There is a good reason for you to pay more attention to the air purifiers that you equip in your home. In fact, studies in the United States proved that air inside the home could be up to five times more polluted than outside, depending on various factors including items brought into the home as well as construction.
This is a staggering revelation, as in this modern day and age; pollution has become a serious concern, especially around major cities. For many people, they consider their homes as their safe havens, but airborne pollutants are not easy to keep out of any space.
If you are considering adding an air purifier to your home, we have compiled this buying guide to assist you to find the right quality air filters and purifiers to keep things clean and fresh. We will go over a range of factors for you to consider, as well as explain how various filters work and what you should be on the lookout for when you decide to go shopping for one.
To start off, we look at the reason why having the air in your home pass through filters is so important. An air purifier is built to take any of those dangerous toxins, pollutants, and allergens out of the air before you have a chance to breathe them in. This ensures that every breath taken is of clean oxygen, instead of a cocktail of different chemicals. It certainly creates a healthier environment for everybody living in the home. Added to this, air purifiers are also perfect for people that are struggling to deal with unpleasant odours in their home on a regular basis.
Should you own an air purifier?
The simple answer is yes. This is emphasised even more if anyone in your home suffers from any respiratory problems or asthma. Those who suffer regularly with allergies will also benefit from owning an air purifier, which makes it a must for pet owners too. Simply put, cleaner air makes for a healthier home at all times.
Just because you cannot see all of the pollutants in your home, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there and if you don’t deal with them, they can certainly lead to problems in the long-term.
To give you an indication of what your filters will have to deal with, here are some most common pollutants that are found in homes:
- Various bacteria and viruses
- Aerosol toxins and pesticides
- VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
- Mites and dust
These are just a few of the examples and they are proven to have an impact on general health and lifestyle. If at any point you suffer from seasonal allergies, struggle with asthma, struggle with general sicknesses, smoke cigarettes or have pets, then a purifier will not only clean the air but help sterilise it and keep it clean. This ensures that the air inside your home is healthier for all occupants.
Understanding the various air purifiers available
Now that you fully understand how an air purifier and filters will impact the cleanliness of your home, we need to move on to what types of purifiers are on the market.
Browsing an online store is sure to leave you feeling a little confused and maybe even overwhelmed, but to simplify this for you; we just need to look at the technology that is out there.
Essentially, there are four basic types that can be focused on, with most purifiers on the market falling into these categories:
High-Efficiency Particle Air (HEPA) Filtration
HEPA technology is tried and tested, and it is often still seen as the most effective option available in the air purification market. Making use of dense paper filters, this technology allows you to capture airborne pollutants efficiently without risk of them getting back into the air. Maintenance will be required as filters need to be replaced over time. These purifiers often make use of a fan which will draw air into the purifier so that pollutants can be dealt with.
Ionic technology makes use of charged ions that are put into the air and attach to contaminants. These then fall to the floor. Although this cleans the air, pollutants can remain on surfaces unless you choose to keep an electrostatic plate.
Carbon filtration is excellent when combating odours as the activated carbon boasts absorbent pores which will work to capture nasty gas or fumes in the area. However, in terms of dealing with other pollutants or irritants, it will not be nearly as effective as purifiers with filters.
UV Light Filtration
Lastly, UV makes use of light to attack bacteria and viruses in the home, allowing for sterilisation of the home.
Now, when looking at the performance that you can expect from your chosen purifier, you may need to consider the ratings that it boasts. If you see the term ACH, this provides information on how many Air Changes per Hour the machine offers. For example, if it says that it has a 5x ACH rating, it means that it will recycle the air around it five times over the course of 60 minutes. Obviously, the higher the rating, the more often it cleans the air in your home, which means that it is more efficient.
The other most common rating is CADR. This explains the Clean Air Delivery Rate. You may not see this rating provided on all devices, as it requires an independent test and certification from AHAM. When spotting this, you are likely to see three numbers listed, for example, 200/200/180. This is a measurement of its effectiveness against dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen respectively, and the higher the number, the more effective it is at battling that pollutant.
Do research into what machine best suits your space
Some people may feel that simply including an air purifier with the right filters into their home will solve their problems. Of course, the bigger your home, the more powerful a machine you will need. Many machines will give you an indication of the square foot coverage that the purifier offers.
