The lung, although not being among one of the most consciously used body parts, is in play every single second, being involved in respiration which is arguably one of the most important body action for survival. According to the American lung association air purifier recommendations, air cleaners are not the first thing to think about when battling allergies, but protection against the source of the allergy should come first.
Respiration is responsible for the proper functioning of other body systems, which is seen when the blood is starved of oxygen for too long, a complete shutdown of another system of the body is imminent. In cases of survival, most times, the damage is done already especially to the brain. For this reason, the American lung association exists.
This article was drafted to guide allergy sufferers and air purifiers consumers on what to look out for before purchasing the air cleaners in the market. There are many cheap and expensive air purifiers out there which may look attractive to the eye, but their impact and safety matter most.
In this article, we have come up with the list of best medical grades air purifiers, although not directly listed from the American Lung association but obeys accurately the specification given by the society.
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What is the purpose of the American lung association
This organization has existed for over a century, having being established in 1904, with the sole purpose of fighting tuberculosis in the nation. With a motto stating “it is a matter of life and breath” at the beginning and was later changed to “fighting for air” when the vision was broadened.
This voluntary, non-profit organization has dedicated their efforts and resources towards making sure the air in our immediate environment is clean and breathable; after all, when you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.
Having clean air in our immediate environment for us to breathe in, helps prevent to a great extent, lung disease, therefore promoting a sustainable and healthy lung.
Conclusively, the American lung association is a public health organization fighting for clean air whose vision is funded by contributions from individuals, foundations, and grants from government agencies, hosting several programs across the year to raise these funds.
What the American Lung Association said about using an air purifier
When it comes to dealing with the several allergies that plague us throughout the year, it is essential that you get an effective air filtration system, which mostly means using an air purifier.
The American lung association doesn’t just recommend using an air purifier as the first line of defense when battling allergens and air pollution, but you minimize the rate at which you expose yourself to those pollutions should come first.
These precautions range from keeping your windows closed, to avoid using rugs or carpets and welcoming hard surface, banning smoking indoor, cleaning air conditioners and filters regularly, there is an endless list of actions you should take which would minimize the presence of allergens in your home.
After taking these steps, it is also recommended you get an air purifier to help remove any residual pollution in the atmosphere that managed to get through your protective cleaning habits.
This plan B is significant because the prevention of pollution, although an excellent measure but not accurate. Air pollutions are so difficult to tackle due to their ubiquitous nature and minute size.
We would assume that the American lung association chooses not to fully support the use of air purifier primarily because any gadget, no matter how effective it could be, will also have its demerits that could affect health negatively. However, getting an excellent non-ozonizing air purifier will be a plus after taking accurate preventive measures.
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Types of air purifiers in the market
- Mechanical filters:
These type of filters work by forcing air through a specially designed layer that holds back the contaminations in the air like allergens, dander, dust mites, and also some irritants. The filter used in this device is called a HEPA filter, and it must have an efficiency of at least 90% in holding such contaminants to qualify for usage.
- Electrical filters:
Just like the name implies, they make use of electrical charges to attract those pollutants in the atmosphere and depending on the manufacturer’s design, it could contain a collecting plate or not. If it does, the attracted particles would be gathered on it and if otherwise, they would stick to surfaces in the room. The efficiency of this device majorly depends on the ability of the fan that pulls in air.
- Hybrid filters:
filters that make use of a combination between electrical and mechanical are called hybrid filters. Most modern air purifiers make use of this technology.
- Gas phase filters:
During your research about air purifiers, you might have come across recommendations that say you should go for units with an activated carbon filter. This activated carbon filter is what is applied for dealing with gases since most odors are as a result of gaseous byproducts. The gas filters strictly deal with gases and cannot absorb allergens or particles like electronic or mechanical.
- Ozone generators:
They employ ozone that is used to break down particles in the atmosphere. This type of air purifiers is not recommended by the America Lung Association, because the level of ozone it needs to generate to remove allergens have been proven to be harmful to the lungs.
