What are Air Purifiers?

An air purifier is a device that sounds exactly like what it is: an appliance that cleans the air in your home to remove pollutants like animal dander, odors, dust, smoke and other undesirable airborne particles. Air purifiers are often used by people who experience allergies and who have sensitivities to odors. They can be placed anywhere in the home, including common areas like the living room and dining room, or in the bedroom, for a more relaxing night’s rest. 

If you’re thinking about using an air purifier in your home, knowing how they work, what features are most important and how to optimize your use of the air purifier can help you get the most out of the experience of owning and using such a device. Here’s what you need to know. 

How Does an Air Purifier Work?

Air purifiers work by sucking in air, circulating the air through a filter or device for cleaning, and then blowing the air back into the room. Filters for air purifiers can be made from a variety of materials including paper or fiberglass. Air filters need to be replaced periodically as they become dirty with pollutants. Failure to replace the air filter can force the device to work harder than necessary to clean the air, and can eventually compromise its ability to do its job. Anyone who uses an air purifier must budget for the periodic replacement of the filters. The annual cost of replacement filters can vary depending on the type of purifier being used and the type of filter required for that device. 

Who Needs Air Purifiers?

Indoor air quality suffers for many reasons. Common reasons for poor indoor air quality include poor ventilation, old ducts, use of chemicals in the home or a tight building envelope that prevents the home from “breathing.” All of these features can lead to a buildup of moisture mold, dust, pollen and dander. In some homes, tobacco smoke, firewood smoke, radon, pesticides, newly installed carpeting, paint and even asbestos can also have an effect on indoor air quality.

Almost everyone can benefit from an air purifier, but some people benefit more than others. The following are populations that benefit more from air purifiers than other people: 

  • Pregnant women
  • Children
  • Seniors
  • People with allergies
  • People with a compromised immune system
  • Asthma sufferers
  • People who live near industrial sites

You may also benefit from an air purifier if you live on a property with many trees, flowers and other plant life that produces pollen. People who have a hard time keeping a clean house can reduce the amount of dust they breathe in by using an air purifier on a regular basis. 

What Are the Different Types of Air Purifiers?

Like so many other appliances, air purifiers come in different styles. Each type of air purifier works in slightly different ways and targets different pollutants. 

HEPA Air Purifiers

HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. HEPA filters remove much smaller particles than standard air filters. HEPA filters are often recommended for people suffering from allergies and asthma, because these devices are generally very effective at removing small particles like pollen and dander.

UV Air Purifiers

Ultraviolet light can destroy bacteria, viruses and pathogens in the air. These devices contain a special UV bulb in a chamber in the center of the device. The purifier passes the air through the chamber, where the light kills the bacteria. UV air purifiers can be used to kill mold spores and are especially effective for people who are allergic to mold. These light bulbs must be replaced, often annually, for the device to keep working.  

Ionic Air Purifier

An ionic air purifier works by emitting negative ions into the air. These ions bond with positively charged particles (like dust, dander and bacteria). When the bond is created, the dust becomes too heavy to remain airborne, and falls out of the air. Some air purifiers work by trapping the particles inside the device to be cleaned out later. Some models are self-cleaning, others must be cleaned regularly in order to maintain functionality. 

Activated Carbon Air Purifiers

Activated carbon air purifiers are designed to remove odors from smoke and fumes inside the home, but do not help with viruses, bacteria, allergies, pet dander and dust. These appliances help people who live close to industrial sites and landfills, where odors can decrease quality of life. Some activated carbon air purifiers also contain a HEPA filter to remove dander. 

Buying an Air Purifier? What to Watch For 

If you’re buying an air purifier, do your research before purchasing a model for your home. Watch for the following: 

  • Filter price and recommended replacement rate. Find out through consumer reports and manufacturer notes how often an air purifier’s parts (like the air filter or UV bulb) need to be replaced, and how much those parts cost. This will help you decide whether you can afford to maintain that particular air purifier. 
  • No ozone. Some ionic air purifiers produce ozone, a gas that can irritate the lungs. Check the packaging information to ensure the purifier you buy does not produce ozone. 
  • CADR (clean-air delivery rating). The CADR rating indicates how fast the purifier will work. The best devices have a rating of 300 or more.
  • Sizing. Measure the space where the purifier will be operating, then find a model that is properly fitted for that size. 

Check for certifications as well. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers is an association designed to ensure the efficiency of a home appliance like an air purifier. Buying an air purifier with AHAM’s logo ensures that this device is certified, effective and reputable.  

Do They Really Work?

Dr. Nicholas BuSaba, Associate Professor of otolaryng-ology at Harvard-Medical School, recommends a well-chosen air purifier for anyone who has allergies and who lives with allergens in their home. Pet owners in particular may find air purifiers to be an effective way to eliminate dander and other airborne particles that can affect quality of life. Air purifiers most are effective if the consumer buys a well-rated device that is designed to eliminate the specific pollutants they need to eliminate. Doing research and reading online reviews, consumers can choose the best device for them.   

