Saturday, 18 February 2017

Things to consider when choosing an Ionizer / Negative Ion Generator.

Negative ions and their benefits are slowly becoming more known, and in light of this, many companies have jumped onto the Ionizer band wagon. The science behind generating negative ions is extremely simple really. There just isn't a lot to designing one, or even making one at home. The real difficulty comes into manufacturing one that is good. One that produces the required amount of negative ions, without the dangerous byproducts that come with a badly designed Ionizer, namely, Ozone and Positive ions.

Understanding negative ions to a small degree is really all you need to know to ensure that you can choose the right product. So, let's discuss negative ions quickly.

Negative ions are molecules with an extra electron, which means they hold a negative charge. That negative charge means the molecule in question becomes attracted to most things. This includes small particles in the air, the walls, the floors, your body, and a fair amount will end up in your blood, increasing oxygen absorption by about 20%.

The fact that negative ions attach to everything is an extremely important thing to take into consideration. They are being used up very, very quickly. You need to have a constant source of them, to have even the slightest chance of having clean air, with enough negative ions left over to aid your health somewhat.

This brings us to the first point to consider.

Ion Count

Most ionizers on the market will give you a figure, let's say, 20 million ions/cc. This means the ionizer is producing 20 million negative ions per cubic centimeter (Roughly the size of a sugar-cube). The fact that they don't mention where this figure was taken, implies that it is directly next to the ionizer's emitting point. We need to remember that everything is attracting these ions and using them up, and what you are left with, is no ions even 3 feet (1 meter) away from the ionizer. 20 Million might seem like a lot, but when we are trying to fill a room, we just won't get the desired results.

If you are looking for a powerful ionizer capable of filling a room or office, these figures are important and I will list what I believe are the minimum amounts of negative ions at different distances from the ionizer.

At 10cm (4inches) - 100 Million
At 30cm (12inches) - 20 Million
At 50cm (20inches) - 1 Million
At 1m (3 feet) - 100 Thousand

For a personal ionizer that you want to keep next to your computer to fight of the fatigue that normally comes with using one, a count of 20 million might be enough. It is for personal, close proximity only, not for a whole room. 

Earlier I mentioned how we want to avoid Ozone and Positive ions and that brings me to my next point.

Ozone and/or positive ion output

First, what are ozone and positive ions.

A positive ion is a molecule that has lost an electron and now holds a positive charge, all while actively looking to take a charge(electron) so that it can become neutral or balanced again. They wreak havoc on our bodies and will cause all sorts of problems. The problem is that a positive ion cannot be smelt and we won't know about them until the symptoms start to show.

Ozone is an oxygen molecule that consists of 3 Oxygen atoms instead of 2. Ozone is exceptionally important high in the atmosphere where it protects us from the suns harmful UV rays, but extremely bad for our lungs and eyes here closer to ground level. No Negative Ion Generator that claims to aid health, should be producing Ozone in levels that can be smelt. Luckily for us, ozone has a very distinct smell and it's not hard to notice if the Ionizer you own is producing it.

Ozone is a by product when producing negative ions. This cannot be avoided, but the amount produced can be either very little or a lot. Ozone has a very short half-life, and if the quantity produced is only a little, then the ozone count can never build up and can not cause harm. This is why a well designed negative ion generator is so extremely important. Ozone will negate any health benefit that might come from the ions being emitted.

Ozone output is measured in PPM (parts per million) and according to OSHA these are the guidelines for ozone in the workplace.

0.2 ppm for no more than 2 hours exposure
0.1 ppm for 8 hours per day exposure doing light work
0.08 ppm for 8 hours per day exposure doing moderate work
0.05 ppm for 8 hours per day exposure doing heavy work

These figures are for the workplace, and surely you want the figures at home to be lower than even their lowest recommendation. This means you don't want an ionizer producing anything over 0.05 ppm. A good Ionizer will produce 0.015 ppm or less. At this level, ozone levels never build up and can't cause any harm.

Talking about design, let's have a discussion about design.

Design 


As previously mentioned, negative ions want to attach to almost everything. The area around the ionizer will become electrically charged, and attract dirt out of the air. This is the dreaded "Black wall" that is often talked about.

Black wall is unavoidable unfortunately. You can do things to lessen the effect and this is again where good design comes in. You want a negative ionizer with an emission point as high as possible from the surface it is standing on. The closer to the surface, the more that surface will become electrically charged, the more negative ions are immediately lost and the quicker the dirt from the air will stick to it and cause a black mess. (Coincidentally, a very high output of ions that are restricted from naturally flowing and moving is a big cause of ozone production)

Having the ionizer body isolated from the surface it is standing on with non conductive feet make a huge difference. The ionizer body will also become electrically charged, and having a design that stops this from spreading onto the surface the ionizer is standing on is an important thing to consider.

The emission point, that is the point where the electrons are generated, should not be hidden inside the Ionizer. Air purifiers that also claim negative ion output all make this mistake. They have their negative ions emitted into the body of the air purifier and none of them make it out. If your goal is to get negative ions in your home, buy an Ionizer and stay away from fan based, air purifiers with filters.

This brings me to the last topic that I want to discuss today.

Cost

That horrible saying that everyone knows is "buy cheap, buy twice". This is true for most things in life but we aren't all millionaires and it's not always an option to buy something expensive.

The higher quality negative ion generators that are designed to fill a room with negative ions and not also ozone, cost between 150-300 American Dollars. This is a reasonable price to pay in my opinion, and prior to manufacturing Ionizers, I was a consumer. I tried many different products, and as we all do when we first try something new, I dipped my little toe into the Ionizer pool by buying cheap.

I very quickly thought that negative ions were a big hype, and felt almost sick being around this ionizer. It wasn't until I bought an Ion Meter that I realized this ionizer was producing negative ions, positive ions and tons of ozone all in one.

Now, I am not saying that some products out there that are cheaper are not worth while, just that it's worth while to understand negative ions a little better to help ensure you get something that is going to deliver what you want.

I could go on and cover more points, but I believe this will do for now. I have ionizers running in my home 24/7 and would never live without them again. This is due to the fact that I have high quality ionizers, and with the little bit of knowledge that I now have, I hope to help others find the right product to bring the benefits that I have experienced myself. If that right product is one of mine, then all the better.

Take a look at our products here: www.naturaironline.com/contents/en-uk/d34220_NaturAir-Negative-ion-generator-ionizer.html


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