We highly recommend you stay away from ozone generators, but if you decide to go against our advice eventually, ensure you go for a unit with high efficiency over time, and also does not produce ozone above 0.05 parts per million during functioning or as by-product.
Exposure to ozone over time can decrease lung function, worsen asthma, and cause respiratory infections. If a person is an ozone-sensitive, at even minute amounts, he or she might experience headaches and respiratory tracts irritation.
Also Read: Best air purifiers for smells
Choosing from the Types of air purifier according to the American Lung Association Recommendation
An air purifier device’s significant responsibility, is to take in air, which is then filtered and released back into the atmosphere. They do this mostly by applying mechanical, electronic, gaseous, or UV light, and sometimes combine several of these techniques to achieve its desired output.
The American lung association from much research and study said that particles with diameter from 0.3 microns upwards are most likely to get to the alveoli of our lungs and could be captured using a HEPA filter.
HEPA filters have an accuracy of 99.97% for removing 0.3-micron particle size and maybe more for larger particles and are recommended, but for smaller sized particles, like from cigarette smoke, it becomes more difficult especially for mechanical filters to capture.
The effectiveness of a HEPA filter is also determined by the number of contaminants floating in the atmosphere, meaning that particles like dust on the floor or furniture would have to be wiped into the air before it is picked by the air purifier, hence limiting the potential of the HEPA filter.
For electronic air purifiers, they function by releasing negative ions to the air that is sucked into the unit, then pushing them out into the atmosphere. These negative ions attract particle contaminant and then pulls them down to the ground, tables, chairs, curtains, etc.
This means that some of this particles can still be inhaled into your lungs if they somehow get back into your atmosphere, hence not guaranteeing your 100% safety since the contaminants aren’t withheld in the unit.
However, Ozone generators are a no go option, due to their damaging lung style of operation.
Conclusively, In choosing the best type of air purifier for you according to the lung association, no purifier type exists as the sole best, but instead, each type is deficient in a particular way, which is why it is advised you go for a unit with combined features, in order to create a balance.
Also Read: Best dust mites air purifiers
Top 8 best Medical grades Air purifiers According to American Lung Association Recommendations
Special features: weight: 35 pounds, medical grade air filter,
This is one of the best units out there, being efficient in trapping contaminants from the atmosphere and comes with a medical grade specially refined filter that can capture ultra-fine particles with sizes as little as 0.003 microns. Ultrafine particles are smaller than most common contaminants that can be dealt with quickly by ordinary HEPA filters, like viruses, but this unit is certified and has been proven to remove ultra-fine particles with an efficiency of up to 99.5%.
If you have ever had in your possession, a low-quality air purifier, you must have noticed unfiltered air leaking through spaces in the unit back into the atmosphere, which defeats the original purpose of filtering the air.
In the IQAir medical-grade air purifier, this flaw is overcome, is designed with a 100% 3D case sealing, which enables the unit to operate efficiently, without any unfiltered air leaking through small spaces back into the atmosphere.
When dealing with the amount of energy spent, this unit also tops the charts, only consuming as little as 27 watts on the lowest fan speed and only 215 on the highest, delivering back quality filtered air into the atmosphere in a 360- degree manner.
The air purifier operates in a pretty quiet way, with programmable options that allow you to tailor the functions of the unit with precision, and a filter life monitoring feature that keeps you up to date on how well your filter is doing, displaying different colors to portray the filter health.
The design of this unit is optimized generally to combat allergens in your home, although it is also apt in dealing with chemical odors and smoke, with the premax filter being able to last up to 16 months and the hyper HEPA filter a whopping four years, making it more than most can ask for. These fantastic features are crowned with an ability to cover areas as large as 1240sqft, making it one of the best air purifiers on the market today.
Special features: auto mode, timer, ionizer, lift handles for mobility, customizable, weight: 21 pounds, certified frustration-free.
Alen breathesmart customizable air purifier is one of the best out there, embedding in itself everything you would possibly need in keeping those airborne contaminants as far away from you as possible, all you need do is find a suitable spot where it would be placed in your home.
The device is designed with a finely polished wooden surface that gives your surrounding better looks, with the control buttons placed above and very user-friendly, i.e., is easily understandable.
