So you have decided to get an air cleaner for your home or office but not sure how to pick the right one? You are not alone. The range of air purifying devices can be mind-boggling and confusing. The liberal use of jargons by salespeople, on websites and in printed brochures didn’t make the job any easier either.
You have come to the right place. Here are seven important areas you should look out for when you are shopping for that right air purifier:
Home air cleaners come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and capabilities
Check out these useful buying tips before getting an air purifier for your home and office:
1. Air Cleaning Technologies
The important fact to bear in mind is: no one air purifying technology is perfect. Manufacturers are well-aware of that and that’s why they build air cleaners that employ multiple complementing technologies. For instance, HEPA filter is good for trapping ultra small particles, but it is useless against bad odors and volatile organic compounds. That’s when we need activated carbon filter since it excels in removing fumes, odors and gases. Check out this post for more air purifying technologies commonly used in air cleaners to learn more.
2. Room Size
Find out the size of the room where the air purifier will be installed. Every air purifier can only cover a limited area specified by the manufacturer. Make sure the one you are buying fits or exceeds your total room space. Do not expect an air purifier that is built for 40 m2 to work for the whole house or apartment unless your home is of that size. Realistically, portable air purifiers can only purify one room or one area at any one time, as they cannot circulate air effectively throughout an entire house or apartment with multiple rooms. Although some in-duct air cleaners can purportedly filter an entire house, they may not be as effective as a portable air cleaner that is dedicated for a single room or area. Besides, it is also not easy to find an in-duct air cleaner that offers multiple air cleaning technologies as you would find in portable units. If you like to filter the air in more than one room, consider installing one portable air purifier in each room.
3. Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR)
CADR tells you how effective a portable air filter is in reducing smoke, dust, and pollen particles between the range of 0.10 to 11 micron. The higher the CADR, the faster the air purifier works. Hence, CADR can be one of the useful metrics to compare different air cleaners. However, since it is not a mandatory standard, not every manufacturer supports it. So you may come across devices that do not bear the CADR certification. Check out this post if you like to know more about CADR.
4. Purchasing and Recurring Costs
Cost is obviously in the mind of many air purifier buyers. The best way to get a good price for the unit that you like is, of course, to compare prices in different stores, online or off. You can typically find reasonable prices on Amazon.com, especially during festive periods such as Christmas.Besides the one-time cost, remember also to find out the recurring costs you will need to incur for the maintenance of the air cleaner. In order for an air purifier to work at its best, the filter must be replaced regularly. How long a filter lasts depends very much on the model, frequency of use as well as the air quality of the environment. Once you know how much a replacement filter costs and how long it typically lasts, you can easily calculate likely cost incurred per month.Don’t forget about the cost of running the air filter too. The energy needed to power the purifier can also add up to your energy cost, especially if you intend to use it every day.
To preempt any nasty surprise, ask whether they are other parts in the air purifier that needs to be replaced periodically, or additional servicing that needs to be purchased separately before buying. While multiple air cleaning technologies makes a device more powerful, that also translates into more serviceable parts or parts that need to be changed regularly.
5. Maintenance Required
Other than replacing filter cartridges, does the air purifier need to be hand cleaned regularly? Many air cleaners come with washable pre-filter to trap larger particles such as hair and scurf so as to increase the durability and performance of subsequent filters in the device. If you don’t like to idea of adding another task to your household chores, then you may want to consider looking for a maintenance-free unit.
6. Noise Level
If you plan to use an air purifier in your bedroom, it is important to consider the noise level generated by the unit. Some air purifiers do generate pretty loud noise, especially when they are turned to higher fan speeds. The faster the fan in the air cleaner spins, the more air it will be able to purify, but the more noise it produces too. If possible, go to stores to gauge the sound level of the unit you are interested in first. Run the air cleaner at medium speed and see whether you are comfortable with the sound you hear. Why not the lowest speed? Because at that level, the air cleaner may not be doing its job effectively even though the sound it produces is low.
7. Your Specific Needs
It is important to bear in mind the reasons why you are getting an air purifier. People usually buy an air cleaner for their home or office because they are suffering from some respiratory disease such as asthma and allergies. You may also have other requirements like the dimensions or the appearance of the unit. With clear objectives, you will be in a better position to get an air filter that meets most, if not all, your needs.For example, if you are getting an air filter to reduce the amount of pollens in your home, zoom in on units that incorporate features and technologies that trap pollens well. The last thing you want is to buy a cool looking air filter that does a poor job in reducing the type of allergen you want to get rid of.