Over time, more and more people are getting concerned about the air they breathe due to environmental pollution. Consequently, HEPA Air Purifiers are rapidly earning popularity across every home. Through this very complete guide, you will discover why air purifiers are becoming an essential household appliance in today's homes.
What is an Air Purifier?
Just as its name entails, an air purifier is a device that automatically removes pollutants in the air within a room. Some of the common contaminants they remove include second-hand smoke from cigarettes, dust, and pollen. They can also remove other harmful carbon gasses depending on their type and complexity. The machine was used as early as the 1860’s, with modifications and different types of air purifiers coming up with time. With more contaminants being found in the modern-day home, more house-based designs were created as opposed to industrial purifiers.
How does an Air Purifier work?
Basically, each air purifier works on the principle of having air in the room pass through it. Once the air flows through the device, its pollutants are removed through different methods including filtration, electrostatic precipitation or ozone. In case you need a deeper understanding of the cleaning methods above, don’t worry. We’ll be looking at these different methods of purification more intently in the category section of this guide.
What are the benefits of Air Purifiers?
• It prevents respiratory stress resulting from allergies such as asthma. For some of us, keeping a pet along with our allergies puts us at the daily risk of having their dander in our beds, couches and other areas where it can easily cause as to begin sneezing, wheezing or having watery, itchy eyes. Breathing difficulties and even asthmatic attacks could also ensue soon after you breathe in some dander. With the use of an air purifier, however, any dander or odor left behind by a pet within the house is eliminated as air circulation continues. This allows you to breathe in cleaner air as you sleep and undertake different tasks within the home.
• Air purifiers eliminate particles such as pollen which causes hay fever in the spring. Hay fever leads to eye irritations, coughing and other breathing difficulties. Also, while your living room may be dust-free, mold spores could be growing in the damp areas of your bathroom. These could cause diseases such as lung infection and result in problems with your breathing over time. Additionally, dust gathered in the rooms of your house is a viable breeding ground for dust mites which cause skin allergies. With an air purifier, however, you can do away with these disease-causing elements, thereby saving your medical expenses not to mention the discomfort that arises from being sick.
• Air Purifiers eliminate Unpleasant Smells. We all have different cooking tastes. As a result, what I find delicious might be downright disgusting to my neighbor. While living in an apartment block, you may not get to choose your neighbors nor their food choices. You may not prevent their food’s scent from wafting into your house as well. The spicy scent of some foods such as curry and the lingering smell of some foods such as onions and rotten cabbage could be horribly difficult to remove from your house. This could not only cause discomfort to you but also to any visitors you might be hosting. Having an air purifier ensures these smells are eliminated as soon as they enter the room, leading to cleaner air overall. Consequently, you do not have to worry the next time your neighbor has left their onions on frying for too long or in case your nephew sneezes with each waft of cinnamon he inhales.
• Air Purifiers decreases the chances of getting lung cancer by eliminating cigarette smoke. Research has recorded it is scientifically possible for non-smokers to contract lung cancer through passive smoking. Smoke lingering from visits to your home by smokers or even as a result of your smoking could be eliminated by the use of a purifier. In this way, you do not have to worry about your spouse, children or even yourself from contracting this disease and the medical expenses as well as pain that come with it. Stale cigarette smoke also causes discomfort to anyone entering the room and could deter clients in case the smell is in an office. Using an air purifier helps to give people around you the comfort they deserve and lowers their chances of contracting lung cancer.
• Air Purifiers prevents the occurrence of other severe diseases that could lead to your hospitalization. Household surfaces have a broad range of disease-causing bacteria and viruses. While some illnesses may spread through the air such as common colds, we can contract others by coming into contact with any surface that has the germs on it. Additionally, areas with little air circulation and high humidity within the home provide perfect conditions for the growth and reproduction of bacteria. These bacteria can then cause you and your family to be ill. Having an air purifier ensures air is in constant circulation from the inside out. This means that there is a reduced chance that bacteria will thrive in the area leading to a lower risk for you to contract diseases from viruses of bacteria.
