What to look for when shopping for air purifiers
Clean indoor air quality (IAQ) is as important to our health as exercise, restful sleep, and wholesome nutrition. For example, proper IAQ improves cognitive function, helps reduce symptoms of asthma and allergies, and provides every cell in the body with a good supply of oxygen for energy production. Are you shopping around for an air purifier for your home? Here are some things to look for and some things to avoid when it comes to air filters and purifiers...
What to look for:
When it comes to air purifiers, the main thing to consider is whether or not the system uses a HEPA filter. HEPA filters exceed the standards of MERV filters, requiring that 99.97% of air particles 0.3 microns (µm) or larger be removed from the air stream.
HEPA filters are very effective at removing common allergens such as pollen, animal dander, dust mites, mold spores, etc. Avoid air purifiers that claim to use “HEPA-type” filter; filters either meet HEPA standards or they do not, so “HEPA-type filters" is simply a marketing tactic.
Some air purifiers on the market use activated charcoal to filter indoor odors. Individuals that want to address the issue of tobacco smoke, for example, may benefit from the use of a charcoal filter. However, the easiest solution to solve the issue of indoor tobacco smoke is to simply smoke outside, not indoors, as these are not 100% effective.
What to avoid:
Avoid air purifies that advertise themselves as ozone generators, electrostatic precipitators, or ionizers. Ozone is a respiratory irritant that can cause chest pain, throat irritation, coughing, etc. even in the smallest of amounts. It can also worsen chronic respiratory issues such as asthma as well as produce higher levels of ultrafine particles, formaldehyde, and other indoor air pollutants due to the reactions between the ozone and the other chemicals released by modern products. Any air purifier that explicitly or secretly generates ozone should be avoided!
Be cautious of air purifiers that advertise themselves as using ultraviolet light to purify indoor air. These products may kill some viruses and bacteria in the indoor air, but they certainly cannot purify the entirety of the indoor air. These ultraviolet lights can also generate ozone through the ionization of breathable oxygen molecules (O2) into harmful ozone (O3).
Who we endorse:
Venta Air Purifier – this single room air purifier can remove 99.95% of indoor air particle and pollutants of sizes as small as 0.07 microns, which exceed the already strenuous standards of the HEPA filters. This air purifier does not emit ozone, and removes allergens, bacteria, viruses, and other common indoor air particles.
Lennox PureAir – this air purifying system is a whole-home solution that combats indoor air pollutants. This system removes 95% of particles in size up to 0.3 microns, 99% of particles such as pollen, pet dander, and dust, and 90% of bacteria and virus of sizes down to 0.01 microns. It does not generate ozone and eliminates household odors and chemical vapors.