If there’s one element of life that we all are compelled to share as it is, it’s the air we breathe. A confinement of four walls can certainly give us a customized living ambiance, but it can’t regulate the already degraded quality of air to our favor. The scenario gets even worse if you’re a fond pet owner (we recommend checking our list of the best air purifiers for pets), have got an existing respiratory disorder or some form of allergy. Airborne bacterial and viral infections take the threats to outrageously menacing levels.
The U.S. Environmental protection agency reviews an average of around 1700 new compounds to be introduced into the environment annually. Out of which, almost 90% of the chemical compounds are approved with no restrictions. Such industry standards coupled with deliberate pollution hazards has led to serious degradation of the quality of air around us.
You can map the seriousness of the matter from the following record. Only a quarter of the known 82,000 chemical compounds in the environment have been tested for their toxicity. So that implies, we do not completely know the nature of the air we breathe; let alone the long-term consequences of exposure.
Owing to such a progressive rate of pollution, there’s an imminent need of a localised corrective mechanism that not only eliminates suspended pollutants in the air but also accounts for allergens much smaller in size. What I’m talking about exactly is an air purifier.
While it sounds almost depressing that we have to resort to technology to even breathe clean air, it remains one of our very last reliable options. In hopes of some corrective action to rectify the bigger picture, all we can do is play our part by installing the best air purifier at our homes and workplaces.
|Product||Category||Coverage||CADR||Filter Type||Filter Life||Warranty|
|1. Medify MA-40W V2.0 Medical Grade Air Purifier||Best Overall||840 sq. ft.||330||True HEPA||6 Months||Lifetime|
|2. Coway AIRMEGA 400 Smart Air Purifier||Highest Coverage||1,560 sq. ft.||350||True HEPA||12 Months||5 Years|
|3. LEVOIT LV-PUR131S True HEPA Air purifier||Best Budget||500 sq. ft.||312||True HEPA||8 Months||2 Years|
|4. Bissell air320 Air Purifier With HEPA Air Purifier||Practical Design||500 sq. ft.||220||True HEPA||6 Months||5 Years|
|5. Alen BreatheSmart Classic Air Purifier||Lifetime Warranty||1100 sq. ft.||300||HEPA Type||12 Months||Limited Lifetime|
Best Air Purifiers for Large Rooms
- Highly economical
- Medical grade filtration
- Three stage filtration eliminates smoke, smog and VOCs
- Produces zero ozone in the purification process
- Ion generator can be kept off individually
- Activated carbon filter takes out unpleasant gases giving out clean and fresh air
- Covered with a limited lifetime warranty
- No Wi-Fi compatibility
The Medify MA-40W is hands down the only medical grade air purifier on the market that doesn’t cost you a fortune. With filtration standards better than that of a True HEPA filter, this model is in true sense, a cost-effective option for people with aggravated allergies or sensitive respiratory tract conditions. The preliminary filter is an augmented True HEPA filter termed as H13 and classifies as a medical grade filter.
Priced at $270, the air purifier does an exceptional job at covering a large expanse. For context, the unit is rated to clean 840 sq. ft. of floor space in 30 minutes. Meaning, it can repeat the cleaning cycle twice in an hour for a room size of more than 800 sq. ft. If that isn’t commendable at this price, it’d be tough to find what is! For installing a similar grade of air filtration in even large spaces, you could opt for its descendant, the Medify Air MA-112 V2.0, that is rated to cover 2,500 sq. ft. of floor space in under 30 minutes! Well, yes. We double-checked that number. As it would be expected, both the models are CARB certified.
The unit works with three physical filters and an optional ion generator. The pre-filter traps larger suspended matter like pet hair, pet dander and other fibres ahead of the H13 True HEPA filter. The subsequent medical grade filter stops all microscopic irritants like pollen, mold spores, dust mites and most species of pathogenic bacteria. Next, the carbon filter accounts for removing all gaseous pollutants including smoke from cigarettes/vehicles, wildfire smog, and other prevalent VOCs.
You further have an option to keep on/off the negative ion generator. As mentioned, the model is CARB certified. Meaning, the ozone produced from the ion generator would be far below the safe threshold. However, if it concerns you, you could choose to keep it switched off. The model has three speed modes, each with a different CADR capacity; sleep timer and child lock.
- Rated to cover an area of up to 1560 sq. ft.
