Ions are molecules that carry a charge of electricity. They are found outdoors at typical levels of 3000 positive and 4000 negative ions per cubic centimeter. The existence of atmospheric electricity was discovered in the 1700’s. By the 1990’s, it was discovered that the atmospheric electricity depends upon the existence of gas molecules, now called “air ions”, which carry a Negative or Positive charge.
Indoors there are very few ions and the balance is mostly positive ions. This is because negative ions exist for a short length of time. They are destroyed by air pollution while hot electrical discharges such as sparking, electric motors, furnaces, etc., generate an excess of positive ions. The movement of air over metal ductwork strips the air of negative ions.
Negative Ion Generators, or Air Ionizers, need to produce large amounts of negative ions to restore the ion ratio. By adding negative ions to the environment, the airborne particles will take on this electronic charge and be attracted to oppositely charged particles which will become heavy enough to settle to the ground by gravity, or the charged particle will be attracted to grounded objects such as the floor. This is known as the Cohesion Effect. In either case the particles have been removed form the air so they are not breathed in.
Nearly all static discharges are high imbalances of positive ionic energy. The addition of negative energy in the form of negative ions helps to balance the excess positive ionic energy within the environment, thus reducing static discharges.
Negative Ion Generators are most useful in the winter months or during summer months when the doors and windows are shut and the air conditioning is on.