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. Effective dust removal machine
    3. Remove and impede germs growth
    4. Alleviate seasonal allergies
    5. Eliminate all kind of odors
    6. Can counter smoker way of life
    7. Eradicate household chemicals
    8. Give pet allergy person a second chance
    9. Creates a safe haven for baby
    10. Helps you sleep better
    11. Blocks outdoor pollutants
    12. Improves Your Mood Levels
    13. Traps mosquito

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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. Odor Eliminator
    3. UV Air Purifier
    4. Photocatalyst Air Purifier
    5. Air Ionizer
    6. Electrostatic Precipitators
    7. Ozone Generator

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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).

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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.

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