- Can easily take out gaseous pollutants, toxic fumes and cigarette smoke alongside suspended solid particles in air
- The filter indicator tells if it’s time to replace the primary filter
- The pre-filter is washable/reusable
- 1-year limited warranty for internal malfunctions and 5-year for motor and electronic parts
- Has a considerably big footprint
With a gigantic area coverage of up to 1,560 sq. ft., the Coway Airmega 400 is arguably the best-rated air purifier for large spaces amongst other available options. This unit can be conveniently installed in large rooms, offices or condominiums with polluted/unpleasant environments. Alongside efficiently covering such a commendable expanse, the purifier repeats the cleaning cycle twice in an hour.
The Airmega 300 Smart (covers 1256 sq. ft.) and Airmega 400 Smart (this model, covers 1560 sq. ft.) aren’t compatible with Alexa. You can, however, get this feature in their advanced counterparts, the Airmega 300S and Airmega 400S. All filtration standards remain the same as their respective predecessors.
The primary filter in this unit is termed as the Max2 filter. It is essentially a combined HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter designed to optimally trap 99.97% of suspended particles up to 0.3 microns in the air. This includes particulate matter, pollen and other allergens. The Max2 filter further accounts for elimination of hazardous volatile organic compounds including cigarette smoke, ammonia, formaldehyde and other toxic fumes from wildfires and smog.
The washable pre-filter located ahead of the Max2 filter traps larger particulate like hair, pet dander and dust particles to assist the primary filter function optimally.
The unit is equipped with a filter indicator that’ll let you know when it’s time to wash the pre-filter and replace the Max2 filter to maintain efficiency. You can further keep tabs on the real-time air quality of your room through the pollution sensor indicator. Bright blue rings correspond to a good air quality.
This stand-alone air purifier from LEVOIT is the most suitable pick for moderately large spaces ranging from 500 Sq. ft. to 900 Sq. ft. To be precise, the purifier is tested and approved to clean 500 sq. ft. rooms in 30 minutes. Meaning, the unit can run the cleaning cycle twice in an hour for a room that spans 500 sq. ft. Combining the reliability of a true HEPA filter with commendable cost efficiency, this model brings you just what you’ve been looking for.
Levoit is a highly acclaimed American brand with multiple best-selling air purifiers that are priced very reasonably for the value they accompany. Also, they have a versatile range of models ranging from bedroom air purifiers to air cleaners for large open spaces. For instance, the Levoit Vital 100 (priced lower than LV-PUR131) is also rated to cover an expanse of 500 Sq. ft. per 30 minutes while the Levoit LV-H133 covers an area of up to 881 sq. ft. twice in an hour.
The purification process is all these models is completed with the help of 3 filters in the following order. The inflow of air is initially forced through a fine preliminary filter (washable) that traps larger suspended pollutants and allergens. Subsequently, the True HEPA filter traps even smaller particles of up to 0.3 micrometres size with an accuracy of 99.97%. What this essentially means is, all potential contaminants and allergens including pet dander, mold, spores, pollen and bacteria cannot make it through the second stage of filtration.
Once the air passes through the second filter, it is free from solid suspended pollutants. The activated carbon filter then confines gases and odors like cigarette smoke leaving the outflow of air completely free form pollutants, allergens, bacteria, VOCs and unpleasant odors. All three filters are integrated as one cylindrically layered unit.
The combination of a HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter makes for one of the safest air purifying mechanisms. With zero ozone production in the process (unlike ionizers and ozone generators), this air purifier actually cleans air and promotes better health rather than further amplifying the hazards. Also, it is covered with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty (1-year default + extended 1-year upon registration on website within 14 days of purchase).
You have a digital display on the top of the air purifier that has a real-time air quality indicator and a filter replacement indicator. The manufacturer recommends to replace the filter every 6-8 months. Now, unlike some popular models, the replacement filters for this one are readily available on Amazon and one set of this 2-pack filter is priced at around 40 USD.
- Huge area coverage of 1000 sq. ft.
