Ionic Breeze by Sharper Image
by Building Inspector and Indoor Air Specialist, Dan Schilling
© Copyright 2002 Residential Inspections LLC, All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This article is a very short explanation of my professional opinion of the Ionic Breeze.
You are encouraged to research the scientific data on this product and then form your own opinion.
It is amazing how wonderful a product can be made to appear on TV commercials and infomercials. The Ionic Breeze is a prime example of this smoke-in-mirrors marketing technique.
As with most gimmicky air cleaning devices, people who have tried the Ionic Breeze machines usually experience minimal relief if they suffer from air quality related symptoms, and healthy individuals who use them simply do not understand the inadequacies of the product. After learning the technological differences between true air purification methods and the basic particle collection method of the ionic Breeze, most people ultimately return or replace these inferior devices with a purifier that replicates natural air cleaning processes.
The Ionic Breeze does not clean the air using natural purification processes like nature does outdoors. As with many other air cleaning devices, the Ionic Breeze claims to be an air “purifier” when in reality it is nothing more than a particle collector, no different than an air filter. This means that air pollutants other than particles, such as biological contaminants or chemical gasses, remain unaffected and can continue to contaminate your air.
The Ionic Breeze even fails in the area of simple particle collecting. The same electronically charged plate technology used in the Ionic Breeze has been in use on furnace and air conditioning systems for many years with extremely poor results. The visible debris and contamination found inside of heating and cooling systems simply circumvents the plates, allowing more particles to pass through the plates than would be collected in disposable furnace filters costing as little as 50 cents.
Despite the name “Ionic Breeze”, these devices do not generate a breeze at all, but barely move the air. Further, while they may generate some ions near the internal charged plates, they do not send out beneficial levels of electrical ions into the air. This means they do not rid the air of particles in the same manner that nature does outdoors, or as true air purifiers do indoors. Ironically, the marketing name Ionic Breeze is a complete misnomer.
The touted selling feature of the Ionic Breeze is also its biggest drawback; they have no fan. The advertisers claim this to be a wonderful feature because they are silent during operation. This sounds good on the surface, but in reality, this means only a small amount of the particles are actually being brought into the unit and removed from the air. Being that the Ionic Breeze machines pass such a small amount of air, they are very inefficient at cleaning the air in a room, much less a home. In contrast, true air purifiers (not the noisy HEPA filters), are also very quiet, yet work quite efficiently.
The Ionic Breeze produces insufficient activated oxygen (ozone) and that only as an uncontrollable by-product of the charged plates. Therefore the Ionic Breeze cannot be used to sanitize personal items or rooms, nor can it be used to kill bacteria or mold in affected areas.
While just one air purifier can sufficiently treat all of the air in an average size home, an Ionic Breeze would need to be purchased for each room of home to cover the same square footage. This presents a huge expense for anyone wanting to clean all of the air in their home. Further, these units are more than twice the size of an air purifier. Using multiple Ionic Breezes in a home will also consume more electricity and create more maintenance than one air purifier.
The top-of-the-line Ionic Breeze model adds the use of ultra violet light to destroy the DNA of microorganisms such as mold and bacteria. Again, this sounds good on the surface however, this technology has also been used inside furnace and air conditioner ducts and suffers drawbacks. First, this UV technology is also limited to particles only. Secondly, it only works on “some” of the particles. Thirdly, it only works on particles which actually make it to and through the device. Fourthly, the UV bulbs loose their intensity and can appear to be working when they are in fact no longer affective. Lastly, annual bulb replacement can be costly.
with those you care about.