As stated by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (IEST), there are 6 types of HEPA filter from A, B, C, D, E & F. Each has its own characteristics and performance as shown by the table below.
99.97%/ 0.3 um
99.97%/ 0.3 um
99.99%/ 0.3 um
99.999%/ 0.3 um
MIL-STD 51477 or MIL-STD F51068
99.97%/ 0.3 um
99.999%/ 0.1 to 0.2 um
Confuse? You don’t have to. Skip all that and focus of the next 2 types that we about to introduce. The True HEPA filter aka genuine HEPA filter, aka real HEPA filter. VS HEPA-type filter aka HEPA-based filter aka HEPA-like filter. The former is the superior one while the latter is the inferior one. So let’s talk about the superior True HEPA filter. It is the one you should be looking has it matches the strict U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) standard. A True HEPA filter will be able to capture at least 99.97% of the airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. Many premium air purifier will be equipped with this type of filter but occasionally you do see it in cheaper models. As for the inferior HEPA-type filter, it can remove at least 99% of the airborne particles as small as 2 microns. Due to the less density, this type of filter is usually in the cheaper, compact air cleaner. You might even see it in a permanent filter air purifier.
In conclusion, do go with air purifier with True HEPA filter. Only go with HEPA-type with you are on a tight budget and know what you are getting at. If you are not sure what you are getting at, read the label, reviews, or comparison website like yours truly.
The Pros of a HEPA Air Purifier
First of all, availability is not a problem as many big brands carried it. IQAir, Blueair, Winix, Airmega, Austin Air, and Honeywell all focus on HEPA technology. Second, HEPA filtration exists since 1950. It is proven and certified to be efficient according to industry standard. Third, HEPA air purifier is excellent in trapping microscopic particles including germs. It will also trap dust mites, pollen, mold, mildew, pet dander, and bacteria. If you are an allergy-prone person, have indoor pets or asthma, go for it.
The Cons of a HEPA Air Purifier
Cost is one thing as the filter typically has a year lifespan. You will have to replace it annually or when the filter is exhausted. A true HEPA filter cannot remove smoke, chemical fumes, and odors. You will need an activated carbon filter or equivalent filter to do that. Unlike UV-light, the HEPA filter does not eliminate virus and bacteria. The allergens might still spread across the room if the substances break down. Also, microorganisms like mold may reproduce and grow on the filter. Preventable if the filter has an antimicrobial coating.
So HEPA air purifier Yay or Nay
Yay if you don’t mind the cost of ownership especially for the later years. There is plenty of good air purifier with a True HEPA filter. They might not be the cheapest, but they are definitely worth every penny. You just need to make sure it is the genuine type and not be fool by the marketing gimmick. Nay if you only want a semi-effective air cleaner that does not require filter replacing like Ionizer.
Vacuuming is not a chore if you have the right tool. We are very specific about this because it is super effective against settled pet dander. Why? Because it creates convenience that you never know you actually need it. Pet dander will float and gets stuck on a wall, ceiling, shelf or even sofa. With a cordless vacuum, you can roam across the room without being tangled up and constantly bending for a power source. An all-in-one vacuum will also transform from stick to handheld for hard to reach places. The flexibility allows you to vacuum through a tight corner or upholstery gaps that are usually filled with pet hair. In our home, we are using the older Dyson V10 that is the perfect exemplary model. If you only have a bulky canister vacuum at home, just invest with the latest Dyson V11 and I guarantee you will enjoy every single cordless moment!
Wash, Roll, And Clean
Somethings when vacuuming doesn’t do the job. Is time to bring out the big gun. By that, I mean a used, wet rag from your old discarded clothes. Wipe it thoroughly on furniture, table, ceilings, walls, shelf or any solid surfaces. For soft surfaces, scrub it with soap or detergent if the pet dander has latched deep underneath. If is on clothes, drape, linen or upholstery, use a lint roller and start rolling. We cannot emphasis how useful the adhesive side of the lint roller in removing small fibers, lint, and flecks. For items that can be toss into a washing machine like soft carpet, mat or bed sheet, do it at least once a month. This will ensure all proteins and skin flakes will be clear out in a flash.
If you are a busy folk like me that has too much on the plate, replace everything with hypoallergenic cover. This protects your mattress, bed sheet, pillows, and bedding from most of the pet dander. Very helpful if your furry friend is sleeping on the bed.
Bathe Your Pet Regularly
There are no two ways about it. Bathing your pet routinely will clear out all the dead skin, germs and pet odors all at one go. The issue is older pets might be a bit resistance to the bubbly bath and that itself is not a pleasant experience. We recommended bathing your pet once every 1-2 week depending on the season. To make the best use of each session, use a good allergenic-free shampoo like Colloidal Oatmeal with Essential Oils. For better result, follow up with a conditioner to keep the hair strong and shiny. Use a towel rather than a hairdryer to avoid drying their hair and damage their skin.
Groom Your Pet Every Day
This is actually an easier and quicker solution than bathing your dog. Grooming will take a couple of minutes to remove the excess shed hair from the dog. It also prevents matting, stimulate hair growth, and will remove pet dander in the process. Do it on a daily basis for the furry bunch or slightly less frequent for the less hairy one. If you are allergic to pet hair, you can do the grooming outside to reduce the numbers of indoor allergens.
A Reliable HEPA air purifier
While vacuuming and cleaning is an active action, I’m about to introduce you to a passive way that requires little attention. Pet hair, dander, germs, and bacteria are mostly spread through airborne. An air purifier can significantly reduce the airborne irritants. With fewer pet allergens in the air, there will be less pet dander stuck to the wall or floor. As a result, there is less cleaning frequency needed as well.
First of all, you will need a good HEPA air purifier to deal with that. When we said good, we meant the air purifier must have a True HEPA filter that will capture even the smallest allergens. It also must have enough cleaning capacity to pull in airborne pet dander in the entire room. There is no point in getting a small air purifier that can only cover little grounds. We will either inhale to the pet dander already or it will fall to the ground until something is done.