- Will perform multiple air exchanges per hour in average sized rooms
- Fairly Economical
- 3-stage effective filtration
- Reliability of a true HEPA filter
- Ozone free operation
- Adjusts fan speed automatically to bring down pollution if the sensor senses any fluctuations in air quality
- No timer functionality
Boasting ozone-free operation with an effective 3-stage filtration system, the Bissel air320 has gained massive popularity among homeowners lately. The purifier exhibits a practical and attractive; elevated platform design in addition to its thorough air cleaning apparatus. Owing to its rather compact and streamlined built alongside sturdy feet, the cleaner can be virtually placed anywhere in the house. The clever design, further allows for a convenient front access to filters in case of washing or replacing.
Coming to the actual performance of the air cleaner, first hand users are quite satisfied with the overall practicality of the apparatus. Reviews mention that the purifier actually purifies air to a fairly noticeable degree. The manufacturer claims that the unit can be effectively used in rooms of up to 1000 sq. ft. as it is rated to clean indoor air of such expanse once an hour.
In lines with the orthodox placement, the coarser pre-filter is stationed ahead of the HEPA filter which is followed by the activated carbon filter to end the cycle. The assembly leads to elimination of larger irritants including pet hair, pollen, mold spores, dust and dust mites with much smaller pollutants including some species of bacteria.
The honeycomb structured carbon filter takes out hazardous VOCs, gases and odors left behind the physical filtration. These VOCs include formaldehyde, fumes from vehicular exhausts and smoke from tobacco. As evident, the purifier covers pretty much every aspect that a regular household might require assistance with.
Further, operating the air purifier is very easy. The controls on this machine include a single soft-touch dial. The fan speeds, power and filter reset functions are all controlled with this. To top it all, the purifier comes with a massive 5-year warranty! Very well worth the price, to say the least.
- Can cater large room or open spaces of up to 1100 sq. ft.
- Wide range of designer front panels to choose from
- Four variants to address specific irritants predominantly
- Ozone-free ionizer charges and removes polarized minute compounds in the air
- Unmatched lifetime warranty on all variants
- Uses HEPA type filters that aren’t universally standardized for efficiency at any minimum particle size retention
Keeping flawless air cleaning as your primary concern, do you also want your air purifier to seamlessly blend in with your home décor? Who wouldn’t! The Alen BreatheSmart Classic Air purifier is an air purifier for to lookout for. With a beautiful collection of customisable front panels to choose from, you’d no longer have your air purifier look all bulky and mismatched with the design of your room.
Ideal for large bedrooms to extra large open shared spaces of up to 1100 Sq. ft., the Classic air purifier comes in four specialized alternatives. Respective variants are particularly proficient at removing Allergies & Dust, Mold & Bacteria, Pet Dander & Odor and Smoke & VOCs. The Air cleaner comes with one HEPA Type filter (chosen out of these 4 variants) and is rated to last for 9-12 months. All 4 variants of the replacement filters are interchangeable, which implies if you bought the unit as the allergies and dust variant, you may replace the previous filter with any of the other three to address that specific concern predominantly thereon. You can view all its replacement filters on Amazon here.
One thing that I’d like to bring to attention of my viewers is, Alen uses HEPA Type filters and not True HEPA filters in all their models. Although HEPA Type filters are effective, they don’t necessarily follow a universal filtration standard as True HEPA filters do.
Further ahead, the purifier includes an ozone-free ionizer that clumps together smaller charged particles making it easier to trap them in the HEPA Type filter. You can however choose to switch the ionizer on or off individually. While all of these features can be found in other models too, the unmatched limited lifetime warranties on all Alen Air purifiers is what makes them stand out and justifies the comparatively higher costs.
If you’re looking for these exact features but deem this one to be a bit too generous for your space, the BreatheSmart Fit50 and Breathesmart 45i are its predecessors with same functionalities that are rated for 900 sq. ft. and 800 sq. ft. area coverage respectively.
- Large effective room coverage of 1125 sq. ft.
- Traps ultrafine viruses 100x smaller than the True HEPA threshold
- Long filter lives lasting up to 4 years
- Filter replacement indicator
- Genuine filter replacements are easily available
- Remote control operation
- 1-year warranty can be extended to 10 years for free, upon registration of product on website within 30 days of purchase (residential use)
- High Initial Investment
- It’s so effective, it’s an overkill for sparsely polluted regions
The HealthPro Plus from IQAir is a rather high-end air purifier that’s less of a luxury and more of a necessity at current times. It completely overshadows other contenders in our list for most aspects. With extravagant features like a gigantic area coverage of 1125 sq. ft., capability to trap the finest of viruses (as small as 0.003 microns) that categorize as ultrafines and protracted filter lives of up to 4 years, the IQAir HealthPro Plus is indeed one of the most dependable air purifiers for large rooms.
