THE PATHFINDER TO YOUR AIR PURIFIER
The most important things to know
to choose meaningfully.
Air purifiers are devices that remove contaminants to improve air quality while providing information on the performance of both the air quality and their cleaning achievements.
Among other benefits, air purifiers reduce asthma triggers and help with allergies. The common pollutants targeted by air purifiers are bacteria, dust, mould, odours, pet dander, pollen and smoke and volatile organic compounds found in paint, varnishes and building materials.
Time saved thanks to autonomous management of the air purifier.
Quality of life improved thanks to cleaner indoor air quality.
Peace of mind increased thanks to automatic notifications in case of overpassed pollution limits.
No direct impact on home costs.
The most of air purifiers available in the market can be classified into four main categories, depending on the single-use or combined use of the following purifying techniques:
This type is a filtering process certified to remove 99.97% of all microscopic particles as small as 0,3 microns in size. The certified products are identified with the label "True HEPA Filter". This technique is suitable to remove particles such as dust, mould, pet dander, pollen and visible smoke. This high efficient technique, differently from others, traps the particles and do not release them back into the air. The main disadvantages are related to their operational costs (replacement of the filters), the noise that they can provoke when operating at high speed and the fact that do not dissipate odours or chemical fumes.
This type of air filter uses a form of activated carbon consisting of lots of tiny absorbent pores. These create a wide surface area that is appropriate for trapping fumes, gases, smells from pets, smoke and some volatile organic compounds.
This is a technique in which negatively charged ions are released to the air, causing pollutants to fall onto the floor and other surfaces or, if available, onto an electrostatic collection plate that attracts the fallen particles. In this case, there is the possibility to eliminate particles of up to 0,01 microns. This technique is suitable to remove particles such as some bacteria, dust, mould, pollen and visible smoke. In contrast with HEPA filter devices, their operating costs are lowe (do not require filter replacements) and are very quiet (do not count on fans). The main disadvantage of this technique is that the particles remain on the room unless collected with an electrostatic plate. These plates require frequent cleaning and produce small quantities of ozone that can derive on irritations and other respiratory issues.
This technique consists of the emission of an invisible light that, contained within the purifier, attacks the different pollutants. The light emitted falls within a specific UV band that is completely safe for people and thanks to its' long lifetime, it rarely requires a replacement. This technique is suitable to remove bacteria and viruses.
There are many aspects that you may want to consider, such as dimension, weight, purification technique, contaminants targeted or the noise level. However, there is one aspect that is frequently neglected: the area coverage. It is essential to find an air purifier capable of covering an area that is equal or greater than the area, or sum of areas, of the targeted room(s). Additionally, and linked to the area coverage, you might want to consider two common ratings (not all air purifiers have them):
Indicates the number of times for which the device can exchange the air within a room per hour. A 6x rating means that the device can replace the dirty air within a space six times per hour. The higher the rating, the more efficient the air purifier.
Indicates how fast the device can clean the air. The rating uses the cubic feet per minute or metre cubic per hour. CADR measures usually smoke/dust/pollen. A CADR rating can, for instance, be 300/320/320 metre cubic per hour. The higher the values, the more efficient the air purifier is at removing each type of pollutant.