Choosing the Best Air Purifier
Which air purifier is the best and do you even need one at all? Certain
households gain significant benefits from their use, especially those
wherein one or more family members have been diagnosed with asthma, allergies,
or other respiratory problems.
Below is a brief description of two kinds of air purifiers to help you
choose the best one for yourself, and for your family:
Electronic Air Purifiers
Electronic air cleaners, or purifiers,
are designed to eliminate dust and pollen particles
from the air in your home. They use electro-static
precipitators to attract dust particles, much
in the same way that a magnet will attract small
iron filings. An electronic air cleaner can
capture up to 95% of airborne dust particles,
and 99% of pollen particles. It is necessary
to clean the filter on a periodic basis.
Follow the guidelines in your model's instructions which usually
states to do the following:
- turn off power to the electric air purifier
- soak the collector cells and pre-filters in bathtub filled with hot
water and about half a cup of dish soap for at least 30 minutes.
- rinse to remove soap residue and reinstall when completely dry
The downside to the electronic air purifier is that it does not capture
all smells or gases, and it is less likely to capture large particles
as they fall more quickly to the furniture, walls, and floors.
Perhaps the most popular kind of air purifier is the HEPA, which
stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. The disposable HEPA filters
are capable of capturing at least 99.97% of airborne particles that are
0.3 micrometers in diameter. Airborne particles of this size have been
determined to be most difficult to filter. Particles that are smaller,
or even larger, can also be efficiently filtered. The more expensive HEPA
air purifiers have been used in certain hospitals to combat the SARS epidemic.
Electronic vs HEPA
Which are the best air purifiers? While there appears to be a slight advantage
with the HEPA filters, the bottom line is that the best air purifier is
the one that meets your needs and preferences.
How to determine the best air purifier for your needs:
- Do you prefer to buy replacement filters as with the HEPA, or do you
prefer to periodically have to clean the filter as with the electronic
- The HEPA filters retail approximately $16 to $80 each, depending on
which system you purchase, but the initial cost of the unit is lower
than that of the electronic air cleaner.
- If you suffer from asthma or severe allergies, the HEPA might be best
suited for you.
Whatever you choose, improving the air quality of your home is conducive
to better health, and therefore a wise investment.
Written by Gary Martin
Gary Martin is a freelance
writer specializing in health and allergy research
for the Mold
Removal Unit website.