The quality of the air you breathe is as important as the quality of the water you drink. Knowing how to choose an air purifier for your home or workplace is paramount to ensure the indoor air is healthy and clean of pollutants, allergens, and bacteria.
Most HVAC systems installed in houses usually feature a type of filtration mechanism which purifies the air, but sometimes these devices are not very efficient.
You can buy portable air purifiers which are compact in size, consume less energy, and come with extra features which can be useful in the long run.
Especially if you have pets or live with smokers in the house, it is highly recommended to get an air purifier to eliminate the allergens, bacteria, dust, pollen, smoke, and other impurities from the air.
If you don’t sanitize the air you breathe, there is a high chance that you will develop respiratory problems at some point in the future.
People who have regular asthma attacks are even more exposed to such dangers. If you have decided to purchase an air purifier, keep reading this guide to learn how to find a suitable one for your needs.
Before I start, here’s a video showing you some tips:
Smaller, more compact ones can purify the air in your basement or living room while larger, heavier ones are designed for warehouses, large garages, commercial kitchens, and others.
Make sure that you measure your property (and get a number in sq. ft.) to find out which air purifier is suitable for you.
Looking at the CFM (cubic feet per minute) number is also a good idea because it reflects how much air your unit can circulate in sixty seconds.
Air purifiers with a high CFM (such as 200-300) are usually designed for commercial spaces and industrial areas while those who have a smaller CFM (less than 150) are ideal for residential properties.
The filter of an air purifier is probably one of its most important characteristics. There are different types of filters out there and you need to learn a bit about them.
For example, HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are the most effective ones because they are capable of blocking up to 99,97% of microbes and bacteria. What does this mean for you?
You’ll be able to breathe fresher, cleaner air and avoid respiratory problems! Some HEPA filters are permanent and they can be cleaned once every couple of months with a special brush or using a vacuum cleaner. Other HEPA filters need to be replaced once every six or twelve months.
Carbon charcoal filters work in a similar manner, just that they are more focused on eliminating allergens such as pollen, dust, cigarette smoke, and others.
These filters are very similar to the ones installed in a ductless range hood and they can easily absorb plenty of impurities. Most manufacturers recommend changing the charcoal filters once every three or six months, depending on how often you use the air purifier.
The best thing you can do is to get a device which has a combination of HEPA and charcoal carbon filters. As a result, most bacteria and microbes are eliminated from the air as well as allergens and impurities, giving you a complete air sanitation process in a single appliance!
When shopping for air purifiers, try to go for one which has a built-in fan because this can make the cleaning process faster and easier.
As a word of advice, try to stay away from ozone air purifiers because these are falsely advertised as healthy. They have a design which allows the emission of small quantities of ozone on a regular basis, but studies found that ozone can pose potential health hazards and it doesn’t improve indoor air quality.
To be on the safe side, go for an air purifier which uses HEPA or charcoal carbon filters and doesn’t release ozone at all.
Today’s air purifiers don’t only clean the indoor air, they also come with different other functions which make them more practical and useful in every household.
For example, some purifiers incorporate a night light which changes in different colors, creating a beautiful atmosphere in your living room. You can also turn off this light if you don’t like it very much.
Certain devices come with programmable timers which allow you to use them only when you need them the most, minimizing energy consumption.
Servicing lights are also useful because they let you know when you should change the filter to maximize the cleaning process of the air.
If you go for a high-end device, it might include a remote in the package which allows you to control the air purifier from several feet away.
Speaking of air purifiers for residential properties, you might be happy to find out that most of them come with UV-C technology.
This feature provides an added benefit because it kills most of the germs and bacteria while filtering the air. The ultraviolet light is harmless to the homeowner and it works 24/7, purifying the air and eliminating bacteria and fungi. In houses with newborns or kids, such air purifiers are highly recommended to provide a healthy breathable air for its inhabitants.
Speeds and noise level
The actual noise level produced by an air purifier is determined by the speed of the fan. Most devices usually come with three operating speeds – low, medium, and high – and you can select the speed by turning a dial or pressing a button on the purifier’s control panel.
Although they incorporate a fan, the noise level of a standard air purifier is approximately 50-55 dB at the highest fan speed setting. If you keep it on a low setting, you can even fall asleep while the air purifier is working.
It is important to mention here that these devices get noisier if the filter gets filled with impurities. When you suspect that the purifier is louder than usual, you should clean or replace the filter to make it run more quietly.
Weight and colors
Most air purifiers for residential use are relatively small and compact, about the size of your laptop. They usually include a handle which makes them portable and easy to use.
You can also choose from a wide range of colors, depending on your preferences, such as black, white, grey, silver and even bright colors such as red and blue.
Regardless of the color you pick, manufacturers design air purifiers to fit perfectly into any indoor setting such as your living room, home office, commercial kitchen, home gym, basement, dance studio, and others.
CADR stands for Clean-Air Delivery Rate and it is a way of measuring how efficient an air cleaning system is. Tests are run by independent organizations such as the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers and they provide valuable information to consumers, allowing us to gauge how effective an air purifier is.
For example, if an air purifier has a CADR rating of 350 or more, it is one of the best currently available on the market. CADR ratings below 100 are considered to be highly ineffective, so if you see such a device while shopping, you might want to avoid it.
Manufacturers also provide warranty periods for their devices and these can be from one up to several years.
When buying an air purifier, make sure you read the warranty policy carefully, see what it includes, what is it limited to, and what number you can call if you want to report a device which was shipped to you with a manufacturing defect.
You might be happy to find out that most air purifiers are relatively inexpensive and their total cost depends on how efficient they are, what type of filters they use, and how much space they can cover.
For example, prices start at around $40-$50 for a basic model which is ideal for small houses and they can go up to several hundred dollars and even more for a commercial air purifier which can cover several thousand square feet of space.
Don’t forget that having an air purifier also implies certain running costs too. The energy consumption costs are relatively low (maybe up to $40-$50 per year), but you might need to replace the filters of your device once every couple of months.
These filters come in different price points and sometimes they can cost as much as the purifying device itself. Some homeowners decide to simply replace the air purifier altogether on a yearly basis, instead of replacing the filters, which is not a bad idea.
Do you Think You Need an Air Purifier?
Respiratory problems can appear all of a sudden and they are usually caused by unhealthy indoor air. Don’t let this happen to you.
Even if you don’t live with smokers inside your house and you don’t have pets, other impurities such as pollen, dust, bacteria, allergens, and microbes can still take their toll on your health.
An air purifier can set you back around $50, but they can greatly improve indoor air quality and give you more peace of mind in the future, so don’t hesitate to get yours today!