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Air Purifiers Buying Guide

Even clean homes contain a number of pollutants, such as mold, dust, and bacteria. Air purifiers can help filter out these pollutants and clean unhealthy indoor air—which is especially important if someone in your household suffers from asthma, allergies, or another respiratory illness. This buying guide will help you figure out which air purifier is best for your needs.

Types of Air Purifiers

Types of Air Purifiers

Air purifiers can be installed in the ductwork of a home or used to clean the air in specific rooms. Both portable and whole-house systems use a variety of technologies to clean the air, and some release dangerous levels of ozone, a lung irritant. Therefore, take time to learn how the air purifier works and what impurities it can remove before purchasing a specific unit. Here is a look at the most common types of air purifiers that are available today.

Portable/Room Air Purifiers

This type of air purifier is designed to filter the air in a specific room. Most of these units weigh 10-20 pounds and can stand on the floor or on a table. They are less expensive than whole-house air purifiers and use a variety of methods to clean the air. Some use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which can capture ultrafine particles such as hair, dust, pollen, spores, and mold. Other room air purifiers use electronic precipitator or ionizer technologies; these are effective at removing particulates and other pollutants from the air, but they produce small amounts of ozone, a lung irritant.

shop Portable/Room Air Purifiers
Vornado
$149.99
at Target

What if you could remove 99.7% of airborne allergensincluding pollen, dust, mold spores, pet dander, smoke and odors? The Vornado ...AC300 Whole Room air purifier uses true HEPA filtration, the most effective filtration available, to do just that. It actively circulates and filters all the air throughout a room, using a radial blower that handles up to 220 square feet. 3 speeds, push button electronic controls, filter replacement indicator and an industry-leading 5-year limited warranty. True HEPA Filtration: HEPA filtration captures 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns or larger Advanced dust sensing technology: Monitors air quality and automatically adjusts output to create ideal room filtration Sleep mode: Light sensor automatically quiets operation in low light conditions Minimal Maintenance: Filters are quick and easy to replace CADR Rating: 213 Features: Quiet Operation, Dust Collection, Carbon Filter, Easy Filter Change, Odor Filter, Filter Change Indicator, Automatic Shut-Off TimerRoom Size: 100-300 sq. ft.Allergens Captured: Pollen, Bacteria, Dustmite Debris, Odors, Household DustFilter Type: HEPANumber of Settings: 3Wattage Required: 0 WattsCertifications: CADR Certified RatingIncludes: Filtersee specificationssee shipping and returnsguest rating overall3 of 5 stars Effectivenot rated Qualitynot rated Valuenot rated see guest reviews read more

Oreck
$347.29 $499.99
at Casa

Oreck AirInstinct? HEPA Large Room Air Purifier Features: 3 Year HEPA filter captures 99.97% of dust, allergens, smoke, pet dander... and pollen at .3 microns from the air that passes through the filter (Filter life will vary by usage and environment) 3 Year Odor filter reduces common household odors and VOCs from the air that passes through its filter (Filter life will vary by usage and environment) Turn it on and walk away-- The AirInstinct combines a smart sensor, auto mode and colored indicator lights to check continuously the particle levels passing through its sensor and adjusts the air flow speed accordingly Suggested for living spaces up to 248 square feet and has a CADR of 160 5 speeds including auto, sleep and power modes, replace filter indicator light, mood light, Energy Star Certified Dimensions: 17.6in length x 11.59in width x 28.69in height read more

Sharp
$430.00 $542.99
at Casa

Sharp Plasmaclustera Air Purifier W/ Humidifying Function for up to 341 square-foot room The Sharp KC-860U Plasmacluster Air Purif...ier with Humidifying Function purifies a room up to 347 square feet. It offers a unique combination of air treatment technologies to make you and your family more comfortable, whatever the season. Bacteria, germs, mold spores, pollen, pet dander, smoke, dust and odors can make breathing harder, especially for asthma and allergy sufferers. Sharps KC-860U Plasmacluster air purifier helps remove these irritants with an ultra quiet fan that draws air through a 3-stage filter system. This filter system plus the revolutionary Plasmacluster Ion Technology for air purifiers makes the air healthier and cleaner smelling. For an even more comfortable environment, sensors constantly monitor the air quality in your room, adjusting the fan for air purity while providing the optimum humidity level. This combination of features is a smart way to choose cleaner, healthier, more breathable air. Features: Quiet operation purifies/humidifies rooms up to 347 sq. ft. Choice of Clean air or Clean air and humidity functions Plasmacluster technology restores the balance of ions to refresh air and humidification function adds humidity to the air for improved air quality in colder weather CADR for Dust 230 / Smoke 224 / Pollen 245 Energy Star Compliant and AHAM Certified read more

Whole-House Air Cleaners

If you have forced-air heat, you can opt for a whole-house system that is installed in the ductwork of your home's heating system. Many also need to be wired into your home's electrical system. These built-in air cleaners are more expensive than room units and must be professionally installed. Some models use a HEPA filter, while others use an electronic precipitator, which creates charged particles to attract impurities and captures them in a collection plate.

