What Is An Air Ionizer?

Like many of us, I’m sure you’ve heard your friends and family talking about how great their air ionizers are. Air Ionizers are a great new invention, but they are often confused with other air-related devices like air conditioners, fans, and air purifiers. 

In this article, we’ll briefly explain what an air ionizer is and why it’s beneficial.

What Is An Air Ionizer?

An ionizer or a “negative ion generator” is a machine that uses high voltage to charge or ionize air molecules electrically. When a molecule has extra electrons, it becomes a negative ion called an “anion”.

When a molecule misses one or more electrons, it becomes a positive ion called a “kation”.

Most of the commercial air ionizers you see in the market produce negative ions. These ions latch themselves on airborne particles like dust, pollen, and smoke particles. Air ionizers then collect these charged particles on their dust collection plates.

air ionizer

What Are The Benefits of an Air Ionizer?

Air Ionizers are very effective in reducing the spread of bacteria and viruses that cause infections. Over the past few years, research has shown that air ionizers cut down the airborne infection rate. This is partially why they are so popular in hospitals and nursing homes.

Of course, an air ionizer is also beneficial to have at home. Air Ionizers can remove allergens from the air anywhere, including your home. In case you haven’t noticed, indoor notice can be more polluted than outdoor air. Just watch the following video if you don’t believe us.

There are other benefits to an air ionizer, however. Since odor-causing particulates in the air get trapped in the ionizer, too, your air ionizer will give you fresher-smelling air. This is a huge benefit when you have pets or smokers in the family.

How Are Air Purifiers different From Ozone Generators?

Ozone generators and air ionizers are two different devices. Ozone generators are a specialized form of air ionizers. They are designed to attract an extra Oxygen ion to an O2 molecule creating an O3 molecule. This is done using an Ultra Violet (UV) light or corona discharge tube.

Ozone generators are widely used in industrial settings for sterilization purposes. However, you can also buy ionizer and ozone generator combos for your home – such as Ivation Ozone Generator.

Air Purifier Vs. Ionizers

Air Purifiers and Air Ionizers are similar but best suited for different purposes. An air purifier with a HEPA filter is still the go-to choice for people wanting better air quality in their homes. However, the high cost of replacing filters is a deal-breaker for many people.

With an air ionizer, you don’t need to replace filters. With these, you only need to clean the dust collection plates once to twice a week. Air Ionizers also have a lower electricity cost, as they only need a fluorescent bulb to work.

Lastly, air ionizers are extremely quiet – as they have no moving parts. If complete silence is your cup of tea, then an ionizer makes a better choice than a filter air purifier.

The fact that air ionizers don’t have moving parts enables manufacturers to make them really compact. You can even plug a small ionizer into the 12V socket in your car.

What Are The Things To Consider Before Buying An Air Ionizer?

Before investing in an air purifier, always consider the square footage of your space. While some smaller ionizers still work well in a larger room, it’s best to get one rated for the size of the room you wish to put it in.

Secondly, always check if the ionizer has a fan. While it’s not mandatory, a fan helps to blow the ionized molecules to reach further across the room.

An oscillating fan is also great to have, as it distributed the ionized molecules evenly. However, if you really want something noiseless for your space, a fan-less ionizer will suit you well.


The hype around air ionizers is well earned. An air ionizer is a great investment for your space, as it will purify the air, give you a clean-smelling space, and remove bacteria and dust particles from your home.


Karie is a science-obsessed writer with a sensitive nose. She has been using air purifiers for many years, and uses them obsessively to keep her home dust-free. She is passionate about helping people find the right air purifier for them.