Let’s face it. There are times we are just too tired to do a whole “spring cleaning” again as pet dander never stops coming. The easiest way that works for me is to get an all-natural dander removal spray to help reduce skin shed. When your pet skin condition is good, they shed a lot less thus less pet dander will be produced. We use Burt’s Bees Dander Reducing Spray for our cats that is pH balanced and made with colloidal oatmeal/ aloe. Whatever brand you are getting, make sure it is fragrance-free and without parabens, phthalates, or SLS.
While you’re at it, sprinkle some baking soda on areas that stink especially dealing with urine. Baking soda is safe and will neutralize any pungent odors in just a couple of minutes. You can vacuum the powder away once the smell is gone.
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is a standard measurement by AHAM to allow consumers to compare an air purifiers performance. It is recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and American Lung Association. CADR indicates the volume of filtered air from an air purifier in cubic feet per minute (CFM). The higher the numbers, the faster and more clean air the unit can deliver.
CADR test is conducted by The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). The test will be performed independently into 3 groups: dust, pollen, and smoke. Each test will determine the air purifier effectiveness in removing the specific pollutant types. The result is usually printed on the air cleaner’s box or in the manual. You can also find out more information about the CADR ratings on AHAM official website.
Now you have a basic understanding of CADR, Let’s move on to the main topic.
What is The CADR Needed To Cover a Room?
Following AHAM’s 2/3 rule, the air purifier CADR must have a minimum two-thirds of a room-size in square feet. To cover a 200 square feet room, the CADR must be at least 133 cfm. Obviously the higher the CADR output, the faster and more air it can cover.
Room size (sq. ft.) x 2 / 3 = Air Purifier’s minimum CADR
Not all air purifiers are created equal. Some models are only meant for minuscule room size while some can even cover the entire living hall.
How To Measure a Room Size based on CADR
Again coming from AHAM guideline, multiple the CADR value by 1.55. For example, an air purifier with a smoke CADR of 300 cfm can cover up to 465 square feet of room size. Yup, is that simple. This is the official AHAM formula based on the CADR requirement to remove 80% of particles, at the assumption of one room air exchange per hour.
CADR (cfm) x 1.55 = Room size in square feet
So is that simple? Not quite, as the above calculation is based on an ideal situation with consistent output at one air exchange per hour. According to Oransi, you need to take the ceiling height into account as well. A better measurement would be in cubic feet. Instead of just calculating the length and width of a room, we need to take in the height of the ceiling value. For example, a 200 square feet room size with a 10 feet high ceilings means the room is at 2000 cubic feet.
Our take? Ignore the ceiling height as it makes the whole calculation more difficult to measure. Since CADR are only meant to be a guideline determining what air purifier size is needed, just stick with the square feet numbers.
You can but there are more factors to account for. Let’s address the common issue one by one. CADR existence is to create a standardized measurement that can be used by all brands. This protects the consumers from being misled by the manufacturers in performance figures. The problem is CADR relies on airflow distribution and some air purifiers does not focus on that. For example, Airfree’s Thermodynamic TSS Technology uses heat rather than airflow. Also, the fan speed is always set at the highest setting, your CADR will obviously be worst on lower speed. Also, the fan speed is always set at the highest setting, the CADR will obviously be poorer on the lowest speed. The quality of the filter will have a direct impact on the figures. A 15 lbs Activated Carbon filter is a better smoke filtration than a carbon sheet. However, the smoke CADR score might favor the thin carbon sheet that has less density. Add-on filtration like UV-light and ionizer are also left out in CADR test. That is why not all manufacturers are willing to participate in AHAM certification program.
What About Air Purifier Room Size? Is it Dependable?
It is but you are relying on the manufacturers itself to provide you with the input. They might boost their numbers in a controlled environment such as an empty room or short ceiling height. A few bad eggs manufacturer might even mislead the user with cubic feet numbers than square feet. Area of the room is not the same as the Surface area of the room. Another common tactic is the use of lower air changes per hour to display bigger numbers. For example, a 200 sq. ft. coverage at 2 air changes per hour is cut down to half (100 sq. ft.) at 4 air changes per hour.
If CADR And Room Size is Not The Answer, What Can I Depend On?
Yourself. By that I mean do your own research and comparison and determine what is best to your needs. CADR or the air purifier room size is a good place to start. Then branch out to the filters depth, technology used, and cleaning mode. While you’re at it, consider the dimension, power consumption, and noise level. Finally, look out for the brand reputation and maintenance as it will impact the air cleaner longevity.
The perfect place to start is in our compare air purifiers page. You can then check out other user reviews in Amazon before putting down your money.
AKA Ioniser, Ionic air purifier, Ion generator, or Negative Ion air purifier. Air ionizer is a device that cleans the air by discharging 20,000 and 200,000 ions per second to bring down airborne particulates. There are 2 common types of ionizer in the market. First, an electrostatic precipitator that comes with an extra collector plate. The “plate” collects the drop contaminants rather than leaving them falling all over the place. The purification process is eco-friendly thus you can reuse the plate over and over again. Second is an air purifier with ionizer that pulls in and captures fallen ions onto its filter. Most of the HEPA filter are not reusable but it’s proven to be much more effective trapping the fallen. Some ionizer produces a very insignificant amount of ozone that can be safely ignored.
How Does An Ionizer Work?
Ionization is the process where an atom/ molecule gains or loses an electron. An Ionizer works by electrostatically charge negative ions internally and disperse them into the air. Like a magnet, the released negative ions will merge with positive ions particle in a room. This includes dust mites, mold, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, and viruses. The bonded ions will fall due to the increased weight leaving the air free from any contaminants. Owners will have to vacuum/ clean up the particulates on the ground, wall, or sofa before it stirs back up again.
