Air Purifier Buying Guide – How to Choose an Air Purifier?

There are several reasons why people decide to buy an air purifier. These reasons are all related to the particles floating in the air. You might want to get rid of odors, smoke, pollens, dust or chemicals emitted by detergents. There are various air purifiers that can help you solve each of these problems.

Sometimes it is not enough to open the windows or to clean up your room. On average, there are two to five times more pollutants floating in your room compared to the amount you can measure in the air outside.

You are probably cooking, smoking or cleaning with certain detergents on a daily basis. Not to mention the amount of pollutants generated if you have pets or perhaps a mold growing in the corner. These all constantly generate various harmful or unpleasant particles.

For such reasons, it might be the best idea to buy an air purifier and get rid of those pollutants all at once.

How can Air Purifiers Help?

In order to keep the air fresh and free of particles such as allergens and other pollutants, you can do two things. First off, you can open the windows and thus ensure the flow of fresh air in your home. However, this is not going to be enough if a particular room is hard to ventilate.

Also, there can be still pollens in the air that will irritate those who are sensitive to them. In this case, you need to get an air purifier. With such device, you will be able to filter out the pollutants from the air with high effectiveness.

These air purifiers are often portable and even though you can use them for only one room, you can still buy more of them or carry them over. We are going to show you how to choose the perfect device depending on the size of your room. By investing in an air purifier, you can finally say good bye to pollens, smoke, dust and odors.

Types of Air Purifiers

After checking a few stores online, it becomes obvious that there are various types of air purifiers available in the market. There are numerous brands that manufacture them for different purposes. If you are not familiar with these products, then it is going to be rather hard to pick the right one.

Don’t worry, we are here to help. In fact, air purifiers can be based on only five technologies. There are HEPA, Ionic, Activated carbon, UV filters, and Ozone generators. These can be used for different purposes based on the type of indoor air pollutants you want to get rid of.

Below, we are going to explain how each of these technologies work including their main benefits and disadvantages.

HEPA

HEPA is the most commonly bough technology when it comes to air purifiers. Thanks to the dense filter used in these devices, you will be able to clean the air from most airborne contaminants. As the air flows through the filter, all these particles get trapped and what comes out the other side is fresh and healthy air.

There is an abundance of HEPA filters to choose from. It is best to look for air purifiers that have the “True HEPA” label in their name. Those are the ones you can absolutely trust. Buying one of those will guarantee that more than 99.9% of microbes that are at least 0.3 microns in size are going to be gone.

We are not saying that other HEPA or HEPA-like filters are bad. However, you need to be aware of the fact that those only filter out particles that are equal or bigger than 2 to 5 microns. A True HEPA filter, on the other hand, traps dust, hair, mold spores, pollen and smoke.

The bad thing about it is that it’s not going to do anything against odors.

Activated Carbon

The best thing about activated carbon is that it’s full of pores that are able to catch odors, gases and fumes. When these particles get in contact with the pores, a charge is generated between the molecules that will lock them down. Even a small amount of activated carbon could cover a huge surface area if all its pores were spread out evenly.

This leaves no chance for the contaminants to go through it. Now this technology is not going to help you get rid of allergens and other particles that can be harmful for your health. Although if you want to get rid of odors in your house, then an activated carbon air purifier is going to be a great choice.

We can highly recommend it if you want your home to smell fresh every day. In a house where odors produced by smoking, cooking, cleaning or keeping pets get accumulated, the activated carbon-based technology is going to help a lot.

Ozone Generators

Ozone generators fill the air with charged particles that are called ions. As a result, the impurities in the air get attached to these charged particles and fall down to the ground or land on other surfaces. If your main goal is to get rid of mold or pathogens, then buying an ozone generator can be a good idea.

Before buying one of these devices, you need to be aware of the fact that they generate ozone. The ones that don’t generate that much ozone are usually not as powerful, therefore less effective. The more ozone there is in the air around you, the higher the chance that you are going to develop health issues.

Lung tissue inflammation, coughing and throat irritation can all be caused by high ozone concentration. For those who suffer from respiratory problems, the exposure to ozone can cause even more damage. It is basically a lung irritant so you need to be really careful and informed when it comes to buying ozone generators.

Ionic

Yet another interesting technology to talk about. What ionic filters do is they continuously emit charged ions that collect the particles they run into. The contaminants locked down by the ions simply fall down and land on the surface of your floor or furniture.

Another way these air purifiers work is they come with an electrostatic plate. When this charged plate is active, it attracts the particles, removing them from the abovementioned surfaces. As a result, you can completely remove the contaminants from your home.

It is so effective that even if those particles are as small as 0.01 microns, they are going to be removed by removed by the electrostatic plate. With such an air purifier, you are able to remove mold spores, a range of viruses and bacteria, pollen, dust and chemicals emitted by detergents.

Since this technology doesn’t need a fan, these devices barely make any sound.

UV

Air purifiers based on UV technology are designed for germicidal irradiation. Using UV lamps, these devices are able to eradicate bacteria, fungal spores and viruses that can be found in the air. In order for this method to work, the UV lights need to be powerful enough.

It is important to mention that the UV light produced by these devices is safe for humans. In fact, it is emitted strictly inside the device so no one will be exposed to it. When the particular virus, bacterium or spore gets in contact with the UV, its DNA structure falls apart and it disappears.

You can also call it a sterilizator that will help you destroy particles that can potentially make you sick. Keep in mind that these air purifiers can’t be used for anything else. If you want to get rid of dust, pollens, odors, smoke and other particles as well, you need to buy one that has additional filters.

How to Choose an Air Purifier?

