The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims that indoor air contains 2-5 times (and occasionally, more than 100 times) more pollutants than outdoor air yet many of us live in homes without any type of filtration system. Most air purifiers utilize a HEPA-style filter but a company by the name of Molekule is taking a markedly different approach with its new product.

The startup’s air purification system, also called Molekule, is described as the world’s first molecular air purifier. Rather than rely on a HEPA filter (technology that was developed in the 1940s), air taken in by Molekule passes through a pre-filter designed to capture larger allergens like pollen, dust and dander.

From there, it uses a nanoparticle-coated filter activated by light that creates a catalytic reaction and breaks down the harmful pollutants into their most basic - and harmless - molecular structure which are then dispersed back into the environment. The process is dubbed Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) which itself isn’t a new technology – this is just the first commercial application.

Molekule says PECO is able to destroy pollutants 1,000 times smaller than what HEPA filters can capture (0.1 nanometers versus 300 nanometers) and is said to be effective against allergens, bacteria, viruses, mold and VOCs.

The nano-filters will need to be replaced once a year while the pre-filters should be replaced every three months. That’ll no doubt get expensive in the long run as pre-filters sell for $12 each and the nano-filter commands $99, or just south of $150 a year if purchased individually (or $99 for a year supply). Filters are free for the first year, however.

Molekule is currently accepting pre-orders for its air purifier. You’ll pay $499 for the opportunity, a figure that’ll jump to $799 once the device launches next year. Those that need a bit more convincing are encouraged to check out the company’s white papers on the technology.