Whether or not you suffer from allergies or asthma, maintaining a high indoor air quality can improve your overall health. One major threat to indoor air quality is dust. Besides taking away the shine from every surface in your house, dust contains a whole host of allergens that can negatively affect the way you breathe.
What Are the Dangers of Indoor Dust Accumulation?
Bacteria, dander, dirt, fungi, pet hair, pollen – You name it, and you can find it in the dust in an average home. Even worse, dust mites live and thrive on dust. When you inhale dust, you put yourself at risk for respiratory illnesses, and dust is a major trigger of asthma and allergy symptoms. Accumulated dust can even cause electronics to overheat, leading to premature failure.
|10 x 17.8 x 26.8 in#||25.6 x 16.5 x 11 in||7 x 10.2 x 21.5 in|
|21 pounds||13.5 pounds||7 pounds|
|Read in-depth review||Read in-depth review||Read in-depth review|
What Are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are microscopic arachnids that measure as small as one-fourth of a millimeter. These mites consume bacteria, dander, dead skin flakes, fungi and pollen, and they are drawn to humid environments and warm temperatures.
As they feed on these substances, dust mites lay droppings, which are responsible for causing asthma and allergy flare-ups that induce symptoms like a runny or stuffy nose, itchy throat, postnasal drip, wheezing and chest tightness.
How Can I Reduce the Amount of Dust in My Home?
A holistic approach is the best way to combat indoor dust. As previously mentioned, dust mites are drawn to areas with high humidity. Therefore, strive to keep the humidity level in your house between 30 and 60 percent. Always use the exhaust fan when you cook or shower, which will help control the relative humidity.
If proper ventilation isn’t doing the trick, look into getting a dehumidifier.
In addition to humidity control, you should cover your pillows and mattresses in dust protectors, which are easy to remove and throw in the wash every week along with your bedding. Another regular must-do is vacuuming your carpets and drapes. When vacuuming, make sure you’re using a vacuum cleaner that contains a HEPA filter, which is able to trap almost all of the dust it collects.
Pay attention to your home’s heating and cooling system. Although the typical HVAC filter does an outstanding job at addressing the dust in a home’s ductwork, it’s limited as to how much it can help control household dust. Regardless, make sure you change the filter at least once per month.
Finally, keep your tabletops, counters, shelves and other hard surfaces clean. To reduce the amount of dust that floats through the air, avoid dry dusting. Instead, use a lightly damp cloth. Alternatively, you can dust with a fabric softener sheet. A dryer sheet’s ability to cut down on static clean prevents dust from settling on surfaces.
How Can an Air Purifier Help?
Air purifiers contain two crucial dust-reducing components – a true-HEPA filter and a fan. The fan does double duty by drawing dust particles into the air purifier, keeping them from settling. As the fan collects dust, the dust is pulled through the machine’s filtration system that at least includes a HEPA filter. This filter is able to capture 99.97 percent of dust particles.
Once the air goes through the filter, the fan releases the now-clean air back into the room. Over time, an air purifier can significantly decrease the volume of dust particles in the air. Some air purifiers also contain an ionizer, which increases the purifier’s ability to reduce dust.
What Is an Ionizer?
An air ionizer, or anion generator, is a mechanism that produces and releases negative ions into the air. In turn, the negative ions attach to airborne dust in the room. Since the combination of dust and ions makes dust heavier, the particles fall, landing on the floor and surfaces where they can be removed via wiping and vacuuming.
Ionizers are found in many air purifiers. Some purifier manufacturers take ionization one step further by adding a collection plate to the air purifier’s design. The plate utilizes an electrostatic field to attract the ion-dust particles, so you don’t have to meticulously clean every surface in your home.
Read our Best Air Ionizers 2018 Buying Guide
Are Air Purifiers Expensive to Operate?
The bulk of the cost to keep an air purifier in working order comes from purchasing filter replacements. While every filter is different, you probably won’t need to spend more than $100 per year. If the filter is washable, it will last longer than one that isn’t reusable, saving you money in the long run. Luckily, if the air purifier has an anion generator, there are no maintenance costs involved with the ionizer’s upkeep.
