If you’re looking to find the best air purifiers for your home or business, you’ve come to the right place. Our goal is to provide you with enough free information and guidance on air purifier technology so that you can make the perfect buying decision.
Not all air purifiers are made the same, nor do they cleanse air in the same ways. Many people don’t know this fact and wonder why a unit like a Honeywell true HEPA purifier is more expensive than an Ionic Pro Compact unit.
By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly why they are priced differently and how each of the various technologies work. You’ll know how to read air purifier reviews with complete confidence after finishing this post.
While the information we are sharing here is just a quick guide to help you get started, we also have a website full of free guides on all types of topics with reviews for the best air purifiers online.
These guides include specific information for helping people that suffer from all types of allergies, those that want to get rid of smoke or odors, and people who want to eradicate harmful pathogens such as viruses and bacteria from the air within their homes. It’s all there for free!
So, let’s get started!
The Most Important Features to Consider with Air Purifier Reviews
Type of Filtering
When looking for an air purifier for your house or office you need to consider what type of filtering technology you want it to use. This is important because some units cycle the air through the unit and capture the particles onto a physical filter, while other devices zap airborne particles and cause them to fall to the floor. Both work equally as well at purifying the air, yet the latter one requires weekly vacuuming to remove the grounded particles (however saves you money by not requiring costly filter changes.)
A true-HEPA filtering air purifier is one that uses a physical filter that sucks in air and traps the particles within it.
It has these positive attributes:
- One of the best filtering systems available today
- Can remove 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. This includes things such as pollen and other common allergens.
- A great type of air purifier for those who suffer from allergies or asthma
However it does have a few shortcomings, such as:
- Requires filter changes every few months to a year, which must be budgeted for
- Doesn’t filter particles smaller than 0.3 microns, such as pet dander
- Is not the best at removing smoke or odors from the room
- Doesn’t kill airborne viruses
- Usually the most expensive type of air purifier
As a side note, when looking at air purifier reviews make sure that you are not foiled by getting a unit that has a “HEPA-type” or “”HEPA-grade” filtering system. While you may think they are spinoffs of “true-HEPA”, they are not. Their air purification ability is tremendously less than a true-HEPA unit. In fact, some may only filter particles as small as 3-5 microns, which is a huge difference between 0.3 microns that a true-HEPA air purifier can remove. When looking for the best air purifiers, always keep this in mind when looking at devices.
An ionic (or ionizer) filtering air purifier is another type of technology you’ll find when looking for an air purifier. This device sends out negative ions into the air to cling onto positive ions (like allergens and pet dander) and cause them to become too heavy to stay in the air. Eventually, they fall to the floor.
These types of devices have these positive attributes:
- One of the cheapest types of air purifiers
- Can filter 99.99% of particles as small as .01 microns in size, such as pet dander
- Perfect for people who smoke, cook a lot or us a lot of paints or chemicals around the house since it can remove these smaller particles
- Doesn’t require costly filter changes. Instead, most units have a particle collection plate that attracts the falling pollutants from the air.
- Usually the cheapest type of air purifier
The downsides of an ionic purifier are these:
- Doesn’t suck up all particles falling from the air. Many still remain on the floor and must be vacuumed up.
- Takes longer to initially work as it has to send out enough negative ions in order to latch onto and weigh down positive particles, causing them to fall to the floor
- Grounded particles can be kicked up into the air again and reduce the efficiency of the device
- Does not remove odors or smells
- Does not kill airborne viruses
Two other filtering types you want to think about when looking for the best air purifier for your house or business are Ultra Violet (UV) and Activated Carbon. These two types of filtering technologies pick up where the true-HEPA and Ionic devices leave off.
As you noticed above, true-HEPA and Ionic units don’t do a very good job at removing odors or killing airborne viruses. That’s not what they’re made for. They’re made to remove allergens mostly.
To get rid of odors and smells you’ll want to find a device that includes an Activated Carbon pre-filter. This simple filter is excellent at absorbing odors, smells, gases and chemicals. For the freshest smelling air for a room you have to have one of these included with the air purifier.
When looking at air purifier reviews, you’ll also come across the term Ultra Violet (UV) radiation. Don’t let this term scare you, it is completely safe for humans. What this technology does is sends out a beam of light into the room which attacks airborne viruses, germs and harmful bacteria. The light destroys the DNA makeup of these toxins and makes the room the unit is placed in very sterile and safe to be in.
This Video Reviews 5 Great Air Purifiers
A Few Other Key Features to Finding the Best Air Purifier
When reviewing air purifiers and trying to find the best one for your needs you also need to keep these few ratings in mind:
- ACH rating
- CADR rating
- Energy Star rating
ACH stands for Air Changes Per Hour. This tells you how well an air purifier cleanses a room each hour. Just remember, the higher the number the more efficient it is. We recommend to only get a device that has at least a 4x rating (4 air changes per hour.)
CADR stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate. This tells you how well the unit can remove three things: Dust, Pollen and Tobacco Smoke. Again, the higher the number the better. An air purifier with a rating of 220/230/210 is better than one that has 110/115/120.
Energy Star is a government backed program that helps homeowners and business protect the environment by using only superior quality energy efficiency. Always look for a device that is Energy Star qualified, this will ensure that you’re not only helping the environment but also saving yourself a lot of money. Energy Star air purifiers have extremely low operating costs, which is important because most people leave their air purifiers running 24 hours per day.
Now that you’re done reading this short guide, you should feel confident on how to understand air purifier reviews for any type of device. You should also feel empowered to find the best air purifier for your needs because you can now know how each filtering technology works.
For example, if you’re a person suffering from pollen allergies and wants to remove odors from your house, a HEPA device with an Activated Carbon pre-filter is probably your best choice
If you’re a smoker on the other hand, with pets, and wants to not only eradicate the smoke from your home but also the smell, and keep it safe from airborne viruses, an Ionic device with an Activated Carbon pre-filter and Ultra Violet radiation technology would be perfect for you.
So, you can see that air purifier technology can be mixed and matched to suit your individual needs for your specific environment.