This post written by Leslie C

What Are the Benefits of Air Purifiers?

You may know them as air cleaners. Others may call them air purifiers. But regardless of what you refer to them as, it’s an appliance that works to ensure that only clean, fresh and healthy air is circulated throughout your home or business. For the record, we’ll refer to them as air purifiers in this post. 

So what exactly are air purifiers and what do they do? Simply put, they’re either portable standalone devices or whole-home units that integrate with the HVAC unit to remove contaminants from the indoor air. They come in sizes small enough to fit on a desktop to units large enough to attach to an HVAC unit and work to adequately clean a whole home or business. And being it’s estimated that up to 90 percent of an individual’s time is spent indoors, it can certainly behoove you to take the necessary steps to ensure you’re breathing in fresh, quality air while inside the home or office. There are plenty of benefits of air purifiers, and we’ll get into several of them in this post. Here’s a closer look:

7 Benefits of Air Purifiers

  1. Less dust buildup: Does it seem like whenever you go about your dusting routine, you’re cleaning up more and more of it off the hard surfaces in your home? If so, the first thing you should do is change your furnace filter and then have your ducts checked to see if you need a duct cleaning, as dirty air could be caught in a circulation cycle throughout the home. But if both of those check out fine, acquiring an air purifier should be your next step. That’s because air purifiers are designed to trap and remove dust from the air well before it has a chance to settle throughout your home. Not only will this make the indoor air more breathable, but it’ll also help cut down on your weekly chores and your home’s overall dust accumulation. 
  2. Elimination of allergens: Air purifiers are an especially wise investment for households where individuals suffer from heightened allergies or asthma. The likes of dust, mold, pollen or even pet dander have the potential to set off allergic reactions, and air purifiers help trap and remove such contaminants from the indoor air. The installation of a quality air purifier often directly translates to fewer allergic reactions, asthma attacks and other illnesses.
  3. Eliminate smoke: Whether it’s from indoor tobacco usage or from cooking in the kitchen, air purifiers don’t just trap and remove contaminants, but odors as well. This is a huge benefit when you consider the dangers of second-hand smoke and some of the long-term health effects that it can have, which may include asthma, bronchitis, an increased risk of ear infections and more. Furthermore, second-hand smoke is particularly dangerous if children are regularly exposed to it, as their lungs are still in the developmental stage. Being that air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters can remove particles at 0.3 microns in size, cigarette smoke can be properly captured and removed from the air with the right purifier. On a side note, air purifiers can also remove cooking odors so that you’re not smelling the tacos you made for dinner when it’s time for bed at 10 p.m. at night.
  4. Removal of asbestos fibers: Asbestos is a mineral that has been traditionally used in a lot of building materials in older homes. These building materials include ceiling panes, floor tiles and even some plumbing. When left undisturbed, asbestos-containing materials are harmless. However, if these materials were to break and the fibers released into the air and breathed in or ingested, the long-term consequences can be significant. This is largely because the full effects of asbestos exposure and inhalation may take decades to come to fruition, but when they do it results in an advanced lung cancer that is usually very difficult to treat. What’s more is that asbestos fibers are difficult to detect, as they’re both odorless and tasteless. Generally, if you reside in an older home it’s always best to have asbestos-containing materials tested and then properly removed by a professional just to be on the safe side. But if you don’t, and the asbestos-containing materials do become disturbed, an air purifier can help capture the harmful fibers should they become airborne.
  5. Eliminate radon gases: Next to smoking, the leading cause of long-term lung cancer is exposure to elevated levels of radon. Radon is typically found in homes and buildings, as it will enter through cracks in the floors, walls or joints. Some radon exposure is fine, but elevated levels have the potential to lead to lung cancer over the long term. It’s why testing radon levels is encouraged in all homes and businesses, and why January is a month dedicated for this cause. Usually, the solution is as simple as having a contractor come into the home and add some additional ventilation points so that the potentially harmful gasses are more easily circulated out of the home. In the meantime, air purifiers can provide a nice assist, as they can help eliminate radon gas from the home.
  6. Remove harmful VOCs: Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, are often found in the likes of paints, sealants, sprays and other chemicals that you may use around the home. While we suggest always checking the label on chemicals and sprays before you purchase them to make sure that they’re safe for indoor use, air purifiers can provide you with a nice backup if you do use one within an indoor environment. 
  7. Reduced pollution: While we assume that the inside of our homes are protected from any pollutants that exist outside of them, that’s not necessarily always the case. Pollutants can be drawn into the home via different means, and the level of pollutants can be significant if you live in the city or near busy highways. Good home ventilation can help, as can an air purifier that can capture and remove pollutants from the indoor environment. 

