If you suffer from allergies, you know that prevention is key to controlling your symptoms. This means the air around you must be clean in order for you to stay healthy. While there isn’t much you can do about the air quality of the outdoors, there are certain steps you can take to ensure the indoor air in your home is clean. One tool you can use to manage indoor air quality is an air purifier.
What Are Common Household Allergens?
Every household in America contains some allergens. Dust mites are the most common indoor allergen. These microscopic organisms thrive in areas that are warm and humid, preferring to stay in carpet, fabric, and upholstery. However, when you vacuum, make your bed or walk on your carpet, the dust mites are flung into the air, often triggering allergy symptoms in those who are allergic to dust mites.
|Room Coverage 625 sq. ft.||Room Coverage 1560 sq. ft.||Room Coverage 1100 sq. ft.|
|16.6 x 9.8 x 22.2 in||14.8 x 14.8 x 22.8 in||10 x 17.8 x 26.8 in|
|16.8 pounds||24.7 pounds||21 pounds|
Mold is another commonplace problem. Usually found in bathrooms and kitchens, mold produces airborne spores, which you can easily inhale. You can also bring tree and flower pollen inside your house from the clothes and shoes you wear outdoors. Even your pets can track pollen. On the subject of pets, their fur and dander can also trigger allergies. Don’t forget about smoke. Whether from cooking, fireplaces or cigarettes, smoke has serious negative effects on your health.
What Is Particulate Matter Pollution?
Particulate matter consists of extremely small particles that are combined with liquid airborne droplets. These particles vary in size. Some are big enough to be visible with just your eyes while others can only be seen through a microscope.
Over time, exposure to particulate matter pollution can impact your respiratory and cardiovascular systems. However, it’s the particles that are smaller than 10 microns that are the biggest threat, which are the ones you can’t see.
What Are Volatile Organic Compounds?
Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are gaseous chemicals that are released from all types of items from liquids to solids. The complete list of products that emit VOCs is extremely long; however, some common culprits include adhesives, air fresheners, burning wood and fuel, candles, carpeting, cleaning solutions, perfume, pressed wood and wallpaper.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor VOCs levels are typically 10 times higher than outdoor levels. Short of living in a vacuumed bubble, you can’t escape VOCs. The key to managing them is reducing the volume of volatile organic compounds in your home, keeping that volume under 500 nanograms per liter.
How Can I Keep the Air in My Home Clean?
From floor care to pet care, there are many steps you can take to reduce the number of allergens in your home. First, mop and vacuum on a regular basis, and make changing your linens a weekly habit. When you cook or take a shower, be sure to turn on the exhaust fan to reduce odors and lower the relative humidity, aiming for a humidity that ranges from 30 to 50 percent.
Another preventative measure is to take off your shoes as soon as you come home. Also, don’t let smokers light up inside of your house, and be vigilant about changing your HVAC filters every month. If you own pets, groom them once per week – bathing, brushing, the whole nine yards. Finally, an efficient air purifier can help maintain a healthy indoor air quality.
How Do Air Purifiers Work?
When used as part of a comprehensive allergy-reduction plan, an air purifier does a fantastic job of cleaning the air around you. Within an air purifier, there is a fan. As this fan spins, the air in the room is pulled into the purifier’s inlets. Once inside the purifier, the air is pushed through a filtration system that traps pollutants.
Some air purifiers even have germ-killing mechanisms like a negative ionizer or an ultraviolet light to enhance the purifier’s efficiency. Once the air is clean, it’s pushed out of the outlet grille where it recirculates through the room.
What’s the Hype Over HEPA Filters?
Air filters come in all sizes and efficiency levels. If you want to knock out those microscopic particles that the EPA has found to be the most harmful, you need an air purifier with a high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filter. Generally, HEPA filters can trap more airborne particles and smaller particles than a standard air filter. At a minimum, a HEPA filter is able to capture 99.97 percent of particles that are as tiny as 0.3 microns.
What Is a Negative Ionizer?
Some air purifiers contain a negative ionizer. This mechanism creates negatively charged ions, which the purifier pushes into the air. Then, the ions cling to allergens, causing most of them to stick to walls, tables, and other surfaces instead of floating in the air, so you can’t inhale them. However, some of the particles make their way to the purifier where they are caught by the filter.
Why Do Some Air Purifiers Have an Ultraviolet Light Bulb?
