Choosing the Right Air Purifier Can Be Tricky

Shopping for an air purifier can be confusing with all the different options out there. Here are some of the biggest struggles people face and how to find the right one.

Air purifiers are devices that help clean the air in your home by removing dust, pollen, smoke, and other pollutants. They can be really helpful for people with allergies, asthma, or other breathing problems.

Getting the Size Right

One of the toughest parts of picking an air purifier is making sure it is the correct size for the room you want to use it in. Air purifiers come in different sizes meant for different room dimensions. If the purifier is too small for your room, it won’t be able to clean all the air effectively. But if it’s too big, it will waste energy and money.

To get the right fit, you need to know the square footage of your room. This is calculated by multiplying the length times the width. For example, if a room is 12 feet long and 10 feet wide, the square footage is 120 square feet (12 x 10 = 120).

You also need to look at the air purifier’s CADR rating to ensure you get the right air changes per hour, or ACH. The higher the ACH, the more air the unit can filter each hour. Purifiers sized for rooms with ACHs between 4-6 are recommended for most homes.

Comparing Filter Types

Another tricky decision is choosing the right filter for your needs. The most common types are HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters and activated carbon filters.

HEPA filters are great for removing tiny particles like dust, pollen, pet dander, and smoke from the air. These are a good choice for people with allergies.

Activated carbon filters help absorb odors and gases like those from cooking, smoking, or wildfires. So these can improve indoor air quality by eliminating stale or unpleasant smells.

Many air purifiers come with both types of filters, but others just have one or the other. You’ll want to think about whether you need help more with particles or odors when deciding.

Filter maintenance is another consideration. Most filters need replacing every 6-12 months with regular use. Replacing them on schedule is important to keep the air purifier working well.

Dealing With Noise

One downside of air purifiers is that many of them can be quite noisy, especially on higher fan speed settings. This noise may not bother you much if using it in a basement or living room. But it could be very disruptive if trying to run the purifier in a bedroom while sleeping.

When shopping, it’s smart to pay attention to the noise rating on purifier models you’re considering. Aim for ones that produce less than 50 decibels on their lower settings if using in a bedroom. Purifiers marketing themselves as “quiet” models can be better options for these situations.

You’ll also want to think about where you plan to position the purifier in a room. Placing it in a corner or behind furniture can help muffle any noise it makes. Just be sure not to block the air intake or outflow vents.

Finding the Right Features

Air purifiers come with all sorts of different bonus features these days. Some connect to WiFi and can be controlled by a smartphone app. Others have air quality sensors that detect particles and turn the fan up automatically when more purification is needed.

Some models even have screens that display your indoor air quality level. And many are Energy Star certified to prove they are energy efficient appliances.

With so many bells and whistles available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed! The key is to focus on which features are truly important to you based on your needs and budget. For example, WiFi connectivity might be a high priority if you want to control the purifier remotely. But you may not need it if you’ll simply set it and forget it.

Budgeting is another challenge, as air purifiers can cost anywhere from $50 to over $1,000. Pricier models tend to have more features and be better quality. But there are good affordable options too if your needs are basic.

Pollutant Targeting

The last major struggle is figuring out if a given purifier can effectively handle the types of pollutants you need to remove from your home’s air. This ties back to the filter types and understanding what different filters capture best.

If you have pets that shed dander, you’ll want a purifier that excels at particle removal with a high-quality HEPA filter. For households with smokers or frequent wildfires in your area, prioritizing an activated carbon filter for odor and smoke removal is wise.

Those with mold allergies may even want to invest in a purifier with specialized filters for capturing mold and fungi spores. Understanding your home’s specific air quality issues can guide you toward the right filtering capabilities.

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when purchasing an air purifier!

From getting the size right for your room, to weighing different filter options, managing noise levels, reviewing extra features, setting a budget, and targeting the pollutants that most affect you, there’s no one-size-fits-all perfect pick. But taking the time to weigh these key factors will ensure you end up with the best air cleaning solution for your home’s needs.