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Consumer Report For In Home Air Purifiers

Jun 28, 2008
What are air purifiers? What are the types of air purifiers? What factors should you consider when buying one?

Let us share with you the information we have gathered from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The American Lung Association (ALA) and other consumer review sites that will provide you a comprehensive report about in home air purifiers and help you to choose the right one.

An air purifier is a machine that works to clean the air you breathe by getting rid of particles and harmful contaminants from the air in your home. Consumer report for in home air purifiers will tell you right off that you should not consider an air purifier as a silver bullet.

The use of air purifiers should be the last resort of the three-pronged approach towards improving the air you breathe inside your home.

The first one suggests to control the source(s) of pollutants or to reduce their emissions.

The second strategy according to the consumer report for in home air purifiers is to use a ventilation: open windows and doors (as the weather permits), turn on local bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans or use mechanical ventilation systems, which will help improve the air condition of your room.

The third one is to consider getting an air purifier that would actually eliminate bacteria, mold, viruses and any kind of odor.

The four general types of air cleaners available on the market are mechanical filters, electronic air cleaners, ion generators and hybrid devices. They can be incorporated into the central heating or ventilation system, tabletop units or larger portable room consoles.

Factors that you need to consider when buying an air purifier are:

Type of filter. Air filter protects the equipment, the furnishings, reduce housekeeping and building maintenance and reduce fire hazards. Lower efficiency filters can do all this. But it is only in portable room air cleaners that you can obtain sufficiently high levels of filtration that will protect your general well-being.

That's where HEPA (high efficiency high particulate air) or formerly high efficiency particulate arrestors, are important. "True" HEPA allow no more than 3 particles out of 10,000 to penetrate the filtration media.

They are a bit noisy however. But since it can remove particles as small as 0.3 microns in size that are lung-penetrating particles, EPA and ALA and other organizations recommend using a HEPA filter if you want to use a mechanical filter.

Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). This is a standard developed by the independent Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) to measure the removal of dust, smoke and pollen from the air.

It measures the amount of clean air in cubic feet that an air cleaner delivers to a room per minute of a specific material. Note that a CADR of 50 is appropriate for a room of 80 square feet; a CADR of 80 for 120 square feet; a CADR of 100 for 144 square feet and a CADR of 200 for 320 square feet.

Cost. The costs you will incur in buying an air purifier may include the initial purchase of the unit, maintenance costs (cleaning and/or replacement of filters and other parts) and operating costs (cost of electricity).

The most effective units are generally also the most costly. However, you should check the initial cost with the maintenance cost as some air purifiers that are cheaper may turn out more expensive in the long run if you need to change filters often.

Noise. Air cleaners that have a fan can produce equivalent to a small vacuum cleaner when operating at a high speed. Even at low speed, some models still produce an annoying hum or whine.

You should also note that CADR rates are based on high speed. So it's better if you purify a room an hour before you use it then turn down the speed when you're there to minimize the noise.
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