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Electronic Air Cleaner: How to Select an Electrostatic Air Cleaner


How it works

An electronic air cleaner uses an electrical charge to remove particles from the air.  The most common type is also known as an electrostatic precipitator and has a series of plates that the air is passed through.  The first set of plates in the electronic air cleaner are negatively charged and that negative charge is passed onto the airborne particles that are moving through the electronic air cleaner.  The second set of plates are positively charged so the airborne particles that received a negative charge are attracted to the positive plates.

Electronic Air Cleaner Advantages

Electronic (Electrostatic) Air Cleaner Disadvantages

Overall, the electrostatic precipitator is not a good solution if you are looking to remove allergens such as dust, pollen, mold, etc or if you are looking for very fine particle removal to address asthma or COPD. While the appeal to have a permanent filter is strong you do not get sufficient performance and introduce safety concerns through the production of secondary pollution such as ozone or formaldehyde. Since the state of California passed a law in 2010 regarding ozone emissions there have been fewer electrostatic air purifiers sold as a result of concern for the emission of secondary pollution.

See how the electronic air cleaners compare to the listing of top rated air purifiers.