This post written by Scott C

How Do Air Purifiers Work

How do air purifiers work? Manufacturers offer several types of air purification methods. These include filters, ozone generators, ionization, adsorbents, and UV light. Many devices rely upon more than one method. High-quality machines may cost a few hundred dollars to buy. Over time, you will probably need to spend more money to run and maintain your purifier too. On the other hand, a good air purifier may offer you the best way to improve indoor air quality and keep your household healthy. That’s why it can pay to learn more about how air purifiers work before deciding which one will help you invest in clean air for you and your family.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Obviously, some air purifiers work better than others, especially in different situations. Take a moment to learn about various types of air purifiers that you can buy for your home.

Filters

The most traditional kinds of air filtration systems use filters. Think of the filters that you use in the air ducts for your home heating and air conditioning system. You may purchase devices that use disposable filters, but some come with washable ones. Denser filter materials can catch smaller particles, and a pleated design may prove more effective than a flat one because it has a larger surface area. To keep your filter effective and efficient, be sure to replace or clean it by the manufacturer’s schedule.

HEPA and ULPA Filters

HEPA stands for high efficiency particular air, and HEPA filters must meet Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, standards. To comply with the HEPA standard, particles of at least .03 microns can’t make it past the barrier more than .03 percent of the time. You might also notice a ULPA, or ultra-low particulate air, standard, which is even stricter. Besides getting used for home air purifiers, some industries rely upon HEPA and ULPA filters to keep certain work sites free from contamination and reduce emissions. The EPA suggests cleaning and replacing these filters on schedule to ensure efficiency.

Ionizing Air Purifiers

Ionizing purifiers work by emitting electricity to give contaminates either a positive or negative charge. The charged particles tend to clump together, making them heavier and likely to fall out of the air. Meanwhile, the device has a positively and negatively charged plate that will attract molecules with the opposite charge. According to the EPA, ion air purifiers are best for small particles, like cigarette smoke, but may not work so well for dust or many other allergens. They may also emit ozone, a controversial byproduct of air purifiers.

Ozone Generators

Somewhat similar to ionizers, ozone generators also produce a charge. Instead of just applying a charge to contaminants, these devices change some oxygen molecules into ozone molecules. These devices are meant to help purify and deodorize. However, the EPA warns that ozone can become a lung irritant and in larger quantities, even a health hazard.

Adsorbents

Note that these are adsorbent and not absorbent. Adsorbent refers to a substance that can trap other substances upon its surface. The most common example is activated charcoal. Its porous surface has plenty of tiny crevices to trap molecules. Chemical and electrostatic reactions also help attract particles and keep them bonded to the surface. Manufacturers also use different methods to produce this charcoal to make it better at attracting certain types of contaminants. According to the EPA, adsorbent air purifiers may offer safe and effective purification of gaseous and organic pollution, such as from cooking or chemicals. Like other filtering products, adsorbents have to be replaced on schedule. 

Ultraviolet Light

The EPA suggests UVGI cleaners to scrub the air of many biological contaminants. Ultraviolet light can help destroy bacteria, viruses, allergens, and mold in the air. They also suggest using them with a filter and not as a replacement for a filter. Another kind of UV air purifier is called PGO. A PGO works with catalysts to convert gaseous pollutants into harmless byproducts. They don’t work on particles and should also be used with filters.

Which Kind of Air Purifier Works Best?

Indoor air pollution can pose a health risk. Keeping the home clean and ventilating with outside air may help. At the same time, it’s not always possible to clean microscopic particles. If it’s hot or cold enough to need the air conditioner or furnace, nobody wants to leave a window open. Air purifiers may use filters, adsorbents, UV light, electric charges, or sometimes, a combination of methods to help improve air quality. Look for high-quality and well-reviewed products that have been designed safely and effectively to address your indoor air pollution problem.

Do People Need Air Purifiers?

In 2018 alone, U.S. air purifier sales increased by a million units and can be found in at least one-quarter of American homes. Since indoor air can contain up to five times as many contaminants as outdoor air, it’s not hard to explain the popularity of these devices. Young children, the elderly, and people with allergies, asthma, and other health conditions can suffer even more from poor air quality. 

This post written by Marilyn K

What Are the Types of Air Purifiers?

The indoor air in our homes may contain a variety of contaminants. These contaminants include pollen, dander, dust, cigarette smoke, mold spores, volatile organic compounds, bacteria, and viruses. Because long-term exposure to certain contaminants can hinder breathing and create health problems, such as respiratory disorders, consider utilizing an air purifier. 

An air purifier cleans the indoor air you breathe and could protect your health. While air purifiers come in all shapes and sizes, each type implements different technology and removes specific contaminants. Review the basic types of air purifiers and decide which one is right for your home.

HEPA Filter Air Purifiers

HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. This type of air purifier sanitizes the air, creates no harmful ozone or byproducts and is highly reliable. 