How do I know if ionizers really work? Most of your allergic reactions will lessen or fade away in a few days time. Also, there is a hint of burn ionized air smell that one will get used to it.
Debunking Air ionizer Dangers
Let’s start with a few clear statements. Ionic air purifier is 100% safe with no side effects as it’s proven time and time again. Ionizer would not make you sick as it disperses only negative ions. In simple term, negative ions good, positive ions bad. The reason some reports stated otherwise is that those are not PURE ionizer. They are the so-called Ozonizer that is masked as an ionizer or integrated with ionization feature. Nothing’s good when you mix with the bad crowd. The problem with Ozonizer is that they rely on ozone to perform its purification. Inhaling to even a small amount of ozone is bad for our health particularly our lungs.
Air Ionizer Benefits
Probably the only site that asks you to be less positive! By now we should all agreed that breathing in more negative ions and less positive ions are beneficial to our health and well-being. Using an air ionizer will balance things up by introducing more negative ions into the air. There are still a few more advantages an ionizer can bring to the table that no other air cleaner could.
Evergreen technology that does not rely on any filter. You will save up a lot on the filter replacement cost.
Pairs well with a HEPA air purifier or as an Electrostatic Recipitator.
Boost body immune system on seasonal allergies like hay fever, cold, and even migraine.
Protect our lungs and respiratory tract from inflammation.
Helps you sleep better by relieving tension. Mood booster!
A natural antidepressant for a person suffering from depression.
Stay sharp. Improve mental focus and clarity through the increased flow of oxygen.
Elevate person health, energy level, and well-being.
Revitalize cell metabolism and speed up healing rate from injury.
Normalize respiration rate that helps reduce stress and blood pressure.
The most popular and sought-after residential air purifier in the world. Why? Is because HEPA air purifier has proven filtration efficiency that leaves no bad footprint. Mechanical filter is been around for ages and you know what you’re getting at. To qualify as a true HEPA, the filter has to reach a certain industry standard (IEST, UL). There are two common types of HEPA filter in the market. The inferior HEPA-type filter has a 99% efficiency rate on particles as small as 2 microns. The better True HEPA filter has an efficiency rate of 99.97% at 0.3 microns or lower (see IQAir).
How it works: The inner motor fan will pull air and particulates into a series of filters. Depending on the combination, a typical filtration consists of a pre-filter, HEPA filter, and a carbon filter. Large particulates like dust or hair will be trap by the initial pre-filter. Smaller microbes like pollen, mold, pet dander, and germ will be trap by the HEPA filter. Carbon filter will focus on smoke/ odor based pollutants that are not captured by HEPA. Premium models will come with additional Ionizer, antimicrobial or UV-light filtration. The cycle will end when purified, clean air is distributed out from the vent.
Should I get one: HEPA air purifier can be very expensive depending on features, airflow level, and stage of filtration. The filters also require replacing that itself can be very costly. That being said, it is the BEST air purifier type that we have emphasized over and over again. If you are entirely sure what to look for, start with a True HEPA filter, and branch out with the addon (Carbon filter, UV-light, Ionizer).
Easily available as it is carried by most brands.
Proven and certified filter performance.
Excellent against dust mites, pollen, mold, mildew, pet dander, virus, and bacteria.
Works best with Pre-filter, Carbon filter, and Ionizer.
Relies on carbon filter to trap smoke and odor.
Most HEPA filter requires annually replacing and is considerably costly.
Cost – ($10-200+)
Also known as – Carbon air purifier, Charcoal air purifier, Deodorizer, Odor removal
Odor eliminator purification method is similar to HEPA air cleaner. It utilizes a mechanical filter that solely focuses on smoke particles. Higher range model uses an Activated Carbon filter or Granular Carbon filter. Lower-grade model uses carbon sheet or baking soda filters. You might even find HEGA filter in specific model although it is uncommon. Odor eliminator is often used in places that stink like toilet, kitchen or smoking area.
How it works: Smoke coming from cooking, cigarette, or pet odors will be suck into the air purifier’s filtration. The carbon filter in the air purifier will then absorb the pass-by pollutants. Advanced carbon filter can target stronger chemical fumes like CO, radon, ammonia, chlorine, sediment, and VOCs. The purification cycle will repeat itself until the surrounding air is clean.
Should I get one: Carbon air purifier works best as an add-on rather than a standalone unit. If smoke and odor is your only concern, consider one as it will be cheaper due to the less filtration. Unless you are entirely sure this is what you need, a HEPA air purifier with deodorization would be a much better combination.
Proven smoke and odor pollutants removal.
Inexpensive as it uses less filter.
Works best as an add-on to the existing purifier.
Does not capture non-smoke particles.
Carbon filter requires replacing quarterly or annually.
UV Air Purifier
Cost – ($30-300+)
Also known as – UVGI cleaner, Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation Cleaner
UV air purifier is an advanced purification technology used in many household products. This includes bottle sterilizer, lighting, and water purifier. UV air purifier covers all types of airborne particles including smoke and odor. The entire process is 100% safe and certified by many different agencies. UV-C radiation can pass through air without creating ozone. At low doses (without direct contact), it will not cause any burn and damage human tissues.
How it works: Unlike a filter that traps microorganisms leaving them a slim chance to grow, UV air purifier eradicates them. The Ultraviolet (UV) light kills cells by damaging their DNA through molecules reaction. It’s particularly useful against airborne flu, bacteria, and viruses. Short exposure to the light can also disinfect an area from any infectious disease.
Should I get one: As a last-stage or complementing filtration system, we can hardly say no to it. UV air purifier is super-effective in killing biological irritants. Apart from that, is it rather restricted and will take a longer time removing stronger resistance pollutants. Another issue is the UV light efficiency will drop on a gradual basis. You will need to replace the Light bulb according to its usage lifespan.
Proven technology used in Hospital and other healthcare centers.
