If you landed on this page, then you already know how beneficial an air purifier can be for your health.
So now you’re wondering…
“What air purifier do I need?” or more specifically, “How to choose an air purifier that’s best for your home.”
As you may already know, air purifiers come in all shapes and sizes, as well as use different types of technology to filter the air.
At first, it may seem a little overwhelming figuring out how to select an air purifier, but after reading the short guide below you’ll be well equipped to make the best decision possible.
Ask Yourself “What Do You Want the Air Purifier to Do?”
When trying to find the right air purifier, your answer to the question above is very important.
Because, knowing exactly what you want the air purifier to do will guide you in the right direction for which device to get. Knowing this simple answer will really make your decision much easier.
When it comes to the air purifier technology, each type of device is designed to combat specific kinds of particles better than others.
For example, one product may be excellent at removing odors and smells from a room, but not the best at getting rid of pet dander. Another device may be great at removing allergens from the air, but have no effect on harmful bacteria.
As you can see, knowing what contaminants you want to remove from your home will help guide you in the right direction for how to select an air purifier.
Next, we’ll go over the different kinds of air purification technology available which will help you figure out how to choose an air purifier for your specific needs. You’ll then want to take a look at our free guide on the top 10 home air purifiers to find one that meets your criteria.
The Two Most Common Types of Air Purifiers
True HEPA Filter Air Purifier
An air purifier with a HEPA filter is a good choice for anyone who suffers from allergies or has asthma. That’s because it can remove 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns.
To help you visualize how small that is, a human hair is 2 microns in size which is 4-5x larger than most airborne contaminants.
This type of product is excellent at capturing microscopic particles that irritate allergies and asthma. If you want to eliminate toxins like pollen, pet dander, mold spores, etc., this is the best type of air purifier to get.
Since this kind of device uses a physical filter, it traps all particles into it and doesn’t let them get released back into the air. This is great news for asthmatics and allergy sufferers who want long-term relief. To find out more, check out our post on using air purifiers for allergies.
Ionic Air Purifier
The technology behind ionic air purifiers does not use a paper filter to capture particles. The way it operates to clean the air is by emitting charged particles into the air that latch onto airborne contaminants.
After creating a bond, these particles fall onto the floor or if equipped, are collected on an electrostatic collection plate.
The real power behind an Ionic air purifier is the fact that it can remove particles as small as .01 microns in size from the air. This is 3x smaller than a HEPA device.
The only problem with this product is that the charged particles it emits can be problematic for asthmatics. The other downside is that not all ionizers include a particle collection plate. This means that harmful contaminants that have fallen to the floor can reenter the air if they are stirred up.
A nice positive, however, is that these are usually the cheapest air purifiers you can buy.
You can find out what the best ionic air cleaner is for your needs here.
Optional Air Cleaning Features to Look for:
When deciding on what air purifier to choose, two optional features you’ll come across when comparing products are Ultra Violet Light technology and the inclusion of a Carbon filter.
You can get a device that has both or choose one that only includes one or the other.
Ultra Violet Light
If you’re wondering, “What air purifier do I need to create the most sterile breathing environment possible,” getting a product that includes an Ultra Violet (UV) light is the answer.
This powerful feature operates by sending out electromagnetic radiation that breaks apart the DNA of bacteria, germs, and viruses. Once this process occurs, these types of particles become harmless to you.
Note: Ultra Violet air purifiers are completely safe for you and your pets to be around. The spectrum that UV air purifiers use is within the safe zone.
While all of the technologies mentioned in this article so far are great at creating better, breathable air, neither of them are very good at removing odors and smells.
That’s where a Carbon filter upgrade fits in. This special filter is the top choice for eliminating odors caused by smoke, pets, cooking, mold and more.
So, if you’re trying to choose what air purifier to pick in order to have the freshest smelling home, a product with a Carbon filter is the best choice.
Make Sure it’s Powerful Enough to Handle Your Needs
Another key feature to look for when choosing an air purifier is to make sure that it’s powerful enough to work in the space you intend to use it.
What you don’t want to find is that you got an air purifier that isn’t able to effectively purify the intended room(s).
In the specification list of all air purifiers is a rating that includes the words “Average Coverage” or “Room Size.” This number will be written in square feet such as 100 sq. ft.
When deciding on what air purifier you should get, it’s important that you first measure the room(s) you are going to use it for inside your home. Then compare this number to the rating on the device.
Just make sure the product you buy can handle the size you need and you’ll be all set.
For more information on ensuring you get the correct size device, check out our article that explains more in-depth on how to find the right size air purifier for your home.