HEPA filter air purifiers can trap and remove 99.97% of air particles, viruses, mold, and bacteria that are 0.3 microns and larger. As a reference, a human hair is usually 50 to 120 microns thick, mold spores range from 3 to 100 microns and the human eye can see participles larger than 10 microns. 

To clean and sanitize the air, a HEPA filter air purifier draws air into the machine via a fan. An accordion-shaped filter made of fine fibers traps contaminants on its large surface. 

Although HEPA filter air purifiers sanitize the air, they cannot destroy cigarette smoke, chemical fumes, odors, or gases. You can use an activated charcoal filter in your HEPA machine to capture odors and chemicals. 

Activated Carbon Air Purifiers

Adsorbent activated carbon air purifiers utilize an effective filter with tiny absorbent pores. Air flows through the filter, reacts chemically with the activated carbon and bonds permanently to the filter. 

While this type of air purifier doesn’t remove allergens or micro-organisms from the air, it does capture odors, smoke, mold, spores, chemicals, volatile organic compounds (VOC), and gases. 

Highly absorbent, activated carbon filters must be replaced once every three to six months. Regular use of clean filters can reduce allergic and asthmatic reactions. 

Some HEPA air purifiers implement activated carbon filters. The combination produces one of the best air filtration appliances on the market.

Ionic Air Purifiers

Quiet ionic air purifiers work without a filter. They’re a relatively low maintenance way to absorb fine particles from a room but do not remove odors. 

Inside the ionic air purifier, you will find collection plates. These plates disperse charged air particles into the air. The charged particles attract neutral air particles or germs and create bundles that fall to the ground or cling to surfaces rather than circulate in your breathing air. 

Ionic air purifiers do create a small amount of ozone. This pollutant can irritate your lungs, especially if you have asthma. 

Ultraviolet (UV) Light Air Purifiers

Ultraviolet or UV light includes three bands. UV-C light is the band used in UV light air purifiers. 

When the UV-C light comes in contact with air, it disrupts the DNA of germs, mold, bacteria, and viruses. These sterilized microorganisms are now unable to affect your indoor air quality.

The effectiveness of this type of air purifier depends on the light’s wattage and the amount of time the air is exposed to the light. Be sure to replace the lamp as recommended by the manufacturer.

A UV light air purifier will not remove airborne particles, odors, smoke, chemicals, or allergens from the air. However, you can use a UV light in addition to a particulate filter system, HEPA air purifier or activated carbon filter to successfully kill and remove contaminants. 

Ozone Air Purifiers

Ozone air purifiers use the oxidant ozone to eliminate odors, bacteria and certain chemicals from the air. As air moves through the machine, ozone breaks down the substances in the air. The results are small particles of material or contaminants that are released back into the air. 

Typically, this type of air purifier does not remove allergens, dust, pollen, or chemicals from indoor air. However, adding negative ion technology to the ozone air purifier can create a better smelling environment.

Turn your ozone air purifier on low if you’ll remain in the room. If you do have a high concentration of odors in your home, turn the machine on high, leave the room and air out the room thoroughly before reentering it. Long-term exposure to ozone could aggravate asthma.

Electronic Air Cleaners

Clean the air throughout your entire home with a highly effective electronic air cleaner. This type of air cleaner can remove as many as 99.98% of allergens and also removes dust, dander, bacteria, viruses, smoke, and fumes. 

An electronic air cleaner works with your home’s air conditioner and furnace. As air passes through the HVAC system, it’s first filtered through a HEPA filter. Next, the air is treated with positively charged ions that come from the electronic air cleaner. 

Your electronic air cleaner must be professionally installed. Be sure to replace the filters regularly, too. Also, you must clean the ionizing wires or collector cells with a garden hose or in the dishwasher at least monthly. 

Purchasing Tips

The type of air purifier you purchase depends on your needs. Several tips help you choose the right option. 

1. Consider which contaminants you want to remove from the air. Some air purifiers remove germs and bacteria while others remove only odors. 

2. Verify the machine’s capacity. Purchase an air purifier that can successfully process the square footage and the type and amount of contaminants in your home.  

3. Think about the air purifier’s noise level on low, medium and high speed. While you may need a quiet machine for your bedroom, a louder machine might be okay for your basement or garage. 

4. Calculate long-term costs. Include the purchase price, replaceable filters, power usage, and overall maintenance costs. 

5. Read independent reviews to discover the pros and cons of the different types of air purifiers. 

You deserve to breathe the best quality air in your home. Various types of air purifiers can clean indoor air. Research your options and choose the air purifier that will meet your needs and protect your health.

This post written by Jennifer T

The Best Air Purifiers for Bedrooms

Not sleeping so great these days? It may well be the quality of your air in your bedroom, which can be filled with invisible mold spores, pet dander and dust mites. The good news is, you don’t need a massive, whole-house air cleaning system to deal with the problem.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, modern home builders allocate an average of 309 square feet for the master bedroom, and 481 square feet for other bedrooms.

