- 1 Indoor Air Pollution
- 2 Features of Air Purifiers
- 3 Best special purpose air purifiers
- 4 Best general purpose air purifiers
This is an unbiased report which will aid you in the purchase of a home air purifier or filter, in order for you to keep your home safe from toxins, allergens, dust, and other indoor air pollutants.
This site is dedicated to finding the best air purifier for your needs. We’ve done many air purifier reviews which we hope you find useful. The air in your home can be cleaned quite efficiently with a new air cleaner or air purifiers; what you need to know is which type is best to solve the problems you may be facing with your homes’ air. We will be looking at different types of air purifiers and cleaners which are available for your home. First we will consider some serious problems that can be caused by your homes’ indoor air pollution and then we will take a look at various types of cleaners and how to assess their effectiveness and technology.
Pollen, dust, smoke, pet dander, and mold spores can cause you to have respiratory issues, especially in the elderly and in children. You need to protect your family from these types of pollutants, especially since you are able to purchase an air purifier to help ease these issues and you can even get them for pretty cheap. You are able to remove most of the pollutants from your air at home just by using a purifier that you can get for little to nothing and most of them work great for anyone who has allergies, extreme dust issues, and so much more.
Indoor Air Pollution
Have you ever noticed when the sun is shining through your windows, the myriad of dust particles that are floating in the air? Interestingly, the term “dust” is simply a catchall that is used to describe all the small particles that are sloughed off within a house by its occupants. Dust is inherently a pollution, so much so that it is estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency that indoor air is somewhere between two and five times more polluting when compared to the outside air.
There are many sources that contribute to this type of pollution. These may include cooking smoke, fireplace, pet dander, skin, cigarettes, mildew, molds, fungi, plants spores and pollen, and a multitude of other sources. Most of the time, we notice the dust after it has settled and collected on shelves and furniture, or sometimes not until we do that spring cleaning and find it deep in the crevices, and the corners of our shelves.
But it is not just the discovery of dust by your mother-in-law that causes you embarrassment and makes it of such concern. For those who suffer from allergies, or are asthmatic, along with people who are extremely sensitive to airborne particulates or have bronchial problems, dust is a serious pollutant. For those who do not suffer from any particular condition, breezy air that is filled with contaminants and bacteria is certainly not ideal.
The diameter of visible dust is approximately 10 microns. However, .3 microns is the size of the dust that commonly lodges with in your lungs. In order to give you some comparison as to how small that really is, the dot made by a sharp pencil has a diameter that is approximately 200 microns.
Ventilation is the best way to eliminate gases and noxious odors; however, when it comes to dust, spores, smoke, dander, and other particulates, they are more efficiently removed with the use of a home air purifier or air cleaner.
Features of Air Purifiers
As you read through reviews about air purifiers, you will find there are several purifier filter types available. Included in these are: carbon filters, HEPA, ultraviolet and ionic. You’ll find that some purifiers utilize only one type of filter while others will often have a combination of two different types.
- HEPA is the abbreviation for High Efficiency Particulate Air. In order to be a HEPA certified filter, it must be 99.97% efficient at removing dust mites, pollen, dust and pet dander. HEPA purifiers are highly recommended by Allergists and doctors due to their ability to remove contaminants that are harmful, down to the microscopic level. These filters must be replaced every year, so you will want to know how much the replacement cost will be for the particular model you have chosen to purchase.
- There is a unique technology involved with Ionic filter models (also known as ionizers). A negative ion generator is used with air ionizers. The generator sends out negative ions into the air, which in turn will attract positive particles, like allergens and dust. As the two ions come together, the resulting particles become quite heavier, which causes them to fall out of the air and on to the floor. There are ionic filter purifiers which contain a metal plate with an electrostatic precipitator that will collect these particles. This plate must be regularly cleaned in order for the unit to work properly. If this is the kind of unit you are considering, be sure to keep this in mind.
- Ultra Violet (UV) purifiers are a little different as that they do not use a filter in order to remove contaminants from the air. Through the use of ultraviolet light, the molecular bonds of DNA in the harmful pathogens and bacteria, which are floating in the air, is broken down, thereby killing them off. These units are quite efficient at killing molds, harmful yeast, bacteria, and viruses. However, the dust and allergens are not removed from the air. Because of this, this method of air purification is best utilized in conjunction with another filter type.
- Carbon filter are usually found combined with another filter type and used as a pre-filter. They are extremely efficient when it comes to removing the particulate contaminants found in chemicals, gases, smoke, and those associated with odors.
Area Coverage (Room Size)
No matter which of the technologies you will be using, it is extremely important that you consider the area which the air purifier will be used in. You want to make sure that it is able to work efficiently in the square footage of the space it will be utilized for; check the square footage listed on the device.
If you’re not sure how to calculate the square footage use the square footage calculator.
Air Changes per Hour (ACH) Rating
This is a rating given to air purifiers that lets you know how frequently air within a room is exchanged. If a unit has an ACH rating of six, this means that it is able to exchange all the air in its maximum area of coverage six times every hour. Asthmatics need to have a rating that is at least four, but it is preferred to have a rating of six or eight.
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) Rating
How well air is purified by a given device is indicated by its CADR rating. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) is the organization that calculates this rating. Units that have been tested against the standards of the AHAM will also have a seal of certification. This rating is of importance when you are considering a particular air purifier because it will let you know precisely how efficient the unit is at removing three particular air contaminants: tobacco smoke, pollen, dust.