While purchasing this unit, you can customize to your personal needs, i.e., choosing the filter that would best suit your pollution problems, there is the hepa pure that comes with multiple layered HEPA filters for those having allergen problems, HEPA silver for dealing with dust, mold, mildew, bacteria, etc. a 3 layered HEPA fresh plus that is specially built for removing VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and also a 3-layered odorcell for dealing with pet irritation and stinking homes. All you have to do is make proper research to know what contamination is predominant in your atmosphere, then go for the one that suits you accordingly.
This also possesses several automated features that would make using it a lot more convenient, like the timer function that allows you to choose a working duration after which it shuts down, might come in handy when you decide to leave the machine on while away.
An ozone free ionizer acts as a further air purifying agent, releasing negative ions to break down contaminants at a molecular level, and the auto mode is simply the machine always giving as much as is needed to purify the air, all you need to do us push the button. A particle sensor is embedded by the side, whose job is to check and indicate the level of contamination in the atmosphere at every point.
We highly recommend this unit due to its ability to serve really large areas (it has been tested to serve up to 1300sqft although it’s 1,100sqft recommended by the manufacturer) very efficiently, while possessing handles at the back that helps for easy grabbing and moving around the home.
The unit is very quiet while operating, and have filters that last long although they could be quite costly when replacing. A lifetime guarantee also follows with a purchase of any of this unit, although it might look expensive, it is well worth every penny.
Special features: medical grade true HEPA filter, anion generator (optional),
This unit combines one of the best blends between modern automatic features with an upgraded ability to draw and filter air efficiently. With a design that brings air room the front side, while dispelling it in an all-round 360-degree manner through the top, and weighing 32 pounds plus a reasonably large size.
It sits on hidden wheels that helps for smooth movement and has a touch screen digital panel for operating and dedicating the current air quality using a number scale.
Like the IQAir, it possesses a medical-grade true HEPA filter, and a three-stage filtration, with the HEPA filter laying last. The first stage consists of a prefilter for dealing with large particles like hairs and pet dander, while the carbon filter in the next stage ensures the air released into the atmosphere comes out odorless and clean. The medical grade HEPA filter traps pollens of up to 0.03 microns, also dealing with dust mites and other allergens.
With an option of the model with the anion generator, the unit can further release negative ion into the atmosphere to give more relieve.
The sleep mode comes in handy at nights, adapting all functions of the machine to help easy you to sleep, like dimming the lights and dropping the fan speed, while it also has a filter replacement indication glowing up to ensure you are never ignorant when it is time to change filters.
In all, the child safety lock gives you less assurance and a guarantee of more safety when you have kids around, and the filters are also easy to change, with an easy unlock system on both doors and just slotting it in like a cartridge. The filters last pretty long and can stay about six months before replacement is needed, and has an auto mode for easy running.
Special features: certified allergy friendly, weight: 12.5 pounds, auto mode, anti-micro bacterial treatment.
Aeramax 300 air purifier is specially designed for serving large sized rooms of up to 600sqft, efficiently dealing with airborne pollution and pollution particles, and is certified asthma and allergy friendly unlike some air purifiers, that worsen the case of people with those conditions instead of helping. It is medium sized, and carries a good looking design, although it gives away the looks of an air cleaner at a quick glance.
This unit also comes with the auto mode feature that allows it to naturally increase or decrease its operating level, depending on the amount of contamination in the atmosphere. And with a true HEPA filter that lasts up to 12 months and carbon filter about six months, it removes particles contaminants not less than 0.3 microns with a 99.79% efficiency, while dealing with odor-causing molecules with the carbon filter.
The ionizer also comes as a plus for further breaking down unwanted particles in the air, and even a special anti-micro bacteria treatment carried out on the filter that hampers the growth of bacterial trapped, pending to the time the filter would be replaced.
The unit is very quiet while it operates on the low speed, and the noise becomes quite noticeable on medium level, but not enough to cause nuisance. The air outlet is designed with adjustable vents that allow you to choose the output direction, while there is a presence of filter life indicator, to keep you updated always. Filters swapping are also effortless by the way.
