Choosing the Right Air Purifier
Learn the basics before you buy...
For most people, buying an air purifier is very confusing. HEPA filters, negative ionizers, electrostatic precipitators -- the terminology alone sounds like a foreign language! Not to worry though, we've broken down the whole, convoluted world of air purifiers into one, straAightforward section covering the basics. Also, please visit our Air Purifier blog for more information
1. What to Look for in an Air Purifier
We've assembled a list of things to consider when searching for an air purifier for your home or office
Appropriate Room Size:Make sure the purifier can change the air several times an hour. Most manufacturers will provide consumers the appropriate room size that the air purifier can clean efficiently and effectively.
Air Filtering Efficiency:Obviously, you want a purifier that effectively cleans the air.
Air Purification Technology:Which of the five technologies does the unit use?
Noise Level:You want this to be as low as possible, but realize some of the better air purifiers do make noise. Quieter doesn't necessarily mean better.
Cost of Replacement Parts:Find out what it costs to replace filters and other parts.
Electricity Costs: Know how much it costs to run an electronic air cleaner.
Warranty: Learn about the warranty available for the unit you are considering.
Indicator Lights for Filter Changes:Some units have them.It's not necessary, but is very convenient.
Separate Filters: Does the unit have a pre-filter to increase HEPA filter efficiency?
Size and Look of the Air Purifier:Some air purifiers are big and ugly. Others are sleek and pleasing to the eye.
2. A Little More on Room Size
Strongly consider the CERTIFIED ROOM SIZE of an air purifier as one of the major selection criteria when making a purchase. Our suggestion is that you purchase an air purifier that is certified to effectively clean a larger room than you are going to use it in. This will enable the air purifier to clean the air in a room at a faster rate and more often. A good rule of thumb would be to purchase an air purifier that is certified for a room size that is at least one-third larger than the one you are putting it into. Example: You want to use your new air purifier in your living room. The living room measures 25 ft x 20 ft or 500 square feet (sq ft). You'll want to purchase an air purifier that is certified to clean a slightly larger room (at least one-third larger), let's say a model certified to clean 750 square feet or greater effectively. Since the model is certified to effectively clean a room size larger than yours, it will clean the room at a faster rate and more often which is what you want it to do. The same can be said if you purchase an air purifier that has a room certification that is smaller than the room size you'd like to clean. That air purifier will still clean the room, albeit at a slower rate and less often because it is not certified to clean the larger size room as effectively as it would in a smaller one.
3. Air Filtration Truths
There are four simple truths to air filtration that you must understand before you make an air purification decision:
- If the unit does not move air, it CANNOT CLEAN AIR
- If the unit has no filters, it CANNOT CLEAN AIR
- HEPA filtration is THE ONLY COMPLETE SOLUTION
- Units Constructed of Plastic CREATE TOXIC VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
These are the four most important factors to consider when purchasing the indoor air quality product that will protect you and your family.
NOTE: Though these beliefs hold true in most instances, there are products on the market today that do not fit neatly into this list of truths. Products from such companies as Airfree would not even be considered by consumers if they were choosing an air purifier solely based on these truths because Airfree uses a ceramic core to eliminate harmful contaminants from the air.
There are constantly new products and technologies emerging in the market that contradict these facts in some part or another. Airfree is an excellent company as is Vortex desk lamp. These guidelines are strictly that; Guidelines. Rest assured, we've done our homework on all the air purifiers we sell on this website. We will not sell an air purifier that is harmful to your health. That would contradict the whole purpose of buying an air purifier and that is to make you feel better. And, we will not sell an air purifier that does not work as it is intended. We are very selective of the air purifiers that we carry on this website. That helps you during the selection process as the air purifiers on this website perform as advertised. We will not carry them if they don't because the whole purpose of our website is to help you feel better and make you happy. In regards to the air purifiers on our site that are constructed of plastic housings, we would not recommend them to you if they knowingly emitted harmful VOCs into the air. The plastic constructed housings of the air purifiers on our site are made of high quality and heavy duty plastic materials that are very durable and DO NOT emit harmful VOCs back into the air. Be very careful of the cheaper plastic air purifiers that are available out there on the internet and in the big box chain stores. Contact us if you have any questions concerning these types of air purifiers on our website.
4. Technologies & Styles Available in Air Purifiers
Due to advances in science and technology, there are now 5 methods that are commonly used for most air purifiers. Air purifiers usually use more than one of these technologies to better clean the air. For more specific information on each air filtration technology,
1. HEPA - a specially designed filter effective against many particles
2. Ionic - electronically charges particles causing them to attract to collector plates or fall to the floor
3. UV Lamp- effective against living microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria
4. Ozone Generator - creates ozone which seeks out contaminants (Unhealthy and none are sold at our store)
5. Carbon Filters- removes chemicals, fumes, and smoke
HEPA is the best possible system in most instances.However, even HEPA products have some differences. In HEPA, look for metal cabinets. You do not want plastic housings that can emit VOCs and put back in the air what you are trying to take out. The systems should include charcoal filtration for odor and VOC reduction. Cartridges should be sealed which increases filtration and does not allow the particles to go back into the air when you turn the unit off. And, even though the systems must move air, look for one that is relatively quiet.
5. Choosing the Right Indoor Air Quality Monitor
Choosing the right indoor air quality monitor is important because it determines whether you're able to measure the air quality inside your home.
The most common type of indoor air quality monitor measures carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. CO2 levels are often used to determine the presence of mold and mildew. Other types of indoor air monitors include radon detectors, smoke detectors, and humidity sensors. These devices can be helpful when measuring the air quality in specific areas of your home, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, etc.
When selecting an indoor air quality monitor, there are many factors to consider. Here are some tips to help you select the right indoor air quality monitor for your needs.
First, measure the area where you need to monitor air quality. This may be a room, hallway, or entire building. Next, determine whether you need a portable or fixed indoor air quality monitor. Portable monitors are great for measuring air quality in small areas, such as rooms, hallways, and offices. Fixed monitors are better suited for larger spaces, such as classrooms, auditoriums, and gymnasiums. Next, decide between a continuous or discrete monitor. Continuous monitors continuously sample air quality over time. Discrete monitors only take samples at set intervals. Both types of monitors are available in both manual and automatic modes. Finally, consider the price of the monitor. Cheap monitors are usually lower quality than expensive ones. However, cheap monitors often offer features not found on expensive models. So, when comparing prices, consider features and quality together.
Air quality monitor products recommended: getuhoo.com, foobot.com
6. The Bottom Line
With all the choices that are out there in the air purifier market, the bottom line is that a customer must first decide what kind of protection are they seeking? Whether you're seeking relief from your allergies or filtering smoke out of a room, the customer must choose an air purification solution that best meets their needs for their ailments or for other forms of protection from pollutants in the air.
Hopefully this page has given you a solid, helpful introduction to air purifiers and what they can do. Everyday, it seems that many people and the medical community are becoming increasingly aware of the need for clean air. If you are concerned about the air you breathe in your home, make sure that you spend your hard earned dollars on a product which will help you breathe purer air.
For more information, please visit our Air Purifier blog