Buying an air purifier for your flat
Whether your flat is big or small, investing in an apartment air purifier to remove air pollutants from your indoor air could bring you significant benefits. Many apartment buildings suffer from ‘sick building syndrome’, a phenomenon that may leave you feeling sick in your block of flats or apartment building. Learn more about how you can protect your health by investing in an air purifier for a room in your flat.
What is sick building syndrome?
Sick building syndrome, also known as tight building syndrome, occurs when occupants of a building experience negative health symptoms without any clear explanation whilst inside a building. It is common in both apartment buildings and offices.
Symptoms vary depending upon the person but may include respiratory distress (cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath), edema, nosebleeds, heart palpitations, and even cancer and miscarriage1. If an apartment building is particularly humid, occupants may also experience ‘humidifier fever’ which may cause respiratory infections, severe allergies, and asthma2.
What causes sick building syndrome?
Sick building syndrome can have several causes. The most common are chemical pollution, biological pollution, and inadequate ventilation in the rooms in your home.
Chemical pollutants with both outdoor and indoor sources may be a major culprit in causing sick building syndrome. Motor vehicle emissions, radon, asbestos, tobacco smoke, and dust from outdoors may enter a flat via vents, exhausts, and windows and become trapped.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) may be released from products used indoors such as adhesives, paints, synthetic fragrances like air fresheners, pesticides, and cleaning products. Burning wood and/or natural gas may also contribute to the presence of chemical pollutants.
Read more about chemical pollution here.
Some of the most common types of biological pollutants are pollen, mould, and fungi. When humidity is present, particularly in ducts and drain pipes in kitchens and bathrooms, these pollutants can grow and spread from one flat to another.
Living in a building with many other residents may cause rapid proliferation of viruses and bacteria. Air conditioning units facilitate the spread of pathogens from room to room; for example, by dispersing legionella organisms2.
Read more about biological pollution here.
Lack of ventilation
As builders aim to make buildings more energy efficient, this can lead to negative consequences. Buildings are now becoming more airtight, making it impossible for stale air to properly ventilate. Some apartment buildings and offices make it impossible to open windows, and some cannot for security reasons.
And, sometimes, opening the windows is not possible due to the heat in summer, the cold in winter, and/or the presence of outdoor air pollution. Outdated heating and air conditioning systems only exacerbate the issue by circulating more air pollutants.
The advantages of buying an air purifier for your flat
By purchasing an air purifier for your flat or apartment, you can:
- Improve your indoor air quality: an air purifier with a quality filter can remove allergens like dust or pollen in your flat, VOCs and build-up of carbon dioxide, and particulate matter (PM) from your indoor air. It can also remove mould and spores that may be present in your apartment air. Eoleaf’s air purifiers, for example, are capable of removing all particles down to a size of 0.01 μm which even includes fine and ultrafine particles, as well as nanoparticles.
- Eliminate apartment odours: cigarette smoke, outdoor air pollution, kitchen odours, mould, fungi, and pets can all be causes of bad odours in the rooms in your home.
- Reduce the risk of contracting an illness: as mentioned above, living in a large block of flats or apartment building means easy transmission of disease from occupant to occupant. An air purifier can help protect you from viruses like COVID-19, bacteria, and allergens, even relieving asthma and allergy symptoms.
- Improve your sleep: without the presence of air pollutants like allergens, dust and dust mites, pollen, and less build-up of carbon dioxide in your flat, improved air quality can help you sleep more soundly.
How does an air purifier for your flat work?
Air purifiers are incredibly simple: they pull in polluted air using a fan, treat the air inside the device using various filtration methods and technologies, then recirculate the air back into your space. Certain air purifiers (like Eoleaf’s!) have a convenient Automatic Mode which enables them to detect new pollutants in your space, increasing speed when contaminated air is present.
Some examples of purification technologies available in an air purifier are medical-grade HEPA filters, natural bamboo fibre filters, activated carbon filters, ionisation, UV sterilisation, and photocatalysis. Eoleaf’s air purifiers contain all of these!
How to choose an air purifier for your flat
Air purifiers are sized for your apartment’s square footage. When choosing your model of air purifier, make sure that its size is well-adapted to the room where you plan to install it. Bedrooms and living rooms are common choices to place an air purifier. Eoleaf offers three sizes of air purifier, for example: our AEROPRO 40 is perfect for spaces of 0 to 40 m2 (450 square feet); our AEROPRO 100 for spaces of 0 to 80 m² (850 square feet); and our AEROPRO 150 for spaces of 0 to 120 m2 (1300 square feet).
Another factor to consider when purchasing an apartment air purifier is your budget. There are two costs to consider before purchasing an air purifier: 1) the initial cost of the device and 2) maintenance costs. Air purifiers can vary greatly depending upon the filtration technologies they offer (medical-grade HEPA filters that require changing once a year versus lower quality filters that may need to be changed several times per year, for example). Some more modern devices also offer remote controls and app connections that allow you to monitor your air quality in real time. Eoleaf’s air purifiers, for instance, offer 8 different filtration technologies including activated carbon filters for odours, can serve as a dual purifier and ioniser, and connect to the Tuya Smart app for convenient air quality tracking. In considering your budget, you may also want to ensure that you invest in an energy-efficient device that consumes less energy and will save you money.
Finally, you may want to consider the level of noise your air purifier makes. If you live in a small flat, you will want to ensure that you purchase a device that is both powerful and quiet, especially if you decide to install it in a place like the living room or bedroom. Eoleaf’s air purifiers offer a Night Mode setting, allowing you to leave your device running throughout the night but at its lowest speed and with dimmed indicator lights to ensure that your sleep is not disturbed.
1 Sick building syndrome. NHS. (2020, September 22). https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sick-building-syndrome/
2 Joshi SM. The sick building syndrome. Indian J Occup Environ Med. 2008 Aug;12(2):61-4. doi: 10.4103/0019-5278.43262. PMID: 20040980; PMCID: PMC2796751.