The Purifier has a 3-stage filtration system that initiates with the PreMax filter (18 month filter life). It filters out larger & smaller particles including pollen, mold spores and pet dander ahead of the specialized HyperHEPA filter. Subsequently the HyperHEPA filter (4 year filter life) traps airborne bacteria and viruses down to their smallest prevalent sizes. The V5-Cell filter in between accounts for odor and gas removal from the outflow of air. It features granular activated carbon and lasts for a hefty 2 years!
The centre of attention here is the HyperHEPA filter that’s placed as the second layer of filtration system. As the names suggests, it’s a True HEPA filter but excessively enhanced.
With a certified air filtration capability of trapping ultrafine particles of up to 0.003 microns with a 99.5% efficiency, it exhibits a 100 times higher precision than ordinary True HEPA filters.What this actually means is, the HyperHEPA filter is able to trap even the finest of viruses that usually measure below 0.3 microns and may pass through ordinary HEPA air purifiers.
The HyperHEPA filter despite being a medical grade filter with unparalleled performance, outlasts all inferior variants with a filter life of 4 years. The combination of these 3 filter stages lead to the absolute cleanest state of air.
Owing to such a commendable precision, the IQAir HealthPro Plus Air purifier would be best-suited to people with / prone to respiratory disorders or other soft tissue infections. Also, this medical grade air purifier can be possibly viewed as the best machine out there to qualify as a precautionary measure against airborne viral outbreaks like the recent coronavirus.
Another impressive feature here, is a thoughtfully designed fresh air diffuser that evenly distributes purified air in all directions. Clean air is diffused thoughtfully in a 360° fashion covering all areas of your room. You also have a color-coded filter life indicator that informs you when it’s time to replace your filters.
- Can be used as a free-standing or wall-mounted air purifier
- Combines the HEPA filter technology with activated carbon filter for clean and odor free air
- Effectively eliminates pet dander, pollen, mold and other potential allergens
- The activated carbon filter takes out VOCs and other unpleasant gases from the air
- With filters lasting for up to 2 years (12-hour daily usage), your investment turns out economical in the long run
- 5-year warranty from the manufacturer accounts for all potential malfunctions
Our next pick, the RabbitAir MinusA2 HEPA air purifier comes in with a thoughtful and adaptable built. Meaning, it can be used a stand-alone air purifier or you can opt it to use as a wall mounted model. Ideal for large rooms, the MinusA2 is rated for an area coverage of up to 815 Sq. ft. Also, the package includes the wall mounting bracket, so you do not have to spend extra bucks there. Additionally, you can choose from a black or white exterior finish or one with the smart wi-fi connectivity.
Coming to the functionality, the purifier cleans the air with the help of 6 discrete stages in the following order. The pre-filter followed by the medium filter and then the True HEPA filter to physically remove suspended impurities. Following these, a customised filter and an activated carbon filter to account for smoke and odor removal. In the end, an ionizer ensures no unwanted particles make it through the unit.
Let’s break that down, shall we? So, the first three filters are intended to remove larger and smaller particles up to 0.3 microns.
The pre-filter accounts for larger solid contaminants, the medium filter can take out/ retain particles of up to 1 micron (pollen, mold and pet dander) and the subsequent HEPA filter traps the remaining particles of size ranging from 1 micron to 0.3 microns with 99.97% efficiency (as discussed in the buying guide). If molds are your primary concern then you can check our article on the best air purifier for molds.
The fourth filter is a customisable one giving you a choice to opt between germ defense, pet allergy and odor remover filters. Moving on, the fifth stage is where the gaseous pollutants are adsorbed on the activated carbon filter leaving the air free from VOCs, cigarette smoke and other unpleasant gases. To end the cycle, the ionizer ensures that remnants (if any) are taken out of the outflow stream by charging and settling them onto solid surfaces of the room.
To summarise, the combination of the above air purifying technologies makes for a highly effective air cleaning mechanism. I’d recommend this one to people who live in moderately polluted areas with irritated respiratory tracts and/or some form of allergy. You might as well install it as a precautionary measure if you’ve not already contracted a respiratory disorder but you see it coming down the line.
