Air Purifiers: 5 Questions to Determine Which is Best For You Air Purifiers: 5 Questions to Determine Which is Best For You

Five years ago if you had air purifiers, guests might have giggled at the thought of someone trying to sterilize air. Today, however, it seems almost every household has at least one. Allergy relief, combating air pollution, and controlling asthma (a growing epidemic in this country) are three major reasons air purifiers help us breathe easier. Additionally, air purifiers are excellent for people with chemical sensitivities since these air purifiers eliminate chemicals and odors. Air purifiers are everywhere, but how do you determine which air cleaner is best for you? The answer is just five questions away!

First of all, what are air purifiers? Air purifiers are portable units that suck in air and rid it of allergens and pollutants before releasing it back into the room. In short, these air cleaners create sterile, healthier air within the home. The difference between most air purifiers is 1) size and color of the unit 2) type of filtration system (hepa, multi gas, ultraviolet, voc, electrostatic); 3) whether the unit is silent or sounds like a fan 4) cost/efficiency of the air purifier and 5) performance. With this in mind, let’s get to those five questions.

Question One: How Much Air Purifier do You Need?

Different air purifiers cover different amounts of square footage in your home. You can’t buy a $50 air purifier at the discount store, set it in the family room and expect it to clean all the air in your home (unless your home consists of just that family room.) First determine how many rooms you would like the unit(s) to cover. If your home has an open floor plan, you may only need one or two units, but if you have many walls and doors, you will probably need a combination of larger and smaller air cleaners.

Question Two: How Much Effort Will You Put Into Your Air Purifier?

Some air purifiers have a filter, which means you have to purchase the correct filter and change it every few months. Changing filters is simple and takes less than one minute. If you shop around for the best deals, these filters are pretty inexpensive. Infomercials for filterless air purifiers will exaggerate the effort that must be put into air cleaners that use filters. The companies that make filterless purifiers really try to sell you on the fact that they have no filters to clean, however, you must still remove part of the unit and wipe off the debris. If you have the money to invest, there are also filterless, maintenance free air sterilizers on the market.

Question Three: Is Silence in Air Purifiers a Virtue to You?

The answer to that question is that it depends on you. Do you want a silent unit, or do you find the low fan-like sound soothing? Many people find that this sound blocks out outside “noise” and allows them to sleep better (an added bonus!) Yet others don’t care for the noise and prefer the silent type.

Question Four: How Much is That Air Purifier in The Window?

How much you want to spend on an air purifier can pretty much determine the type you will buy. For example, maintenance free units, that cover about 250 square feet can cost almost $300, while a filter unit covering up to 500 square feet can be about $80.

Additionally, air purifiers use electricity and while it is not a lot and we’re only talking a couple of dollars per bill, if you have multiple machines the extra cost can be noticeable. Secondly, if you choose a unit with filters, don’t forget in order for that unit to work effectively you will need to buy and change filters.

Question Five: Why Are You Buying an Air Purifier?

This is perhaps the most important question. Are you buying an air purifier because you or someone in your family is suffering from asthma or bad allergies? Then you want to make sure you purchase the best-performing air purifier you can afford. You might find this shocking, but not all air purifiers perform the same. The Ionic Breeze, for example, charges airborne particles electrically causing pollutants to stick to a metal bar, which you then clean. It can cost upwards of $500 and was given a poor rating by Consumer Reports. Despite this, The Ionic Breeze makes up 25% of all air purifiers sold. Just because a company has a great marketing budget, doesn’t mean they have the best product. Check out what Consumer Reports has to say about the unit you’re considering and make sure the Asthma and Allergy Association of America endorses it.

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