Top 5 Air Purifiers for Dust
Quiet and powerful. This air purifier by PureZone contains a true-HEPA filter for fine dust as well as a pre-filter for large dust particles. It even has an activated carbon filter that helps eliminate foul odors. You also get the benefit of a 20,000-hour ultraviolet-C light that destroys germs, which reduces a major food source of dust mites.
The fan inside of this rounded tower can be changed to a low, medium or high setting in order to customize your air purification needs. Thanks to its efficient fan, the purifier boasts an airflow rate of 80 cubic feet per minute, filtering the air in a room as large as 200 square feet. Although the fan is powerful, it’s also quiet, ranging from 30 decibels to 50 decibels.
Read our in-depth PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier review
From the sunken touch panel, you can do more than just adjust the fan speed. The control panel gives you the option of setting a timer for 2, 4, or 8 hours and turning off the UV-C light. You’ll appreciate how easy it is to lift the 8.45-pound air purifier by its dual side recessed handles, and PureZone offers a 5-year warranty for peace of mind.
Alen lets you customize how the BreatheSmart FLEX performs and looks. You can choose from among four specialized filters, including one for dust and allergens called the HEPA-Pure filter. You won’t have to change the filter often thanks to its average lifespan of 9 months; however, replacing it is easy thanks to the quick-to-remove front panel.
Within the BreatheSmart FLEX, there is a four-speed fan that boasts a maximum airflow of 187 CFM. Regardless, the adjustable fan is still quiet, producing anywhere from 39 to 55 decibels. Although it only consumes 36 watts of energy, the air purifier can cover a whopping 700 square feet of space and has a CADR of 245.
Read our in-depth Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Customizable Air Purifier review
On top, there is a touch panel with a timer and a child lock while the wide base at the bottom keeps the purifier sturdy on the floor. There is also a built-in handle on the rear of the unit to help you carry the 15-pound purifier. If white isn’t your cup of tea, there are 13 other panel colors from which to choose. Whatever options you select, you are still covered by a generous lifetime warranty.
The GermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1 Air Purifier is designed with simplicity in mind. It features a user-friendly set of controls that consists of a turn dial that changes the tri-level fan speed and a push button that toggles the UV-C light. The control panel also has two indicator lights – one for the UV-C light bulb and one for the filter.
To ensure that the purifier cleans the air in an average-size room, there is a true-HEPA filter and a UV-C light with a titanium dioxide catalyst. The pre-filter has a charcoal filter that reduces odors, and the HEPA filter lasts for up to 8 months. Due to its outstanding filtration system, the air purifier has a CADR of 131 for dust.
Read our in-depth GermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1 Air Purifier review
Wherever you decide to place the purifier, it will look great thanks to its black finish with a silver chevron accent. This tower is also a space-saver, standing 22 inches tall and measuring 7 inches wide. Even though the purifier is lightweight at 7 pounds, there is a recessed handle in the back to help you carry it. GermGuardian also gives you 3 years of warranty protection to protect your investment.
2 Biota Bot Model #MM208 Air Purifier Review
Biota’s Bot Air Purifier leaves nothing to chance. It traps dust and other allergens with a pre-filter, a true-HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter, all of which last for 6 to 12 months when regularly cleaned. You also have the option of turning on the germicidal UV-C light and the ionizer, which produces 10 million negative ions every second.
From the sleek touch panel, you can access all of the air purifier’s functions, such as the 8-hour timer, the ultra-quiet sleep mode and the three-speed fan. You may also run the purifier in auto mode, which uses the color-coded particulate matter sensor to determine the indoor air quality. With this reading, the air purifier adjusts the fan speed to bring the air quality back to a healthy level.
Read our in-depth Biota Bot Model #MM208 Air Purifier review
With flashing indicator lights that tell you when the UV-C bulb and filter must be changed, maintenance is a breeze. You can safely put the 13.5-pound purifier on the floor because it has wide feet that keep it from toppling. Thanks to its wide coverage range of 430 square feet, the Biota Bot is ideal for use in bedrooms, home offices and dens.
