Buying a good air purifier can not always be easy. We all want the perfect one for our specific needs. Here we are going to tell you 5 tips with some bonus tips on how to choose an air purifier.
Does it work actually?
Many of us have doubts about air purifiers, “Does it works at all”? The answer is Yes, and it is laboratory tested by researchers and authorities. Air filtration has a significant effect on indoor air quality improvement (source). An air purifier filters the air with a fibrous filter with the help of a fan to circulate and pull the air through the filter. Although some air purifiers have other filtration technology rather than the coarse filter and might not require a fan.
So, a basic Air Purifier = Filter + Fan
There are hundreds of air purifiers in the market. Instead, you should focus on how you can effectively select an air purifier for your specific needs. Here we are giving you some tips so you can buy the right air purifier for you.
5 tips to how to choose an air purifier:
Here are the key points you need to consider before buy.
HEPA: At first check, the filter used on the air purifier is High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA), not HEPA-type or HEPA-like. A HEPA or True-HEPA filter can trap 99.97% air pollutants like mold, dust mites, pollen, tobacco smoke and other particles as small as 0.3 microns. It is the primary filter of an air purifier. Do not select ozone generators as air purifiers use for the home. Ozone is harmful to the lungs, and HEPA air purifiers are entirely ozone-free. Check out our reviews on Top 5 Ozone-free air purifiers.
Pre-filter: Many manufacturers use pre-filter/s before the polluted air goes through the primary HEPA filter on their air purifiers. It can increase efficiency, including the lifespan of the HEPA filter with some extra cost.
Activated Carbon: Most of the air purifiers are designed to remove particles, and they do not perform great against gases like CO, NO2, and odors. Activated carbon, commonly known as an activated charcoal filter, can significantly reduce the gases and ordos by absorbing it from the air. It can be costly for both purchase and maintain.
Note: A HEPA filter needs to be replaced in 6-12 months, and for activated charcoal filters it’s 3-6 months. It varies from different manufacturers and unit models. You will need to clean the pre-filters regularly. Some filters are washable by a vacuum cleaner.
2. Fan & Noise:
The fan is the second most significant component of an air purifier. A powerful fan means powerful cleaning. You also should check the noise level too. Air purifiers typically have multiple fan speed mode. Usually, the noise level of air purifier lies around 50 to 55 dB on the highest fan speed setting.
Read our reviews >> Best Quiet Air Purifiers for Sleep
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR): Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR), measured as cubic feet per minute (cfm) is the most significant factor in choosing an air purifier. Larger CADR means excellent efficiency. However, you should choose the right one for your specific need as a better value for money.
There are three separate CADR rating for air purifier and AHAM give this certificate for an individual air purifier. The CADR value is only for when you run it on the highest speed mode. Some air purifiers provide their self tested CADR rating.
CADR Calculation For Air Purifier
Find out your required CADR with our flexible CADR Calculator before buying an air purifier.
Air Changes per Hour (ACH): Air Changes per Hour is known as ACH, or ACPH is how many times an air purifier can clean the air for a specific sized of room in an hour. You will get low ACH on a more substantial area or high ACH in a smaller space. For massive amounts of pollutants, like smoke, you need a higher air exchange rate.
Use our ACH calculator below. For smoke or heavy air pollutants, ACH should be at least 5. Enter the air delivery rate in cfm (cubic feet per minute) and your room dimensions in square feet to get the air exchange rate (ACH).
ACH Calculation For Air Purifier
The Formula is, Air Changes Per Hour = (Airflow rate in cfm x 60) / (L x W x H)
Use our simple Air Changes Per Hour Calculator to find ACH
4. Sensors & Smartness:
Do you know sensors make a device what? Yes, Smart. Most of the air purifiers have necessary air quality monitoring sensors built-in inside. They can operate automatically based on surround air quality. Almost all of them have timer options; some come with a remote controller. Some smart air purifiers come with built-in wireless technology (Bluetooth or wi-fi), and you can control them from your smartphones. Few are works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.
You also can bring a separate air quality monitor to your home. Read our reviews on 7 Best Air Quality Monitors in 2019.
5. Criteria to Choose:
Smoke: If your primary concern is smoke removal, then the fan must need to be powerful to clean the air faster. Also, you should select a higher CDR rating than you need to. Also, check the air changes per hour is at least 5 to get effective cleaning. You can review our Top Picks of Smoke Air Purifiers. Read our comprehensive step-by-step guide on How to Choose an Air Purifier for Smoke Removal.
Allergies and Asthma: If you want to bring an air purifier for allergies, asthma problems or children and/or older persons, then you might need to run the air purifier all night. In this case, you need to choose an air purifier with lower fan noise. It needs to be quieter on lower fan settings. Some self-control features could help run overnight when you are asleep. Also, UV-C equipped filter will help to kill airborne bacteria and other organisms.
Odor & Gas: If odors and gas pollution is your first concern, then you need to select an activated charcoal filter equipped air purifier. The thicker and larger filter area could be useful for absorbing gas and odors at a higher rate.
Mold: Air purifiers can not control mold growth. It only cleans the airborne mold spores. You can reduce mold growth by controlling the indoor humidity level. Read our blog post on Tips for Improving Indoor Air Quality.
Certification: Check the AHAM certification for CADR rating on the label, though this is not mandatory because AHAM is just an association of manufacturers. You also can check the Energy Star rating for getting some savings on energy bills.
Don’t go for: Air purifiers that use only Ionizers, Electrostatic precipitation (ESP), photocatalytic oxidation (PCO), Plasma may generate a high amount of ozone and other harmful byproducts. These air purifiers are not suggested to use at home. Read our article on Common Air Cleaning Technologies of Air Purifiers.
Placement & Maintenance:
Put your air purifier where you spend most of the time in the home. Place it in a suitable place so that the device can easily circulate the air in the room. Don’t put it near the door or windows. Here are our complete Tips to Use an Air Purifier to get the best result.
Regularly clean the washable filters. Change the filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Read the commonly asked question and answers about air purifiers.
Do you have another reason to buy an air purifier you didn’t find in this article? Comment below, and we would love to help you. Find this article helpful? Please share it with your loved ones to help them to choose the right air purifier. Cheers!