Clear the Air: A Guide to Indoor Air Purifiers

In case you have asthma or allergies, or are sensitive to pollution, you may have considered buying an air purifier to clean the air inside your house — but with so many types of filtration systems on the market, and prices ranging from $100 to nearly $1,000, it can be tough to know where to start. Have a look at this quick guide to house air purifiers to determine which are worth spending your hard-earned bucks on.

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Why use an air purifier? Indoor air pollution comes from a blend of particulate matter (dust, mold and pet dander) and gaseous pollutants (exhaust, smoke and chemical fumes), and may be much worse than the pollution outside, simply because it doesn’t have any way to dissipate.

Individuals who suffer from asthma or allergies can be especially sensitive to air quality, and with the air purifier may be useful, together with different methods of preventing pollution and allergens outside.

Kara Weik

Purify your house, not just the air. Air purifiers can work wonders for removing particulate matter from the air; the problem is that dust, pet dander and the like do not remain in the air for long. Allergens ramble to the ground and be embedded in carpets and soft furnishings — places an air purifier cannot reach. A combination approach will reduce indoor air pollution and pollution more than any 1 method alone. Here are a few strategies to try:
Eliminate Cracked carpeting; choose hardest flooring and washable area rugs.Vacuum and dust using a microfiber cloth regularly.Ban smoking in and about the house.Do not use a fireplace.Do use the exhaust fans across the stove and in the bathroom.Make that a no-shoes policy.

Robert Young Architects

How air purifiers work. There are a couple of different types of air purifiers available on the market, rather than all of these are especially powerful or safe. It is important to understand what you are purchasing, so read the fine print on your own air purifier before buying. The thing to examine is the way the air is cleaned by the purifier. It will probably use one or more of these approaches:
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter: This is the most common and one of the very best approaches available. Activated carbon: Normally used with a HEPA filter or another filter, activated carbon can help reduce pollution by bringing some compounds, which bond to the surface of the carbon.
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) cleansers: These use a UV light to kill viruses, bacteria, allergens and a few molds.
Electrostatic precipitators: Particles entering the purifier are provided a charge, then trapped on oppositely charged plates. These machines create a small amount of ozone, and this is a lung irritant and pollutant itself, therefore this kind of purifier is probably best avoided.Not successful as an air purifier in any way, ozone generators are being advertised as air conditioners, but they actually include lung-irritating ozone to your house, which can be toxic. The EPA doesn’t recommend purchasing ozone generators.

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Whole-house air cleaner or room purifier? If you’ve got a heating and cooling system (HVAC) in your house, you have the choice of using a whole-house air cleaner installed directly in the ductwork. The benefit of a whole-house system is that each of the air is cleaned, and there are no bulky appliances to manage. In-duct systems are costly, and they have to be professionally installed and maintained.

Room purifiers are a fantastic choice for smaller spaces, and multiple units can be used to clean out the air even in a larger house. They are portable, so they are a fantastic solution for tenants, and cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000 dollars per unit.

LASC Studio

Get to understand the rating systems. For in-duct air filters, look for the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) to tell how efficiently they pull particles from the air. MERV ratings vary from 1 to 20; a system rated 7 or greater is roughly as powerful as a HEPA filter.

While shopping for a room air purifier, look for a clean air delivery rate (CADR) of 250, but the greater, the better. This is a system that is voluntary, therefore not all appliances have a CADR.

An Energy Star tag on any air purifier suggests better energy efficiency but doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more powerful — so make sure you also assess the MERV or CADR score.

IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier

Merchandise pick: The HealthPro Plus from IQAir, a favorite in hospitals, has what the company calls a HyperHEPA filter as well as activated carbon to clean out the air. It doesn’t produce ozone, and also no CADR rate is recorded. The cost is high, however if you are trying to find a really heavy air air purifier, then this is the one.


Blueair Hepasilent Air Purifier 650E – $849

Merchandise pick: Another heavy version, however much sleeker looking, this HEPA air purifier from Blueair includes a high CADR of 400 for dust and 450 for pollen and smoke. It is Energy Star rated and produces no ozone.


Honeywell Enviracaire HEPA Air Purifier – $151.29

Merchandise pick: whilst not quite as glossy or strong as some of the bestselling versions, this HEPA air purifier from Honeywell includes a budget-friendly cost tag and churns out a respectable 250 CADR rating for dust, smoke and pollen.

Humanscale Zon Air Purifier – $299

Merchandise pick: Although the Zon air purifier from Humanscale has a CADR of just 115, I’m including it because it’s intended to be kept directly beside you — to not clean the air in an entire area — and for that job, a reduce CADR should still do just fine. Those suffering from asthma or allergies may place it on the nightstand while in bed, or on the desk at work to make a “bubble” of sterile air. It is small, exceeds Energy Star requirements, creates no ozone and contains recyclable filters.

Tell us Can you use an air purifier at home? In that case, have you noticed a huge difference?

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