Categories of Air Purifiers
Different devices have adopted a variety of purification techniques to clean the air in your home. When we classify these devices according to the technology they use to purify your air, we can come up with three standard categories. They include:
1. Air filter Purifiers
In air filters, dozens of fine sieves combine to form a purification area within the purifier. Once air passes through this section of the device, contaminants such as dust and pollen get trapped within it while clean air passes through. As circulation continues, more and more pollutants are trapped within this zone leading to consistently cleaner air as time goes on.
2. Electrical Attraction Purifiers
In this category, different devices attract and trap particles using a power source. However, their mode of trapping these particles depends on the type of technology used. As a result, this category is divided into three parts. These include:
a. Electrostatic precipitation cleaners which use a fan to draw in air then charge air particles using high-voltage wires. Once the particles are charged, they pass through a series of plates containing the opposite charge. These plates then attract the contaminants and trap them within the purifier. Consequently, only clean air flows out to your home.
b. Electric filtration purifies which use synthetic fibers to trap particles. The fibers create a static charge between themselves which attracts dust and other contaminants as air passes through the purifier. The clean air then flows out of the device. Different electric filters are sold depending on an individual’s needs. The filters could be plain, disposable or reusable. How often you will have to replace the filter will depend on the choice you make. Reusable filters can be used for the longest time in this sub-category.
c. Negative ion generators have their purification zone containing small, charged needles or wires. The wires create negatively-charged air molecules which end up sticking to any contaminants the air has within it. In this way, dust and other pollutants get trapped within the purifier.
3. Ozone Generators Purifiers
our final category in classifying purifiers according to the way they clean air, convert oxygen to ozone by using high-voltage current. Ozone has great oxidation properties and therefore cleans the air in the purifier by breaking down any molecules or micro-organisms that contaminate it.
One of the best HEPA Air Purifiers selling on Amazon is the Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA Allergen Remover that covers 465 square feet. Based on consumer feedback, it is rated at an impressive four and a half out of five stars from over a thousand customer reviews. According to Honeywell, their devices capture 99.97 percent of microscopic particles that pass through their air filters. This enables the device to capture cigarette smoke as well as smoke as a result of cooking and from fireplaces. This machine can also trap pet dander and spores from mold.
The Honeywell HPA300 is an HEPA Air Purifier recommended by physicians as part of a post-allergy treatment regime and also traps dust and pollen. Perhaps one of its most striking features is how quietly it works. The purifier is one of the quietest on the market and is ideal for places you might not want loud noises such as the baby’s room, your bedroom while you sleep or even your theater or living room as you watch a movie. The unit also offers different levels of purification. They include Germ, General Clean, Allergen, and Turbo.
The Germ level is the most silent. Further, its virtually inaudible sound cleans the air to significant levels. People with allergies can comfortably use this level and still have the air around them clean as they listen to an audiobook or concentrate on different tasks. On the General Clean level, the level of cleaning is stepped up a notch. It couples the increase in filtration with a pleasant white sound that can allow you to focus on other tasks and even sleep. The last two levels, Allergen and Turbo, offer the most superior air flow and cleaning processes. They can quickly clean out large wads of pet dander or increased amounts of pollen in your house over the spring.
Conveniently, the Honeywell HPA300’s unique design allows you to set it up against a wall, thereby saving you space in the house. It also sports a sleek control panel that enables you to turn off the blue light when the purifier is running. This could be advantageous in case the purifier is in a baby’s room, and the light keeps the child from falling asleep. On the other hand, keeping the blue light on helps you know when the purifier is working amid your busy schedule since its minimal sound might not be heard during social events such as a party or family gathering.
Thankfully, the HPA 300 is easy to set up, and you can just follow the instructions that come with the manual without the need for professional help. Its mechanical fans help circulate air flow at a fast, efficient rate enabling you to breathe in clean air consistently over the day. The price range for this device is $170 - $220. Notably, most purifiers of the Honeywell HPA 300’s caliber range from over $400.
How To Select an Air Purifier
What benefits should you take into account when choosing an air purifier?
