how to choose and air purifier

If you’re new to air quality, you might initially struggle to differentiate between the wide variety of air purifiers available. The first thing that probably comes to mind is the price, as it varies dramatically from one purifier to the next. 

Unfortunately, not all air purifiers are built alike.If you find a great deal on a unit, consider why it’s priced so attractively. Was it made overseas? Is it built with a plastic housing that can contaminate the air in your home? Ensure it has a filter powerful enough to capture virus particles.

If you’re looking for an air purifier to combat the indoor spread of COVID-19, you should also read our article: Air Purifier For COVID-19: How Does It Work and What to Look For.

Read on to learn how to choose an air purifier, including what makes an air purifier effective, which air purifiers can filter viruses, and our handy Before Purchase Checklist to guide your decision-making. 

Quality Air Purifier Purchasing Checklist

Investing in an air purifier is a significant decision. Before making a purchase, you need to do your research and understand the benefits you’re looking for. There are plenty of air purifiers on the market ranging in price, quality, and features. For example, if you’re looking for a unit that will prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria, you need a purifier that can filter particles at 0.1 micron in size, which requires a Super HEPA filter.

Given the massive variance in quality, and many manufacturers are not very forthcoming about what their products can and can’t do, there are plenty of questions to ask before you make your purchase. Use our purchasing checklist to ensure you choose a quality air purifier that can accomplish everything you need it to.

✅ Does the air purifier have a Super HEPA filter?

✅ Is the air purifier’s housing made of metal, instead of plastic?

✅ Does the air purifier have a deep-bed activated carbon filter?

✅ Is a Germicidal UV Bulb included?

✅ Does the air purifier come with a warranty?

✅ Is the air purifier a Canadian product?

How to Choose an Air Purifier

Look For a Super HEPA Filter

A good air purifier needs to have the right filters to target the indoor air pollutants that affect you most, such as dust and dust mites, mold, pollen, tobacco and cannabis smoke, as well as the toxic pollutants and volatile organic compounds found in ordinary household products. 

HEPA and Super HEPA filters are designed to catch the smallest air pollutants. HEPA filters remove 99.97% of all particles greater than 0.3 micron. To provide some context, the average human hair is approximately 70 micron in diameter, and an average pollen grain that causes allergies is approximately 10 to 35 micron. 

Although HEPA filters are sufficient for catching even water droplets, they can’t filter stuff like viruses. The coronavirus, for example, is approximately 0.125 micron in diameter. A Super HEPA filter removes 99.9% of all particles at 0.1 micron in size. 

If you’re looking for an air purifier capable of catching the most minuscule air pollutants, including viruses, choose one with a Super HEPA filter. 

The Importance of Metal Housings

To save on costs, some manufacturers choose plastic housings over metal. Plastic housings can off-gas, contaminating the surrounding air. It’s counterintuitive to bring an air purifier into your home or workplace that adds to the contamination in the air.

You might even see it suggested online or in your setup paperwork that your air purifier may smell strongly of plastic for a few days. With a quality air purifier, this should not be the case. Air purifiers are meant to clear the air of pollutants. Consider all of the pollutants you’re adding to your space when you’ve just spent all that money trying to do the opposite.

Look for an air purifier with a metal housing over plastic to ensure you aren’t off-gassing harmful contaminants into your home or workplace.

Activated Carbon Filters Explained

Activated carbon filters are small pieces of carbon that have been specially treated to be extremely porous by opening up millions of tiny pores and fissures, creating a massive internal surface area. They’re designed to remove odors and harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene from the air by trapping the particles in these tiny openings. 

It’s important to keep in mind that HEPA filters and activated carbon filters need to work together. Purchasing an air purifier with a Super HEPA filter but no deep-bed carbon filter will mean chemicals that stress your immune system can pass right through. 

Some units claim to include a carbon filter, yet only incorporate minuscule amounts of carbon. Look for an air purifier with a deep-bed activated carbon filter that works alongside a Super HEPA filter.

Look For Germicidal UV

A Germicidal UV Bulb is an electric light that produces ultraviolet C (UV-C) light. The short-wave ultraviolet light neutralizes airborne germs, larger viruses, and mold spores by disabling their DNA. The most effective air purifiers use this technology in combination with a Super HEPA filter and activated carbon filter. 

Some air purifiers contain weak or non UV-C lights. Look for a unit that’s equipped with a strong germicidal UV bulb that produces UV-C light.

Warranty-Backed Products 

Not all manufacturers and businesses stand behind their products. An air purifier is a big investment, and it’s critical you choose a product that will last you for many years. Ensure the unit you choose is backed by a long-term warranty, ideally 10 years.

Look for an air purifier that’s protected by warranty to ensure you’re purchasing a quality unit from a company that backs their products.

Look For a Canadian-Made Product

There are a number of benefits to choosing a Canadian-made product. When you choose Canadian, you’re supporting local businesses, giving back to your own economy, and encouraging businesses to make their products here in Canada.

In general, products made in North America are of a higher standard than those made overseas, and it’s far easier to get a product replaced or fixed if it was made here. An international product may be cheaper, but it’s going to be a lot more expensive to fix, and parts may not be available when you need repairs.

As every economy across the globe struggles to deal with the effects of COVID-19, it’s more imperative now than ever before that we all support Canadian businesses as much as possible. The effects of COVID-19 have also disrupted global supply chains, which can make it even more difficult to deliver, repair, or replace non-Canadian products.

Look for an air purifier that was made and manufactured in North America and support the Canadian economy by buying from a Canadian company.

AllerAir Air Purifiers From Intelligent Air

Intelligent Air is a Canadian company proudly based in Waterloo, Ontario. We specialize in AllerAir Air Purifiers that target viruses, bacteria, and other harmful air pollutants. 

Every purifier we offer is made in Canada with Canadian parts, including a metal housing and a 10 year warranty. We wouldn’t sell a product we didn’t believe in ourselves, so you can count on our air purifiers to include a HEPA or Super HEPA filter, deep-bed activated carbon, and a quality germicidal UV bulb.

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Contact us today if you have questions about how to select an air purifier or to learn more about our AllerAir purifiers.