All air purifiers for allergies usually consist of a filter, or multiple filters, and a fan that absorbs in and circulates air. As bad air moves through the filter(‘s), nasty particles are captured and the clean air is expelled from the appliance into the living space. Typically, filters are made of paper, glass, or plastic fibers, and require regular replacement and cleaning to maintain efficiency.
How frequently you will have to clean and lastly change these filters varies based upon the purifier type and how often you use it. Some filters are reusable and washable and are good at removing larger particles from the air, like dust mites and pollen. UV (ultraviolet light) filters claim to destroy biological impurities like mold or bacteria, but many require higher wattage and greater exposure to be effective.
An ionic air purifier attract negative ions that bond to dust and allergens and make them settle out of the air. If you’re interested in buying an ionizer air cleaner, make sure it does not produce ozone, because large quantities of ozone could be a lung irritant gas and further aggravate asthma conditions. Usually, the air purifiers with ozone will have that listed on the packaging and usually release small quantities of ozone.
Consumer Reports – Air Purifiers for Allergies Pros and Cons
Unfortunately, it’s estimated that 35% of the world’s population suffers from allergies. Even worst, approximately half of all school children are sensitives to bad toxins like odor, smoke, pollen, and mold. Owning a high-quality air purifier in your home can help with allergy symptoms by removing dust, mold spores, bacteria, dander, pollen, cigarette smoke, or volatile organic compounds. Air purifiers will calm your symptoms by keeping the air clean, fresh, and allergen-free.
However, since the beginning, air purifiers have always been promoted as great devices made to improve the air quality, aka enhance people’s lifestyle and health condition. What people alleviate to discuss are the cons that stand behind these devices, because they are not perfect. Before you buy an air purifier, you must know everything about them, including the pros and cons.
- They are a great way to reduce indoor allergy triggers
- To remove 99.97% of allergens, the air purifier must use a True HEPA filter
- Must be sized properly so it can cover the square footage of the room you want to use it in
- For the best results, you’ll want an air purifier in every room you spend a lot of time
- A good unit can last up to 20 years under proper usage and maintenance
- The air with an air purifier is five times cleaner than the air in a space where no air purifier has been put to work
Before you put an air purifier to work, try some simple steps to reduce indoor air allergens, including:
- Vacuum and dust frequently in the room to remove pollutants trapped in rugs, drapes, and furniture
- Open as many windows as possible during and after any cleaning
- Avoid rugs, carpeting and use smooth flooring instead
- Limit pets to certain areas of the house
- If you have pets, consider finding them a new home (if that’s not an option, keep the pets outside)
- Use air conditioning in the warmer months to get rid of outdoor pollens or allergens
- Clean all air purifier filters as prescribe by manufacturers
- Ban indoor smoking
- Don’t store chemicals, solvents, glues, or pesticides near your living quarters.
- If possible, avoid any furnishings that gather dust.
How To Choose an Air Purifier
How do you buy an air purifier? You need to do a bit of research to find out which air purifier is best for allergies. Although there seem to be hundreds of different air purifiers out there, they all tend to fall into defining a few aspects. You’re now wondering what these factors are, so let’s begin.
Coverage Area – it’s very important to measure the room you want to be purified. You can do this by taking the square footage of the room into consideration. With this number in mind find the right air purifier size. An ACH rate of 4 is the recommended value for most rooms. To be able to make the most of your air purifier, evaluating the Cubic Feet of the air processed per Minute (CFM) is also a good alternative. This measures how fast the air purifier would reach the square footage of any room’s air per hour. The last critical step is to decide where to place the air purifier. If you want an air purifier for many rooms, it’s important to calculate the average square footage of each room. You can buy a unit that includes caster wheels, handles, and other portability features to make it easier to move it from room to room.
