technology profile – clean air
Sharp Room Air Purification Solutions
these models deliver peace of mind for those looking to immediately address air purification in one or more rooms in a home.
By STEVE PANOSIAN
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IS ESSENTIAL for both general healthiness and safeguarding households from airborne viruses, molds, bacteria, and eliminating odors. Technology Designer Magazine has reported the importance of planning the installation of customized air and water purification systems, especially in newly designed passive homes. However, what do you do for existing homes, and what do you do for homes that cannot be retrofitted with a whole-home air purification solution?
In this article, we are sharing alternative options offered by Sharp Electronics USA to solve room air purification. Their lineup consists of eight models that deliver peace of mind solutions for those looking to immediately address air purification in one or more rooms in a home. Over the years, there have been many different designs, features, and technologies available in the market aimed at individual room air purification. We find that Sharp has designed a rather straight-forward lineup that offers a solution for any room in a home.
room air purification basics
Everyone has some level of concern about household air pollutants, especially when the various sources are present and in high concentrations. Better understanding what type of air purifier would best suit the needs and lifestyle of your customers, this article will help make sense of the different types of room air purifiers and their key features that will result in cleaning the air in almost any living space.
Room air purifiers are best suited for cleaning the air in individual rooms such as bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, or workout rooms. They can be operated when there are people in the room, run all day, and be moved from room to room.
THE PRE-FILTER STAGE
Filter systems that use a pre-filter to remove the most abundant elements found in home air consist of things like hair, dust, and pollen, and sometimes small insects. The pre-filter stage allows the next stage of filtration to last longer by reducing the frequency to replace it throughout the year. Pre-filters can last a lifetime if they are cared for properly, but if your pre-filter is combined with a carbon layer, it will need to be replaced when the carbon layer stops functioning.
THE HEPA FILTER STAGE
True High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) filters are certified to filter out 99.97 percent of particulate pollutants, such as pollen, mold, dust mites, and more, which are as small as 0.3 microns in size. It is important to note that “HEPA-type” or “HEPA-grade” filters are not as efficient as “True HEPA Filters” and are only capable of removing 99 percent of particles 1 to 2 microns in size or larger.
True HEPA Grade Filters are certified to filter out particulate pollutants up to 10x smaller than HEPA-type or HEPA-grade filters.
THE SYNERGY BETWEEN ACTIVATED CARBON AND HEPA FILTERS
Combining HEPA Filtration with Activated Carbon Filters are best used together. Why, because the molecular-sized pores on activated carbon filters have high absorbency and chemical bonding. These two properties make them highly effective in capturing pollutants that can pass through HEPA filters like chemical emissions, gases, tobacco smoke, and other odors.
Permanent filters do not need to be replaced. Once saturated with pollutants, they only need to be vacuumed or washed, and then the filters can then be used again without losing their efficiency. Permanent filters are designed to last a lifetime, but they need to be adequately cared for to warrant long-term use.
FILTERLESS AIR PURIFIER TYPES
Filterless air purifiers do not use any type of filter or filtration system. Instead, they rely on different types of technologies to clean the air. Often, these technologies are used in conjunction with filtered air purifiers to increase their efficiency. They are also highly efficient on their own, though, and users have found them easier to maintain because filter replacements are no longer an issue.
An air ionizer is a type of air purifier that cleans the air using negative or positive ions. Ionizers are highly effective at removing common household air pollutants but often have trouble removing smoke, volatile organic compounds, and other odors.
ELECTROSTATIC PRECIPITATOR/ELECTROSTATIC AIR CLEANERS
An electrostatic precipitator functions almost the same way as an air ionizer except that it has electrically charged plates that are able to collect air pollutants. For it to remain effective, these plates need to be cleaned regularly; otherwise, they become ineffective.
Ozone generators are used for cleaning the air by causing a chemical reaction that renders the pollutants harmless. The use of ozone generators in small, closed spaces is not ideal for home use.
Air purifiers that use thermodynamic sterilization (TSS) to clean the air are also rapidly gaining popularity as they require little maintenance, operate quietly, and are safe to use in the home. Polluted air passes through the air purifier by the process of convection, the air purifier’s ceramic core is heated up to 200°C and incinerates 99 percent of bacteria, viruses, dust mites, mold, and fungus spores. The process does not remove anything from the air but renders them harmless due to the high thermal treatment.
Sharp room air filtration technology
Sharp USA markets a variety of air purification solutions for almost any room in the home. Patented Plasmacluster® Ion technology combined with True HEPA filtration creates a synergy resulting in a healthier, fresher room environment. The triple filtration system cleans the air that passes through the filter in three ways. The washable, microscreen pre-filter traps dust and other large airborne particles. The activated carbon deodorizing filter helps remove most odors. Finally, the True HEPA filter effectively removes 99.97 percent of particles from 0.3 microns and larger.
The 3-stage filtration process eliminates the threat caused by bacteria, viruses, mold, funguses, and odors and is available on five air purifier models offered by Sharp, including the KC850U, KC860U. FPK50UW, FXJ80UW, and FPA80UW models.