What that means in terms of air purifiers is that often the more compact, less expensive models can do the crucial job of cleaning the air in your sleeping quarters. But you’ll be selling yourself short if you don’t purchase a quality product that meets your specific requirements.

For example, you might need the quietest air purifier on the market in order to sleep. Or you may lack floor space in your bedroom, making a compact tabletop model the best choice. Most crucially, if one of you has a serious condition such as asthma, the best air purifier for bedroom model will be one that rapidly and effectively cleans the air.

Read on to find some of the best air purifier for bedroom options. All feature HEPA filters rated to remove 99.97 percent of microscopic particles, making them more effective than most ionizer or electrostatic types.

Best for Larger Bedrooms and/or Asthmatics

Whether you have a luxurious master or a larger kids’ room, you can usually expect to spend up to $350 on an air purifier big enough to cover that extra square footage, according to Buyer’s Guide. And if one of those rooms houses an asthmatic sleeper, you certainly don’t want to skimp on quantity.

Fortunately, the Medify MA-40 Medical Grade True HEPA is under $300 on Amazon. It’s got top ratings from Buyer’s Guide and from reviewers on Amazon, specifically for its ability to protect people with asthma and other extreme sensitivities to air particles.

This model cleans up to 1300 square feet in one hour, and smaller bedrooms in as little as 15 minutes. It boasts a medical-grade HEPA filter. The unit also has a particle sensor, so that you can watch the front panel move from red to green to blue as it removes the air of dust, mold spores and other irritants.

In terms of size, this 15 pound, 26-inch high model is considered a floor unit, rather than one you can put on your dresser. But it’s still compact enough to tuck in a corner, or even to bring to other rooms as needed. More than 575 buyers have given the Medify MA-40 Medical Grade True HEPA a 5-star review on Amazon, with praise for its effectiveness, sleek design and reasonable noise level for its larger size.

Quietest Choice

If you’re not a fan of the white noise provided by many similar units, the best air purifier for bedroom option for you is probably the Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA Air Purifier, which is priced around $199. Consumer Reports lists this air purifier as one of its top 3 overall, and specifically mentions that it is relatively quiet even at its highest speed.

That high speed is the “Turbo Clean” setting, which tackles rooms in which dust and dander have gotten out of hand. But it also has three other cleaning levels, to save energy when a mega-purification isn’t needed. You’ll also have the option to have the unit circulate air in the bedroom up to five times per hour.

The 17-pound Honeywell works as either a floor or tabletop unit. It’s rated to clean a room up to 465 square feet. It also comes in white or black. For an additional $200, you can upgrade to the same model, but with Bluetooth capabilities. This feature enables you to use your phone to program it remotely to customize your settings, remind you to change your filters, and to sense when you’re within range, in order to start the unit running.

Most Cost-Effective

If your sleep space is on the smaller side, there’s little need to spend hundreds of dollars on an air purifier. To get the most bang for your buck, hOmeLabs Air Purifier for Home, Bedroom or Office is probably the best air purifier for bedroom sizes that are smaller. The unit currently retails for $69.99, and is designed to clean a bedroom up to 200 feet.

The hOmeLabs Air Purifier uses a HEPA H13 filter, which, like the other top air purifier for bedroom options, is also rated at removing 99.97 percent of air particles. At little more than 1 foot tall and 7.9 inches in diameter, and with a weight of under 7 pounds, the hOmeLabs unit can easily fit on a nightstand or at the back of your vanity table.

This air purifier owes its effectiveness through its three-layer filtration system, which consists of a “pre-layer” for larger impurities like pet hair, then the HEPA layer in the middle, and finally an activated carbon filter to reduce pet and smoke odors, along with other unpleasant smells.

“Best in Show”

Even among the big models out there that can clean multiple rooms, Buyers Guide chose a smaller, bedroom-friendly air filter as its “best all-around” winner. The Vremi Home Air Purifier with True HEPA Filter can clean up to 300 square feet — and is still under $100.

The Vremi uses a three-layer filtration system similar to the hOmeLabs, but boasts a few additional features that may make it worth the extra $30 or so. Not surprisingly — given its extra range of effectiveness — it’s also a bit bigger than the hOmeLabs air purifier, and better suited for the floor than on a dresser or nightstand.

Among its other stellar qualities, the Vremi is designed to be quieter than many other models. It also acts as a night lamp, with a timer and choice of brightness levels. This candidate for best air purifier for bedroom use also has three fan speeds, as well as an air quality gauge.

This post written by Melissa J

The Best Air Purifiers for Office

If you’re spending 40 hours a week at work, it’s important that your office space provides a safe, healthy, and productive environment. Whether you work in a larger shared office space or a small home office, you can benefit from a high quality air purifier that improves indoor air quality, making it easier and healthier to breathe. The healthier you are, the more productive and efficient you can be at work.

