How the pandemic focused attention on the air we breathe

Covid-19 forced many of us to spend more time inside our homes. And learning that the virus is airborne turned our attention to air quality in general. What are we breathing in that we cannot see, and how will it affect our health?

The average person spends 90% of their time indoors. Indoor air is considered to be 2 to 5 times (and even up to 100 times) more polluted than outdoor air.

Over time, our constant exposure to polluted indoor air can cause or exacerbate respiratory health problems. If you are an asthma sufferer, or prone to allergic reactions, then the danger is even higher.

To make matters worse, modern amenities such as double-glazing make it difficult for air born pollutants to be expelled naturally, necessitating a technological solution.

What is an air purifier?

Air purifiers work by essentially purifying indoor environments of airborne particles. Think of them as the opposite to a smell diffuser which adds particles to indoor air.

Unlike air filters, purifiers don’t just trap particles but actively purify the air which passes through them, neutralising potentially harmful particles for a fresher, cleaner living environment.

What specific particles and pollutants can air purifiers remove?

Polluting particles vary greatly in terms of their size and point of origin. These particles are measured in terms of microns (a unit of length equal to one-millionth of a meter).

Air purifiers such as the Braun Scan & Clean can filtrate a range of different particles, from 0.03 microns – the size of an airborne virus. For a more comprehensive list, see the below:

.005 – 0.3Viruses
0.1 - 4Tobacco smoke
.3 – 60Bacteria
.5 – 10+Household dust
2.5 - 10Pet dander
3 - 40Mould spores
10 - 100Pollen

What is ifD® filtration technology?

Air purifiers use different technologies to remove pollutants from the air. ifD® is an advanced, patented system found in leading brands, like Braun. ifD® uses a fan to circulate the air in a room and force it through the ifD® filter. A high voltage source actively charges the filter, forcing particles to be captured in alternating layers of extruded co-polymer flutes, which look like honeycomb.

As air exits the air purifier, it is charged by an ionizer. The charged air molecules (ions) attached their charge to particles (like dust) that are floating in the room. Then, the charged particles are pulled into the product inlet grille and pass into the ifD® filter.

The positively charged filter attracts the negatively charged dust particles, trapping them against the multiple layers of the ifD® filter.

Filters can capture 99-99.9% of microscopic particles from 2 to 0.3 microns in size.*

*Based on independent testing, report 103408404COL-001. From the air that passes through the filter, 0.3 microns and larger. This air purifier has not been tested on the virus that causes COVID-19.

How to use an air purifier

First choose the best location for your air purifier. Ideally, this is a space that is unobstructed on all four sides – important for optimal air circulation.

Make sure to point the flow in the right direction. In large rooms, ensure that the flow of clean air is directed nearby, where you will receive the best benefit from it. In smaller rooms, this is less of a problem as it will be easier for the machine to purify all the air around it. Also, be sure to keep surrounding windows and doors tightly closed to stop pollutants from getting in, and your newly cleaned air from escaping.

Once on, try and leave the machine running for as long as possible, especially in homes with an abundance of pets, or where people smoke.

And be sure to change your filters regularly, or at least as much as the manufacturer of the machine recommends.

Get cleaner air effortlessly with the Braun Scan & Clean Air purifier Cleaner air by design™

The Braun Scan & Clean Air purifier doesn’t just look the part, it also delivers outstanding performance with its innovative and easy to use tech.

Key benefits:

  • It cleans up the air in real time
  • Captures up to 99.9% of viruses similar in size to H1N1 and certain coronaviruses*
  • Effortless to use in your home

Key features:

  • Air quality sensor
  • Automatic start mode
  • Triple filtration catches up to 99.9% of PM 2.5 up to 0.3 microns
  • Permanent & washable filter
  • 4 air cleaning levels, from low to high
  • Patented ifD technology.

*Based on independent testing, report 103408404COL-001. Results are based upon (1) the testing of the reduction of the MS2 virus after 2 hours of use, operated at the High setting; and (2) airborne virus particle size of 0.1 microns or larger that pass though the filter. The particle size of the MS2 virus is similar in size to H1N1 and certain coronaviruses. Testing performed at Intertek, Columbus, OH. This air purifier has not been tested on the virus that causes Covid-19.

What else can you do to help purify the air in your house?

As well as using an air purifier, there are various other ways you can improve the air quality inside your home – many of which are free! Here are some suggestions:

  • Open your windows – Open your windows for as little as five minutes a day to alleviate harmful indoor air pollutants. It’s simple yet effective, and completely free.
  • Introduce house plants – Other than providing nice décor, house plants naturally filter out common volatile organic compounds from your indoor air. For example, spider plants are known to sequester benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.
  • Take your shoes off at the door – Potentially harmful particles such as pesticides, pollen, fungi and bacteria are commonly transferred into the house via people’s shoes. That’s why it’s important to take them off at the door to stop the spread.
  • Groom your pets – Brushing your pets (especially dogs and cats) outdoors, and vacuuming floors and furnishings regularly is a great way to alleviate pet dander.
  • Use non-toxic cleaning chemicals – Many common household cleaners contain toxic chemicals which can irritate your eyes, nose, and lungs. Consider using greener alternatives, such as vinegar, baking soda, citrus juice and/or essential oils.
  • Get rid of mould – Mould likes to grow in dark, dank places such as basements, bathrooms, and porchways. To avoid the proliferation of mould spores, kill any signs of fungus growth as soon as you notice it.