Next, let’s get technical! There are some technical aspects to consider before buying an air purifier because all air purifiers claim to be able to clean the air but they do it in different ways. There are mechanical air filters and electronic air cleaners. Mechanical air filters use physical filters to trap and hold particles in the air. Those filters use high-efficiency particle air filters, also known as HEPA filters. Electronic air cleaners use electrostatic attraction by drawing air through an ionization section which gives particles an electrical charge, causing them to gather on collectors inside the purifier. If you want to get rid of bacteria and mold spores, those won’t be removed with just a filter. You’ll need an air purifier with UVGI that uses UV lamps to create ultraviolet radiation which will hold and kill viruses, bacteria, and mold in the air, but that’s not a replacement for a good HEPA filter.
Another thing to consider in the filters of an air purifier is what’s known as the minimum efficiency reporting value or MERV. The MERV was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and tells you how well the air filter removes particles from the air. A MERV rating of 1 is the lowest and the highest MERV rating is 20. Filters with a MERV rating of 1 to 4 tend to be flat or panel filters that are good for larger particles, but not good at removing smaller particles like bacteria or mold. Filters with a MERV of 5 to 13 are much better at removing smaller particles.
If you’re looking for a quality air purifier, one of the best websites to check is Consumer Reports (consumerreports.org), which has an unbiased and fact-based buying guide for air purifiers. Consumer Reports lists and independently tests several major brands of purifiers such as Blueair, Dyson, Germ Guardian, Honeywell, Holmes, Hunter, Idylis, and Kenmore. Some of the highest-rated air purifiers currently on the market are the O-ION B-1000 Ionizer, the GermGuardian AC5000E 3-in-1 Air Cleaner, and the HPA30oneywell H0 True HEPA Allergen Remover.
With all this information at your fingertips, you should have no problem finding the best air purifier for your home or office. When you do, you’ll enjoy a cleaner and healthier environment.