While there are a lot of different air purifiers on the market, most offices need a model that is not only effective but also quiet and easy to place without disrupting the office environment. Air purifiers that are quiet and compact while being easy to install, clean, and operate are the ideal units for an office environment, especially a shared space.

With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of our top pics for best air purifier for office:

1. Winix 5300-2

Best for: Staying quiet

While using an air purifier in the office can be a great way to maintain a healthy and productive work environment, you don’t want to disrupt the workspace with loud operational noise. Winix 5300-2 is rated very good for noise on both high- and low-speed settings, making it our top choice for best air purifier for office. The unit’s True HEPA filter captures 99.7% of airborne pollutants including pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens as small as 0.3 microns. While it does not perform as well on the low-speed setting, its quiet operation on high-speed makes it an excellent option for any office setting.

Rated as one of the best air purifiers for the office by Consumer Reports, Winix 5300-2 also rates highly on Amazon with an average rating of 4.6/5 after 1,249 positive reviews. If you are working from home, the annual cost of energy use is about $10 with replacement filters costing about $80 each year. Overall, this model is affordable with rather low operational costs, making it a budget-friendly option for the cost-conscious.

2. Blueair Blue Pure 211+

Best for: Larger offices

If you have a larger office space, you need to find an air purifier that is powerful enough to keep the air throughout your entire office clean. Performance certified by AHAM to filter room air 5 times an hour in spaces up to 540 sq. ft., the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ is an effective option for larger office spaces. The model’s Swedish filter technology captures 99% of airborne pollutants like pollen, dust, mold, viruses, pet dander, bacteria and more. Its activated carbon filter also eliminates odors and reduces gases and VOCs, leaving the office smelling fresh.

Wirecutter rates this model highly for its performance in larger rooms, and 932 Amazon customers have also offered a positive review for its ease of assembly and cleaning as well as its presentation and energy efficiency. The compact design, choice of colors, and quiet operation (31 dB) makes it easy to fit this model into any office environment.

3. Coway AP-1512HH Mighty

Best for: Durable, economical option

The Coway AP-1512HH Mighty is designed for floor or tabletop use in large offices up to 361 sq. ft. Its 4 stage filtration system includes a pre-filter, deodorization filter, true HEPA filter, and vital ionizer to capture and reduce up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns in the air. With its unique pollution sensor, you can see indoor air quality in real-time as the LED light changes colors to tell you how clean or dirty your indoor air is throughout the day.

With 797 positive customer reviews on Amazon for its energy efficiency and material quality, the Coway Mighty is a great overall option for those who are looking for a durable unit with a compact size and quiet operation. Wirecutter also rates this model highly due to its ability to maintain high performance over the course of years. Overall, the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty is an economical buy for those who want a long-lasting unit.

4. Levoit LV-PUR131

Best for: Small personal offices or home offices

If you have a smaller office space or a home office, you don’t need to spend extra money on a large powerful air purifier. The Levoit LV-PUR131 is ideal for small personal offices that cover 322 sq. ft. or less. This model includes a 3-stage air purification system, which includes a pre-filter to capture large particles, a True HEPA filter for trapping 99.97% of air pollutants down to 0.3 microns, and an activated carbon filter for eliminating odors, gases, chemicals, and odors that may be in your office environment.

Another unique feature of the Levoit LV-PUR131 is that it is smart-enabled. You can opt for the standard model with touch panel controls or upgrade to the Wi-Fi version that works with your Alexa device and allows you to control the unit, monitor your air quality, check the filter life, and set up timers or schedules from your smartphone. Over 1,500 Amazon customers have given this model positive reviews for its ease of assembly and installation as well as its noise level and durability. If you have a small office and want a smart air purifier, this model is for you.

5. Honeywell AirGenius 5 HFD-320

Best for: Washable filter

The Honeywell AirGenius 5 HFD-320 is designed for large rooms (250 sq. ft.) and offers 5 clean settings: germ, allergen, general, max, and sleep. With its EnergyStar rating, this unit uses the same amount of energy as a light bulb and offers quiet operation that is ideal for any workspace. The model’s touch screen makes it easy to use, while its tower design fits in well in most office settings.

One of the greatest benefits of the Honeywell AirGenius 5 HFD-320 is its permanent washable Energy Star certified and AHAM verified filter. This model also features optional pre-filters – a washable foam pre-filter and odor-reducing pre-filter – which help capture larger particles before they enter the permanent filter. Since you do not have to buy replacement filters, this model is a great option for those who want to save money on maintenance costs.

This post written by Sarah B

The Best Air Purifiers for Pets

Pet owners are continually working to keep ahead of the pet fur, dander, and smells that can make caring for furry friends a challenge. Unfortunately, no matter how much cleaning you do, there will always be fur and pet dander in the air, which can make your house dusty, dingy less-than-fresh, and even cause issues with allergies and asthma. 