CADR Rating – also known as the Clean Air Delivery Rate, this is a standard industry metric that allows you to defines the total volume of air filtered. Look for CADR ratings of at least 100 when picking one. An air purifier with a higher CADR rating is effective, but its effectiveness may decrease with time. As a limitation of CADR ratings is that they don’t measure gas, small air pollutants, and odors. So you won’t be able to determine how accurately the air purifier filters a specific volume of tiny particles with the CADR ratings. Hence, choosing an air purifier based on its CADR is just one step to take.
ACH Rating – known as Air Changes Per Hour rating, relates to the amount of air an air cleaner is capable of passing through its system in one hour. Most manufacturers default this to 4x for the coverage area in sq feet. Air purifiers with higher maximum air-exchange rates will clean the air faster than those with lower rates.
Pre-Filter – Look if the model you choose comes with a pre-filter, best if it can be vacuumed. The pre-filter helps block larger particles and protect the core system filter, which can be more delicate and used to filter smaller particles. In some cases, the pre-filter can be coated with activated carbon or other materials to help absorb smoke and other odors.
Dust Sensor – A few modern air purifiers have automatic sensors to detect how polluted is the air. Those models have the ability to adjust the cleaning speed without manual intervention.
Fan Speeds – Most air purifiers have 3-4 fan speeds, which adjust the speed at which the air is cycled through the system. Higher fan speeds mean more noise, and vice-versa.
Noise – Some machines might work silently but some can be very distracting if they generate very loud white noise. Always check for their noise levels.
Reasonable Costs – Some air purifiers have more than one filter, while others come with a permanent filter meant to be vacuumed or cleaned periodically instead of been replaced. The more frequently you have to replace the filter, the more an air purifier will cost you over time.
Warranty – Most will come with at least 1-year warranty. Look for this as a bare minimum you should accept. Some manufacturers even offer lifetime warranties, like Medify MA-40 Medical Grade Air Purifierr.
A final note about CADR. Air purifiers are typically CADR rated for smoke, dust, and pollen, with each number reflecting how large of a space the unit is capable of covering while still completely turning the air over in a room four times every hour. For example, an air purifier with a CADR score of 170 for dust particles is as effective as adding 170 cubic feet of clean air per minute. In general, the higher the CADR rating for each type, the better. Even better, CADR scores are comparable across all products, helping you make the right decision.
CADR has three main ratings to help you decide: smoke uses very small particle sizes of 0.09 to 1µm, dust has particle sizes of 0.5 to 3µm, and pollen uses particle sizes of 5 to 11µm. Of course, it is best to choose your air purifier based on how effective it is at the pollutant you want to remove. For example, people who suffer from hay fever should choose an air purifier that’s efficient for pollen removal. Since air purifiers come in different sizes, the CADR rating should equal (or exceed) 2/3 of your room size in square feet. As an example, a 180 sq feet room would need CADR ratings of 120 or above.
Experts agree that for individuals suffering from severe allergy or asthma symptoms, the investment in a top air purifier worth the price. But if you suffer from mild symptoms or simply want to reduce odor or pet dander in your sweet home, a more affordable model can do the magic.
In conclusion, an air purifier is not sufficient to deal with all the indoor air pollution on its own. Instead, it’s a great and useful tool that should not be overlooked by anyone interested in keeping the home’s air as clean as possible. When the air purifier is of good quality, used and maintained effectively, it has a significant role in your fight against the toxins and irritants that infest your air.
- Air purifiers are most effective at removing particles from the air such as various pollens, dust, and some molds
- Air purifiers are not very effective with dust mite allergies since these allergens tend to remain on surfaces like pillows, bedding, or furniture
- Air purifiers have mixed results with pet allergens because these particles not always remaining long enough in the air to be filtered successfully
- Air purifiers are one solution to provide healthy indoor air and should be used in conjunction with other methods
Ultimately, at the end of the day, there are so many great air purifiers to choose from. Because of this, it can be overwhelming for anyone to find the right air purifier. By reading this guide, we hope you now have a greater understanding of what an air purifier does, the benefits a good air purifier will bring to you, and discover the 10 best air purifiers on the market right now.