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Air pollution doesn’t stop with car exhausts, jet fuel, sprayed pesticides and factory smoke. Things like mold spores, pollen, pet dander, dust mites and smoke are in the air inside your home and can increase allergy and asthma symptoms. By using an air purifier, the air in your home will smell and feel squeaky clean. You’ll notice your ability to breathe easier and may even find that you don’t need Claritin as often!
Background Info on Air Purifiers
Generally speaking, all air purifiers have an intake where the air is taken into the system to be filtered and another spot where it’s released after filtration. While conducting our research for this article, we noticed some users complaining of cool air being released from the air purifiers. To clarify, this is totally normal, and it is natural for there to be a slight breeze.
What Are HEPA Filters?
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters force air through a mesh and collects harmful particles like mold spores, pollen and dust mites. HEPA filters are widely used for air purifiers and we’ve noted for each product which has a true HEPA filter and which does not.
There are three certifications we discuss in this article: Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR), Energy Star and the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).
- CADR is a measurement of how fast an air purifier delivers filtered air. The higher the CADR the better.
- The US EPA gives products the Energy Star when they meet energy efficient guidelines.
- AHAM is an organization that inspects the performance of household appliances.
Not all of the products listed below will have all three of these ratings. We provided information about these three ratings for the products we could find.
What Is a Micron?
You’ll hear us refer to microns in this article and the size of microns an air purifier can handle. A micron is equal to one-millionth of a meter, aka it’s super small. Below are some particles in our air and their size in microns. It’s important to note that if you want your air purifier to get rid of smoke, you’ll need one that can filter particles as small as 1 micron. If you want an air purifier to help with pet odor and dander, you’ll need one that can handle particles as small as 5 microns.
- Human hair: 80-100 microns
- Pollen: 30 microns
- Mold spores: 10-30 microns
- Household dust: 10 microns
- Pet dander: 5 microns
- Smoke: 1 micron
What About Whole Home Air Purifier Systems?
If you’re not wanting to have an air purifier in every room you can install a whole home air purifier solution. These air purifiers can be in the thousand dollar range, so they aren’t as inexpensive as the air purifiers we reviewed for this article. However, it is an investment, so if you’re wanting a house full of clean air, a whole home solution may be best for you.
The GermGuardian AC4825 is our pick for best HEPA air purifier due to its high performance and amount of positive feedback we’ve found. This air purifier claims to capture 99.97% of dust and allergens (as small as .3 microns) including dust, pet dander, mold spores and plant pollens. It has UV-C light technology, which kills bacteria, viruses (including rhinovirus, e.coli and streptococcus), germs and mold spores in the air. The charcoal filter reduces cooking, smoking and pet odors and the HEPA air filtration system helps reduce exposure to asthma triggers. This best home air purifier is great for medium sized rooms and users rave about it being the best air purifier for pets.
If you’re looking for a less expensive option to use in a 10 x 11′ room, then the Holmes HAP242-NUC air purifier is a great choice for you. It claims to remove up to 99% of airborne particles as small as 2 microns. The purifier can be placed vertically or horizontally on a desk, table or other surfaces. As stated, it works best for smaller rooms, approximately 110 square feet, so using this in an office or bedroom is ideal. This Holmes air purifier has a carbon filter which helps remove up to 44% of odors from the air. Holmes aims toward reducing allergens, and we think it’s the best air purifier for allergies.
Honeywell is a household name making security equipment, HVAC equipment, doorbells and air quality equipment including air purifiers. The glass fiber HEPA filter collects up to 99.97% of particles as small as .3 microns. The system will notify you when you need to change or clean the filter. The pre-filter, which is carbon activated, captures larger particles and reduces odors and should be replaced every three months. However, if you vacuum the pre-filter, it can be extended to 3-5 years. This Honeywell 50250-S air purifier is the best air purifier for mold and more.
Other Companies in Category Name
Below you’ll find an alphabetical listing of other companies we’ve reviewed.
If you’re looking for a fancy looking air purifier look no further. The Dyson Pure Cool Link Air Purifier claims to remove 99.97% of allergens and pollutants as small as .3 microns. This is the only air purifier in this article with a remote control and app. The app includes information about the filter’s life, acts as a remote control and lets you schedule when the purifier is on and off. It also has a night mode, which is quieter and dims the display. The main reason this didn’t make our top three is because of its high price point. You can get other air purifiers for much less and they do just as good of a job as this Dyson does. Unless you want a high-tech air purifier with an app, we recommend looking at our top three.
Inside Look at the Dyson Air Purifier
Check out this video to see how techy this air purifier truly is.
Hamilton Beach is another household name for appliances. This 04383A air purifier can reduce allergens from a room up to 160 square feet. It has a permanent HEPA filter, which can be vacuumed clean. This Hamilton Beach air purifier can be placed horizontally or vertically to fit into your desired location easily. Although it doesn’t capture particles as small as some other purifiers in this article, we think it’s the best air purifier for dust since it can handle anything as small as 3 microns.
* One tip we read online was that the carbon filters for this air purifier can be expensive. Some users have purchased a sheet of carbon filter and cut it to size. They’ve reported it works the same and it saved them money. Something to consider if you purchase this air purifier. You can probably do this with other air purifiers, but we found an overwhelming number of users doing this for this particular one.
What About Furnace Filters?
Every furnace has an air filter that needs to be changed regularly. Depending on the type of air filter you get will determine how often you need to change the filter. For example, the filters we use at our home last three months. Put a reminder on your calendar to check your filter to help keep your furnace running smoothly.
Bring the Outdoors In
We spend 90% of our time indoors. That statistic alone makes us sad because we love the outdoors! On top of being inside that much, the air quality is also often worse inside than it is outside. We know most of you want to enjoy more time outside but with work, sleep and other generally indoor related activities it can be difficult to find time to go outside. An air purifier can clean your air to give you a breath of fresh air inside your home that’s greatly appreciated.
What do you use your air purifier for?