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Why do people use portable air purifiers? Evidence from occupant surveys and air quality monitoring in homes in three European cities

Cooper, E; Wang, Y; Stamp, S; Nijsen, T; de Graaf, P; Hofman, J; Inki, T; ... Mumovic, D; + view all (2021) Why do people use portable air purifiers? Evidence from occupant surveys and air quality monitoring in homes in three European cities. Building Research and Information , 50 (1-2) pp. 213-229. 10.1080/09613218.2021.2001303. Green open access

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Abstract

One of the most widely available technologies to clean the air in homes of particulate matter of less than 2.5 µm in diameter (PM2.5), known to have negative health impacts, are portable home air purifiers (HAPs). This paper presents research which (1) explored the effectiveness of HAPs in real-world conditions in 57 homes in three European cities; (2) examined if HAPs affect users’ perceptions of the indoor air quality (IAQ) at home; and (3) considered the motivations for occupants’ operation of HAPs. Results from this study found that PM2.5 concentrations in bedrooms were reduced by 45% to 69%; perceptions of IAQ were not correlated with measured high PM2.5 levels; occupants reported the HAPs to have a ‘cooling’ effect, which may explain why the predominant driver of HAP use was thermal comfort, rather than IAQ, in all three cities. The latter finding was supported by a statistically significant increase in the probability of HAP use with increasing indoor temperatures. If the operation of HAPs can be managed, or fully automated, to reflect indoor air pollution levels rather than thermal conditions, better pollutant reduction would be feasible and their use to reduce PM2.5 may help mitigate the negative health effects of exposure whilst at home.

Type: Article
Title: Why do people use portable air purifiers? Evidence from occupant surveys and air quality monitoring in homes in three European cities
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/09613218.2021.2001303
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/09613218.2021.2001303
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Keywords: Air purifier; PM2.5; occupant behaviour; air quality monitoring; human perception; multi-domain research
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10139202
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