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Notice: All prices in US dollars

Best Room Air Purifier Basics

     How do we find the best room air purifier?  First we have to answer how to clean the air.  That is what a home air cleaner does.  It actually scrubs the air clean and then sends it back out for you to enjoy.  Keep this in mind as we approach this issue with common sense.

Whole home air cleaner or room air purifier?
     Investing just 30 minutes researching best room air purifiers you find that there is an abundance of air quality solutions available.  This initially sounds like a good thing, but the sheer number of brands, styles, sizes, etc., just makes it confusing.

The real question is very simple.  Do you want to clean the air in all of your rooms or only one room at a time?  

Whole home air cleaner
     It would seem that if you want the best home air cleaner, it would be very expensive.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of national brands out there that hope you think that way.

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     Fortunately, science is available to more than the greedy.  A whole home air cleaner is now available to the common homeowner at a fraction of the price!  Installation and maintenance is a snap and very affordable.  Click here for more information about allergy relief at home and the best home air cleaner.

Room air purifying
     Towers, consoles, electrostatic, ultraviolet, ozone, ionizer...you are getting stressed already!  The choices are endless and how is anyone to know which ones really work?  We all know that ozone is bad for your lungs (www.epa.gov).  That is what puts cracks on rubber tires.  Ionizers charge particles and if they do not get caught in the filter, they end up on you!

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     One thing you have to remember about portable units as a whole, all manufacturers are concerned with the sale price.  Costs have to be cut to make an air purifier sell for $100-200.  I have yet to find a portable unit in this price range that does much of anything.

     On the other hand, just because a unit costs $800-1,000 does not ensure that it is effective for allergy treatment.  You must have the ability to purify the air in a large area.  You must also have at least one air change per hour.  A typical central furnace system runs about 4-6 changes per hour.  You also want some features to include automatic air monitoring, filter change monitor and UV lamp change monitor.

Ultra-violet light
     Ultra-violet light is used in hospitals, government buildings, barbershops, anywhere you need to kill germs and bacteria.  The light outright kills the germs and bacteria within 2 inches of the bulb and alters its DNA so it can not reproduce within 24 inches of the bulb.  Fairly important for allergy treatment.

Physics of Air
      Air, like anything else in nature, will take the path of least resistance.  If you do not have a sealed system, the air will try to escape around the filter.  The result is dirty air and an annoying whistling sound.  Passive filters act as a stopper to your airflow.  If you have a high efficiency filter, you get low air flow.  If you opt for higher air flow, you lose efficiency.  Efficiency just means the percent of particles captured.  For example, a 10% filter captures 10% of the particles it is rated for.  HEPA filter air cleaners require an additional blower to pull the air through the dense fibers.  You cannot install a HEPA filter into your furnace, because it would never pull the air through.  A HEPA filter also has some substance to it to allow for dust holding capacity.  You may have a thin filter that qualifies as a HEPA filter, but without any thickness there is no holding capacity for the dust that will accumulate.  Do not be pulled in by neat designs and gimmicks.  The laws of physics apply  no matter how different the design!

Microns and Particle counting
     Most of your home air cleaners will measure their efficiency by how small of a particle it will trap or how many particles it removes.  The biggest tip-off that a home air cleaner is not adequate will be the admission of removing large allergens.  This is generally all particles larger than 1 micron.  A micron is one millionth of a meter.  Although very small, these are considered large particles by industry standards.  When cleaning air, you are looking for efficiency in the 95% range or better, down to 0.3 microns or better.  Most viruses and bacteria are about 0.3 micron on average.
     Beware of particle counting when testing even the best room air purifiers.  Most manufacturers will test the exhaust of the machine when counting particles.  As the inhabitant of the room to be purified, you want to know what the particle count is in the room, not at the exhaust port of the machine!  Again, marketing instead of common sense.

Click here for more information about allergy relief at home and the best home air cleaner.