SO WHY DOES 0.3 MICRONS TRUE HEPA FILTER MATTER?
A washable pre-filter to capture the larger airborne particles, an activated carbon filter to help reduce odors, and extend the life of the True HEPA filter.
SHARP’S PLASMACLUSTER ION TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW
Unlike ionizers of the past, which only use negative ions, Sharp Plasmacluster Ion Technology mimics nature by creating positive and negative ions that seek out attached to and breakdown airborne pollutants such as bacteria, viruses, mold, fungus, and odor. The Plasmacluster Ions in a Sharp Air Purifier disperse throughout the room, actively attacking germs, bacteria, viruses, mold, and fungus, reaching more pollutants than conventional filter-based systems. Traditional systems rely on air passing through the filter, but Plasmacluster ions can spread to every corner of the room to actively clean. Plasmacluster ions reduce odors at the molecular level, even from embedded odors in carpeting, drapery, and furniture. These Plasmacluster ions refresh the air without any harmful chemicals or perfumes.
HOW DOES THE PLASMACLUSTER ION TECHNOLOGY WORK?
Sharp’s patented Plasmacluster Ion air purification technology mimics nature’s own cleaning process, by splitting water molecules into positively and negatively charged ions, which spread throughout the room and actively break down pollutants like germs, airborne and surface-adhering bacteria, fungus, mold, viruses and clinging odors, and then return to the air as water vapor.
A PROVEN TECHNOLOGY
Sharp Plasmacluster Ion Air Purifiers are an ideal solution for allergy sufferers, asthmatics, pet owners, and smokers, and best used in a bedroom, living room, study, or exercise room. Sharp’s Plasmacluster Ion Technology Air Purifier is not only ARB Certified. It also produces 5X less ozone (at less than .001 ppm) than the lowest industry and federal standards set by the FDA, OSHA, and NIOSH. Follow the link below for the AIHEM Verifide Independent Tested.
Plasmacluster Ion Technology has proven effective in reducing certain viruses, including MS2 (Influenza viral stimulant), bacteria, including E-Coli Staphylococcus epidermidis and Serratia, molds, and funguses, including Aspergillus Niger, and certain odors that conventional filters don’t reach, like odors in upholstery and drapery. Seventeen laboratories have tested Plasmacluster Ion Technology in the USA, UK, Germany, Japan, South Korea, China, and Vietnam.
Sharp Plasmacluster air purifiers are tested by independent laboratories to verify the air-cleaning capability of the filtration system. Each model has its own CADR rating, which indicates the smoke, dust, and pollen removal rate when the air in the room is changed 5 times per hour.
Sharp Room Air Filtration Product Line
The Sharp Air Purifier line up is comprised of eight different models. What we found most interesting in the Sharp Air Purifier line up are the premium features like humidifying functions and IoT capability that are found in the larger room models. Also, we are impressed to see common across the Sharp lineup is broad support for Energy Star Compliance, CARB Compliance, their Library QuietTM operation, AHAM Verifide confirmed tests, and the inclusion of their premium and patented Plasmacluster Ion Technology with True HEPA filtration in a majority of their products.
THE SHARP AIR APP KEEPS YOU IN CONTROL
Technology Designer Magazine is most impressed with the model FXJ80UW that is designed for rooms up to 502 sq. ft. featuring its top-performing three-stage filter system with an activated carbon filter and long-life True HEPA filter, which captures 99.97 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns from the air that passes through it. This smart air purifier is compatible with Amazon Echo and other Alexa-enabled devices to allow voice control features. The SHARP AIR Alexa skill will enable you to control the most popular features of your FXJ80UW Plasmacluster Ion Air Purifier using your Alexa device. To use this skill, you will need to download and install the SHARP AIR app and the Alexa app on your mobile device and register at least one Sharp Air Purifier. Once activated, the SHARP AIR app on your mobile device controls your air purifier. Monitor and manage indoor air quality in real-time, even if you are not at home. The SHARP AIR app can also let you know the best time to replace the filters. We love this new and unique air purifier model.
BREATHE EASIER LIVE HEALTHIER WITH HUMIDIFYING FUNCTION
You may not know that keeping a steady humidity level between 40 percent and 60 percent in your home is ideal. When your humidity is too low, or too high, you may unintentionally encourage bacteria, virus, mold and dust mite growth! Triple action air purifier models that have a built-in automatic humidifier such as the Sharp True HEPA Plasmacluster Air Purifier with Humidifying Function for Medium Rooms (KC850U) and Sharp Plasmacluster Air Purifier with True HEPA Filtration and Humidifying Function for Large Rooms (KC860U) add moisture to the air as needed to help relieve sinus issues, dry throat, dry eyes and chapped lips. They can also help relieve dry skin caused by psoriasis, thyroid disorders, topical medications, and cosmetics.
Heaters used in wintertime can lower the air’s humidity, so having a Sharp air purifier with humidifying functionality is helpful. The automatic control system monitors the dust level in the air and adjusts fan speed as needed to clean the air efficiently and quietly. Plasmacluster Ion technology, combined with True HEPA filtration and automatic humidity control, delivers the ultimate in air quality for your home.