Virgina Beach How Does the Electronic Air Filter Work?


Posted in: Indoor Air Quality


This article examines how the electronic air filter, which is one of the four types of air filters, works to ensure that air contaminants in a room are minimized. These kinds of room air cleaners differ with regards to the mechanisms by which they eliminate contaminants from the air. The three other kinds of air filters are the gas phase, mechanical, and hybrid air filters. In mechanical air filters, the air is forced to pass through a special type of screen and this will trap various kinds of irritant particles and allergens before the air gets into the lungs of people. In the gas phase air filter, the unwanted contaminants and odors are trapped using an absorbent, which is usually activated carbon. The electronic air filter works by creating electrostatic charges in the filter to attract and trap allergens and other irritants.

Electronic filters are often installed with air-conditioning systems to enhance indoor air filtration in the various parts of the home. The contaminants and irritants in the air are forced to go through a pre-filter that functions as a trap for most of these unwanted particles. Those particles that are able to get through the pre-filter are provided with an electric charge. This type of home air filters is provided with collector plates that attract the electrically charged particles where they stay until the air cleaner is cleaned.

The electronic air filter can be of two kinds: the charged media filter and the electrostatic precipitator. In the charged media filter, the allergens and contaminants are trapped in charged fibers. In the electrostatic precipitator, a series of charged plates serve as the collectors. The electrostatic precipitator has better collection efficiency because it produces about 20,000 volts to induce a static electric charge in the dust particles and other unwanted pollutants.

One example of this type of electrostatic air cleaners is the Honeywell F300 electronic air filter. This particular machine can eliminate as much as 99 percent of any undesirable allergens and contaminants and it is both reliable and environment-friendly. It has a three-stage filter system and it has minimal maintenance requirements. Washing of the filter cell could be done every six to 12 months. Another example is the Aprilaire Model 5000. This particular model has 72 feet of filter media that are designed for Aprilaire models only. In this particular model, the unwanted contaminants go through a control electrode, which amplifies and focuses an electric field on the contaminants. The electric field is produced by ionizing waves and the electrically charged contaminants are collected using micro-fiber media that have zero voltage because they are grounded. Some of these contaminants that get trapped in the Aprilaire system are spore-sized particles, or they could be bacteria-sized particles. A large portion of these air pollutants are respirable dust that is believed to be one of the instigators of asthma. With this particular kind of filtering equipment, even particles that are of the same size as a virus, including SARS and other influenza virus.