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Buying Air Purifiers - What To Look For

Oct 10, 2007
Indoor pollution is increasing. It is estimated that the air inside of our homes is five times more polluted than the air outside, making it more important than ever to install quality air purifiers to clean the air our family breathes most of the day and night.

One trip to your local home improvement store to check out what's available in the world of air purifiers can seem daunting. With so many different brands and options, it may be difficult to know exactly which one is best for you and your family.

The most important thing to consider when purchasing an air purifier for your home is its CADR, or clean air delivery rate. This industry rating has been specially designed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturer's to help consumers know how well an air purifier actually works. The CADR is an easy way to see how fast the purifier can filter the pollution in your home and clean the air you breathe. Models featuring a CADR seal of approval are guaranteed to filter the most common pollutions allergens form your home including: tobacco smoke; animal dander; mold; mildew; dust and pollen.

Here's a basic rule of thumb when choosing a CADR rating: the higher the number, the faster it cleans the air. However, not all living spaces need the largest CADR available. The best way to determine the appropriate CADR for you home is to take the square footage of the room or area you wish to purify and multiply that number by .75 to equal the appropriate CADR rating for the space.

For instance, if you want the unit to filter the air in a 16 x 17 room (272 sq. feet), you need to multiply that number (272) by .75 for a CADR rating of 204. In the event that you cannot find a unit with the CADR number you need, it's always best to move up one level to the next highest number available. Also increase your level if you have ceilings higher than 8 feet or you living space is very open. For extra large rooms or areas, you may even want to consider buying two smaller units that can be moved around the house for better cleaning results.

In addition to the CADR rating, you'll find that there are many other options available on today's air purifiers. Other things you may want to consider on your model include:

-HEPA filter.
-The frequency of the filtering cycle (the best is about every ten minutes).
-Filter controls.
-Speed controls.
-360-degree air flow (this is based on the units shape).

While most of these features are nice to have, the really aren't necessary. The most important thing to remember when buying an air purifier is to find the right size model to fit your space, with an appropriate CADR rating.
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