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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
Austin AirRoom Air Purifiers

Austin Air Healthmate HM400 Designed for people with everyday air quality concerns. The HealthMate removes virtually all airborne ...particles by performing several critical air quality remediation functions. The HealthMate's 4-stage filtration system contains True Medical Grade HEPA and Activated Carbon, eliminating airborne particles, chemicals, odors and gases. These are the best residential air purifiers on the market!! Why do we say that? #1) Air filtered through certified HEPA filter & 15 lbs of solid ACTIVATED CARBON and ZEOLITE. This means that your air is not just cleaned of dust....but odors, gases, viruses, bacteria and mold are all filtered out as well. #2) The Healthmate features an easy to clean pre-filter that protects the main filter and makes it last longer. Just vacuum off every month. #3) The Healthmate filter comes with a 5-year pro-rated guarantee. This is unheard of in the filter industry. Most companies sell you a $250 unit and then make you buy replacement filters at $100 every read more

Vornado
$249.99
at QVC

Employing the most effective filtration available, this four-speed air purifier traps dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, bacteria, d...ust mites, and more. It boasts two combination HEPA/carbon filters to absorb odors and trap particles. Plus, it circulates and filters the air throughout an entire room. From Vornado. read more

QVC
Vornado
$149.99
at QVC

Using the most effective filtration available, this three-speed air purifier traps dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, bacteria, dust... mites, and more. Combining a HEPA filter with a carbon pre-filter that absorbs odors and traps larger particles, this purifier circulates and filters the air throughout an entire room. From Vornado. read more

QVC
Oransi
$1,445.00
at Oransi

The Oransi Large Room Erik Ultra Air Purifier can clean multiple rooms up to 1700 sq ft. from Dust, Pollen, Mold, Pet Dander, Alle...rgies, Asthma, Bacteria and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). It combats nearly all airborne particulates. 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
Alen

This Alen UV air purifier stops harmful airborne allergens, odors, and germs in their tracks. Treating spaces sized up to 650 squa...re feet, the system features HEPA and activated carbon filtration along with UV germicidal light and photo-catalytic oxidizing technology, which neutralizes volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Upgraded features include 4 fan speeds, an 8-hour programmable timer, dust and odor sensors, an onboard ionizer, and an intuitive digital display. read more

A375UV Multi Gas Air Purifier
Honeywell
$119.89 $206.64
at Shoplet.com

HEPAClean filter captures up to 95 of airborne particles such as dust, pollen, smoke and pet dander. Optional on/off ionizer provi...des extra cleaning power. A washable pre-filter captures larger particles. Air Cleaner Machine Type: HEPAClean CADR: 110 Maximum Room Size Square Footage: 169 sq. ft. read more

Honeywell HEPA-Type Tower Air Purifier
Holmes
$67.01 $99.00
at Shoplet.com

High efficiency filter helps remove airborne particles and allergens from indoor air. Carbon filtration reduces unpleasant odors u...p to 44. Dual-position, slim design is perfect for table or desktop use. Handy filter change indicator plus durable three-speed motor. Air Cleaner Machine Type: HEPA CADR: 70 Maximum Room Size Square Footage: 110 sq ft Maximum Room Size: 10 ft x 11 ft. read more

Holmes 3 Speed Desktop Air Purifier
Filtrete
$140.76 $183.40
at Shoplet.com

Powerful air cleaning, quiet operation and portability are just some of the features you'll find in Filtrete Room Air Purifiers. F...iltrete room air purifiers cover room sizes from 100 to 310 sq ft. Air Cleaner Machine Type: Filtrete CADR: 72 smoke 86 dust 97 pollen Maximum Room Size Square Footage: 110 sq ft. read more

Filtrete Room Air Purifier
Fellowes
$173.34 $299.99
at Shoplet.com

True HEPA filter captures 99.97 of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, including pollen, ragweed and other allergens, as w...ell as mold spores, dust mites, viruses, germs, cigarette smoke and odors. Air purity sensor monitors the air quality and automatically adjusts the fan speed to keep your air purified. Ultra quiet operation. Filter change indicator. PlasmaTRUE Technology creates an ionized field to safely remove airborne particles. Air Cleaner Machine Type: HEPA CADR: 150 smoke 151 dust 156 pollen Maximum Room Size Square Footage: 230. read more

