10 Tips on How to Buy a Good Air Purifier For Your Home
The quality of life we lead depends on several factors, and the quality of the air we breathe is probably the most critical. Though we can do very little to purify outdoor air, as it is a collective effort, indoor air can certainly be maintained, thanks to air purifiers. And this brings us to the question: how to buy a good air purifier?
There are several things to keep in mind before you figure out how to buy an air purifier, and the following 10 steps will lead you to an answer.
1) Why do you need an air purifier?
This is crucial as the type of air purifier you may need depends on several factors. They are:
Any allergy? For relief from allergies, you must choose an air purifier that has multiple filters, including high-efficiency particulate absorber (HEPA) filters. These are very effective in removing allergens.
Have asthma? For those who have asthma, it’s best to go for an asthma air purifier. But if odour or chemical pollutants trigger the condition, then consider an odour and chemical air purifier. They include added odour, chemical filters and HEPA filters to remove allergens.
Smoke: If your respiratory condition is being aggravated by smoke, fireplace soot and other associated fumes, consider smoke air purifiers.
Pet trouble: If you are having trouble with pet dander, odour or hair, then there are particular HEPA Air Cleaning Systems designed specifically for this.
Sensitive to certain chemicals: Some people are sensitive to certain chemicals, and in such cases, one may need a Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) air purifier.
2. Size matters:
The size of the air purifier you may need depends on the size of the area where you would want to install it.
- The first step is to measure the size of the room where you want to install the air purifier
- Choose the air purifier which is recommended for your room size
- Manufacturers usually suggest room size and the corresponding size of the air purifier
The size of the air purifier you buy also depends on the Air Change Per Hour (ACH) rate.
3. Effectiveness :
The effectiveness of an air purifier can be best measured by checking the ACH rate. Simply put, ACH rate is the number of times an air purifier filters the air in a room within an hour.
Why is ACH important?
- People who live in cities with high levels of pollution must have at least a 4 ACH air purifier
- People who suffer from asthma and allergies must have a 4 ACH air purifier
- A 4 ACH air purifier thoroughly cleans the air and filters out several microscopic symptom-triggering allergens
What’s the correlation with size?
|Room Size||Air purifier|
|Up to 299 sqft||Small 4 ACH|
|300-699 sqft||Medium 4 ACH|
|700-1,900 sqft||Large 4ACH|
4. Check CADR rating:
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) refers to how quickly an air purifier can function.
- CADR mainly reflects how many cubic feet of air an air purifier can filter in a minute.
- A higher CADR rating air filter is recommended for a large area.
- A combination of CADR and ACH rate can help you in choosing the most effective air purifier for your room.
- A major area of concern is that some brands play up the CADR and neglect ACH.
- Be wary of such models, as though the coverage area may be higher, as indicated by the CADR rating, the air purifier will be less effective as the ACH rate may be below 4.
5. What type of filter?
The effectiveness of an air purifier also depends on the quality and the type of filter. Choosing the right filter depends on several factors: They are:
- For general use, a HEPA filter is sufficient
- It can filter 99.9% of the particles and up to 0.3 microns
- To filter particles less than 0.3 microns, it’s better to use an ultrafine particle filter along with the HEPA filter
- If you are facing a problem with odour, an activated carbon filter will have to be used along with the HEPA filter
- To remove cooking odour, use light mesh-like carbon filters
- To remove gas and chemical odours, use carbon filters with activated carbon pellets
- To remove air-borne germs and bacteria, use filters with an anti-bacterial coating
- Also, ask for a pre-filter as it increases the life span of the other filters inside the air purifier system
6. What to avoid?
It’s not always about choosing, there are certain features that one must avoid too. So, what should you avoid?
- Always avoid UV light-based models
- Avoid ionisers as they release ozone as a byproduct which can cause respiratory problems
This is quite tricky as there are only two standards that are considered by the industry.
- The first is AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) from the USA and the second CQC (China Quality Certification Centre).
- These certifications, however, ensure only the minimum standard of quality and performance.
8. Features offered:
From phones to air conditioners, what distinguishes each product is the features that are offered with every model. And it is no different with air purifiers too. So, while choosing an air purifier, do check the features. Some special features that you may need are:
- Fully digital with remote control
- Multiple fan speeds
- Filter change indicators (this is crucial)
- Timers that can be programmed
- Sensors to check air quality
- Caster wheels and handles (if you want to move the unit around your residence)
- Smart air purifiers or Wi-Fi purifiers which can be controlled through your smartphone
9. Noise levels:
Yes, like air conditioners, air purifiers, too, can be noisy, so do not choose models with more than 55 decibels rating. At top fan speed, the ideal noise level should be 35 decibels.
10. After sales, service costs and warranty:
This holds good for all products.
- With respect to air purifiers, filters can prove costly as they have to be changed periodically.
- For this, the service provider must have filters, and the service centres must cater to the customer’s needs.
- And like all things that come with a warranty, do not forget to check the terms and conditions.
With rising pollution levels across the world, air purifiers are slowly becoming a necessity. And these 10 steps can help you in the quest to buy a good air purifier for your home.