The Complete Guide to Air Purifier

The Complete Guide to Air Purifier: Facts, Pre-purchase and Post-purchase

Owning an air purifier is easy, but to completely utilize the air purifier full capacities is a skill of its own. From the health benefits of an air purifier to the complete acronym and jargon used in air cleaner, every little detail of knowledge here will empower you into choosing the perfect air purifier that suit you or your family needs. In this complete guide to air purifier post, we will be looking at all air purifier facts, pre-purchase check and post-purchase care plus maintenance. Each category comes with a detail summary on the topic itself plus a link where you can learn more. This page will be updated regularly so do check back for more refreshed content!

Health Benefits of Air Purifier

There are plenty of reasons to own an air purifier. From the fundamental dust, allergens and odor removal to the advanced chemical/ toxic filtration, air purifier does it all. Also great in creating a smoke-free/ asthma friendly/ germ-free environment and stopping seasonal allergies attack, little did anyone know that air purifier can actually help improve your mood level, reduce ozone level (specific model) and work as a part time mosquito catcher.

The Complete List of Health Benefits
  1. Create an asthma-friendly home
  2. A very effective dust removal machine
  3. Remove and impede germs, bacteria and virus growth
  4. Stop seasonal allergies invasion mainly from pollen/ mold
  5. Eliminate all sort of odors from cooking, cigarette and baby diaper
  6. Counter smoker way of life
  7. Eradicate household chemicals from our everyday products
  8. Give dog/ cat allergy person a second chance
  9. Create a safe haven for baby, elderly and sick person
  10. Help you or your partner sleep through the night
  11. Blocks out outdoor pollutants including the notorious haze
  12. Does not produce ozone and could even reduce ozone level in your home
  13. Improve your mood level
  14. Traps insect (mosquito catcher)

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Different Types and Sizes of Air Purifiers

More than a dozen types and sizes of air purifiers currently available in the market that catered for different group. From the common HEPA air purifier to the niche market whole-house air purification, each type of air purifiers has their own unique set of features along with a few unavoidable shortcomings. Among the 13 (and counting) list below, our favorite has to be HEPA Air purifier with addon pre-filter and carbon filter. Not only it is the most popular option, modern HEPA air purifiers like Winix HR1000 comes with addon pre-filter, carbon filter and ionizer which in-return gives you the most comprehensive filtration against all sorts of airborne irritants. Again as a reminder, never ever go with ozone generator as most unit is uncertified and ozone generated from the air purifier has more adverse health effects than any benefits you could possibly gain.
    1. HEPA air purifier
    2. Carbon air purifier / Charcoal air purifier / Deodorizer / Odor eliminator / Odor removal
    3. UV air purifier / Ultraviolet air purifier/ Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation Cleaner / UVGI cleaner
    4. PCO cleaner / Photocatalytic Oxidation Cleaner / Photocatalyst air purifier
    5. Ionic air purifier / Ion generator / Negative Ion air purifier
    6. Electrostatic precipitators air purifier / Electrostatic air cleaner / Electronic air cleaner
    7. Ozone generator / Ozone *NOT* air purifier
    1. Console air purifier / Large room air purifier / Full-size air purifier
    2. Compact air purifier / Table top air purifier / Desktop air purifier / Small room air purifier
    3. Car air purifier / Portable air purifier
    4. Tower air purifier / Mini Tower air purifier
    5. Permanent-filter air purifier / Washable-filter air purifier / Reusable air purifier
    6. Whole house air purification / Whole-house air filter / Central air purifier

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    Acronym and Abbreviation

    Confuse about CADR, AHAM, ACH, PM10, AQ, HEGA, MCS? What about respective brand technologies like PlasmaWave, HEPAsilent? Feel cheated or intimidated by your salesman on things you don't know? You're not alone and the list below will be your best guidance. We included some of the most commonly seen acronym, abbreviation and technology jargon along with a summarize explanation to help "clear the air". The list will be updated regularly so do check back on this section.


    Air Purifier/ Air Cleaner

    Air Purifier/ Air Cleaner is a device that remove airborne particles and purifies the air.


    ACH/ ACPH (Air Changes Per Hour/ Air Change Rate)

    Measure the number of times air will cycle through a space per hour. Typically measured in 2, 4 and 5 air charges per hour. Use higher air charges on stronger particles.

    CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute)

    CFM measure how much air can move per minute through an air purifier. The higher CFM is, the faster and more airflow an air purifier can deliver.

    CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate)

    CADR figure of merit is cubic feet per minute (CFM) that measure how much or fast air can move per minute through an air purifier. The higher CADR is, the more dust, allergens, germs and smoke an air purifier can removed.

    Micron (Micrometer)

    Also known as micrometre in other parts of the world, Micron is a term of measurement that equals to one millionth of a metre length (symbol: μm). Often used in air purifier field to measure the size of the particles e.g. human hair is at 70 micron while virus is between 0.1 to 0.01 micron.

    PM10 (Particulate Matter 10)

    PM10 is airborne particles measured in 10 micrometers or less. Removable through an air purifier.

    PM2.5 (Particulate Matter 2.5)

    PM2.5 is airborne particles measured in 2.5 micrometers or less. Removable through an air purifier.

    dB (decibel)

    dB is an unweighted unit of sound measurement that is often use to measures the loudness/ noise level an air purifier produced. Also See dBA.

    dBA/ dB(A) (decibel)

    dBA is a weighted unit of sound measurement based on an approximate way of human ear hears. Often use to measures the loudness/ noise level an air purifier produced. dBA measurement will be lower than dB.

    AQI (Air Quality Index)

    AQI is an index scale that shows daily air quality in your area. While different countries have different AQI calculation, it is still the main measurement used by government and other public agencies in reporting how clean or unhealthy is the air quality.

