Hepa air purifiers have become mainstream in homes and offices as flu season approaches and COVID-19 carries on. However, as you start to become more interested in them, the terms associated with a HEPA air purifier can be a bit intimidating— microns, CADR, HEPA and more.
But don’t fret. We understand how important having clean air inside the home is for the lungs, heart, blood circulation and overall health. So here’s a guide that will give you a better understanding of air purifiers in general. As you read along, you’ll know more about what to look for when buying air purifiers.
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The Right Air Purifier for Your Space
This is the initial step to filtering out your air purifier choices—check out how much room space you want your device to purify. For large living spaces, small ones are not as effective, while heavy-duty and large air purifiers may be too much in your kid’s room.
One way to find out the best fit is to check the air-changes-per-hour. You can see this feature in the specs of your air purifier; it helps you understand how filtration works. A smaller air purifier can turn over the air in a 350 square foot room eight times in just one hour. If unsure how much space in your home needs cleaning, better invest in a large air purifier that’s within your budget.
Pollutants that Air Purifiers Can Filter Out
There are certain air purifiers that perform better at filtering out pollutants compared to others. Air purifiers are determined by how well they can filter various sizes of pollutants. While a majority of air purifiers available are generally similar, some are a bit more different in terms of filtering dander and dust than smoke.
If your concern is about odours, you may want to invest in a purifier with an activated carbon filter. Meanwhile, an air purifier that performs well across the board is what you should consider for overall air-quality improvement.
Different Filters Used By Air Purifiers
Today, most air purifiers use mechanical filtration. This means that their filters trap the pollutants entering through them. Your air purifier at home is likely to have at least two filters—the main filter, which traps smaller pollutants, and the pre-filter, which filters large particles like pet fur.
There’s no apparent difference between prefilters. Some are disposable, while others are washable or vacuumable. The former may cost you more in the long run; otherwise, there’s nothing much to compare between them.
What matters the most is your air purifier’s main filter. If you’re going to buy an air purifier, look for ones with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. You may see other air purifiers being advertised as HEPA-type filters, but they are inferior to true HEPA filters and may perform poorly. True HEPA filters capture 99.97% of airborne particles (as small as 0.3 microns), while the HEPA-type captures 99% of particles with a size of 0.2 microns. So, your best bet is to go for air purifiers that use ‘true’ HEPA filters.
The Portability of Air Purifiers
When talking about how portable air purifiers are, some are more mobile and lighter than others. You can place the smallest air purifier on a shelf or desk, and it can be moved from one room to another. Larger and heavier ones are best kept nonmoving, although some come with rollers for the easy mode of transport.
In case you would want to move your air purifier from your home office during the day to your bedroom during the night, look for ones that roll or are smaller. You may also want to find something that caters to both the size and portability if you plan to buy an air purifier that covers your entire home.
The Maintenance Costs
If you are on a budget, the in-advance cost of your air purifier matters. However, never assume the payment will be over once the device is set up in your home. You’ll need to replace the filters on a regular basis. The costs for filter replacement vary per device. Some may contain highly expensive filters that last for years, while some have cheap filters that need to be replaced often.
Moreover, the HEPA filters are disposable and need to be completely replaced, but other pre-filters are washable. Make sure to calculate the cost per year before you start purchasing an air purifier. Also, compare the cost to the brands you are considering.
Being Energy Efficient
An air purifier is most effective when running almost continuously, so electricity costs should be part of the factors to consider. Some air purifiers are energy-saving certified, but it can still depend on the fan speed you’re using. Small ones often use less energy compared to larger devices, but they are capable of cleaning only small spaces.
On the other hand, air purifiers with higher fan speeds and are rated for large rooms tend to absorb more energy. There are those that have ‘eco’ modes that can turn the device into power-saving mode and put them on standby when their sensors can no longer detect pollutants in the air.
Air purifiers are not created equal, and there is no single one that’s perfect for each one of us. When going out shopping for an air purifier, always remember to look at the filter types and the CADR ratings. Doing so will help you get an idea of the type that can suffice your specific needs.
Once you’ve completely determined the one that offers the best filtration system for airborne pollutants in your home, assess the secondary features—portability and noise levels. Don’t forget the air purifier’s energy efficiency level, and make sure the consistent maintenance costs are within your budget.