The Science Behind Ionizers in Air Conditioners: How Do They Work?

The Science Behind Ionizers in Air Conditioners: How Do They Work?The Science Behind Ionizers in Air Conditioners: How Do They Work?

In this era of pollution, we are often worried about the air quality outdoors. Aside from outdoors, we also should be concerned about the air quality indoors like our home or workplace. The air around us carries dust, toxins, or germs that can lead to poor health and breathing diseases. 

So, if we want to keep our indoor air clean, Ionizers can do the job best. However, in recent times most of the advanced air conditioners are manufactured with built-in ionizers, so you won't need an extra standalone device. 

So, what ionizers in air conditioners are?

In air conditioners, ionizers are infused to keep the indoor air quality best by emitting negatively charged ions in the air. These ions join with the flying dust or particles around the indoors and as being heavy fall on the ground.

To get a better understanding of how ionizers in air conditioners work, their benefits, how they work, and more related information, please keep reading. 

How Do Ionizers Work? 

First, let's understand what ion is. Ions are particles that are charged positively or negatively. These particles are invisible and float around us. 

Now, negative ions are those particles that have gained an electron and positive ions have lost an electron. The air conditioner ionizers always emit negative ions into the air. These negative ions attach themselves to tiny particles like dust, pollen, bacteria, smoke, allergens and so on. 

After attaching these, the particles get an electrical charge and as a result, they get heavy and fall on surfaces like the wall, floor, ceiling, curtain, carpet/rug or tabletop. Apart from falling on the surface, the heavy particles can be attracted to the filter to get trapped. Thanks to the advantage of these ionizers, it's a blessing for allergy sufferers and children.

Cleaning the Air: How Does Ionizer Help?

Cleaning the Air: How Does Ionizer Help?Cleaning the Air: How Does Ionizer Help?

The main task of ionizers is to remove the pollutant particles from the indoor air. The negative ions destroy the bacteria and odor and also provide us with happy and healthy air. The modern air conditioners are built in both air filters and ionizers.

These ionizer filters advanced air conditioners to ensure better air quality. Along with the air filter and ionizers, sometimes the filter air cleaning technologies catch various harmful solid microorganisms and pollutants. The air conditioner with ionizer neutralizes the air from- 

 1. Dust & Pollen

 2. Smoke

 3. Allergens

  1. Mold & Fungus
  2. Pathogenic microorganisms 
  3. Unpleasant odors
  4. Excess moisture 

By cleaning air from these harmful solid particles, the ionizers help us to 

 1. Improve health and breathing system.

 2. Accelerating the healing process. 

 3. Improve sleep quality.

 4. Reduce respiratory diseases.

 5. Alleviate the inhaling of allergens. 

The air infused with negative ions provides the ideal humidity which improves the breathing system and prevents drying off the respiratory tract. Thus, having ionizers in the air conditioner cleans the air quality and blesses us with a healthier life. 

Electrostatic Precipitation: Method of ionizers to Catch Particles

The most basic information about electrostatic precipitation is that it's an air purification tool that uses electrostatic force to grab and attach to dust and solid particles. The airborne particles like dust or allergens flow with the air and with the electrostatic force become charged and attach themselves to the ions. The air flows as usual, but it leaves the heavy particles behind resulting in clean and healthy air. 

The most effective use for electrostatic precipitation is in smoke. The larger and more solid the particles will be, the more effectively electrostatic precipitation will remove those from the air. 

In an air conditioner, the conditioner first pulls air into the device through an initial filter. Then, it releases the air with an electrostatic Precipitation process. After charging, the charge collects the pollutants and leaves those on the surface which can be vacuumed easily. 

Well, apart from all these blessings of electrostatic precipitation, it has a few disadvantages that can make you frown. One major concern is that machines with electrostatic precipitation release ozone and nitrogen oxides. It's not very severe, just a by-product of the air-changing process, but it's still a health concern for some people. 

Also, as the air conditioner ionizer process leaves dust and solid particles on surfaces like the floor, ceiling, carpet, or curtain, it becomes messy and challenging to clean up. 

Using Light to Clean

In some air conditioners, Ultraviolet Light(UV) is used to kill the microorganisms and pathogens resulting in disinfecting the surface and air. Research shows that UV light can kill 99.7% of coronaviruses in 30-35 seconds. It's amazing to think about the excellent technique to clean the indoor air. 