Although it might seem to be a considerably big investment initially, the reliable performance, durable filters and a generous 5-year warranty make it all worthwhile in the long run.
- Compact stand-alone design
- The HEPA filter in conjunction with the activated carbon filter removes solid as well as gaseous pollutants
- Does not produce even trace amounts of ozone unlike some ionizer models
- Comes with a remote control for added convenience
- 1-year warranty
- No air quality indicator
Ideal for moderate sized living rooms, bedrooms or kitchens or office spaces of up to 360 sq. ft., the Winix 5500-2 air purifier is yet another budget-friendly pick. Besides being easy on the pocket, the set of air purifying technologies employed in this model are efficient, safe and effective.
This air purifier has a 3 stage purification system including a HEPA filter, an activated carbon filter and a permanent plasmawave filter. The first stage is the HEPA filter that traps almost all suspended pollutants and allergens of size as small as 0.3 microns.
The subsequent activated carbon filter is a washable filter that can be reinstalled upon washing once it reaches saturation. Among other air purifiers with washable filters, Winix 5500-2 enjoys a profound prevalence among users. The activated carbon filter accounts for gaseous pollutants like VOCs and other unwanted odors like cigarette smoke or pet odor.
The permanent plasmawave filter creates hydroxyl ions to break down gaseous molecules of indoor pollutants without producing ozone as a by-product.
The combination of these three filters effectively takes out hazardous pollutants, potential allergens and gaseous chemicals and odors.
Additionally, the Winix 5500-2 air purifier tells you when it’s time to replace the filters through the LED filter replacement indicator. Also, the package includes a remote control so that you can set the fan speed without having to get up from the couch. To top it all, the air purifier is covered with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.
- Attractive design
- Includes air quality and filter replacement indicators
- Washable preliminary filter
- HEPA filter and activated carbon filter make for one of the most effective and safe combinations
- 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
- The ionizer (4th stage of purification) is often linked to generation of trace amounts of ozone
Especially designed for moderate sized spaces, this attractive air purifier from Coway combines effectiveness and budget-friendliness in the perfect proportions. The slim, free-standing design of this unit complements the best of décor schemes. The clever design comes in two different exterior finishes namely black and white.
With an adequate area coverage of up to 361 sq. ft., the Coway AP-1512HH might as well be the most cleverly designed air purifier for moderate sized spaces. Alongside looks, the unit is loaded with handy features. For instance, the air quality indicator gives you real time assurance that the air you breathe is free of pollution. Also, the filter replacement indicator tells you beforehand if your filters have reached saturation. If you’re looking for Air purifiers with 1 time invest i.e permanent filters, you must consider our list of best air purifiers with washable filters.
Coming to the purification mechanism, it comprises of 4 stages. The washable pre-filter, an activated carbon filter (odor filter), a True HEPA filter and an ionizer(can be turned off) make up for the complete purification apparatus.
In lines with expectations, the air once passed through the preliminary filter and the odor filter is free from large suspended particles and toxic gases.
Subsequently, the HEPA filter traps the smaller pollutants like mold spores, dust and bacteria. Once the air is through the true HEPA filter, the ionizer ensures zero suspended particles (if any left, at all) by charging and deviating them from air flow. The ionizer can, however, be chosen to stay off individually.
Your investment is further secured with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty against all anomalies and malfunctions. A very highly advised model for medium to large sized rooms in our opinion.
- Conducts 2 and 4 air exchanges at half and full fan speeds in spaces as large as 775 sq. ft.
- The patented HEPASilent apparatus uses electrostatic and mechanical means to efficiently filter out dust and allergens
- Uses True HEPA air filter
- Castors add to the convenient mobility of the air purifier
- Wi-Fi and Amazon Alexa compatible.
- Doesn’t include an activated carbon filter, so odor removal is absent
- You need to buy a dual-protection filter separately that includes odor and VOC removal filter
“Rated at a CADR of 500 CFM, the Blueair Classic 605 air purifier roughly carries out 4 air changes per hour in a room as large as 775 sq. ft.” This is where the common buyer gets flattered. To bring that to perspective, you won’t actually get 4 air exchanges per hour, but what you get it’s still quite impressive. I’ll elaborate. These numbers can sometimes be misleading and trick buyers into thinking that a certain statement will be the actual case, it’s most often not. (Read here, how CADR ratings can be misleading .)
