Air ionizing purifiers work by creating negative ions, causing particles in the air to magnetically attract and come together. These particles, now too large to remain in the air, fall out and are no longer particles people breathe in. Air ionizing purifiers can remove airborne particles as tiny as 0.01 microns. It neutralizes cigarette smoke and other fumes. The machine's negative ions circulate throughout an area, allowing it to remove particles throughout the room.
An ionizing air purifier does not actually collect the majority of enlarged particles it takes out of the air. Dusting or vacuuming is required to remove these particles. It does not kill germs, and while it does not kill fungi, it does take them out of the air circulation. It kills certain viruses, but not all. It does not take chemicals out of the air. However, using a HEPA air filter to complement the ionizing air purifier enables ionized particle collection.
The most common type of ionizing air purifier, the needlepoint variety, works by charging the particulates right near the unit. It is effective for smoke, as well as pet dander, pollen and dust. Negative ions live only about half a minute, and coverage extends to a maximum of 500 square feet. For efficiency, move the unit around the house or purchase multiple units to run simultaneously.
A newer technology, radio ionization is similar to the needlepoint version except that it uses a radio wave, ionizing air through walls or other impediments for approximately 50 feet in each direction from the air purifier. This means it is not limited to the room in which it is stationed, and it can clean the air of an entire house. It is recommended by manufacturers for removing the smell of cigarette and cigar smoke and related odors.