Air Purifier Buying Guide

Air cleaners, also called air purifiers, can help improve the quality of the air in your home by removing dust, pet dander, mold, or other irritants. Air cleaners range from portable to whole-house models. You can even get mini, refrigerator, and car air purifiers. Whole-house air cleaners offer the greatest efficiency but typically cost more than other options and sometimes require professional installation.

Air Purification Technologies

Every air purification technology has its strengths and weaknesses. In which case, an air purifier that offers multiple technologies is generally best, in order to combine the advantages, and eliminate the disadvantages of each air purification method.

Hepa Air Filtration

Hepa air filters are the most efficient type of air filter available. They are 99.97% effective at removing particles as small as 0.3 microns. Hepa Air Filter Strengths

  • Removal of dust, pollens, mold spores, dust mites, and other allergens.
  • Removal of many bacteria.
  • Solid particles captured are not released into the air again.

Hepa Air Filter Weaknesses

  • Difficult time removing airborne particles from across the room, since they must be drawn through the filter.
  • Do not remove chemical fumes, gases, cigarette smoke or odors.
  • Do not capture ultra-fine particles, viruses or germs.
  • Micro-organisms captured in filter can breed and/or reproduce, resulting in increased micro-organism populations.
Air Ionizer

An air ionizer creates negative ions, which change the polarity of airborne particles, causing them to magnetically attract together. As a result, they become to large to remain airborne, and fall out of the air that you breathe in. The most effective ionizers use a stainless steel “needlepoint” to produce negative ions. Air Ionizer Strengths

  • Removal of particles from the air, including ultra-fine particles as small as 0.01 microns.
  • Neutralization of viruses, bacteria, cigarette smoke and chemical fumes.
  • Can circulate throughout the room to remove airborne particles that are across the room from where the air purifier sits.

Air Ionizer Weaknesses

  • Does not collect many or most of the airborne particles removed from the air.
  • Does not remove odors.
  • Does not kill germs, fungi (although it does remove them from the air), and not all viruses.
  • Does not remove all chemicals.