Electrostatic Air Purifiers

What is an electrostatic air purifier?

Electrostatic precipitators (also called electronic filters) electrically charge airborne particles and then trap them on oppositely charged metal plates. They are available to be installed in central filtration systems and in portable units, usually with fans.

As with negative ion generators, they create negative ions within a space through which air flows, thus giving airborne particles a charge. The particles are then collected on an electrostatically charged panel filter or metal plate.

Electrostatic precipitators employ either a one or two-stage system, with the two-stage units being more effective than their one-stage counterparts. One stage systems use the same charged medium to charge the particles in the air and to collect them. Two stage systems use high-voltage electrodes or wires which place a charge on the incoming airborne particles, and then draws those particles between a series of oppositely charged metal plates which attract the particles from the air, causing them to precipitate onto the metal plates.

Collection efficiency of these units varies widely depending upon the area of the collecting plates, air flow rate, the strength of the electrical field, and the how often the collection plates are cleaned.

What contaminants do electrostatic precipitators remove?

Electrostatic precipitators offer fair filtration of general dust, particulate, and common allergens. However, it is important to note that these systems can lose their efficiency very rapidly as the collection plates get dirty. Furthermore, charged particles that are not captured on the collection grid may cling to objects in the home and soil them. Since HEPA filtration offers better performance without the concern over lost efficiency, we do not recommend the use of electrostatic precipitators in home air purifiers.

Note: these ratings apply to an electrostatic precipitator with clean collection media (effectiveness declines as media becomes contaminated).

Dust Mites
Dust
Mites
very good
very good
Mold Spores
Mold
Spores
good
good
Pollen

Pollen
good
good
Pet Dander
Pet
Dander
good
good
Tobacco Smoke
Tobacco
Smoke
fair
fair
Chemicals & VOCs
Chemicals
& VOCs
poor
poor
General Odors
General
Odors
fair
fair
Bacteria / Viruses
Bacteria/
Viruses
poor
poor

Benefits of Electrostatic Precipitator Technology

Negatives of Electrostatic Precipitator Technology

What to Look for in an Electrostatic Precipitator Air Purifier

We do not recommend electrostatic precipitators. A HEPA filter is a more effective choice for residential and clinical air purification.