UV-C is considered a short wavelength of ultraviolet light. This kind of ultraviolet light is capable of rendering bacteria, fungi, and viruses ineffective in seconds by destroying them at a molecular level.
Once germs and allergens are captured by an air purifier’s filter, the internal UV-C light beams on the filter to kill these particles. Even though you can’t rely on UV-C light alone for cleaning the air, it is a helpful extra to have in an air purifier.
What Does CADR Mean?
In an effort to guide consumers who are shopping for an air purifier, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers applies three numbers to each model submitted voluntarily by manufacturers. Each of these numbers is called a clean air delivery rate, and it not only tells you how quickly the purifier circulates air but also how efficiently it cleans the air.
There is one number that applies to the air purifier’s ability to trap dust particles. The other two numbers relate to smoke particles and pollen particles. Generally, the higher the number, the better the purifier is at cleaning the air.
Best Air Purifier for Allergies
5) Levoit Air Purifier With True HEPA Filter (LV-PUR131)
Sized perfectly for living rooms and large bedrooms, this air purifier by Levoit can clean the air in rooms as big as 322 square feet. The 14.5 by 7.2 by 18.5-inch purifier boasts CADR ratings of over 135, taking a mere 10 minutes to circulate all the air in a room. With a weight of 11.24 pounds, the white, boxy purifier stays firmly planted on the floor.
Its efficiency is due to the integration of a triple-stage filtration system. This system consists of a pre-filter that traps large particles, a true-HEPA filter that captures small particles and an activated carbon filter that eliminates odors.
From the sleek touch panel with LCD display, you can change a variety of settings. There are three fan speeds from which to choose, and there is even a sleep mode that runs the fan at its lowest, quietest speed. You may also put the purifier in auto mode, which adjusts the fan speed according to the indoor air quality that’s conveniently displayed on the control panel.
4) Rabbit Air MinusA2 HEPA Pet Allergy Air Purifier (SPA-700A)
Set it up on the floor or affix it to a wall. Rabbit Air’s MinusA2 air purifier has a wide base that offers stability for floor placement, and it comes with mounting hardware if you want to put 23.9 by 22.5-inch purifier on the wall. The mount is ideal for keeping children away from the purifier. However, if they manage to remove the front panel, the unit will automatically shut down.
This air purifier contains five filters and a negative ionizer. The permanent pre-filter is washable. There is also a BioGS HEPA filter and a medium filter that sits in between the pre-filter and HEPA. It even comes with a filter specifically designed to reduce pet-related allergens, and there is a charcoal filter to combat bad smells.
Via the touch button panel, you can change the fan speed. On the highest of its five settings, the fan can circulate the air in a 700-square-foot room twice per hour. The panel also offers an LED mood light function and an auto-fan function. A light sensor dims the purifier when the room is dark, and the panel displays filter change reminders.
3) Alen BreatheSmart Customizable Air Purifier (Pure, 1 Pack)
Tailor the way it looks and filters according to your tastes and needs. The 21-pound Alen BreatheSmart Customizable Air Purifier sits on a sturdy, glossy gray stand and comes in a satin white finish. However, if white doesn’t suit you, there are 14 other interchangeable panel colors from which to choose. Thanks to the recessed carrying handle, moving the 17.75 by 26.75-inch purifier is easy.
With its powerful, four-speed fan, the air purifier can circulate all the air in a 1,100-square-foot room in 2 hours or less, making it a great purification device for spaces with vaulted ceilings. It contains a HEPA-Pure filter, which is efficient at trapping all types of allergens from dust and dander to pollen and mold. However, you can purchase other filters that cater to different health and lifestyle needs.
On the top of the purifier, there is control panel complete with soft buttons. The panel has a color-changing indicator that displays the room’s current air quality. It’s also equipped with WhisperMax technology that reduces the purifier’s sound output to a 41.5-to-56-decibel range.
2) AIRMEGA 400S App-Enabled Air Purifier
If you’re a technology enthusiast, you’ll love the Airmega 400S App-Enabled Air Purifier. This Wi-Fi-enabled air purifier is compatible with Amazon Alexa, so you can give it voice commands. You can even download an app to your smartphone to change settings on the purifier and get reports on the indoor and outdoor air quality. Alternatively, you can access the purifier’s settings via the on-unit discreet touchscreen.