UV lights are safe to use for any kind of patient, seniors or children. There are 2 certified methods to use UV lights as air purifiers. Those are-

 1. In-room air disinfection 

 2. HVAC Air Disinfection

An HVAC UV light is the light that helps to purify the indoor air circulation. Airborne particles are all around us invisible and they mostly get trapped in the filter of your air conditioner that's always quite humid. Therefore, if you install an HVAC system and then add UV light to it, it'll give you the utmost protection. It'll eliminate all the pollutants from the corners, grooves, and edges of your house.

For Ultraviolet Light, there are several types and for air purification, UV-C light is the best. It has short waves and is known for killing all the dangerous and nasty particles. The UV light in the HVAC system can eliminate viruses, bacteria, pathogens, or mold. 

Do Ionizers Kill Viruses?

From the website of Healthline, we got information that in research of 2018, it's found that negative ions can kill the growth of viruses. Along with this, another research of 2020 stated that the by-product ozone released from ionizers helps to inactive the viruses in the air. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, people began to install air conditioners with ionizers, and air purification tools with ionizers for homes, offices, or restaurants. The purpose was to improve the air quality and make sure everyone stayed healthy.

Not only Covid-19, it has shown great positive results in preventing SARS viruses. Even though it's already established that ionizers massively help to reduce the bacteria, dust, and other particles in the air, more detailed analyses are necessary. 

Our House of Butterfly has a few air conditioners with ionizer LG. One of the best products is the - LG 1 TON IONIZER AC 

This fabulous air conditioner is up to 70% energy saving, infused with WiFi technique and dual inverter. The amazing feature is the Plasma Ionizer. The cold plasma ionizer in the air is an additional filter that releases ions and thus disinfects the air and removes bad odor.

It also gathers dust, pollutants, and smoke and at the same time generates the charged ions to create a healthy environment. This air conditioner is a bit expensive, which is 90,899/=. Even though it's quite expensive, it is worth every penny in the long run! 

Can Using an Air Conditioner Ionizer Be Harmful? 

If the air conditioner infused with ionizer is well maintained, then it won't create any negative effect on our health. All you need to do is maintain the air conditioner regularly, so mold and nasty particles can't grow into the humid air conditioner. Remember to clean it regularly along with changing it while necessary. Unless you neglect the maintenance of your air conditioner.

Maintenance of Ionizers

To get healthy and clean air, you must maintain your air ionizer. Here are some ways to maintain ionizers-

 1. First, inspect the exterior grills and panels of your air conditioner for any dust or mold buildup. Before doing this, make sure the air conditioner is unplugged and vacuum the nearby areas. After checking the grills, with a dust cloth clean the grills. 

 2. Now, carefully check your filters. Make sure to follow the manual for better understanding. If the filters are clogged, they will not produce any ions to provide you with clean air. 

 3. Now, wipe the electrodes with a soft cloth by moistening them. Also, remember to change the filter in 6-12 months based on using it.


Is an ionizer better than an air purifier?

It depends on the necessity and preference of the user. Both of these two devices perform the same task which is purifying air and making it clean. Air purifiers are preferred for removing pollen, pet fur and other solid particles from the air. Therefore, air purifiers are the best choice for asthma or allergy sufferers. 

Whereas, ionizers eliminate small microorganisms like bacteria, viruses or pathogens. They don't remove the particles, rather they stick to the particles and fall. So, it won't be ideal for allergy or asthma sufferers. Also, if you install ionizers you need to clean constantly. 

Should I use the ionizer on my air conditioner?

As mentioned before, air conditioners with ionizers produce negative ions that attach with the dust and solid particles in the airflow and trap them into the filter. Those who are seniors, children, patients or allergy sufferers. 

How do you clean an air ionizer?

The utmost surety to get clean air is to maintain the ionizer in your air conditioner regularly. First, remove the ionizer cell and rinse it with lukewarm water. Don't use much water force like jet water, it may displace the connection of wires and dislocate the collection plates. 

Final Takeaway 

Ionizers are valuable additions to your air conditioner to improve the air quality in your house or office. It eliminates the small particles, smoke, or odor from the environment and sanitizes the air as a result. Those air conditioners which emit Plasma ions produce both positive and negative ions which are extremely efficient more than ordinary negative ions-producing air conditioners.

These plasma ions don’t create any ozone and can clear a wide range of air! Henceforth, to maintain good health and a healthy respiratory system, individuals can infuse ionizers in their air conditioners indoors.

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