Special features: weight: 47 pounds, 4- stage filtration, can serve large rooms (up to 1200sqft), medical grade HEPA filter.
Austin B400B1 Air purifier is one of a kind, designed to combat against indoor pollutants in your home, and with a 4 stage filtration system, it does its job pretty efficiently. It fairly weighty, without about 47 pounds, and is of medium size, meaning you would have to make up a little space to accommodate this unit.
The four stages of filtration consist of the large particle pre-filter at the first stage that removes bulky sized particles in the atmosphere, preventing it from accumulating and causing damage on the filters in subsequent phases. The next stage is embedded with another pre-filter, whose job is to remove smaller sized particles that pass through the first stage but could cause damage to the third stage filter, while the third stage features an activated carbon and zeolite filter, with a specialty of dealing with odors like chemicals and gases in the home.
Lastly, lying in wait for particles that scale through is a medical-grade HEPA filter, dealing with particles as small as 0.3 microns with an efficiency up to 99.97% and also particles larger than 0.1 microns with a 95% efficiency. With this filtration mechanism, this unit can filter the odor in the air with a carbon filter up to 780 cubic inches in size, effectively dealing with odors in the area.
It possesses a 360 degree round air outlet, helping it properly circulate clean air around the home like the IQAir, and also a 360-degree all-round air intake inlet. With a capacity able to serve room sizes of up to 1200sqft, this unit would help your small to medium and large room-sized needs, though you would have to watch out because it has been tested and adds a significant sum to your electric (on highest setting) bills depending on usage and fan speed.
Special features: 4-stage filtration, air quality indicator, auto mode, timer, six soothing sound with volume control, dimension 13.8 x 14.5 x 8.3, 12.79 pounds.
As the name implies, the coway AP-1512HH air purifier comes out as one of the best air purifiers out there for you, designed to be compact and efficient, also only weighing about 12.79 pounds that makes it easy to be moved around the home. The unit possesses a sleek body design but isn’t appearing on our list for its good looks, as it employs a 4 stage filtration that ensures the air is sufficiently cleaned before being released into the atmosphere.
The first stage like most air purifiers is the pre-filter that removes large floating large particles in the atmosphere, while the remaining three consists of the carbon (odor) filter, true HEPA filter, and a bipolar ionizer. This means that it wouldn’t just make your air clean with a HEPA filter, but it also attacks odor-causing molecules, hence removing foul smells in the home. While the filtration system us further enhanced by an ionizer that makes use of an electrochemical reaction, effectively removing particles in the air without giving out ozone.
This unit also comes with the auto mode feature which automatically switches between fan speeds to meet the immediate needs of the atmosphere in the home, and comes with a three-year manufacturer warranty. In all the filters and the unit is very easy to clean, and with very affordable filters, it affords you a low cost of running. The filters last long (about six months) and don’t have to be replaced frequently too, although you should vacuum the pre-filter at least once a month
With six distinctive soothing sound, which includes three natural, two lullabies and q white noise, this unit gives you a good and comfortable sleep at night. The eco mode is also available, which when the device is placed on, it only functions when there is a need (detectable air pollution) and goes off after dealing with the pollution.
Special features: 4 stage filtration, AHAM verified, height: 22 inches, dimensions 5.5 x 9 x 21.5 inches, weight: 22.9 pounds.
This is a tower type air purifier, spanning about 22 inches off the ground, therefore not falling into the category of weird tall, as is not more than the waist level of an average height human. The unit is suitable for small sized room only (about 167sqft), which could be a real turn off, but when used in the recommended condition, it has been found to do an excellent job.
It possesses the HEPA and carbon filters like the first two units on our list, for dealing with particle pollutants and also odor causing agent in the atmosphere.
The filtration system is further enhanced by the presence of a UV light technology that works with titanium dioxide, for breaking down particles like bacteria, mold, germs, and viruses… in the atmosphere that escapes the pre-filter, HEPA and carbon filters. There is also an indicator that glows when there is a need for filter replacement.
