You might think that smog is only a problem outside. You might think this is only an issue for urban areas where there is lots of traffic or heavy industry.
But as we’ll learn, smog can impact places far from the city. And this unique contaminant, which may be more common than you think, could be leaking into your home.
Fortunately, there are solutions. But first, we need to take a look at the science and history behind smog to understand how it impacts indoor air quality, then we can look at the best forms of air purification.
Top Air Purifier for Smog Removal
Max HEPA Air PurifierThe Max HEPA air purifier is a popular air purifier for smog in a bedroom, and it has all the features and accessories you expect from a world-class machine, including top-quality air filters. One of the reasons this appliance is so effective for smog and other contaminants is the V-lock/V-seal system. This creates a complete seal inside the machine, ensuring no air escapes the filter. Thanks to this system, all the air that enters the purifier is sent through the filters, maximizing the overall effectiveness of the machine.
It is not only effective, it is also convenient. This air purifier has advanced features that make using the machine simple. For example, it comes with a replacement filter indicator, which tells you when the machine is ready for a new filter so it can keep removing indoor air pollution like pet dander. It also has simple, intuitive controls, and you won’t need a manual to operate this air purifier. Thanks to these features, virtually anyone can use the purifier at any time. There is even a night mode, which allows you to press and hold the power button for three seconds to reduce the light coming from the air purifier.
The filter technology is what makes this air purifier for smog so effective. We start with a pre-filter, which is where the largest particles are removed. At this stage, much of the dust and dander floating in the air is filtered out. Next is a v-HEPA filter, which is the most effective type of air filter currently available. This filter removes a high level of pet dander, mold spores, dust mites, pollen, and other particles that may have escaped the pre-filter.
This air purifier for smog also uses an activated-carbon filter. This is one of the most important tools for air purification, and it’s extremely effective for trapping chemicals and smog.
What is Smog?
Smog: A Combination of ParticlesWe have heard the term smog practically all our lives. (If you’re younger, likely your entire life), but few people understand what smog really is.
Smog is a type of air pollution that is essentially a mixture of smoke and fog. This pollution is often a type of fog that has mixed with smoke or soot, and it can be yellowish to grey, forming a haze that looks very much like natural fog but can be darker and, as we’ll learn, far more harmful to our overall health.
Smog is formed when pollutants in the atmosphere combine with fog, but it’s really not that simple. Atmospheric pollutants and gases that form smog are released when various materials are burned. This can include coal, gasoline, wood, and many other types of combustible material. These materials send particles into the air, where they can mix with atmospheric gases. However, it’s the addition of sunlight that creates the biggest problems with smog. When sunlight and heat react with the gases in the air, smog is formed. Due to a complex chemistry reaction between organic compounds, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and other elements, ground level ozone and fine particles are released into the air.
These contaminants can cause a wide variety of problems, including issues with allergies and asthma. It can also cause a wide variety of smog-related health problems for people who would otherwise be health. A review of scientific information concluded that smog has “adverse effects on health.”
The Sources of SmogThere are many different sources of smog, which can reduce indoor air quality, but two of the biggest are coal fires and transportation vehicles. Coal fires can emit a large amount of smoke that contributes to a phenomenon known as winter smog. (More on winter and summer smog below.)
Coal is used to heat buildings and power industrial production, and it’s likely the oldest contributor to smog across the world. Vehicles are, of course, the other major source of pollutants that lead to smog. Gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles release a variety of chemicals, as well as particulate matter that floats in the air, creating the perfect condition for smog.
The pollutants that are released into the air from cars, trucks, industrial centers, and other sources are called precursors. They are not the smog, but rather one of the main ingredients that causes smog. Sunshine and low wind are also elements that lead to smog.
Smog is most common in high-traffic areas on days with high temperatures, lots of sunshine, and low wind. When these factors come together, smog is more likely to form.
While pollutants are needed for form smog, temperature can make a profound impact as well. High temperatures are usually a precursor to smog. This situation can be multiplied if a temperature inversion occurs. This is a situation when warm air sits below cooler air and stays close to the ground. In this situation, smog can not only form, but it can be trapped in place and stay for days.