Super-effective in killing bacteria and viruses.
Eliminate particulates for good instead of trapping them.
UV light effectiveness deteriorates over-time.
Ultraviolet takes a longer time to remove a large group of airborne irritants.
UV lamp has a moderate lifespan and replacement cost can be expensive on frequent use.
Photocatalyst Air Purifier
Cost – ($50-300+)
Also known as – Photocatalytic Oxidation Cleaner, PCO Cleaner
A proven and certified technology (based on research from NASA). PCO air purifier is a 100% safe technology that exists in different devices. The highlight of PCO filtration is it can eradicate a broad range of contaminants as small as 0.001 microns. 300 times smaller than what HEPA filter can take. Even the smallest viruses fall between 0.004 to 0.1 microns.
How it works: Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) is a technology that accelerates the natural decomposition of organic matter. It uses broad-spectrum UV light to reacts with a thin film of titanium dioxide. This resulted in oxidization on microorganisms which then be absorbed on catalyst’s surface. In simple words, it’s essentially a photocatalysis process.
Should I get one: We like photocatalyst but is not the cheapest air purifier type and so is the UV-light replacement. Another issue is Photocatalytic Oxidation effectiveness will degrade over time. The Oxidation process also varies in room temperature or with different types of chemicals. Rather than a standalone unit, PCO works best as a supplement filtration in a HEPA air purifier.
Proven and certified technology used to cleanse pesticides from fruits/ vegetables.
Eradicate broad range of airborne particles as small as 0.001 microns.
Excellent in killing germs and stopping their growth.
PCO light performance decrease on a gradual basis upon usage.
Performance varies depending on external factors and the quality of the UV-light.
Replacement cost is between medium to high with average life span.
Cost – ($50-250+)
Also known as – Ionizer, Ionic air purifier, Ion generator, Negative Ion air purifier
First thing first, ionizer is not an ozone generator. Period. It does not generate ozone to fight airborne pollutants. Some manufacturer would mislead the buyer but naming their Ozonator as “ionizer”. Unethical business practice.
Air Ionizer is the complete opposite of a mechanical air purifier. Its ionization method does not rely on filter therefore much more eco-friendly. You would also not have to spend any extra dollar on filter replacement. The entire purification process is safe with a very insignificant amount of ozone produced.
How it works: Air Ionizer core generator will create and disperse millions of negative ions. Nearby positive ion particles are electrostatically charged through the merging of negative ions. The increased weight of the charged particles will then fall and adhere to surfaces, sofa, or wall. This resulted in a reduced density of irritants in the air and the cycle will repeat itself.
Should I get one: An HEPA air purifier with ionizer or Electrostatic Precipitators would be the better option. Both types of air purifier will collect the dropped contaminants rather than leaving it scattered all around. If nothing is done, the contaminants will still be stuck in a room and could stir back up in the air.
Release negative ions that cause airborne particles to fall due to increased weight.
Negative ions are beneficial to our health both mentally and physically.
Does not rely on filter thus no costly replacement filter ever needed.
Does not eliminate airborne particles but rather stuck them to the ground or wall.
Less effective against smoke and odor particles.
Produced ozone although it’s usually at a very minimal level. Still safe so don’t worry.
Cost – ($50-300+)
Also known as – Electrostatic air cleaner, Electronic air cleaner
Electrostatic Precipitators are the step-up version to Ion generator. It uses the same ionization method but comes with the extra collector plate. The merit of a collector plate is you do not have to vacuum the room to officially get rid of the dropped particles.
How it works: Through the force of an induced electrostatic charge, Electrostatic Precipitator will release millions of negative ions in the air. The negative ions will merge with positive ions particles like dust, mold, and smoke. This caused the merged particles to fall due to the increased weight. The fallen airborne particles will then be collected via a flat charged plate.
Should I get one: Yes you should consider one as Electrostatic precipitators can work without reliance on other filters. However, its effectiveness and price make it a less obvious choice than a HEPA air purifier. Also, you do have to clean the internal collector plate on a regular basis.
Charge and capture all types of particles including dust mite, germ, pollen, and mold.
Negative ions can boost our body immune system and well-being.
Permanent collecting plate that does not require replacing, unlike filter.
Collector plate requires cleaning regularly to remove the stuck particles.
Does not really capture smoke and odor based pollutants.
Produced ozone but at an insignificant level.
Cost – ($40-500+)
Also known as – Ozonator, Ozonizer, Ozone *NOT* air purifier
The controversial one: Ozone generator has never been loved by any government agencies. Sure it can remove lingering odors that are stuck to the wall, that is a price to paid and is not pretty. You will have to endure the sheer number of harmful ozone it will produce. Exposing to ozone will aggravate asthma, cause lung irritation and damage the tissues. It is the “anti air purifier” that counter what it is meant to do.
How it works: Ozone generator will produce ozone through Silent corona discharge method. By electrically discharge and split oxygen molecules (O2) into a single atom. The single atom will then reattach to other oxygen molecules to form ozone. To give you a clearer example, O + O2 =O3. Once the “cleaning” process has started, you will need to stay away from the room for at least a couple of hours until the ozone clear off. There are also ozonator that produces ozone through ultraviolet radiation. We hardly encounter those as it is less effective and borderline UV-light.
Should I get one: Never consider an Ozone generator due to irreversible health effects it brings. In theory yes it will destroy strong odors that are normally irremovable. In reality, it may only mask them by decrease one’s sense of smell that you cannot distinguish any bad odors. Also, most models in the market are unregulated because they can’t. The aftermath of ozone is simply not worth the risk.
Beware that many manufacturers would market their ozone generator as an air cleaner to mask it from public backlash. Examine the model specification first before putting down your money.
Produce ozone to partially destroy smoke and odor that’s adhere to the wall or floor (see cons).
Unregulated technology that is not carried by major brands.
