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Air Purifier Buying Guide
Do you need an air purifier?
Yes, you do. Everyone needs an air purifier because the air inside our homes is dirty. How dare you say my air is polluted! Well, sorry, but it’s true. We create almost all the pollutants in our air. Dust, viruses, bacteria, volatile organic compounds from cleaning supplies, and other contaminants are almost entirely the result of us living in our homes.
Ready to purchase an air purifier, right now? We can help!
What does an air purifier do?
An air purifier removes pollutants from the air. It does so by drawing air, via a fan, through a filter, and, in some cases, treating it with an antimicrobial light. Some air purifiers add stuff to the air, such as ozone or ions. Unfortunately, the scientific research on ozone and ionization is sparse, and what we have doesn’t look that great. So, get an air purifier that filters the air via a True HEPA filter while not adding anything more to the air. And be sure to look for an ENERGY STAR certified air purifier.
What to consider when buying an air purifier
True HEPA is the clear leader. It captures 99.97 percent of pollutants in your air, including PM1 particles which are so small that they can easily enter your bloodstream. It can also viruses, bacteria, and other harmful microbes.
Pay attention to how easy or difficult it is to purchase and replace the filter. Ideally, you can set yourself up with a recurring delivery. And look at the cost of the filters. But don’t let the price of a True HEPA filter scare you off. They are worth the slight increase in cost over a simple charcoal filter that you might find in an inexpensive model.
This is the testing measurement that the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) uses. AHAM is the organization that certifies home appliances like air purifiers. CADR is the Clear Air Delivery Rate. The CADR shows the volume of clean air that an air purifier produces at its highest fan speed. The higher the CADR score, the better. But, pay attention to the type of CADR rating because different ratings exist for various pollutants. If your home is in an area with high pollen counts, pay attention to the CADR rating for that.
Running an air purifier at full speed all the time may not be necessary. If you are correctly ventilating your home, you may have excellent indoor air quality and need an air purifier only in rooms where spot cleaning the air is necessary, such as a nursery, mud room, or next to the dog’s bed. A quality air purifier will have built-in sensors that detect various indoor air quality pollutants. The Broan-NuTone Air Purifier, for example, has sensors for small particles that include odors, respiratory droplets, dust, and pollen. It can also detect total volatile organic compounds. When it senses too much of any of these, it will automatically speed up its fan to quickly clean the air and then slow down to low speed when the air is clear.
Some air purifiers will use UV light to kill living organisms found in the air. Be sure that the light is contained inside the unit so that it does not negatively affect the people or pets living in the home.
AHAM also certifies that an air purifier can handle cleaning the room size listed on its seal. You may not get the needed room-clearing power if you don’t see the AHAM seal. You can always place a more powerful air purifier in a smaller room but don’t count on it performing well if you put an underpowered unit in a larger space.
Any product with a fan makes noise. But it doesn’t have to sound like a jumbo jet. A quality air purifier will be quiet at low speed and reasonably audible at high speed. A great air purifier will ramp its speed up and down based on the pollutants in the air. If your home is well-ventilated, you may not realize your air purifier is on because it will run at lower speeds.
How to buy an air purifier.
Take this guide with you and pay attention to the logos and icons on the box or webpage at the retail store or website at which you are buying your new air purifier. If you’re ready to buy now, we can help!
Buy a Broan-NuTone Air Purifier with Advanced Particulate Sensing and True HEPA filter.