7 things to consider before buying an air purifier

A Man Removing Filter From an Air Purifier Placed on a Floor

Throughout the year, many of us suffer from coughing, sneezing, and other respiratory problems due to increased levels of pollutants in the air in the home. Because indoor air does not circulate frequently, these pollutants stay indoors and exacerbate health problems.

An air purifier can be useful when battling allergies. Air passes through layers of filters, captures all kinds of pollutants, and recirculates fresh air into the room.

If you are planning to buy an air purifier, we have compiled a list of things you need to consider while making your purchase.

1. Determine your needs

Checklist of different things

Outline your requirements for purchasing an air purifier before looking at the technical specifications. Are you planning to use it to absorb dust and toxins in the bedroom or in the kitchen to fight smoke? How often will you be able to clean it? Can you replace filters frequently? What is the size of the room you plan to use it in? How portable and smart do you want your device to be?

You will need to properly state your needs while reading the guide to make a wise purchase.

2. Choose the right filtration system

Row filters in the air purifier
image rights: Amazon

The air is completely cleaned through filters in the air purifier. The better the installed filters absorb different types of pollutants, the cleaner the air. Some filters (such as HEPA) are excellent at removing pet dander, while others (such as activated carbon filters) effectively remove kitchen smoke and other unpleasant odors. In the same way, ionizers and ultraviolet lights effectively remove dust particles and kill bacteria.

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In addition, some filtration technologies – such as ozone generators – effectively remove mold but should not be used around people with chronic lung disease.

For this reason, you need to be mindful of health concerns when purchasing some air purifiers.

In addition, a few air purifiers come with one or more pre-filters, with the goal of sucking large pollutants out of the air before entering the main filter compartment. Since they are less expensive, you can replace them more frequently, which helps extend the life of your primary filters. So choosing an air purifier with pre-filters is a good idea.

In short, an air purifier with proper filtration technology is of paramount importance. Consider the type of filter and technology your air purifier has as you compare it to your needs before you buy. Also observe the air quality of your room using the best smart air quality monitors to understand how effective the filtration system is.

3. Consider ACH and CADR Ratings

ACH (Air Change per Hour) is a measure of an air purifier’s efficiency. Indicates the number of times an air purifier can recycle polluted air (after it has been cleaned) within a specified space (room area). The higher this rating, the better your air purifier will be at facilitating access to fresh air.

The size of your room mainly affects the ACH, the larger the room, the lower the ACH rating. You don’t have to calculate this rating manually because most manufacturers determine hourly air changes for their devices according to different room sizes. But, since these are selected under ideal test conditions, don’t expect them to perform as well as advertised.

Additionally, some manufacturers specify a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) for air purifiers, indicating their ability to remove three types of pollutants from the air such as smoke, dust, and pollen. In the same way as ACH, this rating determines the efficiency and effectiveness of air purifiers. The higher the rating, the more efficient your unit.

Most air purifiers also have adjustable fan speeds. Depending on the type of filter technology, fan speed may or may not affect ACH or CADR ratings. When units have filters installed, the ratings will increase with a higher fan speed, but if the air purifier works only with ionization or similar technology, having multiple fan speeds won’t make much difference.

4. Check the cleaning requirements and maintenance cost

Depending on how often you need to clean your air purifier or replace its filters, you will have to put in extra maintenance efforts and incur additional costs.

Although the frequency of cleaning and filter replacement will depend solely on how polluted the air is, choosing an easy-to-clean air purifier will simplify your life. You can use different apps and websites to check the air quality in your area.

The long lasting filter will also keep the replacement cost low. A filter replacement interval of more than four months is ideal. Many HEPA filters last about six months or even longer.

Some purifiers come with a filter replacement indicator that turns on automatically when the replacement date approaches or if the filter becomes clogged before the replacement date. The indicator is useful for people with poor memories who often forget when to replace filters. Thus, the filter replacement indicator allows you to know when it is appropriate to replace the filter.

5. Consider noise level and power consumption

The higher the noise level, the more inconvenient the operation of the air purifier, and you may be restricted to using it during the day. So make sure that the unit you choose does not have a noise level that exceeds 40-50 dB. This will allow the unit to be used at night.

The energy consumption of air purifiers is much lower than that of other devices you use at home, such as a computer or an air conditioner.

6. Smart Features

Amazon Alexa Echo Dot 3rd Generation

Smart air purifiers come with smart features like air quality monitoring, Wi-Fi connectivity, and a programmable timer that set them apart from classic models. Here’s how these features make the purifier easy to use:

  1. timer: The programmable timer can be useful for busy parents who don’t have the time to turn the unit on and off frequently throughout the day. By setting the unit to operate during specific periods of the day or night, you can ensure optimal energy consumption.
  2. WiFi connection: Most Wi-Fi enabled devices come with an app that allows you to control all purification settings from a distance. Furthermore, Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to control the unit via Alexa and Google Assistant, but only if the devices are compatible.
  3. air quality sensor An air purifier with an air quality sensor automatically adjusts the fan speed after detecting the air quality in the room. It also turns the unit on and off as needed.

7. Certificates and Warranty

The more certificates a unit has, the higher its purchase value. CARB, AHAM, Energy Star, and UL are popular certifications for air purifiers. Moreover, having at least 1-2 years warranty ensures that you spend your money well.

Finding the right air purifier in a crowded market can be overwhelming. If you’re thinking of a quick buy, check out our list of the best air purifiers to keep the air clean.

Choose the right air purifier for your home

By reading this guide, you will be able to narrow down your options and make an informed purchase. When comparing features and prices, keep things balanced. Consider the different models that offer the features you want and choose the one that fits your budget.

It is essential to understand how an air purifier works and maintain your health before purchasing it. As a result, you will be able to tell if you need an air purifier in the first place.

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