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How to interpret Air Filter Reviews
This illustration shows the basic operation and structure of a room air purifier. Dirty air goes in the front, side or bottom, passes through a filter system, and then is ejected out the top or sides as purified air. Clearly, how you rate an air purifier comes down to the filter and the fan.
Cosmetics may be a consideration and the addition of UV germicidal is a must, but basically, this is what you are comparing when looking at air purification.
This is not to say that all air purifiers are equal. You must judge what your needs are and which air purifier will meet that need. Common sense is the rule here!
As with most products, each is designed for an appropriate application. If you wish to live outside of your bedroom, you will be looking for whole house air filters. If you have a cigar smoker in the den, you may be looking for an air purifier for smoke to address that specific problem area. It will not have to be a special air purifier for smoke, just make sure it is an ultraviolet air purifier with a HEPA filter.
Your home heating and cooling system is engineered to fit the demands of your specific conditions. The furnace, filter and ductwork have all gone through a mathematical equation to determine the proper results for your home. If you were to add on whole house air filters with multiple or HEPA type filters, you may not be getting the air flow that your system was designed for. In fact, the added filtration will increase the amount of energy your system will use to ensure any kind of airflow. That means higher utility bills!
Your passive filters can only increase in efficiency if you add more fibers for the particles to bump into. The more fibers you pack into a filter, the less air flow resulting in higher energy usage. Having less fibers increases air flow, but results in less filtration of the dirty air.
What about air filter reviews and endorsements?
Many of us think that endorsements and reviews are a sure source of confidence in spending. Nearly all of those endorsements and reviews are bought and/or show preference for reasons other than better performance.
If you call the American Lung Association, they will tell you that 3M is a partner in their educational programs. That is where they get the ALA logo on all of their products. If you want to put that logo on your product, you have to wait in line for 3M to give it up and the starting price is $250,000.00.
Does this mean that 3M is the only filter producer that meets the ALA standards? No. It means 3M bought the rights first. If you look at the ALA Health House Standards (Guideline 4.13 of the HVAC guidelines at www.healthhouse.org), you will find that there is a myriad of house air filters that meet or exceed the standard. Only one gets the endorsement.
Consumer Reports does not review the best air purifiers, only the ones that the manufacturers submit for review. They do a fine job of reviewing, but you will never know how a Mercedes rides if only the U.S. manufacturers submit vehicles for review.
Whole House System
The Electro-Breeze Electronic Air Cleaner System is designed to retain the airflow of a normal paper filter, but with the filtering capabilities of a high efficiency HEPA filter. The cost of the Electro-Breeze whole house filters is less than all other whole house air filters designed to reduce allergens. Maintenance costs are also less expensive than your typical HEPA filter. By adding the UV duct mounted kit, you will upgrade your system to eliminate any living organisms including mold, bacteria and viruses in your air stream. Click here to learn more about whole house air filters.
Click here to learn more about an effective air purifier for smoke.