Unfortunately, smog is often formed in heavy concentrations far from the source of the pollutants. Coal smoke from a plant, for example, can drift hundreds of miles and get trapped in a different location, causing smog in a neighborhood far from the plant.
History of SmogThere is a general impression that smog is strictly a modern phenomenon, a product of the late 20th century that became significant because of the ever-increasing use of cars and trucks. The issue, it seems, has only been bothering global society since, at the very least, the post-World War II era, which saw the use of vehicles expand to more and more people.
But that is actually false. In reality, the concept of smog and air pollution in general dates back before the invention of the automobile, even before the industrial revolution. In fact, to find the first documented mention of air pollution, you have to go back to the 13th century. According to Historia Sanitaria, a site about the history of the sanitary profession, the first law that limited the burning of coal was pushed in 1257 by King Henry III. The story has it that Henry’s wife could not stand the dense smoke, so she pressured her husband to take action against coal, which was used to warm houses. (Sounds like the beginning of a Shakespeare tale!) Years later the English Parliament passed a law that limited the burning of certain forms of coal.
Despite the law, the air pollution remained. So much so that King Edward I (now remembered as the bad guy from Mel Gibson’s movie Braveheart) eventually created a group to enforce anti-coal laws.
Fast forward roughly 400 years and we meet the beginnings of the industrial revolution. During this time, steam was the major source of energy for industry; steam that was created by burning a variety of material. Steam engines allowed many different processes to be mechanized, all but eliminating hand production. Clothing, for example, could be made with machines instead of by hand, and much more could be produced at one time. Burning materials to create steam to power industry released a massive amount of particulate matter into the air, and the industrial revolution, which took place in England from about 1760 to 1840, was one of the worst periods for air pollution and smog. (Although the term “smog” was not yet used.)
Up to this point, smog was largely created by industry and people simply wanting to stay warm. But once transportation shifted from the horse to the automobile, dense cities across the world started experiencing issues with smog, regardless of industry. New York and Los Angeles in particular were two major American cities struck by smog in the later 20th century, and people suffered from both poor outdoor and indoor air quality.
Worst Places in the World for SmogThere are many places in the United States still struggling with smog pollution and airborne particles. The American Lung Association releases regular reports about smog in various cities, and it has found that the Los Angeles-Long Beach areas in California is the worst area in the U.S. for ozone pollution. In fact, for ozone, California has all of the top six worst regions, and seven of the top eight, with only the Phoenix-Mesa area breaking up the trend.
For year-round particulate matter, the Fresno-Madera-Hanford area in California is the worst, followed by Bakersfield, California and Fairbanks, Alaska. Los Angeles sits at #5 worst for year-round particulate matter. For short-term particulate matter, Bakersfield jumps to the top.
While many of the worst regions in the country for air pollution are in California, the full list shows a striking trend. In practically every corner of the country, there are issues. The top 25 lists include cities in the Northwest, such as Seattle and Missoula, Montana, as well as Midwestern cities like Chicago. East coast regions like Washington D.C. are present, and you can find Texas, Nevada, North Dakota, and Maryland all represented on the list. Apparently, no region is safe from the harms of air pollution and smog. This tells us that no matter where you live, you need to take at least some action to protect yourself against the potential harms created by smog.
Final Thought: Should I Use an Ozone Generator to Remove Smog?In general, it is a bad idea to use ozone generators to remove smog and other forms of indoor air pollution. These machines release ozone into the air, so it is highly recommended that you do not use ozone generators to remove smog and other forms of indoor air pollution. Instead, use house air purifiers like the Erik650A. This machine, as well as other house air purifiers, will provide healthier air purification for your home.
Find the Top Air Purifier for SmogWhether you need to clean the air in a large commercial setting or a small bedroom, we have the right air purifiers for your needs. Contact our staff today and we’ll help you choose the right one for your specific location. You deserve the best air purifier for smog, so contact us today!
From HEPA air filters to UV light to German-engineered motors, we use only the finest materials and designs to create leading air filters, removing particles, pet dander, dust mites, and indoor air pollution while improving the air quality in your home!