Inhaling to an excessive amount of Ozone can aggravate asthma and damage lung tissues.
Mask odor instead of removing them. Will also damage one’s sense of smell.
Ineffective against dust, pollen, mold or any other airborne allergens. Known to react with existing chemicals to form even more toxic pollutants.
A device that removes airborne particles and purifies the air.
Stands for Air Changes Per Hour or Air Change Rate. It measures the number of times the air will cycle through a space per hour by dividing the volume of the space. Typically measured in 2, 4 or 5 air changes per hour in air purifier world.
CFM is the abbreviation for Cubic Feet per Minute. It is a measurement of how much air can move per minute in an area. The higher the CFM is, the faster and more airflow an air purifier can deliver.
Clean Air Delivery Rate is a figure of merit for cubic feet per minute (CFM). The higher the CADR, the faster and more dust, allergens, germs or smoke an air purifier can remove.
Also known as Micrometer or micrometre in other parts of the world. Micron is a term of measurement that equals to one-millionth of a meter length (symbol: μm). Often used in air purifier field to measure the size of the particles. E.g. human hair is at 70 microns while a virus is between 0.1 to 0.01 micron.
Also known as Particulate Matter 10. PM10 airborne particles are all within 10 micrometers or less. Removable through an air purifier.
Also known as Particulate Matter 2.5. PM2.5 airborne particles are all within 2.5 micrometers or less. Removable through an air purifier.
dB is the abbreviation of Decibel which is an unweighted unit of sound measurement. Use to measures the loudness/ noise level of an air purifier.
dBA is a weighted unit of sound measurement based on an approximate way of human ear hears. dBA measurement will be lower than dB.
Stands for Air Quality Index, it is an index scale that shows daily air quality in your area. While all countries have different AQI calculation, it is still the main measurement used by the government.
Stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air, High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance, High-Efficiency Particulate Absorber or High-Efficiency Particulate Aerosol. HEPA is a type of mechanical filter that captures microscopic particles as small as 0.3 microns at 99.97% efficiency rate. Manufactured and certified with recognized industry standards (IEST, UL).
Abbreviation for High-Efficiency Gas Absorber, High-Efficiency Gas Assistance or High-Efficiency Gas Adsorption. HEGA is a carbon cloth filter that traps gaseous pollutants and odors from cleaning products, tobacco smoke, and VOCs.
Abbreviation for Ultra-low Particulate Air. ULPA is a mechanical filter that eliminates 99.999% of airborne particles as small as 100 nanometres/ 0.1 micron (0.1 µm). Not commonly found in an air purifier.
A device or a feature that help improve air quality through negative ion generation.
Volatile Organic Compounds is a variety of gas-type chemicals emitted from a product. This includes household cleaning products, building materials, cosmetics, and paints. Exposing to concentrated VOCs will have adverse health effect including eye irritation, headaches. In long-run it can damage liver, kidney, and cause premature death.
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is also known as environmental illness and sick building syndrome. A disorder which a person can develop from exposure to harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, VOCs. Symptoms include diarrhea, headache, fatigue, nausea, congestion, sore throat, or skin rash. Air purifier equipped with a carbon filter can help eliminate most indoor chemicals.
Sick Building Syndrome is a medical term for building occupants that are suffering from illness symptoms. This cover dizziness, headache, nausea, itchy eyes from an unknown cause. See BRI.
Abbreviation for Building Related Illness. BRI is a medical term for building occupants that are suffering from acute discomfort symptoms. This includes cough, fever, chill, muscle pain caused by airborne contaminants in the building.
Abbreviation for Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. AHAM is a U.S. association that help develop and maintain technical standards of home appliances including air purifier.
Abbreviation for Environmental Sciences and Technology, IEST is a multidisciplinary, internationally recognized society. It contributes to environmental sciences on electronics manufacturing and contamination control.
Abbreviation for Underwriters Laboratories. UL is a non-profit, independent safety science company that conducts safety and quality tests on products.
United States Department of Energy is a cabinet-level department of the government. It helps create and set the standard of HEPA filter. A True HEPA filter must remove 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 micron (0.3 µm).
Ideal model – IQAir HealthPro, Honeywell HPA300, Coway AP-1512HH
Asthma is a chronic lung disease where a person’s airways are swollen or inflamed. The narrower airway will lead to symptoms like difficulty breathing, wheezing, and cough. Home should be the safest and most comfortable place for an asthmatic person. Sadly, the increasing numbers of asthma-related death show otherwise.
Dust mite, mold, pet dander or even odor could trigger an asthma attack without a person realizing it. An air purifier will remove all smoke and allergens via its multi-stage purification. With airborne aggravators out of the picture, there is less chance of it from happening. For guaranteed result, choose an air purifier with True HEPA filter. Leave it on all day and your home will be transformed into an asthma-friendly zone.
In short: Air purifier is a preventer but inhaler is a savior. It is the best thing to save you from a life-threatening asthma attack. Also, ensure other factors like food, pest, or cockroach droppings (yuck) are not here to make a scene.
Air Purifier is An Effective Dust Removal Machine
Effectiveness – (Highly effective)
Ideal model – Blueair Pro XL, Coway AP-1512HH, Airmega 300
Anyone can be allergic to dust as there are literally everywhere. Depending on how small a particle is, dust can stay airborne for up to 5 days. On average, a home produces 4 pounds of dust every month (around the weight of an ultrabook laptop). A vacuum cleaner would do a fine job in ground dust, it can’t deal with anything that is airborne. For that reason, this is where an air purifier advantages kick in!
An air purifier can remove airborne dust via its pre-filter or HEPA filter. The filtration will also capture all irritants that travel along with the dust. This includes dead skin, animal fur, dander, decomposing insects, pollen, food debris, hair, fabric or fiber.
In short: Most people are hypersensitive to dust mites rather than dust itself. Either way, an air purifier can stop us from inhaling both into our lungs first before anything else. Combine with extra housekeeping, it will be tactical masterclass between an air-strike air cleaner and ground attack vacuum cleaner.
