If you still consider air purifiers as luxuries, you are mistaken and exposing yourself to the risk of respiratory diseases. Many people assume that their indoor air is fresh especially after cleaning all the surfaces. But research proves that indoor air is five times more polluted than the air outside.
That said, you need a solution to healthy indoor air. Buying an air purifier is the solution to keeping your indoor air clean and safe. However, with many brands and variations on the market finding the best air purifier in Canada can be a challenging task.
In this article, we will discuss important factors you should consider before settling for an air purifier.
Table of Contents
- Factors to Consider When Shopping for an Air Purifier
Factors to Consider When Shopping for an Air Purifier
As indicated above, you have to keep a few things in mind as you search for the best air purifier for your home, car, or office. Let’s take a look…
1. The main pollutant you want to eliminate
Before anything else, it is important to identify what you want to remove from your indoor air. It is for this reason that you should not invest in an air purifier because you saw it at your friend’s house.
Every household has different types of air pollution. Common air pollutants include dust, pollen, smoke, odors, fumes, pet dander, fungi, and bacteria, among others.
Once you identify the main air pollutant in your space, get an air purifier for the specific need because they are designed for different air cleaning needs. For instance, if you have pets, you should get an air purifier that gets rid of pet odors.
2. Type of air purifier
Air purifiers are different and they use different filtration systems. The filtration system determines how many allergens and contaminated air particles are removed from your indoor air. Let us look at the different types of purifiers:
HEPA air purifiers
HEPA air purifiers use HEPA filters which can capture up to 99.97% of particles in the air. So, they are the best when it comes to filtration efficiency. They are best in trapping pollen, dust, pet dander, mold spores, and so on.
However, the filters get clogged with time hence the need for replacement after 6 to 12 months depending on your locality.
Carbon air purifiers
Carbon air purifiers use filters with activated charcoal. These filters are highly absorbent with very many tiny pores that attract microscopic airborne particles. They adsorb odors, smells, smoke, VOCs, and some gases from the air.
Carbon filters get clogged too and will need replacement after 3 to 6 months depending on usage and neighborhood.
Ionic air purifiers
Ionic air purifiers do not use filters. Instead, they emit charged ions in the air which attract pollutants.
Once the contaminants in the air attach to the ions, they become too heavy to float hence they fall on surfaces for easy cleanup. They are effective in removing, dust, pollen, mold spores, smoke, fungi, and some bacteria.
Therefore, if you use an ionizer, you must dust your furniture and upholstery as well as vacuum your house regularly.
UV light air purifiers
UV light air purifiers emit Ultraviolet light that destroys the DNA molecules of air contaminants, making them inactive or killing them. For effectiveness, the air should be exposed to strong UV lights for a long period. They are effective in dealing with bacteria, germs, and viruses.
How much will it cost you to continue using the air purifier? If you decide to buy an air purifier with filters, the common maintenance issue will be replacing the filters. So, before taking the appliance home, you should know how long you will be replacing the filters and the cost of replacement.
HEPA filters require replacement after 12 months, carbon filters will last at most 6 months, and pre-filters last about 3 months but they are washable. However, the actual time taken before replacement time depends on usage.
On the other hand, ionic and UV air purifiers do not use filters hence they are maintenance-free. So, depending on your air purification needs and budget choose the best air purifier for you.
4. Size of the air purifier
Air purifiers are not one size fits all. So, you need to consider the size of your house to select the most appropriate purifier. To make the best selection, check the square foot rating on the air purifier you want to buy.
If it is too small for your space, it will be less effective. Therefore, get a purifier with the same or higher square foot rating than the room you want to place it in.
Alternatively, if you want an air purifier for a specific room, you can buy a small one or get a whole-house model if you want to take care of the whole house at once.
However, if you are not sure of the size of the room, you can easily measure and calculate by multiplying the size of the width and length of the room. So, if the room is 40 feet by 10 feet, its size is 400 square feet and you should get an air purifier that can handle 400 square feet or more.
5. Noise rating
You cannot forget to check on the highest noise level of the air purifier you are about to buy. Most air purifiers with a fan will produce noise but at different levels.