The unit energy certified rating, guarantees almost for sure, optimization of power usage to ease the electric bills, while also possessing AHAM verification after passing the CADR tests for specific pollutants (dust, pollen, and smoke).
With a 3-year manufacturer warranty, you can be sure that they have you covered, while also having filters that could last up to 8 months, depending on the environment. Although it comes with all these great qualities, this device is designed only for really small sized rooms.
Special features: premium HEPA filter ozone free, activated carbon pre-filter, weight 6.72 pounds, dimension 9 x 8 x 23 inches.
This is another towering type air purifier on our list, spanning just a few feet from the floor and is the lightest inweight on the list, only weighing about 6.72 pounds. The unit does a great job when placed in a room of adequate size, making a significant difference in the environment with a three fan speed setting that tackles odor and air quality problems.
It has a fine design and wouldn’t take up more space than you would like, although its plastic has been known to break under pressure comfortably.
Packaged with 4 activated carbon pre-filter, that deals with odors efficiently, from smoke to pets to cooking and more, the carbon filter captures odor-carrying molecules while giving the true HEPA filter a longer life span.
With four filters contained in the package on purchase and each filter lasting about 6-12 months, you wouldn’t have to worry about purchasing filters for a long time, and when that time comes eventually, the cost of replacement is very cheap.
In all the unit is cheap and is a go for your low budget needs, only being able to serve really small rooms, as it is virtually useless against rooms. In case you have kids or pets that love to play around the unit, be rest assured, as there is an auto shutoff feature that kicks in incase they go beyond the boundary and manage to remove the front panel while it is in operation.
The device is very easy to setup after purchase and comes with a two-year registered warranty that covers it in case of damages and a famed veva life time support that quickly assists you in case you need any help.
Qualities to consider in choosing the best air purifier
- Type of pollution involved:
Depending on the allergens you intend removing from the atmosphere, purchase a filter type that would suit your needs. For example, buying a mechanical or electrical type filter for dealing with odor problems like smoke would simply be a waste.
In such cases, only a gaseous phase filter (activated carbon filter) would make a significant impact. Any air purifier you go for though should possess a HEPA filter. This is non-negotiable.
- CADR rating:
The clean air delivery rate is directly linked with how capable the device would be when placed in a room size it is designed to scale. Therefore as much as you can, go for a unit with high CADR rating.
- Noise level:
In solving a problem, you wouldn’t want to create another one would you, don’t clean your air at the expense of creating noise pollution. Therefore go for a unit that efficiently performs, in a quiet fashion.
Also Read: Best air purifiers for germs
Final Verdict: American lung Association air purifier recommendations
It should be clear that ALA does not support the use of Air purifier as a first line of defense which may be due to its adverse effects and complication of health condition. However, you could have your air cleaner at home as your alternative plan provided it follows the proper specification of American Lung Association certified air purifier.
The IQair Healthpro is the best medical grade air purifier in the markt due to its awesome features and air purification specifications. It leads every other air purifier with the hyper HEPA filter as shown in the image below
With the HyperHEPA filter, Ultrafine particles that have the capacity to cause higher harms are filter out.
Alen BreatheSmart Customizable Air Purifier with HEPA Pure Filter comes second on our chat as this unit employs the electrical, mechanical, and gaseous filters, in keeping your surrounding free from harm.
It is superior to most air cleaners out there, due to its the ability to serve mega-sized rooms of up to 1,300sqft, almost about as good as it gets for portable air cleaners.
Several filter types also exist for you to choose from based on your peculiar nature of the contamination, and these filters could last up to 9 months, which is almost the whole year running without you needing to purchase another. It is also quiet finally and comes with an auto mode that can work without your interfered operation.
Aeramax 300 large room air purifier falls just below the Allen breathesmart although they share many qualities in common, this unit can only serve up to 600sqft and employs the mechanical, electrical, and gaseous filters.
This unit comes with particular anti-micro bacteria treatment on the filters that hinder bacteria growth and have filters that can last more than the Alen; up to 12 months and is also quiet while operating with the auto mode.