Air Purifier Benefits | Buying Guide

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Written By Jamila W.

Indoor air quality is often overlooked, yet it plays a vital role in our overall health and well-being. With countless allergens, pollutants, and harmful chemicals lurking within our homes, maintaining optimal indoor air quality has become more important than ever.

Enter the humble air purifier – an essential household appliance designed to refresh stale air, combat indoor pollutants, and enhance your living environment. In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll outline the benefits of using an air purifier in your home and guide you through the process of choosing the perfect device for your needs.

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways:

  • Air purifiers are essential appliances that help improve indoor air quality by removing harmful pollutants and allergens from the air.
  • Investing in an efficient air purifier brings numerous health benefits, including improved respiratory health, reduction of allergies and asthma symptoms, and minimized transmission risks of airborne diseases.
  • Key factors to consider when choosing an air purifier include room size and cleaning capacity, filter type, noise level, energy efficiency, cost and maintenance. It is important to select the best option for your specific needs to achieve maximum purification benefits.

What Are Air Purifiers And Why Are They Important?

Air purifiers are devices designed to remove contaminants from indoor air, improving the overall quality and providing a cleaner, healthier environment for you and your loved ones.

The importance of air purifiers cannot be overstated. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is often two to five times worse than outdoor air pollution due to inadequate ventilation systems that trap harmful chemicals inside our homes.

Consequently, poor indoor air quality can lead to numerous health issues ranging from allergies and asthma flare-ups to more serious respiratory infections and neurological problems.

By reducing exposure to these harmful elements in our living spaces with an efficient air purifier system in place means a significant improvement in lung function while minimizing the risk of developing chronic conditions down the line.

Health Benefits Of Air Purifiers

Air purifiers can provide a range of health benefits, including improved air quality, reduced pollutants and allergens, better respiratory health, and even reducing the risk of disease transmission.

Improved Air Quality

Investing in an air purifier is a smart decision for those who value clean and fresh indoor air. These devices work by filtering out common pollutants such as dust, pet dander, smoke, and mold spores that often contribute to poor indoor air quality.

Improved air quality has numerous health benefits that should not be overlooked. For instance, eliminating allergens from your environment can reduce allergy symptoms such as sneezing or itchy eyes.

Cleaner air also reduces the amount of respiratory irritants circulating indoors; this can significantly improve breathing conditions for individuals with asthma or other respiratory ailments.

Additionally, an increased level of clean oxygen allows for better blood circulation and heart health – two essential aspects of maintaining one’s physical well-being.

Reduced Pollutants And Allergens

Air purifiers play a vital role in reducing pollutants and allergens present in indoor environments, significantly improving the air quality within your home. These modern devices utilize advanced filtration technologies, such as HEPA filters or activated carbon filters, to capture and eliminate various harmful airborne contaminants like dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores and smoke particles.

By minimizing the presence of these allergens and pollutants in our living spaces, we not only improve our overall health but also enhance daily comfort and well-being. For instance, homeowners who have pets may notice less pet hair accumulation around their homes when using an air purifier effectively.

Moreover, individuals living near busy roads or industrial areas can benefit greatly from these devices as they help filter out outdoor air pollution that enters indoors through windows or ventilation systems.

Better Respiratory Health

Air purifiers can have a significant impact on improving respiratory health. By filtering out harmful pollutants and allergens, air purifiers create an environment that is easier to breathe in.

This is especially important for individuals with asthma or allergies who may experience difficulty breathing due to poor air quality. In fact, studies have shown that HEPA filters can improve respiratory health in those with asthma.

Additionally, reducing the amount of indoor air pollution can also reduce the risk of developing respiratory illnesses and infections, including pneumonia and bronchitis.

Reduced Disease Transmission Risk

Air purifiers can be an effective solution to reduce the transmission of airborne diseases. When someone sneezes or coughs, droplets containing viruses or bacteria are released into the air and can easily spread throughout a room.

Air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters can capture these particles and prevent them from circulating in the air, reducing the chances of others inhaling them and getting sick.

In fact, research has shown that using an air filter may help decrease virus concentrations in a room by up to 50%.

Reduced Odors

Air purifiers are not just for filtering out harmful pollutants and allergens, they can also help reduce unpleasant odors in your home. Whether it’s the smell of cooking, pets, or cigarette smoke, air purifiers with activated carbon filters can effectively absorb and neutralize these unwanted smells.

