Buying an air purifier is a significant decision to improve indoor air quality, particularly when several Indian cities are experiencing air quality declining to the poor category, raising health concerns. To make an informed choice, consider these key points.
Air purifiers buying guide | 10 things to remember
1. Indoor air can contain various pollutants from both outdoor and indoor sources. These include particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), formaldehyde, mold, pollen, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Not all air purifiers remove all pollutants, so you need to select the device based on your specific needs.
2. Air purifiers come with different filter types:
• HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filtration: Utilises dense paper filters to block contaminants and is effective against particles down to 0.3 microns.
• Ionic Filtration: Emits ions to force impurities to fall, effective against particles as small as 0.01 microns.
• Carbon Filtration: Uses activated carbon filters to absorb gases, odours, and fumes.
• Ultraviolet (UV) Filtration: Emits UV rays to eliminate bacteria and viruses for a sterilised environment.
3. To address health concerns related to small particles like PM2.5, select the highest-rated filter your system can accommodate. Filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV) of 13 or higher demonstrate effective removal of small particles, recommends the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
4. To calculate the room size for the right air cleaner, multiply the room’s length and width to get the square footage. Compare this to the recommended room size on the product packaging. For open floor plans, consider the entire space. High ceilings may require a larger air cleaner. For very large areas, use multiple air cleaners, EPA suggests.
5. Avoid air cleaners and filters that intentionally produce ozone, as it can irritate the lungs, says EPA. Be cautious of devices with electrostatic precipitators, ionizers, UV lights without proper coatings, and plasma air cleaners, as they may emit ozone.
6. Air Changes per Hour (ACH): A higher ACH indicates more efficient air recycling. Consider this rating while choosing an air purifier.
7. Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR): CADR rating assesses an air purifier’s effectiveness in cleaning specific contaminants like dust, smoke, and pollen. Higher CADR ratings reflect better cleaning performance.
8. Noise Levels: For uninterrupted operation, select air purifiers with acceptable noise levels, especially if they need to run continuously.
9. Design and Aesthetics: The visual appeal of an air purifier, along with user-friendly features like speed indicators, filter replacement reminders and smart features contributes to a better overall experience.
10. Change filters as per the manufacturer’s guidelines, usually every 60 to 90 days. If filters look heavily soiled during replacements, consider changing them more often.