Living rooms and kitchen-dining combos are some of the hardest spaces to purify. However, the Alen BreatheSmart Classic can handle spacious rooms with its ability to cover 1,100 square feet. The base of this purifier is as wide as the machine itself, lending it plenty of stability, and you can choose from 14 panel colors like the mid-century modern weathered gray wood grain.
To combat dust buildup, this particular purification package comes with two HEPA-Pure filters that last as long as 9 months. The 56-decibel, four-speed fan boasts an airflow of 286 CFM. Between the filter and the fan, the BreatheSmart Classic has a dust CADR of 279. Alen even included an ionizer for additional dust control.
Read our in-depth Alen BreatheSmart Classic Customizable Air Purifier review
With its color-ring SmartSensor in the center of the touch panel, the air purifier can adjust the fan speed to the current air quality when in auto mode. The touch panel also has a quiet, no-light sleep mode and a 12-hour timer. If you’re a parent, you’ll appreciate the vent guard and child lock. Like all of Alen’s other air purifiers, this one comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
Air Purifier for Dust Buying Guide
From expensive electronics to your personal health, there is nothing positive about household dust. With a reliable air purifier in your home, you can win the battle against dust mites and other allergens once and for all. Although using an air purifier is easy, finding a great one is hard. This buyer’s guide can help. It describes the most important features to have in an air purifier, so you won’t get stuck with a dud.
At the heart of an air purifier’s performance is its filters. A high-quality air purifier will always have a high-efficiency particulate air or HEPA filter; you won’t find one with an imitation HEPA or a standard filter. Along with a HEPA filter, make sure the purifier has pre-filter with a separated or attached activated carbon filter. Often, you can reuse an air purifier’s filters for months if you follow the manufacturer’s care instructions.
The fan works hand-in-hand with the filters to round out the purifier’s ability to efficiently clean the air. For decent air purifiers, a variable-speed fan is a par for the course. Most have at least three speed settings, so you can adjust the fan’s speed to suit your unique indoor air quality. You can get a general idea of the strength of the fan by looking at its specs for the airflow rate, which is measured in cubic feet per minute.
Every air purifier generates a different number of decibels, which changes according to the particular purifier’s fan speed. You can expect the average decibel range to go from 30 to 60 decibels. Some air purifiers have a sleep mode that immediately puts the fan on its lowest, quietest setting. Sleep mode is a great extra to have in an air purifier if you’re sound sensitive.
It’s not always all about the fan and the filters. Some air purifiers contain an ultraviolet-C light bulb and an ionizer. Both of these dust-trapping enhancers require little maintenance; the UV-C light only needs a replacement bulb every few years.
Other features are more for your convenience. Many models are equipped with a timer and a child lock. Those that have a particulate matter sensor are able to figure out the number of particles in the air. When you put the purifier in auto mode, the sensor tells the purifier to change the fan speed to combat the detected number of airborne contaminants.
An air purifier’s clean air delivery rate, or CADR, is determined by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. In controlled laboratory conditions, an air purifier is tested for its ability to reduce the contaminants in the air. Then, the purifier is rated on three levels – dust, pollen, and smoke. For dust, the rating can range from 10 to 400 – Get an air purifier with the highest CADR you can find.
When we discuss size, we mean the physical size of the air purifier as well as the room size it can cover. For physical size, make sure the purifier isn’t too large for its intended space. Also, look for features like a wide base and a carrying handle. In terms of room size, it’s crucial that the air purifier can purify all of the air in the room. You can often find its coverage area in the specs.
Want to learn more? Read our “Are Air Purifiers Worth It” article.
A manufacturer’s warranty is a must-have for any appliance you buy. When shopping for an air purifier, stick to models that come with a long warranty period. At the bare minimum, the warranty should last for 1 year. Several top-brand air purifier manufacturers even offer a lifetime warranty.
Related Air Purifier Articles
Best Air Purifiers in 2020
Best HEPA Air Purifiers
Best Air Purifier for Allergies
Best Air Purifiers for Mold
Best Air Purifiers for Smoke
Best Air Purifier for Bacteria
Best Charcoal Air Purifiers
Best Air Purifiers for Dust