Your home is your safe haven; a place that protects you from the harms that the rest of the world can present. You make every effort to ensure that your house is as safe as possible; however, there may be something that you aren’t making an effort to protect: The air.
Did you know that the air inside your home is often more polluted than the air outside? The chemicals that you use to clean your home, any pets that you may have, perfumes that you may use and the cooking that you do (among other things) put pollutants into the air, and it can be difficult for those pollutants to escape. Over time, the air inside your home can actually impact your health, causing respiratory problems and illnesses, and aggravating allergies.
There is a way to clean the air in your home: An air purifier. With this appliance, you can keep the air inside your home clean and safe. Buying an air purifier can be challenging, though. There are so many different options to choose from that it can be difficult to select the best air purifier for your needs. In order to help you on your quest for finding the best air purifier, we have put together this handy buyer’s guide for you. With the information in this guide, you will be well on your way to finding the best air purifier for your needs, and breathing cleaner, healthier air inside your home.
Types of Air Purifiers
In order to find the best air purifier for your specific needs, you first need to understand that there are different types of air purifiers. There are five main types of air purifiers, and each type offers certain advantages (and disadvantages.)
The five main types of air purifiers include:
- The ultraviolet air purifier
- The HEPA Air purifier
- The activated carbon air purifier
- The ionic air purifier
- The electronic air cleaner
Here is a breakdown of each of these types of air purifiers.
The Ultraviolet Air Purifier
The ultraviolet air purifier uses ultraviolet light to remove potentially dangerous elements from the air inside your home, including viruses, bacteria and pathogens. The idea for the ultraviolet air purifier was inspired by hospitals that used special ultraviolet light bulbs to disinfect rooms and laboratories. Residential ultraviolet air purifiers are small, compact machines. They consist of a chamber, which is filled with ultraviolet light. As the air passes through the chamber, the ultraviolet light destroys the pathogens by breaking the molecular bonds in their DNA. The ultraviolet air purifier kills up to 99.9 percent of pathogens in the air. On the downside, some UV air purifiers produce ozone, which is hazardous to your health.
The HEPA Air Purifier
HEPA (which stands for high efficiency particulate arrestance) air purifiers contain an advanced air filter, which effectively removes 99.7 percent of all particles in the air that are larger than .2 microns. This type of air purifier is effective for removing various types of small particles that are commonly found in the air, such as pollen, mold, pet dander and mold. While the HEPA air filter is highly effective, the filters need to be changed once a month, which may be bothersome if you don’t want to have to keep up with constant maintenance. Another downside is that they cannot trap pathogens that are smaller than .2 microns, which includes bacteria, viruses and microns.
Activated Carbon Air Purifiers
Activated carbon air purifiers effectively remove odors, smoke, gasses and other fumes from the air. If you are sensitive to odors, you regularly use a fireplace or a wood burning stove, or you or someone in your home uses tobacco products, an activated carbon air purifier is a good choice, as it can rid the scent of smoke from the air. In fact, this is the only type of air purifier that will remove odors, fumes and other gasses from the air. This type of air purifier usually features a HEPA filter as well, which removes particles from the air. On the downside, the activated carbon air purifier can be pricey; the most basic models usually start around $100.
Ionic Air Purifiers
Ionic air purifiers are unique because they do not rely on a motor to operate; instead, they emit ions into the air, which bond to positively charged airborne particles, such as dust. When the ions are attached to the airborne particles, they make them so heavy that the fall out of the air. Ionic air purifiers can effectively remove just about anything from the air, aside from odors. On the downside, this type of air purifier does not actually remove the pollutants from your home; rather, they send them down to the ground. In order to trap the pollutants, you will need to purchase a model that has an electrostatic precipitator, which will need to be changed regularly.
Electronic Air Cleaners
If you want to purify the air throughout your home with ease, an electronic air cleaner is a great option. This type of air purifier works with your furnace or air conditioner. It uses static electricity to charge or trap airborne particles. Electronic air cleaners can effectively remove virtually all types of pollutants from the air, other than odors. On the downside, they are the most expensive type of air purifier. Additionally, the filters have to be replaced and the ionizing wires or the collector cells that are located within the purifier have to be cleaned once a month.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing an Air Purifier
In order to choose the best air purifier for your needs, there are a number of factors that you are going to want to take into consideration. These factors include the effectiveness of the air purifier, the size, and the cost, among other things. To learn more about the factors that we consider the most important when choosing an air purifier for your home, please keep on reading.
