VOC concentrations

Run your air purifier with a Smokestop filter (not suitable with all models of air purifiers).

Open the window and ventilate for at least ten minutes If you still think that your values are strangely high, contact us! We'll help you check that your device is set up correctly.

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  • Use the air purifier in a room adapted to its size, 

  • Use a Blueair SmartFilter 

  • Run your air purifier continuously, 

  • Avoid excessive use of perfumed substances, cleaning products, or other VOC contributors, 

  • Ventilate the room regularly and see if the tVOC level lowers. If the level of tVOC lower when the windows are open (but not when they are closed), then the device is detecting a gas that cannot be removed by the air purifier.  Please note that it is common to see higher levels of tVOCs in bedrooms or generally in any room with human presence and that gasses produced by humans or animals are not all removed by air purifiers. Ventilation, in addition of air purification will help you remove those gasses. 

  • Use the Blueair app to find the source of pollution by checking the air quality history: check the peaks’ date and think of what can have happened at those moments. 

If the source of pollution cannot be found, you can reset the air quality sensors by: 

  • Restart the device and expose it to clean air, for instance by opening a window at night, when the outdoor air quality is at its best (15 min should be sufficient). 



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It is common to see higher levels of tVOCs in bedrooms or generally in any room with human presence. The reason is that the human body produces different gasses and VOCs, such as nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and methane. Those "human-made" gases cannot all be removed by air purifiers. Simply ventilate the room regularly to let in fresh air and remove those gasses.
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