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Air Purifier Buyers Guide

Air Purifier Buyer's Guide Featured ImageWhy Buy An Air Purifier?

Why did we write an air purifier buyers guide?

In the summer of 1967, I was playing in the field behind my house in Oregon. Soon I noticed my eyes were itching. As a 5-year-old kid, I did what every 5-year-old kid does. I rubbed them.

Then I started sneezing. Soon my nose was running, I was sneezing, and my eyes were almost swollen shut. I went to my mom and told her that my eyes hurt. She took one look at me and rushed me to the doctor’s office. I have been allergic to grass ever since.

Many of you have had a similar experience. Whether it is hay fever, pollen allergies, mold allergies, or allergies to pet dander, you have suffered from airborne particles in the air.

Air purifiers can help relieve these symptoms by removing the irritants from the air you breathe. They can also help filter out particles and odors from the air giving you the ability to breathe freely. Taber’s Best Reviews wants to make your life better. That is why we have written this air purifier buyers guide for everyday people.

Benefits Of Owning An Air Purifier

  • They help relieve the annoying symptoms of allergies
  • They help remove dust, pollen and pet dander
  • They help to destroy bacteria, viruses and mold spores
  • They help filter out chemical fumes, smoke, and obnoxious odors
  • They help protect against the side effects of pollution
  • They help circulate clean air, causing your living environment to be fresher
  • They are ideal for home and bedroom

Air Purifier Buyers Guide

2 air cleanersThere are so many options, terms, and types of filtration systems, that it can be quite overwhelming when you start to seriously look at purchasing an air purifier. The amount of information can simply confuse you with the vast amount of options, sizes, prices, and even scams out there, and you can start to feel just as overwhelmed as when you first began to look.

No matter the brand, price or style of purifier you are looking for, there are some key things to keep an eye out for with an air purifier. To help you learn about quality air purifiers and find a safe, efficient unit that is the right one for your needs, we wrote this air purifier buying guide.

Common Household Pollutants

Before we talk about air purifiers, we need to spend a little time talking about the common pollutants that air purifiers filter out. Different types of pollutants take different types of filtering techniques.

  • Airborne Particles: These would include pet dander, mold spores, dust mite allergen, pollen, plant spores, and fungi, and they are the most frequent cause of indoor allergy and asthma attacks. These are best filtered with a HEPA filtration system.
  • Tobacco And Wood Smoke: As both smoking rates and heating with wood fireplaces and stoves are becoming less common, this is becoming a lesser cause of indoor air pollution.
  • Obnoxious Odors And Sprays: Is Spot’s litter box getting smelly? Does that carpet deodorizer really smell all that great? These odors can be eliminated with a charcoal filtration system in an air purifier.
  • Germs And Other Pathogens. Micro-organisms including antigens, pathogens, bacteria, and viruses are the everyday germs that make us sick. Mold is also considered a micro-organism. Many air purifiers have features to kill germs.

Common Features Of Air Purifiers

To begin, the terms air purifier or air cleaner mean the same thing. You need to consider the following 5 features when purchasing an air purifier.

What Type Of Removal Technology Is Being Used

There are basically 3 types of removal technologies that are used in air purifiers. They are mechanical filtration systems, electrostatic air cleaners, and ion generators.

Mechanical Filters

  • HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) Filters: This sets the standard for all air filtration systems. By definition, a HEPA filter removes at least 99.97% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns. (source)
  • Activated Carbon Filters: Activated carbon or charcoal filters are normally not the only filters used in an air purifier. They are usually used in combination with other filters. They excel in eliminating odors, smoke, and fumes.

Electrostatic Air Cleaners: Electrostatic air cleaners use a static electricity charge to make small particles cling to either a filter or a collector plate. It is the same principle that causes your socks to cling together because of static electricity. Unfortunately, these cleaners require more maintenance because their filters or collection plates become dirty quickly.

Ion Generators: Ion generators release charged particles into the air causing the pollutants to combine with them. The combined particle then is drawn to a nearby surface to cling to it. The unfortunate result of this is that you will have a dirty wall or floor near your air purifier that needs to be cleaned regularly.

UV-C Light: This is part of the ultraviolet light spectrum, UV-C light is used by most hospitals to kill harmful germs. UV technology helps remove airborne contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, fungus, mold, and mildew. It’s often used in combination with a HEPA filter and activated carbon charcoal filters.