This will allow you to properly determine where you should place the machine within your home, whether or not you may need more than one machine, or whether the model you are looking at is best suited for the space you live in. Often you can gain access to this information in the plans of your home, through the estate agency or landlord.
Also, when adding the purifier to your home, you need to be aware of the technology above and how it will operate. Purifiers that use filters will also boast fans that draw the air into the device before filtering it. This creates a cycle of air in the home. However, many of the other types will release ions, or light, in a 360-degree circle which in turn could affect the best placement.
Why are filters considered the most effective?
HEPA technology remains as the top performer in terms of purification and for good reason. Filters in these machines can remove 99.97% of particles in the air, making them highly efficient. In fact, to achieve a HEPA rating, the performance of the filter needs to match the numbers above. However, there are also different types of HEPA filters for you to consider. Some of the options include:
True HEPA/UV-C Air Purifiers
These are often regarded as the best purifiers on the market, however, that also means that they are often the most costly on the shelf. If you need a quality purifier for health reasons, or due to severe allergies, then these may be worth your investment. They also include an ultraviolet germicidal light which helps capture allergens, germs, and bacteria.
These are often more affordable in terms of price but won’t offer the same performance against pollen and dust mites. However, don’t be fooled by this claim, as it can still deal with around 99% of the small pollutants in your home, which includes pet hair, smoke, and dust. If allergies are not a major concern for you, then these filters will certainly do a decent job.
Permanent HEPA-Type Purifiers
This is very similar to the option above, however, it comes with the convenience of not having to replace your filters. At worst, you will simply have to remove the reusable filter and clean it occasionally to ensure that it is performing at its best.
Some important notes to consider:
When browsing a store or online, there are also some important other factors that you should consider. The first of which is maintenance. Be sure that you fully understand what it takes to keep your air purifier in top shape. Keeping your purifier clean is of the utmost importance.
Be sure to find out how often your filter needs to be replaced, and stick to the recommended guidelines. Failing to replace your filters will cause the purifier to be less effective, and essentially render it pointless. In general, filters can often have a lifespan of up to one year.
Next, you want to keep an eye on energy consumption. Your air purifier will be running constantly, and as such you want to be sure that it is not going to drastically add to your monthly costs. Looking out for the Energy Star rating will assist you in finding a product that is energy efficient.
You’ll also want to look into the amount of noise that your chosen purifier will make. Fans often will make a sound, and some models offer variations of fan speeds to allow you to have some control over the noise that will be made. However, choosing a purifier that is not big enough for space it is cleaning can also create more noise.
This is often because the purifier is being forced to work at maximum, which would cause the fan to spin faster. Some purifiers without filters will operate almost silently but are not as effective at cleaning the air.
The last factor that you should consider during the purchase process is the manufacturer of the product. Air purifiers have become increasingly popular over the last few years as people have become more educated on the benefits of clean air in their homes.
This increased demand often attracts fly-by-night manufacturers who are looking to cash in on the popularity of an item. This is certainly something you need to be on the lookout for. When choosing your air purifier, make sure that you do some research into the brand if you have not heard of it. Alternatively, you can stick to air filtration brands that you already know, as quality is something that simply cannot be sacrificed.
Making an informed decision
Now that you have the information you need, you can take your time and find an air purifier that best suits your needs. Remember, your home is where you spend a large majority of your time, which is why focusing on cleanliness and sterilisation is so important.
Whether you have young children at home or enjoy having pets inside the house, air purifiers help to combat allergies and will also kill off airborne diseases, which in turn will prevent the spread of illnesses inside your home.
Added to this, air purifiers can be one of the best solutions to deal with odours. This comes with having pets or smokers in the house. Tobacco smoke is not only harmful to others in the home, but it can quickly soak into fabrics on couches and curtains, which leaves you with lasting unpleasant odours.
If you are still a little unsure about which air purifiers would be best suited to your health concern, it may also be a good idea for you to discuss your needs with your general practitioner. They would be best to recommend the type of purifier that you should use to assist with any respiratory issues and asthma.
Air purifiers have become extremely popular because of the results they provide. With so much pollution around us, especially in major cities, cleaner air in your home is essential. And with the wide range of air purifiers on the market currently, you are sure to find an option that is best suited to your needs and budget.