With the broad range of advantages air purifiers pose today, it is entirely understandable that you might be spoilt for choice when deciding which one you should order for your house. However, we are here to help you consider the advantages you would like best addressed and consequently get your ideal purifier. Here is a step by step guide you can use to analyze each advantage and get an air purifier today.
a) Contaminant Removal
If you already know what odors you no longer want to smell or the components in your air making you sneeze or cough, then this part is easy for you. Simply choose an air purifier that removes the pollutant you intend to target while cleaning your air. Manufacturers will list the kinds of contaminants their air purifiers can remove. Typically, these devices can eliminate the following impurities from your air:
• Particles – These can be seen without the use of a microscope and include components such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander and dust.
• Smells – These include odors from pets, food and different kinds of smoke
• Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and chemicals – Mostly, these are gasses released by other components in the house. Some are harmless while others pose a significant risk to your health. Benzene, for example, could be released by drying paint in a particular area of your house. These compounds can also be found in cleaning products, furniture, and carpeting.
• Bacteria and viruses – Some specific air purifiers can trap some bacteria from the air and prevent the spread of diseases such as the common cold to other family members.
All brands in the market claim that they are efficient in cleaning out your air. However, what degree of efficacy do you want in your air purifier? If your allergies are extremely mild or you are simply looking to get rid of pet dander or simple odors, then you might be able to use a purifier with 90 percent efficiency quite comfortably. For people with chronic allergies, however, this degree of filtration is likely to be insufficient. As such, they should choose an air purifier whose efficiency is pegged at 99 percent. This will enable them to live comfortably and undertake their tasks with ease. All in all, we suggest that you choose the air purifier with the best efficiency you can afford. Nothing beats quality, right?
c) The running costs
Every air purifier comes with its set of maintenance costs. Notably, you should realize that these expenses are not limited to the electricity bill. Most purifiers require the constant replacement of their air filters for them to continue functioning efficiently. A clogged filter is likely to release some of the previously-trapped impurities to the environment and therefore act as a contaminant in itself. For most filters, the average time to replace a filter is roughly six months to a year. In case you are looking for a more lasting solution, however, some purifiers come with filters that can be washed and reused, thereby saving you replacement costs.
d) How large is the room you want to purify?
Often, most people overlook this point then end up complaining about the purifier’s efficiency. All manufacturers will indicate the room size they recommend for a particular air purifier. The standard recommendation for a house with a ceiling of 2.2 meters is three air changes per hour for the room. If you are looking to be more specific about a purifier’s rate, some manufacturers release information on Clean Air Delivery Rate for each impurity that passes through the purifier’s filters. A higher rating means the air is cleaned faster by the purifier in question.
e) The type of filters used on the Air Purifier
Some filters are known to clean out specific types of impurities from air than others. As such, this consideration goes hand in hand with the choice of what contaminant you want to remove. Here are a few examples:
• Carbon filters on Air Purifiers are known to remove Benzene, Xylene, Oils, Toluene, some chlorinated compounds as well as Xylene
• Electrostatic filters mainly remove minuscule particles. As such, they are typically added to purifiers already containing other filters so as to increase their efficiency.
• HEPA Filters or High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting filters are used to eliminate almost all kinds of impurities. Their high degree of effectiveness has caused them to be employed in the nuclear industry to remove airborne pollutants.
• Some purifiers can come with an air sterilizer which breaks down the impurities after they have been trapped. This eliminates some types of bacteria and viruses, resulting in the containment of airborne diseases.
Once you have identified the type of contaminants you want to remove, you should look for a purifier with a suitable air filter as suggested by the above list. Consequently, you will experience purer air overall.
Depending on the location of your purifier, the degree of noise it produces while running could be critical towards your decision. Most manufacturers provide the amount of noise to be expected from their fans listed in Decibels on their product’s details. The lower the number of Decibels, the better. To give you an overall measure of Decibels, an average conversation is 50Db so choose accordingly.
Types of Air Purifiers
Now that you know what points to consider when you are buying your air purifier, it is time to discuss the different types of Air Purifiers available in the market more in detail. This will assist you in not only making a decision but also in learning how different purifiers work for future purchases.