In addition to reducing odors, some air purifiers even come with built-in air fresheners that release pleasant scents into your indoor environment. This feature is especially useful if you’re looking to mask a lingering smell or simply want to add a little fragrance to your space.

How To Choose The Right Air Purifier

Consider room size and air cleaning capacity, type of filter, noise level, energy efficiency, cost and maintenance, room coverage and size, noise levels and energy efficiency, as well as maintenance and filter replacement when choosing an air purifier.

Consider Room Size And Air Cleaning Capacity

When it comes to selecting the right air purifier, room size and air cleaning capacity are essential factors to consider. It is important to choose an air purifier that can effectively clean the air in your room without consuming too much energy or making too much noise.

Manufacturers usually list a recommended room size for each model of air purifier, so be sure to check this when making your purchase. For example, if you have a medium-sized bedroom, you might need an air purifier with a CADR rating of at least 120 for dust, pollen and smoke.

Type Of Filter

Air purifiers use different types of filters to remove pollutants and contaminants from the air. The most common filters are HEPA, activated carbon, UV-C light purifiers, ionic air purifiers, and ozone generators.

A HEPA filter is considered the gold standard as it can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns with a high efficiency rate of over 99%. Activated carbon filters effectively remove odors and chemicals such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

UV-C light filters use ultraviolet radiation to kill bacteria and viruses while ionic air purifiers generate ions that attach to airborne particles, making them easier for the filter to trap.

Ozone generators produce ozone which can neutralize odor-causing molecules but may also irritate lung tissue if used in high concentrations and prolonged periods.

Noise Level

It’s important to consider the noise level of an air purifier when making a purchase. While some models may be powerful in terms of air cleaning capacity, they can also be disruptive and noisy, especially if used in a quiet environment like a bedroom or home office.

When looking for an air purifier, it’s best to check the decibel rating for each fan speed listed in the product specifications. For example, Speed 1 should operate at 30 dB (the level of whisper), Speed 2 at 41 dB (the level of average home noise), and Speed 3 at 51 dB.

It’s recommended to choose an air purifier that operates below 30 decibels on its lowest fan speed which is as quiet as a gentle whisper.

Energy Efficiency

When choosing an air purifier, it’s essential to consider its energy efficiency. Energy Star-rated models are preferred for their over 25% greater efficiency than standard models, and the EPA site offers a comparison tool based on this metric.

The power consumption of an air purifier varies significantly depending on factors like room size and filtration type.

For example, HEPA filters are commonly used in high-end air purifiers as they efficiently trap particles as small as 0.3 microns, including allergens like pollen and pet dander.

UV-C light purifiers use less energy than other types but can still eliminate viruses and bacteria using ultraviolet light technology. By regularly replacing filters or selecting washable options if available, you’ll help maintain optimal performance without wasting energy or money on frequent replacements.

Cost And Maintenance

It’s important to consider the cost and maintenance when choosing an air purifier. The ongoing expenses associated with using an air purifier should be calculated in addition to the initial purchase price.

HEPA filters typically last about a year, while activated carbon filters require more frequent 

replacement. Replacement filter costs can range from $20 to over $100 depending on the specific type and model of your air purifier.

Energy costs also add up over time, so look for models that are energy-efficient, especially if you plan on running it constantly or for long periods of time.

Room Coverage And Size

When it comes to choosing the right air purifier, room coverage and size are critical factors to consider. The size of the room or facility you want to purify will determine the type and capacity of the air filtration system you need.

Ideally, you should measure the square footage of your space before selecting an air purifier.

For instance, if you have a large living room or bedroom, a whole-house system may be ideal as it can cover multiple areas at once. However, if you only want to target specific rooms such as the kitchen or bathroom where odors tend to accumulate more quickly, then a small portable unit could be enough.

Additionally, some air filters come with adjustable speed settings that allow you to regulate their effectiveness depending on your usage requirements and lifestyle needs.

Noise Levels And Energy Efficiency

When choosing an air purifier, it’s important to consider both the noise levels and energy efficiency. No one wants a machine that will disrupt their daily activities with excessive noise.

Some models have been designed to operate quietly, which is especially important in bedrooms or offices where people are trying to concentrate or sleep. On the other hand, high energy consumption can lead to increased electricity bills and harm the environment.

Regular maintenance should also be factored into your decision when looking at both noise level and energy efficiency ratings of air purifiers as this impacts cost. For instance, filter replacement may need to occur every few months depending on usage levels along with regular cleaning of filters that can get dirty faster if there is high particle concentration in the air around you for extended periods of time (e.g., cooking).