Which are the most important factors to take into account when choosing an air purifier? We are going to continue by going through each of these important factors in great detail. It is important to know how to find the best air purifier based on your budget, its certifications, its noise level and the size of the room you want to use it for.

Budget and Cost of Filters

It is not only the cost of air purifiers that matters here. People often use these devices for years. Therefore, you need to think long-term and include the cost of replacement filters into the equation. Depending on how big the air purifier is and its technology, you will need to pay 20$ to 200$ for each new filter.

Not only that the filter costs vary but the product lifetime of each filter type also differ from each other. Therefore, you need to check the price of these filters and how often they need to be changed before buying an air purifier.

You can surely save some money by buying a cheap air purifier. However, make sure it is powerful enough, that it’s certified and that the technology fits to your needs. If these prerequisites are not met, you are going to end up with a useless device.

Room Size

The size of the room you need the air purifier for is going to be one of the main factors that will determine which one you are going to buy. If you need it to a large living space, for example, then low-performance desktop purifiers are completely out of the question.

Buying a big and powerful air purifier, on the other hand, is going to be a waste of your money if you need it for a small living room. In order to find the right one, you need to take a look at the specs of each air purifier. Look for “air changes per hour”, as this information is always included in the product description.

This will tell you how many times the air purifier is going to completely filter the air in the room within an hour. It is measured in square feet, which can be compared to your room size. However, buying an air purifier that is a bit stronger compared to your calculations is always a good idea.

Certification

It is important to take a look at the packaging or the description of a particular air purifier. You are probably going to use that device a lot. Therefore, you need to check how energy-efficient it is. If the air purifier is certified with an Energy Star, it is a good sign. Then it means that it’s 40 percent more efficient than the average, standard ones out there.

It is also great if the model is tested by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. They clarify its clean air delivery rate compared to different room sizes. The label you should look for is an AHAM seal. The abbreviation for clean air delivery rate is CADR.

It shows you precisely how many cubic feet of air can it filter through on maximized settings per minute. For bigger rooms, you need to look for an air purifier with a high CADR rate. HEPA air purifiers are usually high-CADR devices. CADR is also not a general term, as there are different values assigned to different particles.

Noise Level

An air purifier can be powerful and effective while being quite loud. You need to determine whether the sound level produced by the device is tolerable or not. Remember that you are going to use it a lot, if not all day. Therefore, it might be better to buy the quiet one over the slightly more powerful but loud model.

Check the description and look for the number that shows how many decibels will the air purifier operate on. Noise levels usually differ depending on the settings you use the device on.

How to Maintain Your Air Purifier?

Don’t wait until the filter in your air purifier is completely contaminated. Make sure to clean or replace them a bit earlier than the recommended period of time. Depending on how strong the air purifier is, you might not need to use it on the highest settings.

After a few days, you will figure out the perfect settings for the device that will ensure that only the necessary amount of air is filtered through. This way, you are not overusing it. Also, make it a habit to open the windows in the room every day and to keep smoking and the use of detergents, glues and paint at a minimum.

This will ensure that the filter doesn’t get contaminated too quickly.

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality?

An air purifier is not going to magically destroy all the contaminants that can be found in the room. There are other ways to ensure that the air is fresh and clean. You will need to maintain the area around the air purifier in the same way as you did before buying the device.

Instead of making it harder for the air purifier to kill the particles, clean up regularly and limit the use of air-contaminating substances.

Use Quality Air Purifier

An air purifier is something that you are going to use every day, several hours a day. Therefore, it always pays off to look for a high-quality one. Spend some time to compare different models and read their descriptions in great detail.

Look for certificates, ratings and customer feedback on each model. In this article, you can find all the information you need about how to distinguish the really good air purifiers from the ones that are not worth your money. At first, you always need to pick a filtration technology based on what you want to use the air purifier for.

Vacuum Regularly

Despite the fact that air purifiers can filter out most of the harmful particles from the air, you will still need to use the vacuum cleaner. Not all the particles are floating in the air. Dust mites and pet hair, for example, tend to settle on the carpet, couch, armchair and other furniture.

It is recommended to vacuum twice a week and carefully go through all these surfaces. The best way to go about it is to use vacuum cleaners with HEPA filtration.

Reduce Use of Chemicals

There are many home detergents, glues and paints that can be harmful to your health. Even though you can buy an air purifier that catches those chemical particles, it won’t do it immediately. It takes some time until all the air in the room goes through the filter.

In the meanwhile, you are exposed to these dangerous chemicals that can cause respiratory and other problems. It is best to minimize the use of these detergents. Also, make sure that you store them in a separate room.

Avoid Indoor Smoking

Not only smoking but the frequent use of fireplaces and candles can also make it much harder for your air purifier to work effectively. If there is excessive smoking going on in your living room, let’s say, then buying such device is definitely not going to be the ultimate solution.

Smoke is another thing that saturates the material of your furniture, carpets and curtains. An air purifier is not going to pull all those contaminants out. It is always better to just not smoke indoors.

Ventilate Your Home

There is no reason not to open the window or the terrace door on a nice, shiny or slightly windy day. However, you need to do this on those days when the pollen concentration is low. Instead of your air purifier recycling the air trapped in the room, there will be some fresh and oxygenated air to work with.

Turning your air conditioner on is also a great idea if you are sensitive to allergens.

Conclusion

Based on the information we shared, you can see that there is no all-in-one air purifier in the market that suits everyone’s needs. You need to take many factors into account in order to decide which one to buy. Don’t forget to check the CADR ratings of each model according to the contaminants you want to get rid of in your home.

Choosing an air purifier that is powerful enough or even a bit more compared to your room is very important. Besides that, consider how much noise you can tolerate from such device and how portable you want it to be. Hopefully this article helped you to choose the perfect one.