The eastern United States is reeling from the effects of smoke from Canadian wildfires this past week. Unfortunately, this issue is all too familiar in the western states. In times of calamity and uncertainty, consumers often rush in waves to purchase solutions or supplies to provide extra security for themselves and their families. The market has seen this effect in the eastern United States as air purifier and mask sales have jumped in the last week. According to CNN
, “Searches on Google for air purifiers have increased 16 fold since Monday, according to Google trends.” According to Freedonia Groups, increased awareness and concern regarding indoor air quality will maintain demand growth for indoor air filtration systems. However, many consumers are still unsure of the viability and benefits of air purification systems. Studies show that indoor air filtration and purification improve air quality and can improve the health of consumers and pets, especially those with allergies and asthma.
Science Behind Air Filtration
Air purification systems work by using a fan to pull air, and the potentially problematic particles in it, through various types of filters, trapping the particles and allowing air to pass through. Fibrous or mesh filters can trap dust, pollen, and pet dander; specialized filters can remove certain gasses, odors and even some viruses from the air. According to LiveScience
, “High-efficiency filters use a dense network of fibers and several layers of intricate weaves to remove pollutants and allergens measuring as small as 2.5 microns, around the size of animal dander. Some air purifiers have ultraviolet filters and use light to destroy biological impurities such as mold and bacteria, while those with activated charcoal can remove gases like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and smoke particles.”
HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters are made by using material made of randomly arranged, tightly woven fibers. The material is pleated for maximum filtration. As air particles pass through the air filter, they are caught by three mechanisms: diffusion, interception, and impaction.
HEPA filtration systems are largely purchased for residential use, with the expected compound annual growth from 2020 to 2025 of 1.2 percent. HEPA systems are considered to be the standard in air filtration due to their safety and efficiency; however, the growth of demand for HEPA systems is limited due to their incompatibility with HVAC systems.
ULPA (ultra-low penetration air) filters are used in places like medical research laboratories, and other industrial contexts. ULPA filters can trap even nano particles, but the filter is very dense, making air flow and circulation quite slow. While UPLA filters are technically more efficient, due to trapping smaller particles, they are not practical for residential or common spaces. “ULPA filters are best suited for more critical applications in fields such as medical and healthcare, pharma research and manufacturing, biomedical labs, airline cabin purifiers, clean rooms, electronics, nuclear and aerospace industry applications.”
ULPA and other filter demand has a projected compound annual growth rate of 0.7% from 2020 to 2025; growth will be limited by application and specific requirements in contexts such as science and healthcare.
Technology of indoor air purification and filtration continues to develop alongside demand. Rising pollen counts due to drought across the United States and pollution from wildfires in both eastern and western regions make air filtration systems and purifiers a potentially worthwhile consideration for consumers. To read more about the demand for these items, check out Freedonia Groups report, “Indoor Air Filtration Systems: Residential, Commercial, & Institutional