Air Purifiers: A Comprehensive Selection Guide

Written by Lillian Connors
26
Dec

People are shocked when they hear that the indoor air in our homes is often more polluted than the air outside. As we spend a great deal of our time indoors, we’re exposed to a number of issues, such as asthma, allergies, and respiratory conditions. One way to combat these and enjoy a healthy home environment is by using an air purifier. However, as not all air purifiers were made the same, consider the following tips and choose the one that suits your home the best.

Anti-allergy purifiers

When choosing an air purifier, first you need to consider your air quality needs and risks. For example, if you are prone to allergies, you should look for those designed for allergy relief. These filters are designed with HEPA filters, which are tested to eliminate 99.97% of common airborne particles sized from 0.3 microns and larger. These particles include allergens like pollen, mold spores, dust, dust mites, and pet dander. Purifiers with HEPA filters are considered the most effective ones you can buy.

Asthma air purifiers

On the other hand, if you or your family members suffer from asthma, or have their symptoms triggered by odors and chemical pollutants, you should consider an asthma air purifier. Apart from HEPA filters for allergen removal, these purifiers feature added odor and chemical filtration. Smoke purifiers are specifically engineered to remove cigarette smoke, fireplace soot, and other cooking or heating-related fumes that could build up your respiratory conditions.

Multiple-chemical purifier

People who are especially sensitive to chemicals and their vapors are advised to consider an air purifier for multiple chemical sensitivities. These purifiers provide an even higher level of odor and chemical filtration, and often include materials that won’t release the filtered chemicals back into the air and trigger your respiratory condition.

Useful features

One you’ve settled for the type of air purifier you need, you should compare the available models for their special features. Apart from digital controls, auto mode, a filter replacement indicator, multiple fan speeds and quiet operation, almost every contemporary air purifier features a night mode and low-power settings, which makes them environmentally-friendly devices, as well. On top of that, reputable vendors provide nation-wide phone support and unit testing by an independent inspection company.

Choose the right size

In order to buy an air purifier that is sized for your home, consider the square footage of the room you want to purify. Multiply the length and the width of the room and compare the figure with a recommended square footage in the purifier specifications. If you’re looking to get an air purifier that mitigates allergies or asthma symptoms, you should also check the purifier’s air change per hour (ACH) rate. The ACH indicates the number of times an air purifier can filter the entire volume of the space each hour. Models that can filter the room air at least 4 times per hour are the best choice for people with asthma or allergies.

The ideal location

In most cases, the air purifier is best placed in the bedroom, because that’s where we spend the most of our time. However, since air purifiers are designed to provide excellent performance in one room only, you may need to invest in additional units for other rooms, such as the living room or the home office. Another solution is to purchase a unit which comes with caster wheels, handles and other features that make it easy to be moved from room to room. There are even whole house air purifiers, which plug into your home’s existing HVAC system and purify your indoor air as you heat or ventilate your home.

Maintenance and upkeep

Air purifiers with filters come with manufacturer’s instructions on how often to replace them in order to maintain the guaranteed level of pollutant removal. Depending on the number of the purifiers you own and their respective purchase times, you might have to replace the filters at different times. For instance, a HEPA filter might last a whole year, while an activated coal filter lasts up to 6 months. If provided, pre-filters usually last even less, up to 3 months. With this information on mind, when shopping for an air purifier, make sure you’ve considered the cost and the frequency of filter changes as well.

Although there are more air purifier types on the market, the higher-end ones often combine two or more effects into one product. Choosing the coverage area is usually the first step, which ensures your device is targeting the right amount of space. However, the deciding factor for most shoppers is the added features that make the operation and maintenance more pleasant and convenient.