Maintenance And Filter Replacement

Proper maintenance and filter replacement is crucial for the effectiveness of air purifiers. Most filters need to be replaced every six to 12 months, depending on usage. HEPA filters typically last about a year, but carbon filters have a shorter lifespan.

Maintenance also includes cleaning the exterior and interior of the unit regularly to prevent buildup that can clog or damage the machine over time. Air purifiers with filter replacement indicators make it easier to keep track of when your air purifier requires servicing.

Types Of Air Purifiers

There are several different types of air purifiers available on the market, including HEPA filters, activated carbon filters, UV-C light purifiers, ionic air purifiers and ozone generators.

HEPA Filters

HEPA filters are an essential component of many air purifiers. These types of filters have a very fine mesh, which allows them to trap at least 99.95% of dust and other small particles that can contribute to poor indoor air quality.

While HEPA filters are not designed to eliminate odors properly, many air purifiers include some form of activated carbon filter along with the HEPA filter. This combination helps address both particulate matter and unpleasant smells effectively.

Activated Carbon Filters

Activated carbon filters are a type of air purifier filter that is particularly effective at removing odors, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other gaseous pollutants from the air.

One advantage of activated carbon filters is that they can be used alongside other types of filters, such as HEPA or UV-C light purifiers. However, the efficiency of activated carbon filters will depend on factors like the unit’s CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating and its size relative to your room.

UV-C Light Purifiers

UV-C light purifiers, also known as ultraviolet air purifiers, use UV-C lights to disrupt and destroy DNA in bacteria, preventing them from reproducing and causing harm. These types of air purifiers are effective in addressing common indoor air quality concerns by killing harmful airborne pollutants like mold, viruses, and bacteria.

It is important to note that not all UV-C light purifiers are created equal. Airocide air purifiers that use UVC light have been found to be particularly effective in improving indoor air quality by removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can lead to health issues like headaches and nausea.

Ionic Air Purifiers

Ionic air purifiers are a popular type of air purifier that use ionization to remove contaminants from the air. The ionizer emits negative ions into the air, which attach themselves to positively charged particles such as dust and allergens.

This causes the particles to become heavier and eventually fall out of the air.

However, it’s important to note that electronic air cleaners, including ionizers, are not recommended due to potential health and safety concerns with ozone and other pollutants they may produce.

If you do choose an ionizer as your air purifier of choice, it’s recommended that you opt for one with an electrostatic collector plate for more efficient particle removal.

Ozone Generators

Ozone generators are often marketed as air purifiers, but they can actually be extremely hazardous to our health. Inhaling ozone, which is a byproduct of some types of air purification methods, can cause permanent lung damage and other respiratory problems.

It’s essential to avoid ozone generators when purchasing an air purifier. Instead, consider mechanical filters like HEPA filters or activated carbon filters, ionizers or electrostatic precipitators.

These options provide effective filtration without the dangers associated with ozone generators.

Common Features To Look For In Air Purifiers

Look for air purifiers with automatic shut-off, filter replacement indicators, timer settings, and remote control for added conveniences.

Automatic Shut-off

One key feature to look for in an air purifier is automatic shut-off. This helpful function can save energy and help extend the lifespan of your device by turning off when it’s not needed.

Some examples of popular air purifiers with automatic shut-off include the Winix, which also has a manual display-shutoff feature, and the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier.

Filter Replacement Indicators

Air purifiers use filters to trap pollutants and improve indoor air quality. However, to ensure they are working efficiently, the filters must be cleaned or replaced periodically.

This is where filter replacement indicators come in handy.

Filter replacement indicators help you keep your air purifier running effectively by reminding you when it’s time for maintenance. It can be difficult to remember regular filter replacement schedules, but with this feature, you won’t need to worry about forgetting it again.

Timer Settings

Air purifiers often come with timer settings that allow users to automate their operation. By setting a timer, you can program the air purifier to turn on and off at specified times of day, without having to constantly adjust it manually.

For example, you could set your air purifier to turn on before you go bed each night and turn off in the morning after you leave for work.

Setting up a timer is simple enough – most models feature easy-to-use interfaces with intuitive controls. In addition, some devices also include smart features such as remote control via smartphone apps or voice-activated assistant integration through Alexa or Google Assistant.

Remote Control

Another useful feature to look for when selecting an air purifier is a remote control. This convenient device makes it easy for users to adjust their settings without leaving the comfort of their chair or bed.