For many people wanting to purchase an air purifier for home use, the amount of noise produced by the unit is of great concern. It would not be very practical to have a unit that is extremely noisy if you plan on placing it in your bedroom or living room. Likewise, if the unit is being purchased for a warehouse, or a large business, then noise level may not be much of a factor, and a more powerful louder unit may still be quite acceptable.
The decibel levels of most units are listed on the package. By using the chart below, you will be able to see how loud it may be as compared to sound you are more familiar with.
10 dB – Breathing
20 dB – Rustling Leaves
30 dB – Quiet Library
40 dB – Raindrops
50 dB – Average Home
60 dB – Normal Conversation
70 dB – Inside a Car
80 dB – Phone Dial Tone
Air purifiers are not like most other appliances as they are continuously run throughout the day. When thinking about purchasing an air purifier, you may have concerns as to how much your electric bill may be increased. What you will find out is that the majority of purifiers operate on very little electricity. The majority of units utilize somewhere between 50 to 300 W of electricity. As a comparison, a standard light bulb uses 60 W, and 350 W are used by most computers.
Here is a little sample of energy costs and usage: an air purifier that uses 175 W, operating 24 hours every day, for an entire year, would cost approximately $12.50 each month, or a total of $153 annually to operate. If you are still concerned over cost, we would suggest looking for an Energy Star Certified unit that best meets your needs. These units are 40% more efficient than the standard models which can save you approximately 230 kW per hour every year. This would result in a savings of $25 from your electric bill. It’s a good idea to always look for this rating when you are reading reviews on air purifiers.
Best special purpose air purifiers
If you’re looking for specialty air purifiers – we have also looked into that for you. We have researched the best air purifiers for specific purposes as can be found in the links below:
Best general purpose air purifiers
Winix PlasmaWave 5300 True HEPA
The HEPA Winix 5300, at about $169, is a top-of-the-line true HEPA air purifier. It has the majority of features that you would find on more expensive units, yet it is only half the cost. When you purchase this unit, you get a built-in sensor for air quality that will automatically adjust fan speed, three-stage air cleaning, is certified for areas up to 350 ft.², has a sleep mode, and is Energy Star approved. For the money, this is undoubtedly one of the best air purifiers you can get.
The Germ Guardian AC4825 Air Purifier
Another true HEPA air purifier, the Germ Guardian AC4825, also utilizes UV-C light in order to kill airborne bacteria and viruses. They call their three step cleaning process, the “3-in-1”. This process starts with a pre-filter of activated carbon, next the HEPA filter, and finally the UV-C light.
This combined UV-C light technology and HEPA filter have the added benefit of not adding any ozone to the air in your home.
Amazon customers who purchased this unit have given it good and strong ratings. Ratings at Walmart were also very good, along with the ratings from many other sites that reviewed home air purifiers. For medium to small sized rooms, I must agree that this is a good choice. This home air purifier is effective against household odors and airborne pollutants, thanks to the combination of the UV-C Light technology and the HEPA filter.
With the Whirlpool AP51030K, you get a three-stage filtration system that has a pre-filter, carbon filter, and true HEPA filter. The outside grille of the air purifier captures large particles, which prevent them from getting into the unit; this is like having a permanent pre-filter. The carbon filter quickly catches any large particles that have managed to get past the pre-filter; this portion of the system also gets rid of any unwanted odors and extends the life of the HEPA filter. True HEPA filtration is at the very heart of the Whispure 510. 99.97% of all particles which are 0.3 microns or bigger are removed by the HEPA filter, providing maximum air filtration for the air in your room. Particles captured by this filter include dust mites, pet dander, ragweed, pollen, mold spores, and many other microscopic irritants, all of which can cause your indoor air quality to be poor and aggravate asthma and allergy symptoms.
This air purifier will help to filtrate better than most other smaller models. The one thing that this model won’t do too well is remove odors. Even though it is pretty compact, it is very simple to use and is quite powerful. This little model is able to do just what a purifier for larger rooms do.
This model has a pretty awesome filter monitor and air sensor, which helps to remove as much pollen and dust in large to mid-sized rooms. The one thing that you have to beware of when using this air purifier is that it may be harmful to your lungs if you have any type of breathing related issues. It is pretty great, besides that one issue, but it will clean your air very thoroughly.
This model is very versatile and it is pretty quiet. It is a nice futuristic looking air purifier that does great cleaning your indoor air. It doesn’t allow you to schedule an air cleaning schedule, but it will do its job and fairly well too. The sleek design will allow you to place it just about anywhere in your home and it won’t keep you up by being super noisy.
Blueair 600 Series 650E
This air purifier will allow you to have some of the cleanest indoor air ever. Even though it is pretty large, and doesn’t have a fan speed control, you can certainly tell a difference when you use this model. It is very powerful and it basically is the best of the best. It does come with a hefty price tag, but it doesn’t have an ionizer so it is safe for anyone to use.
A special mention to O-Ion B 1000, Honeywell 50250-s, Hamilton Beach 04383A and the Honeywell Compact Air Purifier with Permanent HEPA Filter.
These are the best air purifiers that money can buy you, and when it comes to your indoor air, the best is what you need.