Fellowes Air Purifier
Bryant/Carrier
$167.59 $217.87
at DiscountFilters.com

PGAPXCAR2025 Air Purifier Cartridge - 2-Pack (AKA PGAPAXX2025-A02) GENUINE OEM factory orginal Bryant/Carrier filtering media for ...Bryant Perfect Air Purifier - model PGAPAXX2025 The Carrier Performance Germicidal Air Purifier both captures and kills airborne viruses, bacteria, mold spores, and allergens. It combines superior filtration efficiency, equivalent to MERV 13, with pathogen-killing technology to deliver maximum air purification. Features: GENUINE OEM Factory Original Filter Cartridge Equivalent to MERV 13 Efficiency Rating Specifications: Nominal Dimensions: 20 x 25 x 3 Actual Dimensions: 20-15/16 X 24-7/8 X 2-9/16 Fits Bryant Carrier Air Purifier model PGAPAXX2025 Maintenance: The PGAP Air Purifier is designed to require minimal maintenance. Maintenance is limited to the periodic replacement of the air purification cartridge and inspection/brush cleaning of the ionization array. Frequency of Air Purifier cartridge replacement and cleaning of the ioni read more

/ Carrier Air Purifier Cartridge - PGAPXCAR2025
Bryant/Carrier
$159.95 $207.94
at DiscountFilters.com

PGAPXCAR1625 Air Purifier Cartridge - 2-Pack (AKA PGAPXCAR1625-A02) GENUINE OEM factory orginal Bryant/Carrier filtering media for... Bryant Perfect Air Purifier - model PGAPAXX1625 The Carrier Performance Germicidal Air Purifier both captures and kills airborne viruses, bacteria, mold spores, and allergens. It combines superior filtration efficiency, equivalent to MERV 13, with pathogen-killing technology to deliver maximum air purification. Features: GENUINE OEM Factory Original Filter Cartridge Equivalent to MERV 13 Efficiency Rating Specifications: Nominal Dimensions: 16 x 25 x 3 Actual Dimensions: 17-1/4 X 24-7/8 X 2-9/16 Fits Bryant Carrier Air Purifier model PGAPAXX1625 Maintenance: The PGAP Air Purifier is designed to require minimal maintenance. Maintenance is limited to the periodic replacement of the air purification cartridge and inspection/brush cleaning of the ionization array. Frequency of Air Purifier cartridge replacement and cleaning of the ioniz read more

/ Carrier Air Purifier Cartridge - PGAPXCAR1625
Bryant/Carrier
$102.95 $133.84
at DiscountFilters.com

Bryant / Carrier Air Purifier Cartridge - GAPBBCAR2020 The Perfect Air Purifier both captures and kills airborne viruses, bacteria..., mold spores, and allergens. It combines superior filtration efficiency, equivalent to MERV 15, with pathogen-killing technology to deliver maximum air purification. Features: GENUINE OEM factory orginal Bryant/Carrier equivalent to merv 15 Specifications: Nominal Dimensions: 20" x 20" x 3-1/2" Actual Dimensions: 20-3/4" x 21-1/2" x 3-1/2" Fits Bryant Perfect Air Purifier models GAPAAXBB2020 / GAPABXCC2020 / GAPABXBB2020. Fits only in BDP / BRYANT / CARRIER / PAYNE / TOTALINE AND DAY & NIGHT INFINITY air cleaner models Identical to part # GAPCCCAR2020. Filter may be branded Carrier or Bryant - depending on supply. Product is identical. read more

/ Carrier Air Purifier Cartridge - GAPBBCAR2020
Lennox

The Lennox 64X56 UV Air Purifier Replacement Lamp is a replacement UV lamp compatible with the Lennox UV-1000 and UV-1023 Healthy ...Climate Air Purification systems. This germicidal bulb reduces bacteria and microorganisms from your while also cleaning surfaces. Replace this bulb every year for the best results. read more

64X56 UV Air Purifier Replacement Lamp
Bryant/Carrier
$105.35 $136.96
at DiscountFilters.com

Bryant / Carrier Air Purifier Cartridge - GAPBBCAR2025 The Perfect Air Purifier both captures and kills airborne viruses, bacteria..., mold spores, and allergens. It combines superior filtration efficiency, equivalent to MERV 15, with pathogen-killing technology to deliver maximum air purification. Features: GENUINE OEM factory orginal Bryant/Carrier equivalent to merv 15Specifications: Nominal Dimensions: 20" x 25" x 3-1/2" Actual Dimensions: 20 5/8" X 24 3/8" x X 3 1/2" Fits Bryant Perfect Air Purifier models GAPAAXBB2025 / GAPABXCC2025. Fits only in BDP / BRYANT / CARRIER / PAYNE / TOTALINE AND DAY & NIGHT INFINITY air cleaner models Identical to part # GAPCCCAR2025. Filter may be branded Carrier or Bryant - depending on supply. Product is identical. read more

/ Carrier Air Purifier Cartridge - GAPBBCAR2025
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