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View Full Version : Do Ionizers Really Make Air Cleaner?


DMark
04-27-2006, 02:05 AM
I recently purchase this Lasko fan with Ionizer (http://laskoproducts.com/fans/model_4820.html) at Sam's Club for $44.95. I bought it mostly because of the style - it will fit in the corner of my bedroom and I figured it looked good and it is quiet.

However, it came with an ionizer and I am wondering if it is worth using that feature. I mean, I have seen Sharper Image hawking their overpriced Ionizers for the past several years and, if you believe their hype, it will clean the air and make you think you are on a beach in the South Pacific.

Do ionizers really clean the air and do all the wonderful things that the manufacturers claim? Or is this high tech snake oil?

Smeghead
04-27-2006, 02:17 AM
I haven't researched this in particular, but anytime I see the word "ion" used to describe a product, my bullshit meter explodes.

As far as I am very vague aware, there are two general types of ionizer thingies. There's the kind that pulls charged dust out of the air by using electric charges, which, I don't know if it works at all, but it at least has the benefit of being physcially plausible. Then there's the kind that claims to pump ions out into the air, which will realign your chakras and clear your sinuses and cleanse your colon and whatnot. That I don't buy into so much, as you may have picked up on.

Smeghead
04-27-2006, 02:20 AM
After typing that, I figured I could at least take the trouble to click on the link. I didn't see anywhere either on the webpage or the downloadable instructions where it explains their claims for the ionizer. All I could see was a line that said when the ionizer is on, it "helps with air purification."

Take from that what you will.

Askance
04-27-2006, 02:30 AM
The claimed health benefits from breathing negative ions are pure BS.

However I can report that when I helped my friend move out of his first share house after two years (said house right next to a busy road) the furniture left black - really really black - outlines on the walls, and he had had an ionizer (that he's built and designed himself) running for the whole 2 years in that room.

For instance where his bookshelves were up against the wall it was like black spraypaint had been used; the wall immediately behind the wood was clean but surrounded by quite dramatic black outlines.

So perhaps it helps deposit smoke/dust particles out of the air, which would have some preventative health benefits that way.

DMark
04-27-2006, 02:33 AM
After typing that, I figured I could at least take the trouble to click on the link. I didn't see anywhere either on the webpage or the downloadable instructions where it explains their claims for the ionizer. All I could see was a line that said when the ionizer is on, it "helps with air purification."

Take from that what you will.

Oh, I agree...and at least this fan manufacturer sort of threw in the ionizer as an afterthought and wasn't claiming its colon cleansing advantages.

But still wondering if ionizers (especially those sold mainly for that purpose) have any real value in cleansing the air.

Digital Stimulus
04-27-2006, 08:16 AM
I'm a smoker and my wife is an ex-smoker. I have two air filters in "my" room, which is the only place in which I'm allowed to smoke. My wife recently read somewhere that ionizers were actually bad for you, and wants me to keep them off. Since I don't much care one way or the other, I just go along with it and never looked into it myself.

I'll ask her where she got that information and post something about it later if I come across anything.

Chefguy
04-27-2006, 08:45 AM
I recall reading that they work well in the area immediately surrounding the ionizer. So unless you are living with one strapped to your back, the effects are probably minimal. I bought a couple of those expensive units from Sharper Image a few years ago and they were a complete waste of money, not to mention a constant maintenance chore to clean them. I also read a technical review of them (after I bought them, of course) that said they were pretty much completely ineffective.

MizGrand
04-27-2006, 09:13 AM
While we're on the subject of ionizers, might I impose a slight hijack? thx! :-)

I find no difference what-so-ever with the ion switch on my hairdryer. Just was thinking about it yesterday as I used it. I've tried it "on" and "off" and there's no magical beautiful hair transformation. Anybody out there have different experience?

I think ions are phony.

Gladstone
04-27-2006, 10:02 AM
Wikipedia entry on air ionizers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_ionizer)

My wife recently read somewhere that ionizers were actually bad for you, and wants me to keep them off.

They do generate small amounts of ozone, which can build up in the air and damage the lungs, irritate the respiratory system and aggravate asthma, according to the EPA (http://washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A45313-2005Apr11?language=printer) .

Sage Rat
04-27-2006, 12:26 PM
Here's what Cecil has to say (https://academicpursuits.us/classics/a990910.html).

DMark
04-30-2006, 01:38 AM
Thank you all.

I will now use my fan as - a fan.

Will turn off the Ionizer feature, although I did like the pretty blue light that showed it was on....

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