best air purifier has
filtration is regarded by experts as the most effective type of filtration for
removing allergens and small particles from the air. Other filters are designed
to mimic this effectiveness, but few achieve the ability to remove particles
down to 0.1 microns in size or smaller.
maximum air-exchange rate. Maximum air-exchange rate refers to the amount of air an air cleaner
is capable of passing through its system in a minute. Air purifiers with higher
maximum air-exchange rates will clean the air faster than those with lower
alert. Many air
purifiers come with a counter to let you know when it's time to change the
filter. Some operate on a daily-countdown basis, while others actually base
this information on the state of the filter.
sensor or air-quality monitor. A few air purifiers have automatic sensors to
detect how polluted the air is, with the ability to adjust the purifier's
cleaning speed accordingly without intervention. This, of course, provides
users with less precise control over energy consumption and noise levels, but
it's a useful feature if you'll be using an air purifier in a non-occupied
fan speeds. Most air
purifiers have multiple fan speeds, which adjust the speed at which the air is
cycled through the unit. There's a direct correlation between higher fan speeds
and more noise, however.
capacity. If you need
an air purifier for a small space, more affordable options are practical. But
for larger rooms, you'll need to purchase a more expensive model capable of
handling more square footage.
cost of ownership. Most air
purifiers have long-life filters that must be replaced every three to five
years. Some models have more than one filter, while others come with a
permanent filter meant to be vacuumed periodically instead of replaced. The
more frequently you have to replace the filter, the more it will cost you over
you want a whole-house or room air purifier? Experts say that a room air purifier
may not be necessary for most individuals. Some owners say they've experienced
significant relief from allergy symptoms with the use of a $25 furnace filter
that works with an existing household appliance.
Do you have severe allergy or asthma symptoms? Owners and experts
agree that for individuals suffering from severe allergy or asthma symptoms,
the investment in top-of-the-line air purifiers is worth it. But if you suffer
from only mild symptoms or simply want to reduce smoke or pet dander in your home,
a more affordable model can do the trick.
much space do you have? Air purifiers can be heavy and bulky, with some requiring a few feet
of space on all sides. Be sure to measure your available space and allow a few
feet on each side before you buy.
room will you use an air purifier in? If you're planning to use an air purifier in
your bedroom, for instance, you'll want to choose a model with an acceptable
noise level that you can tolerate while sleeping. In living spaces, choose an
air purifier with adjustable speed settings so you can turn it up to a higher
setting when you're not in the room to be disturbed by the noise.
Value expectations: The dollars and cents of it
Air purifiers aren't cheap to own. Many cost
several hundred dollars up front, and most replacement filters aren't cheap. For
those suffering from severe allergies or asthma, the cost is often worth it.
Others should try more affordable options, such as furnace filters, which cost
significantly less and can be just as effective for most people. Some air
purifiers require more frequent filter replacements, which adds to the cost
over time. Owners suggest purchasing multiple filter packs online to save
money. While there aren't a lot of complaints about malfunctioning air purifiers,
many models offer warranties of five years for peace of mind.