A high-quality air purifier is the best way for pet owners to rid the air of allergens like fur and dander. Not only will it help with the air itself, but cleaner air means a cleaner home. Because every home and family’s needs are different, we have put together a guide to help you find the best air purifier for pets.

  • Germ Guardian – Germ Guardian is one of the most popular air purifiers on Amazon with over 13,500 reviews (as of February 2020.) Even with all those reviews, it has managed to maintain around a 4.5-star rating. Germ Guardian is a 3-in-1 air purifier. Being 3-in-1 means it kills germs with a UV light, it traps allergens (like pet hair and dander), and it reduces odors. All of these benefits can be highly useful for pet owners as they all improve the overall cleanliness and freshness of a household with pets. The Germ Guardian is designed to work medium to large-sized rooms, making it a smart choice for living areas. One final benefit that many reviewers compliment the Germ Guardian on is the quiet operation of the system. For an air purifier that may run continuously, the smooth operation is something you are sure to appreciate.
  • Hathaspace Smart True HEPA Air Purifier – The Hathaspace Smart True HEPA Air Purifier is a high-end 5-in-1 air purifying system. Air flows in the purifier and passes through five different filters, each with a unique purpose. The various filters make it extremely useful for pet owners since it can filter out fur, dander, and other allergens that are a challenge to deal with. What makes the Hathaspace different from many other air purifiers on the market are the smart features included. The air quality sensor informs you about the current air quality of your home, and it enables the machine to make adjustments to settings like fan speed on the fly. The addition of an auto mode and remote control allows you to control settings from anywhere in the room, or you can let the machine do the work for you, making adjustments when appropriate. Overall, this is one of the best-reviewed air purifiers available with a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on Amazon.
  • Hamilton Beach TrueAir Air Purifier – The Hamilton Beach TrueAir is a budget-friendly air purifier option that is still a good choice for pet owners. This model currently has a 4.3 out of 5-star rating on Amazon. The key feature is a true HEPA grade filter, assuring you excellent results with filtering out hair, dander, and other allergens. This purifier is quiet, easy to clean, and should adequately clean rooms up to 140 square feet. The TrueAir does not have the “smart” features that some of the other models we reviewed include, which is what makes for the more affordable price. However, if you’re looking for an excellent entry-level purifier that gets the job done, it’s hard to beat the Hamilton Beach TrueAir.
  • Medify MA-40 – While many pet owners are just looking for basic removal of pet odors, dander and fur, those who have severe allergies and asthma may want something just a little more effective. The Medify MA-40 offers medical-grade filtration. Additionally, this model can provide cleaning for a larger space than most of the other purifiers featured. It boasts it can clean up to a 1300 square foot room within an hour. With a particle sensor, four fan speeds, and night mode, there are plenty of features to make this a compelling choice for nearly any environment. The Medify MA-40 is available on Amazon, where it has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating.

Each of these air purifiers has numerous positive reviews and many fans. It’s important to check each one out and look for features that best fit your particular needs. When you find the best air purifier for pets in your home, you’ll be able to enjoy your pets AND clean air too.

This post written by Tracy S

Air Purifiers FAQs: Do Air Purifiers Help with Allergies?

Allergy symptoms occurring in the nasal passages, eyes and throat are caused by airborne contaminants. Common allergy symptoms include sinus drainage, post-nasal drip, swollen nasal passages that cause the nose to feel stuffed, a tickle in the throat that frequently leads to a dry cough, headaches, and itchy, swollen eyes with drainage. Since air purifiers can help reduce the number of airborne contaminant particles in the home, they can effectively reduce the symptoms associated with allergies.

Do Air Purifiers Help with Allergies?

What Causes Airborne Allergy Symptoms?

An individual experiences airborne allergy symptoms when his or her immune system is sensitive to a particular particle in the air. When these particles cause an allergy, they are referred to as allergens.

Which Air Particles Can Cause Allergy Symptoms?

Common airborne allergens include pet hair, pet dander (cat and dog), pollen, fungi spores, mold, tobacco smoke, dust and dust mites.

How Do Air Purifiers Help with Allergies?

An air purifier works by pulling air in via a fan and moving that air through at least one filter. The filter captures the particles and pollutants before pushing the air out the other side into the home.

What Are Air Purifier Filters Made Of?

Filters may consist of fiber (typically fiberglass), paper or mesh. To ensure the purifier remains efficient, filters must be changed or washed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. These recommendations can be found in the owner’s manual.

What is a High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter (HEPA)?

HEPA filters consist of multi-layered netting that is usually made of very fine fiberglass threads. Since airborne particle sizes vary, in order to capture particles of different sizes, the size of the gaps in these fiberglass threads vary as well.

How Does the Multi-Layered Netting Capture the Allergens?

As the allergens are pulled in by the fan, the particles that are larger than the filter’s fibers are captured when they crash into the fiber. The mid-sized allergens are captured when they touch the fiber. As the ultra-fine particles zigzag through the fibers, they begin hitting the fibers, which allows them to be captured.

