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Three Key Tips to Buying the Right Room Air Purifier

ACboy's three keys to buying a room air purifier. Read this before you buy! Solid, well-researched advice to consider before purchasing a room air purifier.

Here are ACboy’s three keys to buying the right room air purifier for your specific needs.

My wife and I did extensive research before purchasing our first (of three!) air purifiers about two years ago during a particularly rough flu season.  I hope this guide helps you make a good decision.

If you have any comments about a particular model, etc., or would like to add your own piece of air purifier advice, please leave a comment below!  I’ve tried to boil all of the information down to bite sized chunks.  –ACboy

1. Get the right room air purifier for your situation

For asthma and allergy sufferers: Consider a HEPA filter purifier.

For viruses and pathogens: Consider an ionizer purifier.  Also, a unit with a UV lamp should be considered because the UV lamp helps kill germs, etc.
Please note there is some debate about whether ionizers work effectively. See ACboy’s air purifier top scams article. (I tend to think the ionizers do work because I’ve seen them cut down instances of the flu when used in classrooms, but do your homework here. –Dave)

For odors, smoke and pet smells: Make sure your unit has a carbon filter.

One big mistake people make when purchasing an air purifier is simply buying the wrong technology for their intended use.  If you get an ionizer air purifier and expect those doggy smells to go away, you will be disappointed.  The ionizers help with viruses and pathogens, but won’t help much with a stinky cat box, etc.  For pet odors, an air filter with a carbon filter is best.

If you have a classroom full of coughing kids in the midst of flu season, the HEPA filters will help somewhat, but can’t remove viruses from the air.  The ionizers are best for viruses.

All-in-one purifiers: You may want to consider a purifier that does it all: HEPA, to remove allergens, dust, etc., ionizer to cut down pathogens and viruses, and a carbon filter to remove smells.  Some also include a UV lamp to help kill germs, mold and viruses.  These all-in-one air purifiers are great.  (Currently ACboy has no less than three air purifiers: two ionizers and one HEPA/Ionizer.  The HEPA/Ionizer is great because it removes germs and viruses and it keeps the air free of allergens and dust.  You know that viruses and germs are getting trapped and dust and allergens are also  being removed.)

2.  Don’t buy an air purifier with a non-replaceable filter

What a great idea: I don’t have to replace my filter!  Sounds nice in theory, but they don’t work well.

3.  Check replacement filter prices before you buy!air purifier hepa filters

True HEPA replacement filters come in different sizes, and prices can range anywhere from $10 to over $100!  Make sure to note how often your particular air purifier will need its filter replaced.  Less expensive filter may need to be replaced more often.  Expensive filters may not need to be replaced as often, or not.

Speaking of HEPA filters, make sure you get a “True HEPA” filter.  There are some filters that are advertised with sneaky terms like: “HEPA type” or “HEPA quality” but are not HEPA filters and will not perform as well as a True HEPA.



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