Whole-House Air Filters

Another way to clean your home's air is to replace your existing furnace filter with a high-efficiency filter. This is much less expensive than a built-in whole-house air cleaner, but these removable filters are also generally less effective. You can install the new filter yourself, and you will have to change the filter every one to three months.

Ozone Generators

These air purifiers claim to reduce allergens, such as dust, smoke, pollen, germs, and mold, by producing large amounts of ozone. However, ozone is a known lung irritant and can cause serious health issues. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ozone concentrations that do not exceed public health standards have little effect in removing most indoor air contaminants. Therefore, these types of air purifiers are not as safe or effective as other types of air purifiers.

Product Features

Product Features

When shopping for an air purifier, look for features that ease maintenance concerns and allow you to control fan speed. Most room air purifiers use a fan to pull air into the unit, so if you can choose a specific fan speed, you can decrease noise when desired and ensure that the unit works well for the size of room you have. In general, don't expect too many special features, but here are a few options you are likely to find on a good air purifier:

Pre-Filters

This extra filter traps large particles, such as pet hair, before it gets to the main filter. This helps improve the air purifier's effectiveness and prolongs the life of the primary filter.

Servicing Indicator Light

This feature lets you know when it's time to change the filter or clean and wash an electrostatic precipitator's collector plate. Keep in mind that some lights turn on based on how long the machine has been running, not on how dirty the filter is.

Multispeed Fan

This feature allows you to increase or decrease the fan speed, helping the purifier to provide the optimum number or air exchanges per hour based on room size.

Dust Sensor or Air-Quality Monitor

This sensor can increase or decrease fan speeds automatically based on pollutant levels in the room.

Sealed Systems

Models with sealed systems include seals or gaskets around the filters to keep the polluted air that's been collected from mixing with clean air.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

As you are choosing between air purifiers, one of the most important factors to consider is room size—unless you want a unit that can clean the air in your whole house. You should also carefully look at the technology the air purifier uses to clean the air. Does it use a filter or does it collect the particles using an electronic method? Be sure you understand the advantages and disadvantages of each. Take a look at the unit's efficiency ratings, and ask about noise level. Also, don't forget to factor in the cost of maintenance when comparing prices.

Filter Type

Different types of filters target different contaminants, so it's important to determine what types of pollutants you want to remove from your home before you go shopping. Mechanical filters, such as HEPA filters, remove particles by capturing them on filter materials. HEPA filters remove 99.97 percent of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger; these include hair, dust, pollen, spores, mold, and some bacteria. These filters must be replaced every 12-18 months, so they can be more expensive to maintain. Electronic air cleaners clean the air by trapping charged particles. Electrostatic precipitators (effective at removing particulates, allergens, and some odors and gases) collect the charged particles on collection plates that must be cleaned regularly, while ionizers (effective for particulates, smoke, some viruses, and bacteria) cause particles to stick together and fall to the ground or onto walls and floors. Both types of electronic air cleaners produce small amounts of ozone, which can worsen asthma and affect your ability to fight respiratory infections. Both mechanical and electronic air purifiers can make use of activated carbon filters to help remove odors and smoke. Some air purifiers also use ultraviolet lamps to destroy viruses, bacteria, allergens, and molds.

Room Size

Before you go shopping for a room air purifier, measure the size of the room where you want to place the appliance and look for a model that is suited for a space of that size or larger. If possible, opt for a unit designed for an area slightly larger than your space, so you can run the fan motor at a lower (and quieter) speed. Also keep in mind that doors and walls can prevent air purifiers from operating effectively in the full coverage area.

Efficiency Ratings

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers certifies most room air purifiers. Look for the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) when comparing models. This rating assigns a score for filtering out three different contaminants: dust, pollen, and smoke. The higher these scores are, the faster the air cleaner will filter the air. The maximum scores an air purifier can receive are 450 for pollen and smoke removal, and 400 for dust removal.

Noise Level

Some air purifiers are very quiet, while others make a considerable amount of noise when operating at high power. If possible, ask for a demonstration of the air purifier before you buy it.

Filter Replacement Cost

If you're buying a model with a HEPA filter, be sure to find out how much replacement filters will cost. These filters must be changed about once a year and can cost $100 or more—adding significantly to the overall cost of the air purifier. Some models include a washable filter instead, which will help cut down on operating costs.