If you will be using it in the bedroom, or if you and your kids or pets do not like a noisy environment, choose a model with a noise level of 50dB and below.
You can consider getting an Airfree model because they are completely silent. This way, you will get your air cleaned without noise disturbance. Also, you do not want something that interrupts your sleep.
If you are buying the appliance online and you are not sure of the noise levels, visit your nearest air purifier store and confirm the noise produced. Also, check if it has the noise reduction feature that reduces noise levels to a bare minimum at night.
6. Clean air delivery rate (CADR)
CADR is the measure of how efficiently and quickly your air purifier works. It shows how fast different categories of air particles (pollen, dust, and smoke) can be filtered in one minute. So, the higher the CADR is, the faster the purification rate.
Note that the right CADR value depends on the size of the room. A 900 sq. ft. room will require a higher CADR value than a 200 sq. ft. room. Therefore, always compare the different CADR rates of different brands when assessing the performance.
7. Air changes per hour (ACH)
ACH refers to the number of times the air purifier can clean the total amount of air in the room in one hour. For the best results, it is advisable to invest in an air purifier that cleans more than 3 times in an hour.
If you suffer from asthma or allergies, an air purifier with 4 times ACH is the best for your house.
8. Energy rating
Air purifiers are energy-star rated. As you work towards getting quality air, you should strive towards minimizing energy consumption and bills.
So, look for the highest energy star-rated air purifier so that you keep your energy consumption at a minimum as you get your freshen indoor air. You do not want a device that pushes your energy bills to the sky.
Where do you intend to place the air purifier? Most people place the air purifier where they spend most of their time. Therefore, you will find an air purifier in the living room, study room, bedroom, in the car, or at the office.
If you decide to invest in a portable air purifier, note that they are designed to only purify the air in the space they are in. This means that you might be required to get a unit for different rooms.
On the other hand, you can get an air purifier with handles and wheels to ease movement from one room to the other. If you find buying additional units for different rooms expensive and the movement tiresome, invest in a whole-house air purifier that takes care of all the rooms at a go.
10. Additional features
Air purifiers come with additional features that increase convenience and ease of use. The main function of the air purifier is to purifier your indoor air but it won’t harm if it has extra features that make it even better.
Below are some of the additional features you should look out for:
- Smart sensors – they check the quality of indoor air and adjust the fans accordingly so that the air is kept clean all through with or without your presence.
- Pre-filters – these are additional filters that trap large air particles like debris and hair leaving the main filters to only take care of tiny pollutants.
- Filter lifetime alerts – some devices will beep or indicate on the screen when it is time to replace the filters. This feature ensures efficiency all through as long you abide by the filter replacement instructions.
- Timer – programmable timers allow you to set specific times to run the purifier.
- LED on/off option – this feature allows you to put off the LED lights especially at night. So, you’ll get to sleep like a baby.
- Automatic dim feature – instead of the LED on/off feature some air purifiers dim the LED automatically when darkness sets in. This is a better pick because you do not have to do it manually.
- Digital controls – these allow you to control your air purifier from anywhere using your mobile phone over Wi-Fi.
We cannot ignore cost during the purchase of goods and services. But as always you should not compromise quality over cost. There are many brands of air purifiers on the market and their costs vary.
You will note that some cheaper models perform better than their more expensive counterparts. This tells you one thing – you should select your air purifier based on performance and capacity but not the brand.
With the many brands available, rest assured that you will get a good air purifier irrespective of your budget.
Customer reviews are always honest. Take time to read what previous buyers say about the air purifier before you commit to buy it.
You see, the manufacturer will always say good things about their products but the consumer will tell the truth about it because they have used it. Do not ignore what customers say about a specific product, whether positive or negative.
The quality of your indoor air is important and hence the need to choose the right air purifier. With this guide, you should be able to make the best selection depending on your needs.
Also, take your time to research and visit different air purifier manufacturer websites before the final pick. Choosing the perfect air purifier should not be hectic with the right guide as the one above.