Nowadays, more and more people are paying attention to indoor air quality and taking advantage of various air purifiers in order to keep a clean and healthy environment in their houses or offices. However, people are often at a loss when confronted with so many different types of air purifiers. Thus, the following points are provided in order to help you find a suitable unit. Here are six things you need to consider when you buy an air purifier.
1. Which air purifier do I need?
For the majority of people, a general air purifier is sufficient to improve indoor air quality and give them clean, fresh and healthy air. But if you are allergic to certain things such as tree pollen or grass pollen, you may need an air purifier with a HEPA filter designed to relieve your allergy. This is able to remove 99.97% of common airborne allergens as small as 0.3 microns, including pollen, dust mites, pet dander, ragweed and mold spores.
More importantly, a HEPA air purifier is considered to be the most efficient unit available. If you are asthmatic or your symptoms are triggered by certain odors and chemical pollutants, perhaps you should consider an asthma air purifier or an odor and chemical air purifier, which usually contains an activated carbon filter to capture annoying odors. To save your maintenance cost, you can choose an air purifier with washable filter. Additionally, there are smoke air purifiers targeting smoke, fireplace soot and other fumes. In a word, the best air purifier is one that suits you most.
2. Do I need a true HEPA or HEPA-like filter?
A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is an air filter that has been tested and found to conform to a specific U.S. military standard. Filters classified as HEPA are able to eliminate particles as tiny as 0.3 microns with an efficiency of 99.97%. In fact, there are some “HEPA-like” or “HEPA” concept filters on the market which are not real ones, so the term “true HEPA” filters is used to distinguish each type.
Some filters for HVAC systems are labeled as “HEPA-like” because of their higher efficiency compared with ordinary panel filters. They are curved and folded like a true HEPA filter so as to increase surface area and thus diminish air resistance, which enables them to be used without upgrading the HVAC system. These “HEPA-like” filters have a better performance than panel filters but are not as good as true HEPA filters.
So don’t mistake these expensive “HEPA-like” filters for true HEPA filters.
3. Where will I place my air purifier?
An air purifier is highly recommended for your bedroom because you are likely to spend a lot of time there. Since portable air purifiers only clean the air in a single room, you have to buy another one for your living room or den if you don’t switch it from room to room.
As for choosing the proper-sized air purifier for your room, you should firstly calculate the area of your room by measuring its length and width in feet. Then, find an air purifier with a coverage that is suitable. Most manufacturers list that information in the product specifications.
4. Do I need any special features?
There are various features in air purifiers, for example, remote control, filter change indicator, air quality sensor and caster wheels, which give added value, convenience and comfort. You can choose whatever you want to depending on your personal demands and preference.
5. How much maintenance will I have to perform?
In order to achieve optimal performance, you usually have to replace the filters at certain intervals according to the manufacturers’ instructions. Generally speaking, different filters are changed after different periods. For instance, the HEPA filter may be used for almost one year under normal circumstances, while an activated carbon filter lasts six months, and a pre-filter should be replaced after only three months. Some filters are washable, so you need to do some basic cleaning. Anyway, don’t forget to consider the maintenance costs when you buy an air purifier.
6. Is noise level a concern?
The audible sound produced by an air purifier is inevitable, but its level matters. You can get the exact information on noise level—the decibel (dB) rating—from the product specifications and then compare it with that of other appliances.
Before you make your decision about which one to purchase, there are six questions you need to be clear about. Once you answer those, you will be ready to choose a suitable air purifier.