Home Improvement on sale
Sunshine Lighting
$16.67 $25.99
at Casa

Sunlite 23W Air Purifying Ionic Spiral CFL Bulb,Warm White Sunlites new purion lamp (compact fluorescent lamp) is the ultimate air... purification system. Hidden inside the purion lamp is a unique ionizer that emits millions of powerful pollution fighting ions into the air everything second. These ions attach themselves to airborne pollutants such as smoke, pollen, viruses and odor causing bacteria and cause them to literally fall to the ground where they can be cleaned away. Smoke and odors are instantly neutralized. Dont cover the smell with air fresheners; destroy the odor with this unique system. Its ideal for use in homes, offices, hotels, hospitals, public buildings, dormitories, and almost anywhere a normal light bulb may be used. Our purion lamp lasts up to 10 times longer than your average incandescent light bulb. Features: 23-Watt, 1500 Lumens, 80 CRI 100-Watt incandescent equivalent 10,000 hour average lamp life 3000K Color Temperature, Warm White Color, Medium Base AP23/30K read more

Sunlite 23W Air Purifying Ionic Spiral CFL Bulb,Warm White
Sunlite
$15.89 $23.99
at Casa

Sunlite 23W Air Purifying Ionic Spiral CFL Bulb, Daylight Sunlites new purion lamp (compact fluorescent lamp) is the ultimate air ...purification system. Hidden inside the purion lamp is a unique ionizer that emits millions of powerful pollution fighting ions into the air everything second. These ions attach themselves to airborne pollutants such as smoke, pollen, viruses and odor causing bacteria and cause them to literally fall to the ground where they can be cleaned away. Smoke and odors are instantly neutralized. Dont cover the smell with air fresheners; destroy the odor with this unique system. Its ideal for use in homes, offices, hotels, hospitals, public buildings, dormitories, and almost anywhere a normal light bulb may be used. Our purion lamp lasts up to 10 times longer than your average incandescent light bulb. Features: 23-Watt, 1500 Lumens, 80 CRI 100-Watt incandescent equivalent 10,000 hour average lamp life 6500K Color Temperature, Daylight Color, Medium Base AP23/65K read more

Sunlite 23W Air Purifying Ionic Spiral CFL Bulb, Daylight
Bionaire
$89.49 $119.99
at Casa

Bionaire HEPA Tower Air Purifier W/Remote Control Freshen and clean the air with HEPA-Type filtration enhanced with Arm and Hammer... Baking Soda and optional ionizer, plus remote control and built-in filter change reminder. Model BAP825WO-U Features: Air purifier with space-saving tower design for rooms up to 180 square feet HEPA-type filter removes up to 99-percent of airborne particles; filter-service indicator 3 speed settings; optional ionizer; CADR of 116 for smoke, 110 for dust, and 110 for pollen Filter enhanced with baking soda to eliminate odors; remote control included Measures 11-1/6 by 8-2/9 by 29-5/8 inches; 2-year limited warranty Weight: 13.94lb read more

Bionaire HEPA Tower Air Purifier W/Remote Control
Sharp
$430.00 $542.99
at Casa

Sharp Plasmaclustera Air Purifier W/ Humidifying Function for up to 341 square-foot room The Sharp KC-860U Plasmacluster Air Purif...ier with Humidifying Function purifies a room up to 347 square feet. It offers a unique combination of air treatment technologies to make you and your family more comfortable, whatever the season. Bacteria, germs, mold spores, pollen, pet dander, smoke, dust and odors can make breathing harder, especially for asthma and allergy sufferers. Sharps KC-860U Plasmacluster air purifier helps remove these irritants with an ultra quiet fan that draws air through a 3-stage filter system. This filter system plus the revolutionary Plasmacluster Ion Technology for air purifiers makes the air healthier and cleaner smelling. For an even more comfortable environment, sensors constantly monitor the air quality in your room, adjusting the fan for air purity while providing the optimum humidity level. This combination of features is a smart way to choose cleaner, healthier, more breathable air. Features: Quiet operation purifies/humidifies rooms up to 347 sq. ft. Choice of Clean air or Clean air and humidity functions Plasmacluster technology restores the balance of ions to refresh air and humidification function adds humidity to the air for improved air quality in colder weather CADR for Dust 230 / Smoke 224 / Pollen 245 Energy Star Compliant and AHAM Certified read more

Sharp Plasmaclustera Air Purifier W/ Humidifying Function for up to 341 square-foot room
Oreck
$347.29 $499.99
at Casa