In this case, the Clean air delivery rate (CADR) of 500 CFM is only true for the max speed, which is certainly not the setting where most of us would use these devices 24/7. So, “it carrying out 4 air exchanges per hour” becomes nothing more than a marketing trick. Most of us would use our air purifiers at around half the full speed setting. Here too, we’re getting 2 air exchanges per hour for a 775 sq. ft. room which is quite good for a low setting. At its price, the BlueAir Classic 605 outmatches some of the most popular alternatives from renowned brands.
The Classic 605 uses a combination of electrostatic medium to congregate charged particles and mechanical medium to physically filter them out. The physical medium is a true HEPA filter that’s standardised for 99.97% particle retention up to a size of 0.3 microns. The combination is completely ozone free and works effectively to take out all allergens, microbial pathogens and most viruses. The filter combination is patented by Blueair and is termed as HEPASilent.
The filtration system however doesn’t include a carbon-based filter to account for pungent odours and VOCs. There’s a dual protection replacement filter (pack of 3) sold separately on Amazon that can be used with this air purifier to address smoke and other gaseous pollutants including VOCs.
Coming to the controls, the machine is Wi-Fi enabled and compatible with Amazon Alexa. The air purifier further comes with castors that make it extremely convenient to move around your house.
- Wi-Fi enabled model, can be remotely controlled for air purifying, heating, cooling settings
- Adjustable jet of purified and heated/cooled air outflow
- Ozone-free air purification apparatus including a True HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter
- Compatible with Alexa
- 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Exact effective room coverage isn’t communicated by Dyson
For our readers that appreciate versatility alongside design and functionality, you wouldn’t want to overlook the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Link HP04 Air Purifier. How do you see a reliable True HEPA air purifier that doubles as a cooler in hot weather and as a heater in winter? Available in a similar price range as other true HEPA + activated carbon filter air purifiers, I see the added features as an absolute bounty. But still if you want to save some bucks then you can opt for Dyson Pure Cool TP04 which doesn’t have a heater.
The app-controlled purifier uses a combination of a true HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter to eliminate solid pollutants and gaseous hazards from your indoor air. When combined the air purification with heating or cooling, you can even adjust the jet of purified air outflow on your smart device. The jet focus control can be set on the personal mode for a powerful and focused stream of air or on the diffused mode for a wider projection of hot/cold air.
On the downside, although the product states that it is meant to be a large room air purifier, it doesn’t mention the exact square footage that it can efficiently cover.
Users that have experienced it, report that it works fine for rooms from 300 sq. ft. to 600 sq. ft. Besides this limitation, the cooling feature also does not compare to dedicated air conditioners.
Regarding the operation, you get complete control of your air purifier. The WiFi connectivity enables you to remotely control you air purifier. You could remotely arrange for yourself a warm welcome by switching it on and setting it to heat your room on your way back home. Adding to it, the device is also compatible with Alexa. A feature packed machine, to say the least.
Note that the predecessor Dyson HP01 looks and functions exactly the same but isn’t WiFi enabled. You could save around a hundred dollars on that one if you’re a stay at home person and find the WiFi feature unrelatable. Also, Dyson provides a 2-year warranty on both variants BUT only if purchased through authorized dealers on Amazon. Purchasing the product from unauthorised listings could void the warranty. We’ve linked both the variants on Amazon to listings from Dyson itself, so yeah, warranty!
What are the Different Types of Air Purifiers?
You must have already noticed that air purifiers come in different shapes, sizes and colors; but that’s not all there is to the contrast between them. Different air purifier models employ different set of technologies to cleanse the air around you. Some more efficient than others in some aspects and vice versa.
It is hence critical for you to first comprehend these technologies and understand which one would work the best for your specific needs. Only then you would be able to choose the best air purifier equipped with relevant air purifying apparatus for your personalised requirements.
Following are the five most common types of air purifying mechanisms that you may find in popular air purifiers
1. HEPA filters
If you’ve been scouring the internet for a while looking for a good air purifier for your home or office, you might have come across the term ‘HEPA’ at least a couple of times. HEPA filters are the most widely used apparatus in air purifiers often coupled with one or more amongst the subsequent four.
HEPA is an acronym that stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. In essence, a HEPA filter can trap 99.97% of suspended particles in air that are 0.3 microns or more. Umm, what does that mean actually? Well, for context, the thickness of an average human hair strand is 100 microns. So, a HEPA filter can trap particles that are roughly 330 times thinner in diameter than a hair strand! In other words, that’s quite effective.