A. HEPA Air Purifiers
A HEPA air purifier is a device that uses a High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance filter (HEPA Filter) to clean out the air in your home. The filters, as a result of their fine and randomly arranged fibers, can trap 99.97 percent of particles that are larger than 0.3 microns. To give you a rough picture of just how small that is, imagine 1/75 of a piece of your hair. That is approximately 0.1 microns. It’s pretty amazing that one filter can trap that many germs.
One of the best HEPA Air purifiers in the market today is the GermGuardian AC5350B Elite 4-in-1 Air Cleaning System. The device, just like any true HEPA purifier, removes 99.97 percent of dust and allergens as small as three-tenth of a Micron. It also comes with a charcoal filter to remove odors from smoke and pets. Are you looking for something that will kill off germs? The GermGuardian AC5350B does just that. By using its UV-C technology, this purifier works with titanium oxide so as to kill off mold spores, viruses, and bacteria. Consequently, it is excellent for allergies and purifies the air in a jiffy. However, a few hours into using the GermGuardian, it produces a scent similar to burning plastic. This smell, nonetheless, soon fades and it continues to run at top shape afterward. As a result of its excellent work, this product has been rated four and a half out of five stars on Amazon.
B. The Best Air purifier to remove odors
Wrinkling your nose at a particular scent is never a good sign. Fortunately, the OION B-1000 Permanent Filter saves you the discomfort of doing so. The OION B-1000 is specifically designed to remove odors arising from pets, cooking smoke and tobacco. Additionally, it eliminates the smell of paint and other cleaning products. From its over 2,500 customer reviews on Amazon, this product has been rated four out of five stars.
Sometimes, smoke particles could be as small as 0.03 Microns. That’s ten times less than true HEPA air purifiers are designed to eliminate. As such, choosing other brands, some of which are probably more expensive, would not provide an adequate solution. An OION B-1000 not only occupies less space but is also known for its effectiveness in eliminating odors and making sure you can spend quality time indoors despite smoke. Further, it removes bacteria and can handle a space as large as 400 square feet.
C. The Best Air Purifier for Allergies
Depending on how sensitive you are to allergens, you may consider different types of air purifiers. However, you cannot go wrong by choosing the purifier that eliminates the most allergens and ensures you experience the cleanest air possible. The Winix, WAC5500 True HEPA Air Cleaner with PlasmaWave Technology, allows you to remain unaffected by allergens around the neighborhood as a result of its powerful filtration technology. Since this is a true HEPA product, it can successfully eliminate 99.97 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns. What’s special about this product, however, is its unique PlasmaWaveTM technology that eliminates bacteria, neutralizes viruses, odors, chemical vapors and other impurities without producing harmful ozone. Further, it has a smart sensor that automatically adjusts its settings according to the environment you are in at different times. Are you thinking of cutting down on power costs? Then the Winix WAC5500 is for you. The device comes with a verified energy star meaning it saves you money. It has been an impressive rated four and a half stars on Amazon.
D. Best Air Purifier to remove Dust and Mold
Do you live in a particularly dusty area? We understand just how difficult that can be not only for your health but also for the constant cleaning you would have to do on surfaces within your house. A solution, fortunately, lies in the Honeywell HPA200 True HEPA Allergen Remover that is manufactured to cover 310 square feet. This device circulates air an average of five times per hour in each room. As such, any dust that could come into the room after one round of circulation is removed from the air in less than 12 minutes. Owing to its 4.5-star rating on Amazon, it is quite clear that a majority of customers are happy about this product’s efficiency. The device can be set to three different levels of cleaning, thereby meaning that it can be a quick fix in case you need to eliminate large amounts of dust at a time.
Purchasing an air purifier based on your room’s size allows you to have the most efficient air cleaning service. Buying a purifier that is manufactured for a smaller room and placing it in a larger area will lead to lesser air being cleaned. That means impurities causing diseases and allergies remain in the air even after purification has occurred. Here, we look at purifiers for different rooms.
