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What is an air purifier?
It is a portable device that cleans the air with a filter.
The Environmental Protection Agency found that the level of air pollutants inside your home is often two to five times higher than outdoor levels so it makes sense to invest in a good air purifier if you spend a lot of time indoors.
You can improve air quality with a good vacuum or a fan but an air purifier catches the smallest particles in the air. If you get one with a good allergy-friendly filter, you will improve quality of your indoor air.
You can find lots of different models but have a look at one that has a High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filter (HEPA). Compared to other filters that only capture large dust particles, a HEPA filter removes things from pollen-sized to virus and smoke-sized particles. This is a standard performance for any Association of Home Appliance Manufacturer verified machines.
One more thing to think of is your room size compared to the purifier's size or how much it covers. A small device might not clear the air coming from doors and windows. Bigger machines are not a big deal but you might spend more on something that you do not need that much. Here`s how you do it: most air purifier manufacturers participate in a program where independent air quality labs calculate their clean air delivery rate or CARD for short.
This certificate tells you the biggest room size (in sqf) the air purifier can handle effectively.
How to test a purifier
Once you figure out the HEPA and CADR qualifiers, the playing field for air purifiers is actually pretty level. In performance testing, the filters were all working like they were supposed to. A HEPA-class filter is designed to do a great job cleaning up particles even smaller than the ones measured for smog advisories. It handles smoke and super-fine white paint pigment dust. A laser-powered particle meter confirmes whether the filters cleaned up all the airborne particles (even half-micron level) or not.
CLeaning speed makes a difference in terms of time spend to clean the room. The higher the air delivery rate, the shorter the cleaning time will be. The noise level closely matches the speed of the fan so if you want a quiet machine, you are going to wait longer to the room's air to get clear. Some of the purifiers have different speed levels so you can set one to the level you need. Another thing to keep in mind it's the filter replacement cost and power efficiency.
The Winix 5300-2 is the best overall pick. At around $120, you get a purifier that can clean the air from a 360 sq f area four times in about an hour and will work even faster in smaller rooms. The performance is comparable to other devices that were picked, the extra features and energy efficiency makes it top 1. It has a sensor that monitors the quality of the air in your room and will speed up when detects some particles. It is a feature some mid-price purifiers don't have. It also has a quiet fan and compared to the Coway, it cleans faster.
It also has night mode. In this mode, the Winix turns off the control panel lights and works in an auto-speed mode that turns up the fan when it finds particles.
Here are three of the best air purifiers:
Winix 5300-2: $130
Coway - AP-1512HH: $267
Honeywell - HPA200: $178