What Is An Ionizer Air Purifier?

If you have been shopping around for an air purifier there’s a big chance that you are becoming confused with all the different type of air cleaners and purifiers in the market today.  

One type of device for removing unwanted particles from the air is an ionizer air purifier.  It purifies the air by ionizing air molecules and using static electricity to precipitate allergens and other pollutants from the air.

How an Ionizer Air Purifier Works

When the ionizer is turned on, the voltage passes through a series of fine needles in the device.  Electrons are discharged and they attach to air molecules, forming negative ions.

When dispelled into the air, negative ions attach themselves to pollen, pet dander, dust, etc.  These particles clump together and fall to the floor and other surfaces to be vacuumed later.  The particles can also attach themselves to positively charged surfaces in the room and the grills of your air cleaner.  Frequent dusting will be required.

If the ionizer air purifier has a collector device, the charged particles can be collected inside the unit.  Otherwise, you will have to vacuum or wipe all surfaces where the particles settle.

Types of Ionizer Air Purifiers

Ionizer air purifier using emitters:  This type of ionizer consists of an emitter made of a set needles projecting upward.  Negative ions generated by the emitter bind with positively charged pollutants in the air. 

The particles clump together to form larger lumps that eventually fall to the floor or the purifier collector plate.  These particles can be vacuumed or wiped off.

Ionizers without fans have an effective reach of about 3 feet from where they are located.  Ionizer models with fans are effective up to 7 feet.

Ionizer air purifier using radio ionization:  This type of ionizer employs a special radio wave that can ionize air molecules within a range of 50 feet.  Some models can be attached close to the ceiling for more effective coverage.


The main advantage of an ionizing air purifier is its quiet operation due to the absence of fans or strong airflow.  Most models have no pre-filters or expensive filters that require regular replacement.  They also consume less energy.


An air ionizer purifier removes particles from the air but not from the room.  Particles settle on the floor or stick to walls and furniture.  Ionizers that are not equipped with an electrostatic collector plate can cause “black wall” effect, or unsightly dirt sticking to the walls.

Health Concerns

Poorer quality ionizer air purifiers emit ozone during the ionization process.  Ozone is an air pollutant and harmful to the health.  It is best to buy a high quality air ionizer that purifies air without emitting harmful levels of ozone.  Some models of purifiers ionize the air inside the unit.  They are more efficient and produce no ozone.

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