With its rectangular prism shape and four splayed legs, the air purifier is the perfect blend of mid-century and minimalist. The internal components are just as impressive. Thanks to its quadruple-speed fan and the carbon and HEPA filters, this air purifier can circulate the air twice per hour in a 1,560-square-foot space.
Besides the fan, another convenient function is the timer you can set to last from 1 to 8 hours in four increments. You can set the put the purifier in auto mode or the quiet and dark sleep mode. There is even an eco mode. In eco mode, the purifier turns off the fan if the air quality is healthy for 10 consecutive minutes, which saves energy.
1) Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 Air Purifier in Tone Leaf (SPA-625A)
Are quiet performance and energy efficiency at the top of your list? If so, the 17-by-22-inch Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 is the right air purifier for you. On its highest fan speed, the purifier can circulate the air in a 625-square foot room two times, and it boasts CADRs of 150 and more. If you want to move the purifier to another room, the integrated carrying handle makes it a breeze.
White with a vibrant grass green accent color, the purifier looks like a breath of fresh air. It also acts like one with its four levels of purification. The air purifier contains a pre-filter, a long-lasting HEPA filter, and an odor-destroying charcoal filter. There is even a negative ion generator for an extra layer of protection.
The motor is quiet and energy-friendly, generating sound from 22 to 50.4 decibels and drawing power from 5 to 39 watts. However, this variable-speed motor is still powerful enough to offer five fan speeds. To adjust the fan speed, set a timer and change other functions, simply press the corresponding button on the front-located touch panel.
Clean indoor air can make anyone breathe and feel better. For allergy sufferers, clean air is an integral part of maintaining their condition. If you have allergies, your health depends on choosing an effective air purifier. To help you make this important decision, we’ve compiled a descriptive list of the features you can get in an air purifier. To learn more on the benefits of air purifier we recommend reading out article on why air purifiers are worth every penny.
Air Purifier Size
When we mention size, we don’t mean the air purifier’s dimensions although you should take its width and height into consideration for the purpose of placement. Instead, we mean the largest room in which the purifier can adequately function. Almost all manufacturers mark their purifiers with its intended room size. You can find this information in the product description or user’s manual.
Air Purifier CADR
As you know, CADR stands for clean air delivery rate, which is determined by the swiftness of the purifier’s airflow and the efficiency of the purifier’s particle filtration. For smoke and pollen, the maximum rate is 450. For dust, the highest number is 400. To get the excellent whole-room purification, look for a purifier with a CADR of at least 100 in all three categories.
Air Purifier Filtration
In regard to how many filters are the best number of filters, you are always better off with as many levels of filtration as you can get. At a minimum, you need at least three, and one of the three must be a HEPA filter. Other common filters to find in an air purifier include a pre-filter and an activated carbon filter. Some purifiers also have a negative ion generator or a UV-C light.
Air Purifier Fan
Although it’s controlled by the motor, the fan is the mechanism that gets the room’s air circulating. You want a purifier with a multi-speed fan, so you can customize the purification intensity according to the volume of particles in the air. This feature comes on most air purifiers with the number of fan speeds usually ranging from three to five.
Air Purifier Sound
Since the fan is the purifier’s main moving component, it’s responsible for the majority of the noise output of the air purifier. Like many people, you don’t want an appliance that drowns out your Netflix binging or phone conversation. Often, the manufacturer will list the model’s decibel range. However, another indication that the air purifier is quiet is if it has a brushless motor.
Air Purifier Settings
Convenience should also be a consideration. Some air purifiers are equipped with a timer, so you can set it to run for a specific length of time. There are also models with various operating modes such as an auto mode that allows the purifier to change the settings based on the air quality. Others may have a quiet-fan mode or an energy-saving mode.
Air Purifier Air Quality Indicator
It’s helpful to know what the air quality is inside of your home, so you can adjust the purifier’s settings when necessary. The indicator may be a color changer that turns different hues according to the whether the air quality is bad or good. Another indicator style is the numerical variety, which displays the air quality level in numbers, not colors.
Air Purifier Controls
From touchscreens to Wi-Fi connectivity, the controls vary from one model to the next. Some air purifiers only have an on-board panel that’s either push button or touch. Others also come with a remote for across-the-room control. Then, there are smart air purifier that let you access their functions via smartphones and virtual home assistants.
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