    Filter & Technology

    HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air/ High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance/ High Efficiency Particulate Absorber/ High-Efficiency Particulate Aerosol)

    HEPA is a type of mechanical filter that capture microscopic particles through fine mesh at 99.97% efficiency rate as small as 0.3 micron. Manufactured and certified with recognized industry standards (IEST, UL).

    True HEPA Filter/ Genuine HEPA filter/ HEPA filter

    In general, True HEPA filter captures up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns.

    HEPA-type Filter/ HEPA-based Filter

    In general, HEPA-type filter captures up to 99% of particles as small as 2 microns.

    Lifetime Filter/ Permanent Filter

    Lifetime filter/ Permanent filter is a cost-saving, reusable filter that does not require replacing. Typically less effective than conventional filter, it is mandatory to clean/ vacuum the filter to maintain its filtration efficiency.

    Carbon Filter/ Activated Carbon Filter

    Carbon Filter/ Activated Carbon Filter is a deodorization granular carbon filter that focus on capturing smoke, fumes/ odors from household cleaning products, cooking smell, pet odors, diaper and harmful chemicals such as tobacco smoke, VOCs.

    HEGA (High Efficiency Gas Absorber/ High Efficiency Gas Assistance/ High-Efficiency Gas Absorption/ High-Efficiency Gas Adsorption)

    HEGA is a carbon cloth filter that trap gaseous pollutants and odors e.g. cleaning products, cooking smoke and chemicals from paint, tobacco smoke, VOCs.

    ULPA (Ultra-low Particulate Air)

    ULPA is a type of mechanical filter that eliminate 99.999% of airborne particles as small as 100 nanometres/ 0.1 micron (0.1 µm). Not commonly found in air purifier.

    Ionizer/ Ionization

    A device or a feature from an air purifier that help improve air quality through negative ion generation. The charged negative ions will disperse and merge with positive charged airborne particles to allow an easier capturing from the filter (due to the increase weight).

    Irritants/ Contaminants

    VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)

    VOCs is a variety of gas-type chemicals emitted from wide range of products including household cleaning products, building materials, cosmetics and paints. Exposing to concentrated VOCs will have adverse health effect including eye irritation, headaches, asthma, liver/ kidney damage and premature death. An air purifier with Activated Carbon Filter (or similar) can effectively remove VOCs from the air.


    MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity)

    Also known as environmental illness and sick building syndrome, MCS is a disorder which a person can develop from long exposure to harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, VOCs. Symptoms include diarrhea, headache, breathing difficulty, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, congestion, sore throat, muscle stiffness and skin rash. Air purifier equipped with carbon filter can help eliminate most indoor chemicals.

    SBS (Sick Building Syndrome)

    SBS is a medical term for building occupants that is suffering from illness symptoms e.g. dizziness, headache, nausea, itchy eyes from an unknown cause. See BRI.

    BRI (Building Related Illness)

    BRI is a medical term for building occupants that is suffering from acute discomfort symptoms e.g. cough, fever, chill, muscle pain caused directly or indirectly by airborne contaminants in the building. Air purifier can help alleviate the symptoms BRI bring.


    AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers)

    AHAM is a United States association that help develop and maintain technical standards of various home appliances including air purifier. Air purifier that is AHAM Verifide/ certified must publish actual figures (dust, pollen, smoke CADR) tested by independent laboratory.

    IEST (Environmental Sciences and Technology)

    IEST is a multidisciplinary, internationally recognized society that contributes to environmental sciences on electronics manufacturing and contamination control.

    UL (Underwriters Laboratories)

    UL is world's largest non-profit, global independent safety science company that conducts comprehensive safety and quality tests on products.

    DOE (United States Department of Energy)

    DOE is a cabinet-level department of the United States Government that helps create and set the standard of HEPA filter. A HEPA filter must remove 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 micron (0.3 µm).

    Learn more about Air Purifier Acronym, Jargon and Technologies

    Do's and Dont's

    Air purifier only not keeps air clean and fresh, it also protects you or your family members from airborne allergens and viruses attack. To ensure the air purifier is functioning properly, it is vital to know how your specific air purifier works (through website or manual), what it can do and can't. Schedule upkeeping will also help maintain your air purifier in pristine condition and deliver the best results every time it's in operation. To get things started, below are some general tips that may prevent any unintentional damage to the air purifier while prolonging the air purifier filter and usage lifespan.
    1. Do not place air purifier outdoor or expose to direct sunlight as the excessive heat would damage the machine. Operate air purifier in indoor only.
    2. Do not use air purifier in excessively humid areas or wet floor where it is at risk of short circuit when in contact with water.
    3. Air purifier use a lot of power therefore never use a boost converter/ transformer to step up or step down air purifier's power voltage. Only use local power voltage and dedicated socket outlet.
    4. Do not plug air purifier to a damaged electrical socket to prevent short circuit.
    5. If the air purifier's power cord or plug that is damaged, contact the manufacturer for replacement or get a qualified technician to look into it.
    6. Never operate, insert or pull out air purifier's plug with wet hands to avoid electric shock.
    7. Always turn off air purifier before moving or unplugging to avoid damaging the electric board.
    8. When unplugging the air purifier, grasp the plug and pull instead of pulling on the power cord.
    9. Do not obstruct, place fingers or foreign objects into the air purifier ventilation intake or outlet.
    10. Keep an eye on children to ensure they do not play or go near an air purifier.
    11. Never spray insecticides, fragrance or other flammable materials around an air purifier.
    12. Do not modify, disassemble or fix an air purifier by yourself unless specifically recommended in the manual.

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