If you have been looking at different types of best air purifiers available, you have no doubt run into something called bipolar ionization technology. How does the bipolar air purifier work? Read on to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Bipolar ionization technology has become an important tool when it comes to eliminating airborne pollutants and pathogens.
  • These purifiers work by releasing both negative and positive oxygen ions into the atmosphere.
  • These ions bond with pollutants and, in some cases, destroy them at the molecular level.

What is Bipolar Ionization?

Bipolar ionization is a technology in which both negative and positive ions are released into the air. This methodology differs slightly from traditional ionization, which only releases negatively charged ions into the air. Bipolar Ionization should not be confused with PM 2.5. The PM2.5 particles cause respiratory ailments when breathed in. You can read more about the PM2.5 air purifier here.

Insider Tip

Bipolar ionization is a technology in which both negative and positive ions are released into the air.

How Do Bipolar Ionization Air Purifiers Work?

The functionality of a bipolar air purifier is not too different than what will be found with any ionic air purifier. The purifier releases negative and positive ions into the air of your home. These ions naturally attract airborne pollutants, which cluster together around the ions. Once clustered, the pollutants are drawn into the purifier where they are filtered and destroyed.

Benefits of Bipolar Ionization Air Purifiers

There are a number of unique benefits with bipolar ionization that differ slightly when compared to traditional air purifiers.

Neutralize Bacteria and Virus Particles

This type of air purifying technology is particularly effective at eliminating airborne pathogens, such as bacteria and virus particles. The oxygen ions released by the purifier will bond to these harmful pollutants and inactivate them. Studies have shown that this type of air purifier can even trap and destroy harmful virus particles such as COVID-19. It must be noted, however, that tests performed on bipolar air purifiers with regard to the elimination of COVID-19 particles were done in a laboratory setting and not in a home.

Insider Tip

The functionality of a bipolar air purifier is not too different than what will be found with any ionic air purifier.

Great for Nasty Smells

Bipolar ions are a fantastic choice when it comes to eliminating odorous particles throughout the home, including mold, mildew, smoke, and a number of other common foul-smelling oddities. Oxygen ions pull these particles in and force them to oxidize, thus neutralizing any odors they may be producing. There is some debate, however, as to whether or not bipolar ionization is more effective at reducing foul odors than HEPA filters.

VOC Reduction

Volatile organic compounds, otherwise known as VOCs, can be unwelcome and potentially dangerous guests in your room. These compounds are released by chemical-based cleaning products, paint, aerosols, and more. The oxygen ions released by bipolar air purifiers will attach themselves to VOCs and break them down at the molecular level, reducing your worries and protecting you from harm. Unlike Himalayan salt air purifiers, which make a lot of promises not backed by science.

F.A.Q.

What are the adverse health effects of exposure to ozone?

Bipolar air purifiers use ionization technology, which does release trace amounts of ozone into the air. Ozone can worsen asthma symptoms and other respiratory ailments.


Are ozone generators effective at cleaning air?

Generally speaking, yes, though the risks may not be worth it. Ozone generators release a ton of ozone into the air, whereas bipolar air purifiers release only a trace amount.


What are oxygen ions?

Ions are molecules or atoms that contain an electrical charge. Small ions only last between 30 and 300 seconds before losing their charge but are extremely active. Oxygen ions can easily be produced by bipolar air purifiers.



STAT: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that Americans spend 87 percent of their time indoors. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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