E. Best Filterless Air Purifier
Filters are the basis of most purifiers in the market today. However, many people have complained about the maintenance costs of conventional purifiers. Over time, one has to replace or clean the filters. This requires time, money or both. Filterless purifiers do not need replacement and make minimal noise. However, the fact that they do not trap dust, smoke particles, pollen and other allergens makes them non-beneficial if you were looking to eliminate any of these impurities from the air in your room. Consequently, you should first consider what pollutants you want to remove before you purchase a purifier.
The best filterless air purifier is perhaps the Airfree Onix 3000. Although its manufacturer states that it can eliminate the mold, allergens, dust and germs, there is some doubt to its method of doing so. This is because it removes impurities by the use of heat, which will possibly fail to affect pollutants such as dust. Nonetheless, this product is rated four out of five stars on Amazon and has received numerous positive reviews.
How to choose an air purifier according to area size
(a) Small air purifiers
Arguably the best purifier there with regards to size and efficiency is the GermGuardian AC4100 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System. This product is available on Amazon and has been rated an impressive four stars from hundreds of customer reviews. Standing at 7.5 x 6.4 x 10.4 inches, the GermGuardian AC4100 only weighs 4.8 pounds once you set it up. Surprisingly, however, the device cleans close to 100 percent of impurities in your air that are over 0.7 microns. As a result of its solid background, it is useful for allergy treatment. It can also dissolve airborne bacteria and therefore lower your risk of contracting disease. With its three different speed choices, you can decide the intensity of cleaning you want air around you to undergo. This could prove very useful in cases where pollen, spores or dust could have piled over time such when you are returning from a trip. The fact that it has such a low height means it is perfect for small spaces. In fact, one could even confuse it for a Bluetooth speaker.
(b) Bedroom Air Purifiers
If you are looking for an air purifier that takes up minimal space and makes minimal noise, then the GermGuardian AC4900CA 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System with True HEPA Filter, UV-C Sanitizer, Allergen, and Odor Reduction is the way to go. This powerful device stands at only 8.9 x 7.1 x 21.8 inches. When setting up, it only weighs 9.6 pounds. Its small size, however, does not mean that it has inferior filtration properties. Packed with a true HEPA filter, it eliminates almost all impurities in the air with an efficiency of over 99 percent for particles larger than 0.3 microns. Further, it can still kill bacteria and viruses owing to its sanitizing feature. The GermGuardian AC4900CA is very useful for asthma patients and has been ranked amongst the top five best charcoal purifiers, HEPA Air purifiers and ranks first in the Asthma Medicine category for home appliances within air cleaners. As such, it is little wonder that this device is rated 4.5 stars according to customer reviews on Amazon.
(c) Whole House Air Purifiers
It may be tiring to set up air purifiers in every single room of your house. To combat the wastage of energy, time and money spent in repeatedly setting up these devices, you can install a whole house air purifier. As its name entails, you only require a single unit of this device to clean your entire house. The Aprilaire 2410 Whole-Home Air Cleaner not only provides a quick alternative but is also our top suggestion. With this instrument, 98 percent of dust, pollen and other articles in your house will be eliminated causing you to breathe fresher, cleaner air. What’s more, this device requires very little maintenance and can run for at least a year before any cleaning or replacement is performed. Since the Aprilaire 2410 is easy to set up, it can be done in half an hour. From then, you can enjoy the benefits of clean air that is free from allergens.
You now know enough about air purifiers to get one of your own. Buy one today and begin to enjoy its benefits!
Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier: Purify Air in Your Home Efficiently
The Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier is an amazing option for people with pets, those who suffer from respiratory conditions such as severe allergies and people who live in a highly polluted place. The Coway air purifier is a relatively stylish and compact unit, giving you plenty of options when deciding where you will keep it. In addition, it has smart technology that monitors everything about your unit on your behalf so there is no need for you to remember when you should change the filter and others.
A HEPA filter is important to ensure the efficiency of Coway AP-1512HH. HEPA effectively removes 99.97 percent of allergens so the quality of air in your home will have a drastic improvement. The HEPA filter is also included in the four stage filtration system of Coway for a thorough freshening.
