The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Air Purifier for Your Home
When thinking of the best air purifier for your home, you need to take a variety of things into consideration. What are the conditions in and around the home? How many square feet will be covered? Will there be noise issues? Is the purifier easy to use? Below is what you need to consider when purchasing an air purifier.
Single Room or Whole Home
Air purifiers come in a variety of sizes and types. You’re probably familiar with free-standing air purifiers designed to clean a single room. But did you know that you can also get a whole-home air purifier? An in-duct air purification system will clean, freshen, and purify the air throughout your entire home. These systems can eliminate up to 99% of bacteria, mold, and viruses. Plus, you won’t have to lug it around from room to room.
The Type of Filter That Best Meets Your Needs
The first line of defense for indoor air quality is the system’s air filter. There are many different types of filters you can choose from. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses. The best choice for you depends on your needs and budget.
Retail air filters have a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV) rating printed on them. Most residential air filters range from eight to 13. The higher the number, the better the filtration.
High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filters
HEPA filters are the most effective air cleaners at removing allergens, dust mites, and pet dander from the air. These have a minimum MERV rating of 17. These particulates can aggravate asthma symptoms or cause allergic reactions. They also trap particles down to 0.3 microns in size, which is about one-eighth the diameter of a human hair. HEPA filters are made with various materials, including plastic or glass fibers, activated charcoal, or synthetic resins with tiny pores to trap particles.
Activated Carbon Filters
These types of filters use granular activated carbon (GAC) to remove odors from the indoor air, such as cooking odors and cigarette smoke, by binding them chemically on their surface. Some also have extra materials that eliminate volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be found in paints, cleaning products, and solvents.
How Easy It Is to Clean and Change Filters
You want an air purifier that makes washing or replacing the filter easy. Typically, you should be able to clean or replace your air filter without specialized tools. You may need a screwdriver to remove the filter from the air duct. For stand-alone air purifiers, you may have a mix of filters. You’ll need to consult the manual to determine how often the different filters should be changed.
How Loud the Machine Is
The sound level of an air purifier is one of the most important factors to consider before buying. The great thing about an in-duct air purifier is that it does not create extra noise.
Free-standing air purifiers can be noisy. If you’re going to use it in your bedroom or living room, for example, you’ll want a quiet machine that won’t interfere with your sleep or TV watching.
Be sure to check the decibel level when comparing different models. Some units will have a night or quiet mode. If you have pets or children who might be disturbed by the sound, look for a machine with a timer function that shuts off automatically after a few hours.
You may want more than one speed setting on your air purifier to adjust its performance. For instance, you may want a turbo-charge for pollen season or on dry, dusty days. Purifiers available in different speeds give you greater control over your indoor air quality.
What’s Your Budget?
The other thing you need to do is figure out how much money you want to spend. This will help narrow down the choices and make it easier to find what you need. While purchasing the cheapest purifier on the market may not be the best choice, you may not need the most expensive, technologically advanced option.
Do You Want It to Be Portable or Stationary?
An air purifier can help improve indoor air quality, but it’s important to know what type of purifier you need. There are two main types, as follows.
Portable Air Purifiers
Portable air purifiers are compact devices that can be easily moved from room to room as needed. They often run on batteries and can be easily stored away when they aren’t in use.
Stationary Air Purifiers
Stationary air purifiers are larger devices that require a power source such as electricity. These filters generally aren’t portable, but they provide more airflow than portable models because they have better filtration systems.
This type of air purifier must be installed by a qualified technician. These do not take up any space in your home and work in conjunction with your central heating or cooling system.
What Kinds of Contaminants Are in the Air in Your Home?
If you want to get an air purifier, it’s important to know what kind of contaminants are in your home. The most common contaminants in the air include dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores. Other types of contaminants include tobacco smoke, chemicals from paint and cleaning products, and dust mites.
Different kinds of air purifiers work better for different types of pollutants. For example, HEPA filters are great for removing dust particles and allergens from the air, but they’re not effective against chemical vapors. Activated carbon filters are good at removing odors from cigarette smoke but not so good at removing other types of chemicals from the air. And ionic air cleaners are effective at removing static electricity from your hair but don’t do much else regarding airborne contaminants.
Choose Energy Efficiency
If you want to save money on your electricity bill, look for an energy-efficient air purifier model that will use less electricity without compromising its performance or effectiveness. Many manufacturers offer models with Energy Star certification for just this reason. A stand-alone air purifier will use about as much energy as a fan, so you might not want to use it all the time.
In-duct air purifiers use very little electricity. They are designed to run constantly, and you still will barely notice a change in your electric bill.
If you want to monitor your home’s air quality, smart features in air purifiers are a must. Most of the time, you’ll be able to control your unit remotely on your phone or tablet. This is especially useful if you have pets or children who need constant monitoring. Of course, with an in-duct purifier, this isn’t necessary.
Life Cycle of the Filter
The filter’s life cycle is another factor to consider when buying an air purifier. Before purchasing an air purifier, you should know how often you’ll need to replace the filters. You’ll also want to know how much the filters cost. Higher-end models have filters that last longer but cost more upfront and sometimes require more maintenance than cheaper models with shorter lifespans.
An air purifier is an excellent investment for anyone whose indoor air quality suffers from extreme pollution levels or harmful allergens. By partnering with Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning, you can find the right air purifier, eliminate unhealthy air, and breathe easier in your home or workplace. If you are in Seattle, WA, Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning can also help you with AC installation, heating installation, and duct cleaning. Contact Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning today for more information.