Factors to Consider When Buying Air Purifiers

Air purifiers are electronic devices which remove contaminants from the air. These devices are commonly believed as being beneficial to allergy sufferers and asthmatics, and at reducing or eliminating second-hand tobacco smoke.

There are different processes of varying effectiveness that are used to purify air. Different processes will remove different contaminants, so there is advantage in using more than one process in a purifier.

As for buying an air purifier, there are a number of factors that you will want to take into consideration. Some of the key factors are outlined below for your convenience.

1. How effective is it in cleaning the air?

The first thing you will want to know will be the effectiveness of the air purifier. Is it good at removing all bad smells (like pet litter, mold, etc.). How big a room can it purify?

Caution: Air cleaning is a highly confusing science. It’s hard to say what works best or most effective. Some manufacturers may present misleading information. Therefore it isn’t so easy to determine which air cleaner is best for your specific needs.

Hint: The best thing you can do is to browse through some of the REAL users’ comments/reviews listed in the Air Purifier Department of the Amazon.com marketplace.

2. How quiet is it? Can it be used at night without disturbing your sleep?

Most people who purchase an air purifier will want to leave it on for the night. They may purchase it for their own or their kids’ allergies and will want it to run silently while they sleep.

3. How big a room can it purify?

You will also want to know if the air purifier is able to clean the air in a specific room. The product specification list should provide this information like “this purifier can successfully clean the air in our 15×15 room”.

4. Does it have a HEPA filter?

HEPA filters are very effective at removing allergens and definitely sought after by most consumers.

5. Is the filter easy to clean?

Cleaning the filter is the only maintenance an air purifier will require. If the filter is easy to remove and clean, that will be a good plus. In addition, some newer models allow users to simply vacuum the filter without even touching it.

6. How frequently should users change the filter?

Most air purifiers have filters that should be replaced with a new one at specific intervals. This is the maintenance cost of the product and of course the lower the frequency, the better it is for consumers. For instance, an air purifier that costs more than other, similar models may have a filter that lasts much more than the others. In that case, that model will provide a cost advantage in the long run. Plus, some new models have permanent filters that do not need replacing, and that is a huge bonus.

7. Is it effective at low speeds?

Some manufacturers say that their air purifier is extremely quiet, but forget to mention that the quietness is there only at the minimum settings and that you may need to run the purifier at high speeds to get the best results!

8. Is there a filter replacement indicator?

Some higher-priced air purifier models come with a filter replacement indicator that lights up to warn the user that they need to replace the filter. This is a useful feature to have that does take the guess work out.

9. Are there dust sensors and air quality monitors in the model?

Some models have dust sensors and air quality monitors that automate the cleaning process. The purifier measures the dust and pollutant levels and goes on/off or speeds up/slows down depending on the amount of pollutants. This, of course, is a very handy feature to have and will be seen as a high value feature.

10. Does it have ionizer or ozone generator features?

Certain air purifiers have ionizer and/or ozone generator features that are considered more effective in cleaning the air. However, ionizers and ozone generators produce ozone gas which can be detrimental for people with pulmonary problems. Ionizers produce less ozone gas, so they are considered better in this sense.

11. Is the air purifier compact? Are controls easy to use?

People don’t want to haul gigantic appliances around their homes, so it’s better to have a small, compact and lightweight air purifier that can fit any space (like on a desk or a bookshelf). Plus, the less complicated the controls are, the better it is for the users.

12. Is there any new technology deployed in the unit?

Sometimes you will see air purifiers that have new and innovative features that other models don’t have (like the new permanent filters deployed in certain models). If that is the case, try to evaluate the benefits of such new technologies to see if it really offers value, since you’ll most probably be paying a lot more money for it.

Recommended Air Purifiers

Best overall air purifier:
Whirlpool AP51030K Whispure Air Purifier

    AP51030K

  • True HEPA 0.3 micron filtration
  • Filters air 4.8 times per hour in a 500 square feet room
  • 4 Fan speeds, plus sleep and turbo modes
  • Quiet operation on all speed settings
  • Easy to use electronic controls
  • High performance in removing particles including pet dander, dust mites, pollen, ragweed, mold spores, and other microscopic irritants
  • Clean Air Delivery Rate (CEDR) 315
  • Learn more

Best budget air purifier:
Honeywell Compact Air Purifier with Permanent HEPA Filter, HHT-011

    HHT-011

  • Compact tabletop air purifier for rooms up to 85 square feet in size
  • Permanent HEPA-type filter
  • 3-stage filtration system first helps clean the air by using a washable pre-filter to capture large airborne particles
  • Acceptable noise level
  • Learn more

Best air purifier for larger rooms:
Honeywell 50250-S Pure HEPA Round Air Purifier

    50250-S

  • Good for rooms up to 390 square feet in size
  • Permanent HEPA filter
  • Works effectively removing dust, pet hair, pollen, smoke, and other airborne particles 0.3 microns or larger
  • Acceptable noise level when it runs on low & medium speeds, but quite noisy on high speed
  • Intelli Check filter monitor to remind you when to replace the filter
  • Learn more