Home is where you hang your hat, and It’s an oasis from the outside world. However, there are many irritants in the air that can reduce your air quality and irritate your sinuses as well as cause other breathing problems. Air filters can help significantly to protect your residential paradise, but sadly, they’re often not enough. It’s imperative to go one step further to invest in the quality of the air you breathe. An air purifier is essential in every household, especially those where people have compromised immune systems or breathing problems.
In the United States alone, it’s estimated that 30,000 people die every year due to poor air quality. Lung disease, heart attacks, strokes, and asthma attacks caused by high concentrations of particulate matter are much more common than you think.
In fact, even mental illnesses like depression and anxiety are worsened by smog-choked skies and indoor allergens. Unfiltered homes can house up to five times the allergens, viruses, and bacteria as the outdoors. Considering these circumstances, it’s vital that families invest in a proper air purification system. Luckily, there are many affordable and energy efficient purifiers that leave your monthly energy bill practically unchanged.
What Is An Air Purifier?
There are three things essential for life: food, water, and air. People often put a great deal of time and money into eating right and drinking filtered water. However, most individuals don’t give their air quality a second thought. An air purifier simply cleanses the air you breathe, which in return can enhance the quality of your life.
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Pollution is a significant problem. The world has certainly changed because the population size has increased. It’s true that global emissions have taken its toll on everyone. In fact, more than 200 million people are negatively affected by air pollution in their home. The effects can be devastating, so it’s time that attention be brought to the matter. You’re probably wondering how an air purifier can help with such a significant problem. While you cannot cleanse the atmosphere on the outside, you certainly can control what you breathe on the inside.
How can such a tiny machine have such a significant impact on the air inside your home? Well, dust and mold are common allergens found inside every home. However, when you have a larger number of these toxins, it can cause respiratory difficulties. Does anyone in your home suffer from allergies like hay fever or breathing complications like asthma? An air purifier will remove all those pollutants from the atmosphere. When you are breathing fresh, clean air, it can improve your health.
How Do Air Purifiers Work?
Most new homes have an air purification system built into them. While many are good at trapping the toxic elements, they don’t obliterate them. These toxins remain in the filter until you replace it with a new one. These particles can still find their way into your home by way of the HVAC system. Having an air purifier ensures that your home is much cleaner than with an air filter alone.
Air purifiers seem complex, but their design is quite simple. They have internal fans inside that pull the air from the home into the system. Inside the unit is a series of filters. These filters collect bacteria, dust, and pollen, and they trap it inside the internal filters. Then, the clean air is released back into the home free of any toxins or bacteria. The process continues periodically as new toxins are introduced into the atmosphere. The result is you have a healthy and clean environment where your breathing is free of harmful pollutants.
What Are The Different Types of Air Purifiers?
When shopping for an air purifier, know that they are not all the same. However, there are seven different types. You can purchase a unit that attaches to your HVAC system, or a small to large stand-alone unit. Some of these units are made to get larger particles while others can get the most minuscule fragments. They all use heat, iconic technology, have an exhaust system, and UV lights. Here are the seven types and benefits of each.
- HEPA Air Purifiers
A HEPA air purification system can remove up to 99.7 percent of all harmful particles in the air. If the micron is at least .20 in size, then it can be captured by this machine. Those who live in a setting where you constantly battle mold, dust, pollen, or pet dander, can greatly benefit from a HEPA system. These units are extremely effective in removing toxins. You can expect to spend anywhere from $50-$300 for a unit.
The price point of these air purifiers is affordable. While they do remove most toxins from the air, the size restraints won’t allow them to remove bacteria, viruses, and other germs. Since it cannot trap any particles smaller than .20 microns, it’s not going to help in all situations.
- Air-To-Air Exchangers
These units work to ventilate the home. They eliminate the stale air and bring in fresh. These machines make it easier to regulate the indoor temperature as they use energy recovery ventilators. During the winter season, these units trap the heat in your air so that it doesn’t get transferred to the outside. They use the heat to clean any air that enters the home, which also helps you to keep an even temperature throughout.
During the summer months, the air is cooled and cleaned as it comes in from the outside. You can rest assured that before the air is circulated through your home, it’s free of any toxins. These units work best in an area that doesn’t have good ventilation. Basement apartments and places with few windows can greatly benefit. If you’re having trouble regulating the climate of your home, then this is the type of system to use. Because a lack of aeration can lead to mold, these systems can help reduce that common issue.
- Ultraviolet Air Purifiers
Ultraviolet air purifiers use light to remove bacteria, viruses, and other toxins from inside your home. UV lights were often used in hospitals to help keep patients’ rooms clean. These machines are preferred because they are small and can fit in homes with little space. The price range is anywhere from $50-$800. The light is powerful and kills bacteria, germs, mold, and any other illnesses that are harboring in your atmosphere. With a success rate of 99 percent, it’s a good investment. The only thing you should know is that you must replace the bulbs periodically.