How Effective Are Air Purifiers That Have HEPA Filters?

These filters are very effective at removing the ultra-fine airborne particles. These particles include pollen, dust, mold and dander. The industry standard for HEPA air purifying units requires that it be able to remove at least 99.97 percent of airborne particulates that measure 0.3-micron diameter (in the lab).

I Want to Get an Air Purifier, Which One Should I Choose?

Consumer Reports lists the Blueair Classic 605 and  Blueair Blue Pure 211+ (several options available) among the top air purifiers for 2020. Both air purifiers are available on Amazon. The Blueair Classic 605 has more than 400 ratings, with a total star rating of 4 ½ and the group of Blueair Blue Pure 211+ purifiers have more than 800 ratings, with a total star rating of 4 ½.

Once I Have an Air Purifier, Can I Stop Taking My Allergy Medication?

Although an air purifier can help prevent the onset of allergy symptoms, the reason an individual suffers from allergies varies, therefore, an air purifier should never be used as a means to replace other allergy treatments.

This post written by Trina M

Air Purifiers FAQs: Do air purifiers help with dust?

While trees are continually cleaning outdoor air, indoor air needs the help of filters and purifiers to stay unsullied. While air purifiers are excellent at removing pollutants from the air, do air purifiers help with dust? Let’s take a look.

What Is Dust?

Before we can determine whether air purifiers remove dust, it can be helpful to learn what dust is made of. What appears to be a uniform gray substance, dust is actually made up of everything from soil and organic materials to skin cells, food debris, pet dander, and even insect parts. Most of us work to keep our homes dust-free for a variety of reasons, and now we can add the fact that dust is made up of nasty stuff to the list.

Do Air Purifiers Help With Dust?

Along with being a foul substance, dust can also cause respiratory problems and other illnesses, especially for people with existing health conditions and allergies. Reducing the amount of dust in the home is important for your overall health and the appearance of your home, but cleaning dust can be a tedious task.

The good news is that air purifiers are designed to attract and trap dust particles as small as 0.3 microns. For comparison, a single strand of hair is between 100 and 150 microns wide, so air purifiers are picking up most of the tiniest particles floating around our homes and settling on our surfaces. The process is simple, too: as air moves through the filter of an air purifier, these microscopic particles are captured and clean air moves into the living area. 

Getting the Best Results

To get the cleanest air in your home, the filter of an air purifier must be changed regularly as a clogged filter will be unable to trap as many particles. A HEPA filter will also help ensure the cleanest air possible as their design is such that 99.97 percent of dust matter is caught. In fact, HEPA filters were designed to trap radioactive material in the air as part of the Manhattan Project so we can certainly trust them to remove most of the contaminants in our home’s air!

The Bottom Line

If you want cleaner air in your home, an air purifier will do the job. For the best results possible, choose a model that has the option for HEPA filters, and breathe easy when you’re at home.

This post written by Robin K

Air Purifiers FAQs: Do Air Purifiers Help With Mold?

When you consider the health and well being of your family, It’s natural to wonder “do air purifiers help with mold?”

Mold spores can cause allergic reactions and illnesses, so you’ll want to inspect and clean your dwelling on a regular basis and free of moisture caused by leaking water.

Air purifiers will not completely solve mold problems all by themselves but they definitely can help with mold: According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home, “Portable air cleaners and furnace/HVAC filters may remove some of the particles generated by mold. In some cases, they may also help reduce odors, but they will not resolve a mold and moisture problem.”

More advanced equipment is used to remove mold. The EPA notes in another edition of its report on air cleaners that ultraviolet germicidal radiation or UVGI cleaners can destroy “molds that are airborne or growing on HVAC surfaces (e.g., found on cooling coils, drain pans or ductwork.”

The air purifying system you install can include in-duct particle removal. As the EPA puts it, “Most mechanical air filters are good at capturing larger airborne particles, such as dust, pollen, dust mite and cockroach allergens, some molds, and animal dander.” Air filters are rated by their minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) ranging from 1 to 20. The EPA reports that air panels with a MERV of 1-4 can trap some mold spores, so they can provide a useful role in your air purifier setup.

Preventing Mold Growth

Mold tends to grow in moist conditions, so make sure to periodically tour your property, looking for cracks and signs of leaks. Sealing all potential entry points for water also helps keep out the wind, which makes it cheaper to keep your home warm in winter and cool in the summer. If you detect a mold infestation, it would be prudent to contact mold eradication professionals to help take care of the problem safely and efficiently.

Remember to Change Filters on a Regular Basis

It makes sense to use air purifiers inside your home, especially if you have children, elderly people or anyone with a health issue that would be affected by poor air quality. To get the most out of your home air purifier, make sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendation on how often you should change the filter. Then put a reminder in your calendar, just as you would to routinely swap out batteries in your home’s smoke alarms.

This post written by Dave C