How to Choose the Best Air Purifiers for Your Home

Best Air Purifiers in ActionAir purifiers are a great device for your home or business because they remove harmful contaminants from the air such as dust, pollen, bacteria, viruses, mold, and gases.

Most notably, these units are a lifesaver for people that suffer from allergies or have asthma.

These devices also have a profound effect on reducing second-hand tobacco smoke and its odor.

Air purifiers are very affordable, easy to install and manage. Since they come with many different features, it’s important that you learn how to choose the best air purifier for your needs.

Our goal with this website is to share with you what the best air purifiers available on the market today are as well as educational information on every aspect of these devices.

Below, you’ll find this free guide divided into three parts:

  1. A Quick Introduction to Air Purifiers
  2. Important Features to Consider
  3. Common Questions and Answers

A Quick Introduction to Air Purifiers

Air purifiers are a type of product that actually cleans the air of the location where they are placed. While activated, they continually reduce the concentration of harmful contaminants such as dust, pollen, plant spores, fungi, mold, pet dander, and smoke particles that pose a significant risk to your health.

The technology for air purifiers is increasing at such a rapid rate that some of these devices can now eliminate other dangerous toxins invading the air around us including bacteria, viruses, other airborne germs.

What is the Best Air Purifier for Certain Needs?

While some air purifiers are built to be a general all-purpose air cleaner, other models are designed to combat specific problems inside the home. If you’re looking to get help with certain needs, then these links below can help.

Important Features to Consider on Air Purifiers

In order for you to provide a safe and clean air environment for your home, you should understand the different features that air purifiers offer. This will allow you to find the best solution for your needs and budget.

When looking at air purifier reviews and ratings you will need to consider these features: filter type, area coverage, air changes per hour (ACH), clean air delivery rate (CADR), noise level, energy usage, and price.

For further explanation about all of these features, continue reading below.

Filter Type

There are several different types of purifier filters for you to consider when looking at reviews for air purifiers. These include HEPA, ionic, ultra violet and carbon filters. Some purifiers feature only one type of filter while others contain a combination of two different types.

  • HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. A HEPA filter captures 99.97% of particles from there air, such as dust, pollen, pet dander and mold spores. Allergists and doctors highly recommend HEPA purifiers because of their ability to remove harmful contaminants down to the microscopic level. These must be replaced annually so make sure to check on the cost of replacement for the air purifier model that you choose.
  • Ionic filter models (also known as ionizers) have a unique technology behind them. An air ionizer is built around a negative ion generator. The generator works by sending out negative ions into the air in order to attract positive particles, such as dust and allergens. When the two ions meet, the particles become much heavier and as a result fal,l on to the floor. You’ll find that some Some ionic devices have what’s called an “electrostatic precipitator.” What this does is collects these particles onto a plate that you can then wash clean using water. If a unit you are considering contains this feature, the plate must be cleaned regularly.
  • Ultra Violet (UV) purifiers don’t actually use a filter to remove contaminants from the air. Instead, they send out an ultra violet light that kills harmful pathogens and bacteria floating in the air by breaking the molecular bond in their DNA. UV purifiers are excellent at killing molds, viruses, bacteria and harmful yeasts, however, they will not remove dust or allergens in the air. Therefore, this type of air purifier is best used in conjunction with other types of filters.
  • A carbon filter is very efficient at removing particle contaminants in the air such as smoke, chemicals, gases, and odors. Because of their limited pollutant removal, most often you’ll find this type of filter combined as a pre-filter with another type of filter.

Area Coverage (Room Size)

This is a very important feature to consider when looking for the best air purifiers regardless of the technology that it uses. Make sure that the square footage listed on the device is equal to or greater than the space of the room it will be placed in.

Not sure how to calculate square footage? Here is an easy to use square footage calculator for you to use.

Air Changes Per Hour (ACH) Rating

This feature tells you how frequently the air purifier exchanges air within the room. An ACH rating of 8 means that it exchanges all of the air within its maximum area of coverage eight times per hour. Asthmatics would want to see at least a rating of 4, but preferably a 6 or 8 when looking at air purifier reviews.

Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) Rating

The CADR rating tells you how well the air is purified by the device. This rating is calculated by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) and if the unit has been tested against the AHAM standards it will also contain a certification seal. This rating is important when considering an air purifier because it will tell you exactly how effective it is against removing three particular air contaminants: dust, pollen and tobacco smoke.

Noise Level

An important concern for most people looking to purchase the best air purifier for home use is the amount of noise the device emits. If you are looking for a purifier for the living room of your home, it wouldn’t make sense to get a unit that emits a very loud noise. On the contrary, if you are looking to add a purifier to the warehouse section of a business, noise may not be that big of a factor and a louder unit may be acceptable.

Most air purifiers have a decibel rating listed on the package. The chart below will give you a good idea of how loud it will be compared to things you are most familiar with.

10 dB – Breathing

20 dB – Falling Leaves

30 dB – Whisper

40 dB – Raindrops

50 dB – Average Home

60 dB – Normal Speech

70 dB – Vacuum Cleaner

80 dB – Alarm Clock

Energy Usage

Unlike most appliances, air purifiers usually run continuously throughout the day. At first, you may have a concern for how much this will affect your electricity bill. However, you’ll find that most purifiers use very little energy to operate. In fact, most units consume anywhere between 50 to 300 watts of electricity. To help put this into perspective, a standard light bulb consumes 60 watts, while a computer uses 350 watts.

Here’s a quick example of energy usage and cost. If your purifier uses 175 watts and is operating 24 hours per day all year long, it would cost you about $12.75 per month or $153 per year to operate it. If cost is still a major concern we suggest the best air purifiers for your needs would be one that is Energy Star Certified. An Energy Star unit is 40% more efficient than standard models and can save you about 230 kilowatts per hour each year, which results in a $25 saving on your electricity bill. Always look for this rating in reviews on air purifiers.

Common Questions

Do I Really Need an Air Purifier?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that indoor air pollutants may be two to five times higher than the levels outdoors. And, like most people, we spend about 80-90% of our time inside. The most common contaminants that affect allergies and asthma include dust, pollen, mold, pet dander, tobacco smoke and airborne chemicals. Therefore, almost every person can benefit from the use of an air purifier in their home or business.

Why is Indoor Air More Polluted than Outdoor Air?

It may come as a surprise to some of you that the indoor air quality of your home or business is actually far worse than the outdoors. Many people think that by being inside of a closed room that they are protected from harmful air pollutants. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The major reasons why indoor air purifiers are a necessity for many of us to have is because our homes and businesses lack proper ventilation, contain dust and dust mites, enclose smoke from tobacco, heaters, fireplaces or chimneys, are infested with volatile organic and inorganic compounds such as paints solvents and aerosol sprays, as well as harbor radon (a harmful, colorless, odorless, radioactive gas).

Where Should I Place an Air Purifier?

For the best results, you should place your air purifier in the room(s) you spend the most time. For home use, this includes the living room and bedroom. For a business, it should be any and all areas where employees or customers spend large amounts of time.

Why Should I Use a Portable Air Purifier Instead of Installing a Central In-Duct Purifier?

The simple answer is the price. A central, in-duct purifier system will cost several thousand dollars to install and hundreds of dollars to maintain. Most portable air purifiers can achieve similar air cleaning results at a fraction of the cost ($50-$200) and do not require professional installation.

Find Out More in Our Learning Center

Above is just a small sample of the types of questions people have about air purifiers. In reality, there are literally hundreds of things people want to know about these machines.

As a way to help demystify how air cleaners work, what they can do (and can’t do) for you, and how each type of air cleaning technology compares, we’ve put together a dedicated Learning Center.

In the Learning Center, you’ll find even more answers to the top questions and concerns people have about air purifiers, including:

  • Do I Need an Air Purifier or Humidifier?
  • Should I Use an Ionizer?
  • Can Air Purifiers Remove Dust or Smoke?
  • and more

So, check it out and get educated on important topics regarding this powerful air cleaning technology.