One of the most important factors that you are going to want to take into consideration when choosing an air purifier is the effectiveness of the device. The type of pollutants you want to remove from the air will determine what type of air purifier will best meet your needs. If you want to remove viruses and bacteria, for example, an ionic air purifier is the best option; however, if you also want your air purifier to remove odors, choose an activated carbon air purifier, as it is the only type that will remove odors from the air.
The Coverage Area
Another important factor to consider is the size of the coverage area. You want to make sure that the air purifier will clean the air in the entire space that you intend to use it in. Typically, the higher the fan speed, the larger the space an air purifier can cover. If you want the air in your entire house to be cleaned, an electric air cleaner is the best option, as it will cover the air throughout your home.
You should also factor in the noise that the air purifier will make. HEPA air purifiers, for example, make a whirring sound that is similar to a fan; however, some can make a tremendous amount of noise. If you want absolute silence, an ionic air purifier is a way to go, as they do not use a motor to operate, which makes them completely silent.
Maintenance and Upkeep
You are also going to want to consider the maintenance and upkeep of an air purifier. If you are going to use an air purifier that has a filter, it will have to be replaced as often as once a month in order to ensure it works properly. To determine the maintenance and upkeep that an air purifier will need, consult with the owner’s manual.
Cost is another important factor to take into consideration when choosing an air purifier. This not only includes the initial purchase cost, but it also includes the cost of maintenance and the strain the machine will put on your electricity. The more area that air purifier covers and the more features it offers, the more expensive the initial purchase cost will be. Also, check to find out how much energy the air purifier you are interested in will consume; there are energy efficient models available. Lastly, don’t forget that filters cost money, too. Find out how much replacement filters will cost before you purchase your air purifier.
Features Air Purifiers Can Offer
Air purifiers can come equipped with a number of features. These features are intended to make the air purifier easier to use, and more versatile. As mentioned above, the more features an air purifier offers, the more expensive it will be. To determine whether you want or need certain features, it is important to understand what the different features do.
Here is a look at some of the top features air purifiers can offer.
Air purifiers that offer digital controls are easy to use. Just push a button and you will be able to select your settings.
With a remote control, you will be able to turn your air purifier on or off, or change the settings, from anywhere in the room.
To easily determine when it is time to change the filter, look for an air purifier that features an indicator light. When the filter needs to be changed, this light will illuminate, alerting you that it is time for a new filter. This feature can help to extend the life of your air purifier, and make maintenance a lot easier.
With this feature, you can set your air purifier so that it will turn on and off at predetermined times. For example, if you are going out to work and you don’t want your air purifier running, you can program the timer to turn off when you leave and turn back on before you return home. This feature will save you money on your utility bill and on maintenance, and it will also extend the life of your air purifier.
Air Quality Sensors
If you want to be aware of the air quality in your home, look for an air purifier that features an air quality sensor. With this feature, you will be able to determine how effectively the air purifier is working.
If you plan on using your air purifier in different locations, caster wheels will make it a lot easier to transport from room to room.
Again, if you are going to be using your air purifier in different spaces, or you will be moving it to different locations in a room, handles will make it easier to move around.
The best air purifiers come with a warranty. Should anything happen to your air purifier during the span of the warranty, you will be able to have it repaired or replaced, or you may even be able to have your money reimbursed.
The Best Air Purifier Brands
There are several manufacturers that produce air purifiers, which can make it difficult to determine which brand is the best. We have tested out various brands and read countless user reviews. Our research has concluded that the following brands are the best of the best.
One of the most trusted names in the air purifier industry is Honeywell. This company uses the latest technologies and state of the art solutions to create air purifiers that offer exceptional power and versatility.
Another top brand is Blue Air. This international company is based in Sweden and has been around since 1996. They make high-quality air purifiers that utilize state of the art technologies.
Dyson is another well-respected name in the air purifier industry, and for good reason. This company produces durable, highly effective and easy to use air purifiers, and they make a variety of types.
We also found that people who used Holmes air purifiers raved about them. This company uses the most advanced science and technology to create cutting-edge air purifiers that effectively eliminate pollutants and allergens from the air.