To further evaluate what to expect from a HEPA filter, consider the following data:
- Dust mites are around 300 microns
- Spores range from 3 to 30 microns
- Mold can be between 3 to 10 microns
- Bacterial microbes can be 0.3 to 60 microns
That implies, a HEPA filter can effectively remove larger particulate matter from the air including pet dander, pollen, spores, dust mites and even some bacterial species. However, there are some species of bacteria and viruses than may not grow to the threshold value of 0.3 micrometres and hence cannot be effectively removed by solely using a HEPA filter. Consequently, you may often see another complementary technology alongside the HEPA filter in almost all best-selling air purifiers.
An ion is essentially a charged atom. What an ionizer does exactly is it charges the neutral floating particles that could not be filtered out physically through the HEPA filter. Once the particles get charged, they tend to stick to solid surfaces of your room instead of staying afloat.
This approach doesn’t essentially eliminate the suspended particles completely; rather it only takes them out of the air temporarily. Such charged particles stuck on your walls or furniture may yet again tend to contaminate the air once they’re set loose. Here’s everything you need to know about Ion generators and if they’re safe for domestic usage.
3. Ozone Generators
Ozone air purifiers are quite the controversial ones amongst other types of air purifiers. While the manufacturers try innovative descriptions to describe how safe and effective their use is, research suggests otherwise.
Ozone generators produce ozone gas that is supposed to react with other contaminants in the air and convert them into other harmless compounds. Despite having successfully manufactured and sold multiple units, brands haven’t been able to gain rightful approval of health professionals and medical organisations.
On the contrary, medical professionals have been warning people against the use of ozone generators owing to their potential health hazards. For instance, exposure to ozone might aggravate asthma symptoms and even cause permanent damage to lungs.
To begin with, the claimed reactions of indoor compounds with ozone may take several months. Additionally, in order to completely eliminate such chemicals, the ozone concentrations should be way higher than the recommended standards. Furthermore, ozone air purifiers cannot take out potential allergens like spores, dust and pollen making them an incomplete system on their own.
4. UV Light Air Purifiers
UV lights are often seen complementing a filter-based air purifier to increase the overall efficiency of the unit; rather than being a complete air purifying mechanism on its own. The reason being, UV lights can only account for pathogenic microbes including mold, bacteria and viruses and not other suspended contaminants or gases.
Short-wave ultraviolet light (UV-C light) is germicidal; meaning it kills bacteria and viruses by destroying their genetic structure. But this happens only when the microbes are directly exposed to the radiation; not when they are crowded amongst other suspended pollutants in the air.
It is hence very necessary that the UV lamp is assisted with an effective filter that physically takes out suspended particles ahead of it. A HEPA filter coupled with a UV lamp makes for an effective combination to completely clean the air of suspended pollutants (allergens and chemical compounds) and pathogenic microbes.
5. Activated carbon filters
Activated carbon or activated charcoal filters are widely used to eliminate gaseous pollutants including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), cigarette smoke and other unpleasant odor. However, it is important to note that these filters cannot trap solid suspended particles (dust, mold, pollen) unlike the HEPA filter we discussed a bit earlier.
Activated carbon acts as an adsorption surface where the gas molecules tend to stick until the filter reaches saturation. This can take anywhere between a year or two. The same is true for a HEPA filter and other pre-filters as well. So, you might want to read and acknowledge the filter replacement frequency stipulations in order to minimise the lifetime cost of your air purifier. Read more about Activated carbon filters.
Pollution is no more limited to the outskirts of industrial towns. It’s the ‘air’ that we’re talking about and unfortunately, it moves. Following progressively increasing levels of unknown chemicals in the air, be it because of deliberate industrial emissions or ‘natural’ forest fires; the privilege of mere breathing clean air seems to be lost.
Induced health problems in children and seniors owing to the pollution hazards being the bigger concern, even healthy people with a sensitive immune system may attract unwanted allergies if exposed to smoggy environment. Although localized, Air purifiers provide almost complete rectification of the problem. True HEPA Air purifiers comply with a commendable air cleaning standard that leading health professional believe easily tackles household pollutants. It is hence, wise to install a large room air purifier that ensures all your family members breathe clean air, at least when indoors.