Shopping for an air purifier can be frustrating because there are thousands of air purifiers out on the market today. Furthermore, many high-quality air purifiers share similarities in terms of technology.
The air purifier that will best suit your needs will depend on many factors, such as the size of the room you want to purify. With that being said, we will share with you some of the most important things you should look out for when shopping for air purifiers.
Reasons You Should Own an Air Purifier
- Helps with asthma and allergic reactions triggered by dust particles and pollen.
- It can help clean the air of viruses and bacteria that make your family members sick.
- Beneficial if you or any of your family members smoke.
- If you are near major highways or in locations always affected by bushfires, an air purifier can help significantly.
Remember that air purifiers can only filter out dust particles and other pollutants floating or present in the air. Therefore, you should still vacuum or wipe your furniture and the floor.
Steps on How to Choose an Air Purifier
Step 1: Do not get carried away by marketing ads
Many marketing ads have false claims that are not backed up by any scientific or technological tests.
For instance, one air purifier brand claims that its model can destroy airborne viruses, which is false because HEPA filters cannot wholly destroy 100% of airborne viruses, especially tiny particles. Any small particles trapped can continue to live in the filter for 200 days.
So, ignore these too-good-to-be-true marketing ads and stick with science and technology facts.
Step 2: Focus on Facts
Instead of being carried away by the marketing hype, you should focus more on the facts and the numbers.
For an air purifier, the most important number to focus on is the room size that it can cover and the CADR rating.
Room size, measured in sqft or m2, indicates the room the air purifier can cover when running on the highest setting. On the other hand, CADR is how much clean air will come out of the air purifier.
Step 3: The most expensive doesn’t mean better.
The most expensive air purifiers don’t mean utilizing the highest quality technology. Paying more for the protection of your health seems reasonable; however, it doesn’t always work like that in the air purifier industry,
In reality, air purifiers are pretty simple; you just have to do your research and know what components are needed for a good air purifier to work.
Step 4: Check for the third-party test data.
If you have already found an air purifier you like, all you have to do is check the third-party data to back up all the brand’s claims.
Search for good resources that show consumer reports tests, such as the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.
What to Look for When Buying an Air Purifier
Here are some factors you need to check out when shopping for air purifiers:
Size compatibility is an essential factor to look for when buying an air purifier because different models are designed to clean the air in rooms of particular sizes.
Ask a customer service representative about an air purifier that is compatible with the size of your room or office. You can buy a model that can effectively cover a slightly bigger room to save electricity bills. This will make the air purifier effective even at a lower setting.
Avoid air purifiers brands that advertise “HEPA-like” or “HEPA type” filters; instead, look out for legit HEPA filters.
Legit HEPA filters are more effective at cleaning the air and removing tiny pathogens. If you want to remove gases and odors, you should look for an air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA filters.
Level of Noise
Many air purifiers that utilize HEPA filters can make noise from 35 to 70 dB or decibels. You can adjust the noise level through the operational settings.
Choose an air purifier that can still be effective even when set to a lower noise level to avoid sleep disruptions.
CADR (Clean-Air Delivery Rate)
The CADR of an air purifier will specify the overall cleaning speed for that specific size room. This number will show how fast an air purifier can filter out dust particles, pollen, and smoke, three of the most common indoor pollutants.
Smoke is the smallest particle that ranges between 0.1 to 0.3 microns. Dust particle sizes range between 0.5 to 3 microns, while pollen particle sizes range between 5 to 11 microns. The higher the CADR number, the quicker it can purify the area.
CADR is measured in CPM or cubic feet per minute and is based on the standards set by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers or AHAM.
Allergy- and Allergy-Friendly Certification
Many products on the market claim that they can control allergens, but most often than not, these claims are overemphasized.
To help you choose the best air purifier, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation and Allergy Standard Limited (ASL) built a certification program wherein they run a product through numerous tests to ensure it can remove most of the harmful particles in the air.
Once the product is evident on all the tests, it will earn the “asthma and allergy-friendly” mark. This will certify that you have a quality air purifier with exceptional air filtration ability suitable for anyone with allergies.
Air purifiers can generate ozone during their filtration process. Ozone gas can damage an individual’s respiratory system. Thus, you have to check an air purifier’s ozone emission before buying.
ACH Rating (Air Changer Per Hour)
The ACH rating is a number that will show how many times per hour the entire volume of air in an area or room gets filtered.
For anyone with asthma or allergies, air purifiers with a 4x or 5x ACH rating are best since these ratings mean that the air is filtered faster and decreases the chances of leaving pathogens behind.
Choosing the Right Accessories
When buying an air purifier, you also have to consider its best features and accessories. Air purifiers differ from each other because they do not come with the same accessories and do not utilize the same filter.
Some air purifiers, such as the HisoMedical HA-W400, come equipped with remote control, touch-screen, and WiFi intelligent control features. In contrast, other air purifiers have sensors and can be connected to home automation systems.
Most low-end and mid-range cleaners do not have a digital display feature, which means they lack data regarding the amount of indoor pollutants present and the air quality. This will make it impossible to figure out if they are effective.
Air Purifier Costs
When buying an air purifier, you should also look at the operating costs instead of just the price. Operating costs include:
Energy consumption often stays at a reasonable rate unless your air purifier comes with features like heating or AC. A lot of high-end air purifiers usually have an “all-in-one” function and have an “energy-saving” or “sleep” setting to consume less energy.
The number of filters and how often they need to be changed can increase operating costs. Some air purifier filters need to be changed regularly, while others can be changed every quarter, which is expensive and negatively affects the environment.
Therefore, you should look for air purifiers that don’t use multiple filters that need to be changed individually and regularly.
How much does an air purifier cost?
Air purifiers usually cost about $200 to $500. However, this can go over $1000. Depending on the model and the brand, replacement filters or filter sets can cost $40 to $100.
Most air purifier models that Consumer Reports suggest you buy can cost about $200 up to $900. Fortunately, many air purifier models cost $30 less per year and are 40 percent more energy-efficient than standard models.
You can do your research and find out how much your air purifier cost to run 24 hours a day for one year, add to that the cost of filter replacements to get your annual operating price.
Are air purifiers worth it?
Air purifiers are worth it if other methods such as removing pollutant sources and natural ventilation are not possible or not enough. Air purifiers can help keep indoor pollution at bay, and some can efficiently filter smoke, dust particles, and pollen from the air.
Buying an air purifier can be complicated if you do not know what features to look for. Before purchasing an air purifier, you have to make sure you really need one, and always remember that the first thing you should do is not get carried away by the marketing hype; instead, focus on what matters, the numbers and the facts.
Once you find an air purifier, fact-check all its claims and make sure they can efficiently help in purifying the air around your room. However, you should not forget that eliminating the cause of pollutants (i.e. vacuuming, less usage of toxic-causing household products) is also essential.