Air Purifier Will Remove And Impede Germs Growth
Effectiveness – (Highly effective)
Ideal model – Winix HR1000, Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0/ MinusA2, GermGuardian AC5250PT
Germs are often spread through the air via sneezing, coughing, rubbing eyes, or even simple handshake. Studies have shown most germs/ flu viruses can stay active for up to 24 hours. Specific cold viruses can survive in an indoor environment for up to 7 days. These microorganisms multiply and grow at an exponential rate.
The advantages of using an air purifier are the swift bacteria and viruses capturing. If the filter comes with an antimicrobial coating, it can impede the microbes from further growth. With those pesky germs out of the way, everyone in your home will be shielded from flu, cough, and other illnesses. Children would be the biggest beneficiary as they are more vulnerable to the common cold.
In short: If you and your family member fall sick frequently from a virus attack, an air purifier would be a godsend. However, it is only one part of the solution. Washing your hand, keeping a room ventilated and reducing moisture level is one of the few alternate ways. In any case, you don’t find out the germ cause, it would be a never-ending nightmare.
Air Purifier Alleviate Seasonal Allergies
Effectiveness – (Highly effective)
Ideal model – Blueair 605, Rabbit Air MinusA2, Airmega 400
Speaking of allergens, it’s that time of the year where pollen will fly and mold will rise. Around 50 million folks in the U.S are suffering from nasal allergies every summer. One might experience symptoms like running nose, red/ watery eyes, or itchiness. Most mold or pollen allergies will come and go but typical viruses like cold can last from 7 to 10 days.
When mother nature works its magic, you need to be prepared. A HEPA air cleaner will suck in any invading pollen, spore from grass or weed. At the same time, on-float mold and other microorganisms that will be trap before we breathe into them.
In short: If you dreaded the day to every seasonal allergy, getting an air purifier is the best way to maintain healthy air. For optimum result, place the machine close to windows but not directly underneath. Also, keep all windows/ doors shut to reduce the numbers of incoming airborne fungi.
Air Purifier Eliminate All Kind of Odors
Effectiveness – (Highly effective)
Ideal model – Winix 5500-2, Blueair 405, Austin Air HealthMate Plus
Odor can make a person feel sick but is not the pungent smell that is bad for you. It is the gaseous chemical compound or bacteria that travels with it. When we scent something unpleasant, one might experience loss of appetite, nausea or headache. This includes rotten eggs, cigarette, sewage, diaper, and even chemical fumes like VOCs.
Nobody wants to stay in a smelly home. The biggest advantage of an air purifier is it can clear out all types of odors. The activated carbon filter will remove all unwanted smells plus the chemical substances. It is also safe and cost-effective where you could leave the device running all day in the background.
In short: When something smells bad, it is probably bad for you. Rather than masking away the foul smell with air freshener, consider the chemical-free air cleaner. It will truly remove stinky odors without adding harmful particles into our body. Also, keep your room well-ventilated and throw away any rotten foods.
Air Purifier Can Counter Smoker Way of Life
Effectiveness – (Highly effective)
Ideal model – Alen BreatheSmart, Winix 5500-2, Blueair 605
Like it or not, smokers are everywhere and so is the chemicals and odors it brings. Tobacco is notoriously known for its 3 components: nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar. Nicotine is the popular one that causes addiction but tar is the dangerous one that causes cancer. Despite the aggressive awareness campaign, there are still 36.5 million smokers in the U.S. alone. More scaringly, at least 16 million people live with a smoking-related disease.
An air purifier can filter out all 4000+ chemicals and odors emitted from a cigarette. In long-run can also act as a protective barrier against secondhand/ thirdhand smoke. Therefore, it is less likelihood of you or your family member from developing smoke-linked cancer. Again, the air cleaner must be equipped with a good carbon filter with decent coverage.
In short: An air purifier can lessen the impact smoking brings from a situation that you can’t change. If you are a smoker, quit smoking is no doubt the best option. Otherwise, smoke in an open space area or stay clear of smoking zone area.
Air Purifier Eradicate Household Chemicals
Effectiveness – (Highly effective)
Ideal model – IQAir GC MultiGas, Austin Air HealthMate Plus, AIRMEGA 300S
Household chemicals are here to stay and so is an air purifier. we are regularly in contact with toxic fumes from our everyday products. This includes detergent, toilet bowl cleaner, paint, or insect repellents (pesticide). In small concentration, it would be safe to say it is negligible, but in large doses, it’s unquestionably a major health risk.
An air cleaner is an eco-friendly solution to contain evaporated chemicals. By pulling in the air into the mechanical filtration, the toxic fumes will be stuck on to the carbon filter. Common toxic include Ammonia, Deet, Radon, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
In short: If you are constantly exposed to cleaning products, you will need an air purifier. To fully cover your entire home, pick a full-sized HEPA machine or place multiple units in different section of the room.
Air Purifier Give Pet Allergy Person a Second Chance
Effectiveness – (Highly effective)
Ideal model – Austin Air Pet Machine, GermGuardian AC5250PT, Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet
Allergies can develop at any stage of life even if you are fully immunized. This can be extremely painful for pet owners that have to give up on their companion for something beyond their control. Another common scenario is you met your soulmate that is unfortunately allergic to pets. What can you do?
Air purifier will eliminate all types of airborne allergies including pet dander. It can also get rid of pet odors thus making your home smell as fresh as before. There are many specialized pet air purifiers in the market. Choose the unit with stronger airflow so it can cover more grounds.
In short: Taking allergy shot can be a temporary remedy to your allergy woes. Getting an air purifier would be a rational, long-term solution. If you “The allergy sufferer” would like to have a pet, consider getting an allergenic dog or cat.
