While the air outside is full of pollutants, indoor spaces, too, can contain certain particles that are bad for health. Appliances, pets, and plants can release harmful contaminants, smoke, germs, pollen, dust, mold, and animal dander. Since nearly everyone spends about 90 percent of their lives in indoor spaces, it becomes essential to purify the air inside, and an air purifier can certainly help in doing so. If you are confused about which air purifier is right for you, then here are a few tips that might help:
Know about the types of filters available
Before buying an air purifier, you must know that there are several technologies that are available in the market. Each of these employ a different method to purify indoor air. Here are three of the most popular types of purifiers based on the filter types and the technology they use.
- Activated carbon filters
These are sorbent filters that use activated carbon. Purifiers with this type of filter are good at absorbing odor molecules and some gases. However these filters may not be equipped enough to absorb all kinds of dust particles.
- Mechanical filters
These are pleated filters that use fans, which push the air across a mesh of fibers to trap dust particles. These are high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which are designed to collect very fine dust particles. However, the maintenance cost of mechanical filters is quite high, and these filters may not be quite effective in clearing the air of all gases or odors.
- Ozone generators
As the name suggests, ozone generators release ozone molecules, which react with pollutants and change their chemical composition. However, ozone generators are not easily recommended as they may end up deteriorating the air quality further.
Other common types of filtering systems include photocatalytic oxidation (PCO), ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), and electric purifiers, among others.
Determine the size of the room
It is important to assess the size of the space that you want the purifier to clean. You can determine this by looking at the specifications of your chosen air purifier. You can specifically look at the “air changes per hour” unit on the device. This indicates how many times an air purifier can turn the air over in a room. For instance, for your study, you may prefer a compact, desktop device; and if you need to purify the air in a huge room, then a heavy-duty air purifier would be suitable.
Check the CADR
The Clean Air Delivery Rate measures the cleaning speed of purifiers. It is the speed at which a purifier turns the air to filter pollen, smoke, and dust from an indoor space. It is recommended to look for air purifiers with a CADR of 300 or more.
Check for the AHAM mark
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers puts out design standards for better performance, safety, and efficiency of home appliances. Make sure that you check for the AHAM-verified mark on the air purifier that you decide to buy. Many well-known air purifier manufacturers and brands have undergone an AHAM certification program. This certification also includes CADRs.
Calculate the maintenance cost
Maintenance costs are incurred due to replacement and care of filters. To ensure that an air purifier works efficiently, periodic replacement of filters is crucial. Carbon and HEPA filters get clogged since they trap particulate matter. Hence, air purifiers with such filters require routine cleanups and replacements. On the other hand, ionic purifiers do not come with substantial maintenance costs as they don’t have degradable filters. Apart from the filter, the quality of air and nature of use should also be factored in when calculating the total maintenance cost. Before purchasing a purifier, make sure to check filter replacement costs and the intervals at which the filter needs to be changed.
Find the tolerable noise level
Air purifiers that use fans will produce some level of noise, which usually depends on the speed of the fan. The higher the speed, the more the noise. If the purifier is too small for a room, then the fan will have to operate at a higher speed, leading to more noise. Ensure that you check the noise level of the purifier before you make a buying decision.