- Electronic Air Cleaners
Many homeowners prefer an electronic air cleaner because they work for the entire home. They attach to your HVAC system and help to trap anything left behind by the air filter. They can successfully remove up to 99.98 percent of any toxins in the air. They use the power of positively charged ions and a HEPA filter. When particles travel through the HEPA filter, they are trapped. Anything remaining is zapped by the ions. It can get microns as small as .3, which is enough for most homes. The only downside is that these units must be professionally installed, and they do require a filter change periodically.
- Central Air Cleaners
A central air cleaner is another purification system that must be installed by a professional. It’s about 98 percent effective, and it can remove microns less than .1 in size. These units are great for homes where pet dander and cigarette smoke are an issue. Since they work with the duct work of the home, they tend to be a bit more effective than stand alone units. Additionally, they can extend the life of an HVAC unit by removing those things left behind by the internal filter.
- Activated Carbon Air Purifiers
If your home has cooking odors, stale cigarette smoke, other fumes or gasses and poor air quality, then you need an activated carbo purifier. According to the standard, these are the only units that will remove odors from the air. They use a HEPA filter, which costs about $100 to replace. While they are great for odors, they don’t do as well on pollen, dust, danger, and mold issues. However, they are a great unit to work alongside a traditional toxin removing air purification system.
- Ionic Air Purifiers
Ionic machines work well in situations where people don’t want to hear a machine running. They don’t have a motor, so they are super quiet. They work by sending negative ions airborne to collect dust and other pollutants. They become heavy with the ions and fall from the air making your air quality improve. They range from $30-$300, and the model, and size of the unit varies greatly. Their whisper quiet technology makes them highly desirable in many applications.
The Most Energy Efficient Air Purifiers – Reviews
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the most energy efficient air purifiers on the market.
1) Blueair Classic 205 Air Purifier
Ranging in models that purify spaces sizing 280 to 775 sq. ft, the Blueair system effectively battles allergens that aggravate hay fever and asthmatic symptoms. It’s hard to beat the use of patented HEPASilent tech that seamlessly captures 99.97 percent of airborne pollutants. No matter the size of the allergen, the Blueair can capture any foreign matter ranging from 0.1 microns to 100 microns. Yes: this means that even tiny viruses can’t escape from the electrified, fibrous filtration system.
The compact Blueair 205 is perfect for medium-sized rooms, apartments, and offices. According to third-party testing, this system performs a fast five air changes for every hour. With three different fan speeds, you have complete discretion over how hard the Blueair filter works at any time. Yet no matter the setting you choose, the system is whisper-quiet and suitable for kids’ rooms, nurseries, or studies. Simply turn the dial to start enjoying fresh air indoors.
Most importantly, the Blueair 205 has consistently outperformed other filtration system in terms of energy efficiency. For three years running, the 205 has won Best in Class for energy performance from the Energy Star association in California. In contrast with competitor products, the Blueair 205 uses advanced filter media that’s much less densely packed that normal filters. The system requires significantly less air pressure, allowing for a consistently high volume of airflow and quiet all-day performance.
Though the lack of filter density may throw potential buyers off, particulate matter is actually electrified and thus electro-statically drawn to the filter like a magnet after it passes through the HEPASilent barrier. This allows the filter fibers to be slightly more dispersed than traditional filtration systems.
Customers appreciate the inclusion of the SmokeStop filter that automatically uses activated carbon to remove odors caused by smoke, pets, food, and chemical cleaners. Before opting for the Blueair, interested buyers should know that the system lacks an automatic setting. Though it may be slightly inconvenient, you’ll need to manually adjust the purifier whenever needed.
2) Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Air Purifier
Ranging in shades from rosewood to brushed stainless steel, the surprisingly sleek BreatheSmart cleans a 700 sq. ft. area every thirty minutes, which makes it twice as fast as key competitors on Turbo speed. The BreatheSmart is recommended for all forms of dust, danger, fur, allergens, and even household odors. If you suffer from asthma or hay fever, the BreatheSmart system is proven to create a significant reduction in symptoms through purifying airborne invaders by up to 99.97 percent.
Built with a high capacity HEPA filters, the BreatheSmart can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns while the filter lasts a good three to five months longer than traditional filter. That’s right: the filter lasts at least nine to twelve months before ever needing to be changed out. You can even choose between two common filter options, including one that removes common allergens or another that targets the smallest bacteria.
On the lowest setting, the BreatheSmart costs less than 50 cents a month in electricity costs. On the rarely-needed Turbo speed, the system only needs a small 36 Watts of power.
Customers appreciate the inclusion of a night time mode that switches the purifier to a soothing, whisper-quiet mode appropriate for sleep. Even on the highest setting, customers state the BreatheSmart produces a mere pink noise that promotes deeper sleep at only 55 dB. The filter controls are very simple to use, since a friendly interface on the top of the BreatheSmart lets you customize every aspect of at-home air purification. You can choose between four different speeds, lighting modes, noise frequency, and even pre-program when the power turns off.
At only twenty five inches tall, it can be hard to believe the BreatheSmart has such a tremendous effect. Satisfied buyers recommend it for use in studies, bedrooms, and nurseries since it’s such an unobtrusive yet powerful system.