Since the purifier has a smart technology, it ensures that you will also be able to enjoy more energy savings. Once pollutants such as pollen and pet dander are detected, the purifier fan is going to adjust itself. When the unit runs for 30 minutes without sensing any form of pollution, its fan will automatically shut off so it will not run continuously without doing anything. This is not something that you can judge for yourself, making it an extra useful feature.
Filter Change and Air Quality Indicators
Knowing exactly what is happening in your purifier is a must so that you can have better control over air quality. The Coway’s air quality indicator makes use of particle sensor technology, with color changing according to the air so that you know every time what type of air you are dealing with. The second indicator is meant for the filter. It is a must to change the unit’s carbon filters every 6 months while the HEPA filter should be replaced once a year. This unit will light up to inform you when it is time for that change. There is no need for you to bother keeping track of months yourself or worry that the filters no longer do their job well way before they are past their prime.
- The unit is relatively quiet and will not make any noise much larger than a fan on highest setting. You might not even know that it’s there when it is turned on so you don’t have to worry that it will disturb anyone.
- The Coway air purifier is ideal for promoting a healthier living environment. With its HEPA, dangerous pollutants and allergies are almost eliminated so you can feel better if you are suffering from allergies.
- This comes with an ionizer which attracts positively charged particles with the use of negative ions. Functioning like a margent, the ions of the purifier can pull dust, smoke, pollen and others into the filters where these are eliminated.
- The unit is much smaller than other types of air purifiers so you can put in anywhere without distracting your décor.
The Not So Good
- Doesn’t have a great odor control
Effective, compact and stylish, the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier is a wonderful option for people who want to keep the air around them clean and pure.
Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 Customizable Air Purifier: Enjoy Cleaner Air Day and Night
The air you breathe is not always as pure and clean as you want it to be. Ask anyone allergy sufferer and he or she will surely tell you that just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. The air around you filled with all types of unwanted particles, from dust, to dirt, mold spores, dander, pollen and even different kinds of airborne germs, bacteria and viruses. Many if not all of these unwanted particles are the culprits behind sneezing, coughing, lung irritation and other forms of illnesses. This is where the Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 Customizable Air Purifier can come in handy.
Air purifiers are a wonderful and simple solution to reduce the amount of unwanted air particles. The Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 makes use of high technology and special filters to lessen everything from pet dander and dust to odors and germs. Every filter has been designed for a different function and purpose which makes it a multi-functional model.
- HEPA-Pure filter is a standard filter than can reduce the amount of pet dander, dust, mold spores, pollen and other common types of allergens.
- HEPA-FreshPlust filter is a type of chemical filter which is good in removing chemical and smoke particles.
- HEPA-Silver filter removes mold, particles and germs which can worsen asthma conditions.
- HEPA-OdorCell filter is made to get rid of unwanted odors like odors from waste or pets.
- SmartSensor Technology automatically detects the quality of air in a room and adjusts the energy and filter used accordingly.
- Four various types of filter allow for removal and reduction of different unwanted particles which range from the standard allergens to odors and germs
- WhisperMax technology ensures a relatively silent performance
- Covers as much as 800 square feet of space with 220 CADR rating
- SmartSensor feature can automatically detect quality of air and reduce power according to the changing quality of air, thus prolonging the life of every filter and decreasing the unnecessary use of energy
The Not So Good
- Highest two speeds have noticeable loudness
- Filters require replacement after some time, with a high cost of replacement of the four different filters
The latest Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 Customizable Air Purifier is the company’s latest design which is made to suit your unique home, air quality and lifestyle needs. With its SmartSensor Technology, it is an air purifier which can automatically adjust itself to the air pollutants, turning the levels down or up as required. With its four different options for filters to choose from, you will be able to customize your air purifier according to your exact needs for air quality. Made with a new space saving design, this unit is 25 percent smaller compared to its predecessor yet it still offers as much as 900 square feet of coverage. Similar with the original, it gets rid of 99 percent of particles bigger than 0.3 microns. Powerful, easy to use and compact, this is a nice air purifier you can get for yourself and your family.