Buyer's Guide: Air Purifiers
Why do you need an air purifier?
have probably heard the statement, time and time again, that indoor air
quality is essential to good health. While there is much debate over
whether or not air purifiers are worth the investment, the fact remains
that most people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors. For this
reason, it is at least worth looking into how you can improve your
indoor air quality. People spend thousands to make their homes
airtight, in order to improve energy efficiency, but some of the most
airtight homes can also be some of the most polluted. If it is worth
the investment to make your home more energy efficient, then a few
hundred more on an air purifying system that keeps it pollutant-free is
certainly worth it as well.
Room air purifiers benefit homes
with pets, and/or people who suffer from allergies or asthma. They are
also great for children's rooms and nurseries, as children are more
susceptable to airborne illness, and have weaker immune systems. The
first HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters were developed to
aid in the protection against radioactive particles, and can be useful
in the aftermath of natural disasters like the 2011 Japan earthquake,
where radiation from nuclear power plants become a threat. Room air
purifiers can also extend the life of your home's heating and air
conditioning system, as fewer particles will need to be removed by your
Factors to consider when buying an air purifier
are many factors to consider before deciding to purchase an air
purifier. In order to ensure that what you buy is right for the room in
question, Filters Fast recommends that you take a look at the following:
purifiers are made for different-sized rooms and will only be efficient
in a room that's within the size for which it was made to filter the
air. The square footage of the room should be within the square footage
limit specified on the air purifier. For living rooms and family rooms,
large room air purifiers are most appropriate. For bedrooms and
nurseries, you'll want to purchase a small room air purifier.
Common Household Air Pollutants
purifiers remove a variety of common household air pollutants,
including: pet dander, dust mites, pollen, plant spores, fungi, smoke,
cooking odors, volatile organic compounds found in household
furnishings and paints, pathogens, bacteria, viruses and mold. Some air
purifiers are specifically designed for homes with pets, or homes where
smoking is permitted indoors. Others are designed to focus on the
removal of airborne pathogens that may cause sickness. Consider your
home's most likely and most common pollutants before deciding on what
type of air purifier to purchase.
Some air purifiers
are made to be quieter than others, depending on how and where they are
typically used. If you are buying an air purifier for a
or nursery, you may prefer one that is ultra-quiet, so as not to
disrupt sleep. Larger air purifiers for family rooms, may not be as
quiet. Many air purifiers have various settings so that you can control
the noise level as well.
Efficiency may be determined
by several factors, including ACH Rating and CADR. The size of the room
and the type of filter used in the purifier will also determine the
efficiency of the unit.
ACH stands for "Air
Changes per Hour," or the number of times per hour the air purifier can
exchange all of the air in a given room. Allergy and asthma sufferers
should look for an ACH rating of at least 4, but preferably 6 or 8.
CADR stands for Clean
Air Delivery Rate. This number is calculated by the Association of Home
Manufacturers (AHAM), and recognized by the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) and the American Lung Association (ALA). An air purifier's
CADR tells you how
much air is purified and how well it is purified.
air purifiers may do more harm than good. Make sure that the air
purifier you buy does not emit ozone, as this pollutes the air even
more, and can further aggravate cases of asthma and allergies.
you have invested money into sealing your home more tightly, so as to
make it more energy efficient, you obviously care about energy
efficiency. Look for air purifier units that bear the government-backed
energy star symbol.
Though they are worth the
investment, air purifier units can be very expensive. Do extensive
research so as to get the best bang for your buck. Filters Fast carries
a variety of air purifiers with different specifications for various
sized rooms. Many people think that the more a unit costs, the better
it must be, but this is not always the case. See our recommendations
for "good, better and best" at the bottom of this article, if you're
looking for a starting point.
Types of air purification
Most modern air purifiers utilize a combination of several different
types of filters, including the following:
UV Germicidal Irradiation
air filters eliminate germs, such as viruses and bacteria, by altering
their DNA so that they become inactive and unable to replicate. These
are often used in sterile environments like hospitals and labs, but
they do have some residential applications as well. If your home has a
mold problem, or you find that you get sick often, a UV filter inside
your air purifier might be what you need.
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. The
first HEPA filters were designed to protect people from radioactive
dust particles. They are most commonly applied in room air purifiers
and are some of the best filters on the market, as they only allow very
small particles to pass through. The size, material and construction of
a HEPA filter has a lot to do with how well it works; generally, the
more square feet of filter material, the more particulates it will be
able to remove. HEPA filters remove 99.97 percent of all particles
larger than 0.3 microns. These filters must be changed periodically,
but are well worth the investment.
Activated carbon filters are normally used
in conjunction with other types of filters, and are great for
neutralizing smoke, odors, gases, fumes and chemicals that are often
emitted from furnishings and during cooking.
Purifier is Right for You?
Click on the links to learn more about our top three recommended air
Filtrete Ultra Clean Air Purifier
(for large or small rooms)
Whirlpool Whispure Air Purifier 510
(for large rooms) - Awarded a Consumer Reports Best Buy!
IQAir HealthPro Plus Room Air Purifier System
Resource: The History of Air