ACH – Air Change Per Hour

The air change per hour rate or also called the Air change/efficiency rate can be likened to your car’s speedometer. Just as the speedometer tells you how far you will travel in an hour, the ACH rate will tell you how many times the air purifier will clean the air in the room in an hour. For example, 2 ACH means the air will be cleaned every 30 minutes, while 4 ACH means it will be cleaned every 15 minutes.

CADR – Clean Air Delivery Rate

While the ACH rate will tell you how often the room will be filtered, the CADR includes the area size of the room you are purifying. A good rule of thumb is to buy an air filter with a rating that is 2/3 of the square footage of the room you are filtering. For instance: If the room you are filtering is 10×12 =120 sq. ft. Then you want to get a purifier with an 80 CADR or better.

Important Considerations In Purchasing An Air Purifier

Image of a large room to filter with an air purifierRoom Size

Even though the CADR gives you an idea of how much volume a purifier is meant to filter, it is wise to buy an air purifier that is able to handle a larger room than you have. Not only will you make the purifier last longer, but the maintenance will be less because the filters will have to be changed less often. Don’t overwork your air purifier.

ACH Rating

We have already discussed what the ACH rating means above, however, if you are someone who suffers from allergies then your needs are a little different than the average person. You will need an ACH rating of at least 4 but it would be better if you got a rating of 6-8 times per hour.

Filter Replacements

Make sure you take a look at how often your filter/s will need to be replaced. You may need to check both the HEPA filter and the carbon filter depending on which type of purifier you buy. You will also need to check the price of these filters and take that into consideration in your overall decision. An inexpensive air purifier with expensive filter replacement costs may not be as inexpensive long term as a more costly purifier with less expensive filters.

Energy Efficiency

Just like will all modern appliances, air purifiers use different amounts of electricity depending on their size, features, and filtration systems. Typical air cleaners can use anywhere from 50 watts on low to 200 watts on high. (For comparison sake, a typical light bulb uses about 60 watts, while a typical computer uses about 300 watts). Check the energy efficiency rating of the air purifier you are considering.

Ion Generators

We talked briefly about filter systems that use ion generators. You need to be aware that if you are asthmatic or have children or elderly people in your home, you should stay away from these types of purifiers. They produce ozone and that can be an irritant to the lungs.

Manufacturer’s Reputation

Just like with a lot of other consumer goods, the manufacturer’s reputation actually means a lot. There are a lot of low-quality products on the market by unknown manufacturers. A manufacturer earns their reputation over time by how they treat their customers and by how well their product performs.

Warranty

Make sure you take a look at the manufacturer’s warranty. They can range from a 1-year limited warranty to a lifetime warranty. The industry average is between 3-5 years.

Noise Level

Most air purifiers are quiet but some are quieter than others. Check to see what the noise level is for the purifier you are considering. This is especially important if you are going to use your air purifier in your bedroom. Normally there are appropriate fan settings with comfortable noise levels on all air purifiers.

Price

Finally, when considering price there is more to consider than the initial cost of the air purifier. You need to take into consideration the filter replacement costs and the energy usage costs. Some air purifiers have high filter replacement costs. Do your homework. It is similar to printers. You can buy a cheap printer, but the ink cartridges cost more than the printer does.

Where To Place Your Air Purifier

Image of one of the best rated air purifiersLarge Rooms

Large rooms like the living room or family room are the most problematic when figuring out where to place an air purifier. The size of the room and the height of the ceilings make it difficult to keep the air circulating.

We recommend that you place the air purifier where the breeze coming out of the air purifier is pointed in the direction where people are present. So you might want to place it near the places where people sit. Make sure to give your air purifier room to breathe. Most air purifiers intake the air from multiple directions so give it 18 inches or so of space around it.

Bedrooms

In bedrooms, it is best to place your air purifier 6-10 feet away from the bed and pointing towards the head of the bed. That way you are getting clean air while you sleep but you are not feeling the breeze coming out of the air purifier.

Buying An Air Purifier

When buying an air purifier we recommend that you stay with reputable manufacturers. Some of the manufacturers that we recommend are…

  • Honeywell
  • Winix
  • Rabbit Air
  • GermGuardian
  • Dyson
  • Coway
  • Alen

We hope that this air purifier buyers guide has helped inform you of what to look for in buying an air purifier. Now that you are fully informed, you might want to take a look at our list of the best air purifiers we recommend.

Thank you for taking the time to read our Air Purifier Buyers Guide.

Duke Taber is the owner of 3 successful websites and is now taking his skill as a writer and using it to help non-profit organizations and leaders around the world.