Air Purifier Creates a Safe Haven For Baby
Effectiveness – (Effective)
Ideal model – Winix 5500-2, Honeywell HPA300, AIRMEGA 400
We “the strong one” have the duty to protect “the weaker one”. Our immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs. It will defend our body against bacteria and viruses attack. As we continue to age, the number of cells will reduce thus the body will take a longer time to recover from cuts and infection. By that baby, elderly, postpartum women and sick person should be treated with extra care.
Creating a germ-proof environment is the main benefits of air purifier for baby. A HEPA air cleaner with strong airflow can safeguard “the weaker one” from viruses attack. It would also protect them from serious illness thus allow the complete development of their immune system.
In short: If you have newborn, baby or children, an air purifier would protect them from any virus infection. Remember the wider the purifying coverage is, the more grounds it can cover. Keep the air purifier running all the time so no germs can sneak pass the protective shield.
Air Purifier Helps You Sleep Better
Effectiveness – (Partially effective)
Ideal model – Winix 5500-2, Honeywell HPA300, AIRMEGA 300
Despite the common theme, many people are unable to sleep through the night. Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that should not be taken lightly. People with untreated sleep apnea often suffer from unrefreshed sleep or lack of concentration. Other signs include snoring, headaches, insomnia, and even decreased sexual desire (ouch). In long-run, it will have a detrimental health effect to our body.
The pros of air purifier in a bedroom are obvious. It clear away all the disturbing, airborne irritants like dust mites. Without the irritants triggering the symptoms, expect less snoring noise and sleep interruption. You will breathe easier and your sleeping partners would truly appreciate. Your body will also thank you for supplying enough oxygen for internal organs.
In short: If you are suffering from mild sleep apnea due to cold, or choking, an air purifier could be the answer to the woes. Keep in mind that most air cleaners generate a fair bit of noise. Picking a *right* silent model is crucial and so is keeping the fan speed in low/ sleep mode setting.
Air Purifier Blocks Outdoor Pollutants
Effectiveness – (Effective)
Ideal model – IQAir GC MultiGas, Austin Air HealthMate Plus, Blueair 605
In an urban area, a typical source of outdoor pollution includes fossil fuel burning, vehicles, and forest burning. As a result, toxic like Nitrogen oxides, Carbon monoxide, Sulfur dioxide will flow into your home. Prolonged exposure to outdoor pollutants is known to have adverse health effects. It can causes diseases such as bronchitis, emphysema and worst still, cancer. Unless you can move out of the area, there are very little things you could do. An air cleaner is your best bet in reducing the air pollution severity.
Outdoor pollution never takes a break. The long term benefits of air purifier are to ensure full protection when staying indoors. With a genuine HEPA filter and a good carbon filter, it can trap any PM2.5 particles or toxic fumes. Make sure you opt from a reputable brand with wide purifying coverage.
In short: Air purifier can shield you from most part of outdoor pollutions. Harmful substances will still creep in despite the best effort of keeping it out. When the days are bad (super hazy), avoid or at least reduce the number of trips outdoor and keep all windows shut.
Air Purifier Improves Your Mood Levels
Effectiveness – (Not very effective)
Ideal model – PureZone 3-In-1, Levoit LV-H132, GermGuardian AC4100
When you’re healthy, you’re happy. A bad cold or cough will stress you out and when you are stressed, your mood swings. Same theory apply to symptoms like itchiness, watering eyes, headache, and chest tightness. Nothing will bring you down quicker than a headache.
Clean air would do wonders to your mood and health-being. The advantage of owning an air purifier is it can SWITCH ON your mood. It helps manage your health condition so your mood would not be dragged down by any illnesses.
In short: An air purifier is not a dopamine generator. Ii cannot make you happy if you are not. A stroll in the park or enjoying some mood-boosting foods would temporarily improve your emotional state. If you constantly experiencing mood swings, consult your doctor to see if you are suffering from Bipolar Disorder.
Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest creatures on the planet. It accounted for 475,000 deaths every year. This disease-carrying insect often roams in Africa and in Southeast Asia, where dengue and malaria fever spread. In the U.S, West Nile virus, (LAC) encephalitis, and yellow fever diseases are more commonly transmitted.
As weird as it can be, some air purifiers can capture mosquitoes if you crank up the air cleaner fan speed. Through a built-in mosquito repellent sheet that is above any filter. The strong airflow would suck in and trap mosquitoes with other airborne allergens.
In short: Only a specific model would give mosquito protection besides cleaning the air. It may not be the perfect mosquito catcher, but think about it as an extra benefit that taps on to the existing feature. Not sure why manufacturer did not emphasize on this as so far only Sharp promoting so.
Also known as – Australian Native Monstera, Pothos, Porthos, Centipede Tongavine, Golden Pothos, Hunter’s Robe, Ivy Arum, Money Plant, Silver Vine, Solomon Islands Ivy, Taro Vine.
The most adaptive versatile plant in the list. While most plants would need adequate sunlight to flourish, the Devil’s Ivy can grow on low light, low humidity, cool temperatures. Besides being an excellent air pollutants eliminator, it can grow in pot, on pillar/ pole or underneath other plants. Perfect for people who do not have much experience or time caring for plants. Keep in mind though these plants are poisonous to cats and dogs if ingested.
The price for potted plant starts from $6.99. I recommend cutting and re-growing it from your neighbors or friends existing plant since it is quite common to obtain.
Also known as – Needlepoint Ivy, European Ivy, Ivy, Branching Ivy, Glacier Ivy, Sweetheart Ivy, California Ivy.
English Ivy is a climbing houseplant that occupies a lot of space and requires trimming. On the upside, it grows well in low light conditions and it is an excellent air purifier plant that well known to eliminate airborne pollutants including Benzene, Trichloroethylene, and Formaldehyde from the air. Please note though English Ivy is also poisonous to pets.
