The Crucial Characteristics of the Air Purifiers
We use the air purifiers to decrease the pollution of indoor air to the minimum. As a rule, most people consider the air at home to be much cleaner than the air from outside, as they tidy up their homes from dirt and dust often and thoroughly. However, they hardly ever realize that the outdoors air consistently sneaks back through the tiny leaks in the windows, every time you open the door, etc so that eventually it completely replaces the indoor air within two hours only and you have to clean the whole place again to make a difference for the next couple of hours. For that reason, it’s always good to have an air filter that helps to reduce the pollutants.
At the same time, in the case you have no idea about the principal air cleaners’ characteristics that you have to take into consideration in the first place before getting one of them, the purchased model will most likely fail to live up to your high hopes, because its technical abilities and specifications might mismatch with your practical needs. In this article, we’ll try to explain the crucial factors you should pay attention to when choosing an air purifier to help you find the unit that would work out perfectly for you.
Clean Air Delivery Rate
The clean air delivery rate, or CADR, is the scale that stands for the cubic feet of air cleaned from particular contaminants by the unit per minute. In other words, it shows how efficient the air purifier is in reducing whichever pollutants. Usually, you can find the CADR data marked on the label of the air purifier’s packaging. It includes three numbers representing the most common household pollutants: the smoke fume particles, pollen, and dust.
The units can vary significantly in the CADR figures. Try to oppose the labeled information of one model to another one produced by a different manufacturer. In the process stick to a simple rule: the bigger are the numbers, the more efficient and faster will the air cleaner cope with purifying the indoor air. The air cleaners showing excellent performance usually have CADR above 350. The units with the lowest outcome are the models with the CADR lower than 100.
The CADR depends on:
1. The size of the room where you intend to use the purifier (the recommended sizing is also marked on the label). However, the ideal formula to calculate the best possible relation of the room’s sizing to the one of the cleaner’s is to multiply the CADR number for smoke fume particles by 12. The resulted figure should equal or be greater than the room’s volume that is measured in cubic feet.
2. The size of the removed contaminants, measured in microns. For instance, the average size of the smoke particles is from 0.003 up to 0.04 microns; the pollen is around 10-100 microns, and the dust can be 10-40 microns.
3. The percentage of the removed pollutants. The requirements are various for every particular type of the air purifier, for example, a HEPA filter has to pull 99.97% of the air contaminants to be approved.
4. The volume of air going through the air cleaner. The bigger is the airflow, the faster the cleaner will be getting rid of the pollutants.
The AHAM Seal
The AHAM, or the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, is the organization that actually came up with the CADR testing. Their method has been recognized as the American National Standard and now the association assigns the CADR ratings to all of the portable air purifiers.
This classification nevertheless doesn’t touch upon the whole-house cleaning units, since their category has its own system of tests and measurements that is different from the one applied to the portable models. Also, sometimes you can see the EPA’s marking on the packaging of some air purifiers. Please keep in mind that Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t certify any of them but at the same time AHAM is their verification administrator that tests various units for the Energy Star rating and thus it’s greatly dependable on the organization.
Some Other Features Worth Considering
Along with the seals and markings assuring you that the device is going to work as it’s claimed, there is a number of other important features that would be nice to think over before choosing an air purifier.
The filter type
The air filter is the core of any air cleaner. In most cases, a particular filter type is used in the purifier not alone but rather in conjunction with some other kinds for improved effectiveness. The most common types include activated carbon with specific chemisorbents, antibacterial, germicidal, HEPA, and Pre-filters. Each of them traps only specific sort of contaminants, thus when combined together, they can pull almost all kinds of pollutants present in indoor air.
Microorganisms and VOCs
The majority of people purchase air purifiers to lessen the number of airborne particles in indoor air that are able to aggravate allergies or asthma. However, it would be very useful to have a filter handling bacteria, mold, and viruses that can also cause many illnesses. The Volatile Organic Compounds may slowly poison you as well being emitted by paints, glues, and adhesives that are stored at your place. Selecting an air purifier make sure one of its filters can pull formaldehyde, chloride, and other harmful VOCs.
This feature is determined by the overall number of watts used by the unit. Some air purifiers can run on only 50 watts while others require 200 watts and up. If you can’t find the information about the wattage of your air cleaner on the packaging or in the manual for whatever reason, you can discover it by multiplying the volts by amps.
Some air purifiers have indicators showing when it’s time to change the filter. That greatly simplifies the maintenance of the device. Pay attention to the filter replacements as well. Changing the filter every time should be easy and affordable to do.
The Bottom Line
Before making the final call when selecting an air purifier, make sure that you thoroughly studied its main features. Look at the CADR numbers; calculate if they would match the size of the room you’re planning to use it for, pay attention to the filter types used in it and if they can be easily and inexpensively replaced. Lastly, check the reviews on the model you chose and see if consumers have anything good to say about it. Following these simple pieces of advice is for sure going to help you make a right decision.