3) Medify MA-40 Medical Grade Air Purifier
Constructed with medical-grade components, the Medify H13 filter removes more than 99.97 percent of particulate matter floating in the air. In a single hour, the system can clean a 1,300 sq. ft. area of nearly all dust, pollen, and other common allergens.
This Energy Star certified product comes with a built-in, visible air quality indicator that constantly monitors the presence of particles in the environment. Moreover, the Medify has been independently certified by several different organizations committed to preserving consumer health. CARB, ETL, and the California Energy Star have all certified the product as medical grade or highly energy efficient.
The true HEPA filter can even target what traditional filters miss: asbestos, paint pigments, insecticides, carbon dust, all bacterias, and virus carriers. Down to an extremely small 0.1 microns, the Medify protects you against virtually all airborne threats. The preinstalled filter lasts over 2,500 hours of operation and is super simple to replace. After continuous use for four months, you just need to slip open the heavy duty tempered glass panel to cleanly swap out the filter. Inside the filter, the Medify automatically uses ionization to electro-statically charge particulates in order to trap them inside the unit. This allows for even the smallest particles to remain inside the unit.
With four distinct fan modes, pre-programmable timers, and night-and-day options, the Medify is just as flexible as you need it to be without being overly complicated. In fact, you can even turn off the units’ ionizer for increased monthly energy savings. This product is recommended for larger spaces, such as living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and shared offices. Due to the inclusion of a child lock, this safe air purifier is even appropriate for young kids’ rooms.
Not quite sure whether you want to chip in for the Medify? Rest assured that all the parts are guaranteed under lifetime coverage as long as you regularly swap out the filters. Buyers should be aware that the Medify is somewhat more loud than other air purifiers on the market. At the highest setting, customers compare the Medify’s noise level to a standard air conditioning unit.
4) Pure Enrichment PureZone Air Purifier
Using the power of pure HEPA filtration, the PureZone filter removes virtually all traces of dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, mold, and common household odors. On the inside of the purifier, a strong UV-C light nearly instantaneously destroys micro-organisms like germs, bacteria, fungi, and viruses. No worries: this UV light is completely safe for human exposure and not visible outside of the purifier.
After particulates make it past the light filter, a dense HEPA filter captures larger specks of visible dirt and dust. The smallest particles and odors then pass through an activated carbon filter that leaves the air pleasantly neutral. Moreover, customers frequently comment that the PureZone is surprisingly quiet. At only 30dB, the PureZone sanitizes air both quickly and silently. Standing barely taller than a standard cereal box, the PureZone removes 99.97 percent of particulate matter from a 200 sq. ft. area.
Ultimately, this three-in-one filter continues to be an industry leader for small rooms, studio apartments, and office spaces. With a five year no-questions-asked warranty, it’s hard to go wrong with the PureZone. Due to the small size of the filter, customers with larger homes will need to replace the filter more frequently in order to effectively purify the air. If you live in a larger home, it may be worth it to pitch in for a bulkier purifier than the PureZone.
5) Levoit Vital 100 Air Purifier
Ideal for pet owners, the Levoit system makes extensive use of preliminary filter traps to capture the larger particulate matter that traps less effective purifiers. Featuring three different internal filters, the Levoit is able to target any foreign particulate matter, big or small. First, particles pass through a dense trap that parses through the largest matter.
Secondly, an activated carbon filter absorbs common odors from pets, cooking, and smoke. Finally, a certified HEPA filter catches 99.97 percent of airborne particles as small as 0.1 microns. Dander, pollen, mold, dust, and bacteria stand no chance against the Levoit. In thirty minutes, the Levoit purifies air in a 500 sq. ft. area, while smaller spaces may be purified in as little as ten minutes. The kid-safe purifier is perfect for bedrooms, offices, nurseries, and kitchens that as large as 700 sq. ft.
Additionally, the filter runs as quietly as 23 dB, which is quieter than a whisper. You don’t have to be disturbed by the frustration of a loud, buzzing air purifier. With a rated power of 55 Watts, the Levoit uses vanishingly small amounts of energy. Independent testing has verified that the system costs the average household only $1.60 per month to run continuously.
Penny pinchers can even set optional automatic shut-off timers for two, four, or eight hours. The effective filter can be replaced as infrequently as every eight months, making it two times are long-lasting as most competitor brands. Unlike other brands, Levoit doesn’t use UV-C or anion methods of purification for those that are worried about potential user harm.
What Should You Look For In A Unit?
Now that you know which type of unit you need; you need to identify the special features that you may find beneficial. First, you can get units that are on wheels for easy transport, or that have remote controls, and some even run by WIFI. Units with multiple fan speeds and indication lights are great because they allow you to customize the time and level of your air quality.
Any unit that uses a HEPA filter has the capability to give you cleaner air than a unit that doesn’t have this technology. HEPA filters and UV lights can remove up to 99.97 percent of toxins and pollutants in your atmosphere. Also, you want to find a unit that is highly rated by the EPA. An Energy Star rated unit will clean your air and save you money.
Buying an air purifying unit is not difficult, but you must set a budget and know what features you want before you go shopping. There is competitive market for these units, so it’s best to do a bit of homework before you make a purchase.