Air purifiers have become rather popular today as a way to help people with allergies control their indoor environments, and to filter both indoor and outdoor pollution. The proper air purifiers can make your indoor home or office environment healthier, but there are several types of air purifiers, and you need to know the difference when you plan to purchase one. The following buying guide will help you make the right choice when searching for an air purifier.
Types of Air Purifiers
There are essentially three technologies that purify air: HEPA filters that hold the smallest of air particles; Ionization which cleanse air by emitting a certain percentage of ozone, and electrostatic air purification which utilises charged plates that have positive and negative polarity. Air purifiers can use a combination of HEPA filters, with a pre-filter that begins trapping particles even before they get to the HEPA filer. Ionic purifiers have been discouraged by some sources because the ozone emissions may affect people with allergies and asthma, something an air purifier is meant to avoid.
Within these three types of purifiers, there are subtle divergences among models and different sizes and features. Air purifiers can be small, designed to sit on a desk in an office, or be quite of large stand-up models for purifying air in a large room or rooms.
Air purifiers differ in the amount of allergens and other air impurities that are removed from the air. Many boast that they remove from 98% to 100% of impurities, while others remove around 80% to 85%. Some air purifiers are filter free, while others work with filters that trap the pollutants within the filter. Some air purifiers do their task with a fair amount of noise, while others boast a quiet system of purification. Some air purifiers eradicate a host of pollutants including allergens, viruses, bacteria and odors, but don’t eliminate chemical pollutants. Others cover all types of pollutants.
Good air purifiers might be relatively expensive, depending on size and features. Air filters start at about $60 for a simple, relatively small table top air purifier, and go up to $700 for large floor models. The price will also vary based on the technology used to purify the air, and the percentage and type of particulates that are ultimately trapped by the technology.
Air purifiers vary greatly in design. There are air purifiers made of different materials, colors, shapes and sizes. There are stand-up and portable models. If you will purchase a rather large standing model that will have the ability to cover a large area, you will want to choose a model that is not only safe and effective, but that will mix in with your room environment.
It is very important to check ratings and reviews of air purifiers because each model has a different technology for removing pollutants, and some air purifiers are more efficient at removing more pollutants. The powerful consumer resource, will give you an overall rating on each air purifier model that is based on numerous individual reviews. You can also read the unique reviews behind the score.
Technical specifications will vary greatly among air purifiers. Technical specifications for a mid-priced ($200) standing air purifier may feature maintenance free – with no filters, no fan speeds, and no controls. It will cover a room size of 450-650 square feet. A $400 model may have an internal ionizer, HEPA carbon filter that will last 6 months; a low noise level; four fan speeds; manual control knobs, and work in a room up to 365 square feet.
Where to Shop
It may be a challenge to find a large selection of air filters in stores. Some specialized stores, such as the Sharper Image, may have a selection, along with bigger department stores. It is most efficient to shop online to see the complete line of air filters available, and understand the different features. You can also comparison shop online to get the best buy.