The price for the seeds starts from $2.40 and $5 for plant. (eBay)
Also known as – Common Lantana, Largeleaf Lantana, Kamara Lantana, Wild Sage, Red Sage, Yellow Sage, White Sage, Shrub Verbena.
Do not be fool by its looks as Feston Rose plant is capable of tolerating scorching heat and strong wind. It can also survive in limited water and salty conditions. Not only it can purify the air, these plants will also give out a fresh, strong fragrance. Another great thing about Feston Rose is that there is some nice variegation from its species.
The price for the seeds starts from $1.50 and $7.50 for potted plant. (eBay)
Also known as – Airplane Plant, Hen-and-chickens, Variegated Spider Plant, Ribbon Plant.
Another common plant that is super easy to care. This is one of the toughest houseplant you can get. It can thrive, yes thrive in air conditioned room with limited water. Just like Boston Fern, Spider plant is excellent at removing Formaldehyde and other pollutants from the air.
The price for the seeds starts from $0.99 and $5.99 for potted plant. (eBay)
Also known as – Mother-in-law’s Tongue, Variegated Snake Plant, Devil’s Tongue, African Spear, Tiger’s Tail, Pasha SwordBow String Hemp, Bowstring Hemp, Good Luck Plant, Goldband Sansevieria, Viper’s Bowstring Hemp, Magic Sword, Laurentii Snake Plant, 虎尾兰.
A plant that has been used in rituals, protective charm, Feng Shui and now an air purifier. Snake Plant is often the popular choice as indoor ornamental plant because of its unique variegated texture and upwards growing style. A superb air purifier plant but poisonous if ingested.
The price for the seeds starts from $0.99 and $4.99 for potted plant.
Also known as – Appendiculata, Equestris, Amabilis, Javanica, Micholitzii (species based).
An exotic beauty that grows and maintain easily. It can thrive in indoor, windowsill, normal human temperature, artificial sunlight but not direct sunlight. Moth Orchid comes in many varieties of colors, it might not be the best air purifier plants, but it blooms marvelously and is a great add-ons to your home decoration.
The price for the seeds starts from $0.99 and $3.90 for potted plant. (eBay)
Also known as – Atroviolaceum, Bracteosum, Aalabense, Seudoglomeratum, Ruppianum (species based).
Looks like a moth orchid, except larger in size. Under the orchid family, Dendrobium Orchid requires extra nurturing compare with Moth Orchid so this plant might not be ideal for many. Exceptionally beautiful nonetheless.
The price for the seeds starts from $6 and $7 for potted plant. (eBay)
Also known as – Saintpaulia Difficilis, Saintpaulia Confusa, Saintpaulia Inconspicua.
A beautiful variegated flowers that comes in different sizes. With only moderate light required, African Violet will flower at any time of the year. African Violet are also durable plant that can withstand some lack of care. Typically African Violet is a household indoor plant but can be planted as an outdoor plant as well.
The price for the seeds starts from $4.50 and $6.99 for potted plant.
Also known as – Amaryllis, Lily, Resurrection Lily, Naked Lady.
With resembles to Lily plant, this goddess trumpet-shaped flower will take around 6-8 weeks to fully blossom. Comparatively big with beautiful soft yellow, Yellow Goddess Amaryllis is another potted plant that looks good yet able to purify the air in your house.
The price for the seeds starts from $2.38 and $11.99 for potted plant. (eBay)
Also known as – Ajo sacha, Forest Garlic, Wild Garlic, Amethyst Vine.
One of the few in the list that can be used as an anti-pollutant plant and treatment. Growing Garlic Vine will need some extra effort considering it need moderate to plentiful water (depending on growth period) and direct sunlight. Because of that, the indoor placement for Garlic Vine is extremely critical so take note of it.
The price for the seeds starts from $2.80 and $10.50 for plant. (eBay)
Also known as – Thanksgiving Cactus, Crab Cactus and Holiday Cactus.
A plant that usually blossoms during Christmas period, caring for a Christmas Cactus could be a bit tricky as you cannot overwater or underwater it. With adequate light and normal room temperature, this beautiful plant could be excellent add-ons to your houseplants.
The price for the seeds starts from $0.99 and $6.99 for potted plant. (eBay)
A very popular and common houseplant. It can bloom under low to moderate light, you only need to water them approximately once a week, and best of all, Peace Lily is an excellent air purifier plant. It can filter dust, pollen and many other pollutants including the notorious 3 brothers: Benzene, Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene from VOCs. Peace Lily is also poisonous to pets if ingested.
The price for the seeds starts from $0.99 and $7.88 for potted plant.
Often grown in hanging basket , Boston Fern grow best under filtered light in high humidity conditions and can withstand a short period of drought. It might not look pretty compare with other flower plants, but make no mistake Boston Fern is consider one of the best air purifier plant in the list. Boston Fern is also safe for pets to eat.
The price for the seeds starts from $2.75 and $13.99 for potted plant. (eBay)
Also known as – Pygmy Date Palm, Miniature Date Palm.
A miniature size palm tree, Dwarf Date Palm is one the largest plant in the list standing about 3 – 10 ft. Just like a palm tree, it has sharp narrow arch that can be very painful if you does not handle with care. Because of this, I would not recommend this plant if you have handful of kids to take care.
The price for the seeds starts from $2 and $4.99 for potted plant. (eBay)
Also known as – Bamboo Palm, Golden Cane Palm, Areca Palm, Butterfly Palm, Desert Fan Palm, Desert Palm, American Cotton Palm, Cotton Palm, Washington Palm, Petticoat Palm, California Fan Palm.
Like Dwarf Date Palm, Areca Palm is also large in size and caring for it can be a bit tricky. According to NASA and Wolverton (Wikipedia), Areca Palm is not only capable to filter Xylene and Toluene from the air, it can also act as an humidifier by transpiring 1 liter of water per 24 hours.
The price for the seeds starts from $1.85 and $5.95 for potted plant. (eBay)