Lets Clear the Air on Air Purifiers
Air purifiers have gained great popularity recently, but can air purifiers actually benefit your health, or are they just a fad? The truth is that air purifiers can only clean the air that passes through them, which isn’t all the air in your home. Air Purifiers are very good tools, but only part of an overall goal to improve indoor air. In this article, I’ll help you choose an effective air purifier, give you air purifier recommendations, and take some steps to clean the air in ways an air purifier can’t.
Before You Buy, Some Steps to Improve Your Air
Air purifiers are helpful but do not solve all air quality problems on their own. Because Air Purifiers treat some of your indoor air, a large percentage of particles will drop to the ground or adhere to surfaces prior to reaching the filter. So before you invest in an air purifier (which can be hundreds of dollars), consider these important steps you can do yourself to resolve indoor air quality issues:
- Find and remove the source of contaminates – whether that be mold, VOCs, Radon, Heavy Metals, etc. Try these natural remedies for mold: Remedy by Citrisafe
- Bring in fresh air. I like to say “Dilution is the solution to pollution”.
- Keep humidity below 50%.
- Reduce dust throughout the home.
- Add a good air filter, MERV rating of 11, for your HVAC system, and change it often.
- Fog your home with a product designed to reduce contaminates such as mold. (*Note, this should be done only after the source is removed, as it is not a true fix for air quality issues.)
Considerations When Choosing an Air Purifier
Here are a few things to consider when looking for an air purifier:
It is important that air filters be appropriately sized for the areas to be cleaned (i.e. – If a filter is listed to treat 800 sq.ft. , it is too small to fully treat a 3,000 sq.ft. home by itself – although it will work well to treat a couple of rooms.)
Multiple smaller air filtration units are preferable to a single unit if the cost can be adsorbed.
3. Filters Only
We typically don’t recommend ion generators, hydroxyl generators, units that produce ozone, Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO), or Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO). We prefer units that only offer filtration.
4. HEPA (High Efficency Particulate Air) and VOC filtering
We recommend units that include Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) filtration as well as HEPA filtration.
ImmunoLytics Air Purifier Recommendations: The Austin Air Healthmate Plus and the IAQ Air Healthpro Plus.
5. Noise Level
Be aware of noise – It is important to consider how noisy the unit is. The rated treatment area is typically based on the highest fan setting, which is obviously the noisiest setting. If the filter is too loud, no one will want to run it.
Once you’ve found your right fit, it’s best to place the air filtration unit where you spend the most time (e.g. – bedroom, living room, or office.) It’s helpful to have the air filtration unit on casters to ease its transport around the house as they can be heavy.
A Few Words About HEPA
There are MANY HEPA options on the market today. Sometimes HEPA filtration is added to HVAC systems, but most commonly HEPA filtration is performed by a stand-alone unit. All HEPA units have prefilters in front of the HEPA filter. This prefilter needs to be cleaned or replaced about as often as your furnace filter. Make sure to remove and clean or replace your prefilter outside while wearing an N95 mask to prevent exposure to the dust/particles/mold.
Bells and Whistles? Keep it Simple
I find an air purifier unit with a single dial and a few settings is preferable to one with lots of bells and whistles. This is why we often recommend Austin Air units. Many other filtration units have several filters that have to be changed at various times, and many buttons that kids like to press for fun, changing filtration settings.
Air Purifiers may be a fad, but they have played an important part in showcasing that Indoor Air Quality is just as important as outside air quality. Air filtration is never a substitute for bringing in fresh air, but with these air purifier recommendations, we hope you are on your way to maintaining a healthy indoor environment.