The science behind air
To improve the health of our homes, Dyson’s engineers deep dive into air science.
What is air quality and why does it matter?
Clean air is essential for a healthy life yet many of us are breathing in dirty air on a daily basis. Currently Australia & New Zealand exceeds the World Health Organization (2021) guidelines by 1-2 times. Most air pollution can't be seen or smelled, needing an air quality tester to measure the level of impurities – like pollution and chemical particles – in the air. Good air quality contains only small levels of pollutants or solid particles. Poor air quality contains high levels of pollutants and can be harmful to health.
Dyson has researched the particles we intake both indoors and out, to improve the standard of what we breathe. Our purifying technology senses air quality, allowing you to monitor and remove pollutants inside your home.
Indoor and outdoor air quality
A range of chemical and bio pollutants build up inside homes – with most of them invisible to the naked eye. We often only think of public spaces when we consider polluted air, but indoor air quality can actually be up to 5x worse than what’s outside.1
Seasonal air quality changes
The standards of air pollution vary during winter and summer, thanks to atmospheric weather changes, alongside pollutants generated through heating. Air science reveals that how you protect your home during these months needs to adapt to these shifts.
What is air pollution and the causes?
Air pollution refers to a combination of particulate matter and gases. Pollutants can come from household products, vehicle exhaust, and pet dander (to name a few). Through Dyson’s air quality senses, we track the movements and levels of each source.
Indoor air pollution
You may be surprised about some of the biggest air pollution culprits in your home. Through indoor air quality testing, Dyson reveals a range of pollutants including:
- Self-care products like nail polish, lotions and scented candles
- Cleaning products
- Gas stoves and other indoor cooking fumes
- Home improvements like paint and furniture materials
- Mould, pet allergens and dust mites
Outdoor air pollution
Often mistaken as separate to indoor pollution, outdoor pollutants make their way into homes through open windows, doors, shoes and pets. Continuing air quality testing, Dyson has detected the following outdoor pollutants inside the home:
- Exhaust fumes from vehicles
- Chemical and gas pollutants
- Pesticides and gardening products
- Natural sources including dust, fires and burning solid fuel such as wood
Air quality myths or facts?
Though many of us are familiar with the effects of outdoor pollution, few are aware of the impact indoor pollution can have on health. Dyson’s research into air science reveals some of the common myths around pollution.
Myth. Air pollution is always visible
Much of the pollution in the home is invisible to the naked eye. Particles as small as 0.1 microns can make their way through the home, and account for affected air quality, and in some cases can trigger health concerns like asthma.
Fact. The smaller the particle the bigger the problem
Tiny particles can take the forms of allergens, bacteria and pollutants. Without the right filtration standard smaller particles can evade purifiers and remain in the home. Dyson’s air purifiers are all sealed to HEPA H13 standard2, capturing 99.95% of airborne particles as small as 0.1 microns.3
Myth. Opening a window will increase air quality inside my home
Ventilation can assist with isolated occurrences of gas pollutants, like when using cooking stoves. However, much of the pollution detected through indoor air quality testing comes from outside. Opening a window or door can provide access to pollen, exhaust fumes and other forms of pollutants. An indoor air purifier is therefore your best defence against effected air quality.
How Dyson supports the conversation around air quality
Our bodies take in more air than any other substance – so clean air is incredibly important to healthy lives. While awareness around global pollution increases, Dyson’s air science studies aim to help us to be experts in our own spaces, as well as outside.
Global air quality studies
Dyson’s air quality testing backpacks measured daily pollution exposure, from cooking indoors to traffic and outdoor activities. As Professor Sotiris Vardoulakis from the Australian National University (ANU) Research School of Population Health explains, “one in nine Australians suffer from respiratory health conditions such as asthma, hay fever or bronchitis. So, understanding air quality is extremely important to decrease one’s own exposure to pollution.”
Discover Dyson’s air study results.
The COVID-19 effect and findings
The effects of Covid-19 present unique impacts on air pollution – leading many of us to ask ‘how can I test the air quality in my home?’. Using the technology developed for the Dyson air purifiers, increases in some indoor air pollutants were found. Alex Knox, Vice President of Environmental Care at Dyson explains, “While it has been widely reported that air quality on some cities has improved during the lockdown period, initial data insights from Dyson’s connected purifiers indicate a small but consistent increase in indoor NO2 and VOC levels in cities during lockdown.”
Discover more about Dyson’s lockdown investigation.
The lab testing process
Our indoor air quality testing goes beyond industry standards. To ensure our machines provide cleaner air throughout real living spaces, we test in rooms almost three times the size of CADR standards.
How Dyson purifiers capture particles
Air circulation draws pollutants into the whole-machine filter. From there, 360 HEPA filtration captures tiny particles the size of 0.1 microns3, and an activated carbon filter removes gases. Through different filters, different-sized pollutants are trapped and destroyed.
What to consider when buying a purifier
Without the right filter technology, some purifiers can release pollutants back out into indoor spaces. See what makes a Dyson, a Dyson.
To address allergies caused by dust mites and other small particles, Dyson’s machines are sealed to HEPA H13 standard.1 This allows us to trap bacteria, pollutants and allergens, where others can’t.
CADR vs POLAR testing
CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate), the metric of testing used by industry, doesn’t reflect real living spaces. Instead, we developed our own standard – POLAR (Point Loading Auto Response), which takes multi-functionality and real-world performance into account.
Through indoor air quality testing, some purifiers release dirty air back into the room. Dyson’s purifiers are tested to capture and hold 99.95% of particles as small as PM 0.1.2