Some models even offer Wi-Fi apps, allowing for complete control from a smartphone or tablet.

One example of an air purifier model with this feature is the GermGuardian AC5900WCA which comes with both remote control and Wi-Fi app capabilities.

Common Air Purifier Misconceptions And FAQs

Many people have misconceptions about air purifiers. Here are some common FAQs to help clear up any confusion and ensure you make an informed decision when purchasing an air purifier.

Air Purifiers Can Cure Asthma And Allergies

There is a common misconception that air purifiers can completely cure asthma and allergies. However, while air purifiers can help reduce the levels of allergens in the air, they cannot completely eliminate them.

Asthma and allergies have a variety of causes, including genetics and environmental factors beyond what an air purifier can address. Studies have shown that using HEPA filters in air purifiers can be helpful in reducing airborne allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, and pollen.

All Air Purifiers Are The Same

One of the most common misconceptions about air purifiers is that they are all the same. This couldn’t be further from the truth! There are several different types of air purifiers available in today’s market, each with their own unique features and benefits.

For example, HEPA filters have a high efficiency rate and are excellent at removing tiny particles like pollen and dust mites from the air.

It’s important to consider your specific needs when selecting an air purifier – for instance, if you suffer from allergies or respiratory issues, you may want to look for a model with a HEPA filter.

Additionally, some models come equipped with special features like timer settings or remote controls for added convenience.

Air Purifiers Can Replace Proper Cleaning And Maintenance

Many people believe that air purifiers can replace proper cleaning and maintenance in their homes. While air purifiers can help improve the indoor air quality, they are not a substitute for regular cleaning practices.

Air purifiers cannot remove all kinds of pollutants such as dust, dirt, and pet hair that accumulate on surfaces over time.

Air purifiers are designed to capture invisible particles such as viruses and bacteria but they do not eliminate them entirely. Proper cleaning practices combined with an effective air purification system provide the best protection against poor indoor air quality.

Remember that mechanical filters found in most air purifiers require periodically replacement every 6 to 12 months; therefore regular maintenance is still necessary if you want your machine running at peak performance at all times without any interruption due to lack of care or attention given by homeowners themselves.

Do Air Purifiers Create Ozone?

Air purifiers can create ozone, which is a lung irritant and can be harmful to human health. Ozone generators and some types of electronic air cleaners are known to emit ozone directly or indirectly through the production of reactive chemicals in the air.

While ozone can be effective at purifying the air, it also reacts with other chemicals and creates potentially hazardous pollutants. It’s important to choose an air purifier that does not produce harmful levels of ozone, such as one with a HEPA filter or activated carbon filter.

Can Air Purifiers Remove Viruses And Bacteria?

Air purifiers can be effective in removing viruses and bacteria from the air. Many air purifiers use HEPA filters that can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns, including some viruses and bacteria.

However, it’s important to note that not all air purifiers are created equal in their ability to remove viruses and bacteria.

Additionally, while using an air purifier is helpful in reducing airborne transmission of viruses and bacteria, it should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy that includes proper ventilation, hygiene practices, mask-wearing where necessary, and social distancing measures recommended by local public health authorities.

Do Air Purifiers Reduce Dust?

Yes, air purifiers can reduce dust in your home. They work by circulating the air through a filter that captures particles like dust, pollen, and pet dander. HEPA filters are especially effective at capturing these small particles and can remove up to 99% of airborne pollutants.

However, it’s important to note that an air purifier should not be relied on as the sole method for reducing dust in your home. Dust accumulates from multiple sources like carpets, furniture, and clothing fibers and may still need to be cleaned regularly with a vacuum or dust cloth.

Do Air Purifiers Help With Smoke?

Air purifiers can be very helpful in reducing the amount of smoke and associated odors in your home. Some air purifiers, such as those from Alen, include activated carbon layers specifically designed to absorb smoke particles.

However, it is important to note that air purifiers are not highly effective against volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in smoke but may reduce the smell and visible elements of cigarette smoke.

It is also essential to ensure proper usage of an air purifier because using it incorrectly will not offer any health benefits or improve indoor air quality.

Conclusion And Final Thoughts

In conclusion, air purifiers are an excellent way to improve the air quality in your home or office. With a variety of types and features available, it’s important to research and choose the best option for your specific needs.

By reducing pollutants, allergens and odors, you can breathe easier and enjoy better respiratory health. Don’t forget to consider room size, filter type, noise level, energy efficiency and maintenance when making your purchase.