Oreck AirInstinct? HEPA Large Room Air Purifier Features: 3 Year HEPA filter captures 99.97% of dust, allergens, smoke, pet dander... and pollen at .3 microns from the air that passes through the filter (Filter life will vary by usage and environment) 3 Year Odor filter reduces common household odors and VOCs from the air that passes through its filter (Filter life will vary by usage and environment) Turn it on and walk away-- The AirInstinct combines a smart sensor, auto mode and colored indicator lights to check continuously the particle levels passing through its sensor and adjusts the air flow speed accordingly Suggested for living spaces up to 248 square feet and has a CADR of 160 5 speeds including auto, sleep and power modes, replace filter indicator light, mood light, Energy Star Certified Dimensions: 17.6in length x 11.59in width x 28.69in height read more

Oreck AirInstinct? HEPA Large Room Air Purifier
Casa Vieja
$219.98 $439.99
at Lamps Plus

The Fairmont ceiling fan is perfect for rustic and lodge decors as well as Mission style interiors. The motor gets an aged bronze ...finish, and two light kits (uplight and downlight) glow with amber glass. Reversible blades offer walnut and cherry veneers. Dual-mountable design. Aged bronze finish motor. Five reversible walnut/cherry veneer blades. 3-speed motor. Pull chain operation. Dual mountable. Dual light kits with amber glass. Aged bronze finish motor. Five reversible walnut/cherry veneer blades. 3-speed motor. Pull chain operation. Dual mountable. Dual light kits with amber glass. Includes four 15 watt candelabra bulbs for uplight. Includes three 40 watt candelabra bulbs for downlight. 6" downrod included. Fan height 14 1/4" ceiling to blade (with 6" downrod) Fan height 16 3/4" ceiling to bottom of light kit (with 6" downrod) Canopy 2 1/2" high and 5 1/4" wide. 52" blade span. 14 degree blade pitch. read more

52" Fairmont Aged Bronze Ceiling Fan
Casa Vieja
$149.99 $224.99
at Lamps Plus

The contemporary Casa Vieja® Paseo ceiling fan has a stylish oil-rubbed bronze motor finish with five matching blades. It features... a 52" blade span, 12 degree blade pitch, three speed pull chain, and a lifetime motor warranty. Comes standard with a 6" downrod. ENERGY STAR® rated design. Oil-rubbed bronze motor finish. Five oil-rubbed bronze finish blades. 52" blade span. 12 degree blade pitch. 3 speed, 153 x 17mm motor. Lifetime motor warranty. Pull chain operation. Fan height 12 3/4" from ceiling to blade (with 6" downrod). Fan height 15" from ceiling to bottom of fan (with 6" downrod). Includes 6" downrod. Canopy is 5" wide and 2" high. read more

52" Casa Vieja Paseo ENERGY STAR® Bronze Ceiling Fan
Kichler
$578.00 $867.00
at Wayfair

Features:Ceiling fan Harbour Walk collection Accommodates (4) 40W T3 incandescent bulb Product Air Flow: 6049 Cubic Feet Per Minut...e Electrical Usage: 74 Watts Air Flow Efficiency: 82 Cubic Feet Per Minute Per Watt read more

52" Harbour Walk 5 Blade Patio Ceiling Fan
Casa Vieja
$384.98 $579.99
at Lamps Plus

Enjoy a powerful cooling breeze with this 60" Turbina? industrial style ceiling fan. The three-speed motor comes in a brushed stee...l finish with matching metal blades and industrial style light kit. The open cage design surrounds three Nostalgic Edison style bulbs for a handsome antique look. Minimum 10 foot ceiling required for installation. Brushed steel finish motor. Three brushed steel metal blades. 60" blade span. 22 degree blade pitch. Minimum 10 foot ceiling required for installation. 188 x 20 motor size. Remote control with on/off light operation included. Includes brushed nickel finish industrial cage light kit. On/off light operation with three included 13 watt CFL bulbs (non-dimmable). Includes three 60 watt Nostalgic Edison style bulbs (shown). Non-glass industrial design. Light kit measures 8 1/2" wide, 7 1/2" high. 6" downrod included. Fan height 9" ceiling to blade (with 6" downrod). Canopy is 5 1/4" wide, 2 1/4" high. read more

60" Casa Turbina? Brushed Steel Ceiling Fan
Murray Feiss
$167.50-$188.00 $251.25-$282.00
at Homeclick

A Clean Design Complements the Creative Spirit of a Rooms Decor. Key Features High performance 172 x 14 mm torque induction motor ...13 Degree blade pitch for optimum air movement Precision balanced motor for wobble - free operation Extra long 78" leadwire for high ceiling installation Sleek integral switch housing design Light kit and remote control adaptable UL and C - UL listed Lifetime Warranty This Fan can be installed closer to the ceiling with optional Flush - Mount Canopy Kit MC90 read more

Monte Carlo 5DS52 Designer Supreme 52" Ceiling Fan - blades Included
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