Not all home air purifiers and home air filters are equal. One of the best ways to choose may be to examine the specific needs of yourself and your family, and to understand the differences in types and costs of available air purification systems.
What is the source of air contaminants in your home? This is the most important question you need to ask yourself before buying an air purifier. Are you trying to keep your kids safe from airborne contaminants? Is there a smoker in your home, and you need to get rid of unpleasant tobacco odors? Do you have pets? Is pollen a concern? How large is your indoor living area? Once you have narrowed down what you are specifically looking for in an air purifier, you can choose one that best fits your needs.
Understanding different types of purification: There are essentially two ways to purify air – active and passive. Passive purification uses traditional methods ranging from simple open weave furnace filters to extremely restrictive HEPA filtration designed to help control things like pet dander and dust. Activated carbon may be also be added to filters for odor reduction. Active purification may include both high intensity UV light to reduce biological contaminants and odor-causing bacteria, and ionization technology for controlling particles and tobacco smoke. Many air purification systems use variations and combinations of these technologies to increase their effectiveness in certain situations. The main thing to remember is that passive purification works on the air passing through the machine while active purification works out in the living environment. Try to pick the right combination for your lifestyle.
Consider long term and short term costs. When you compare air purification systems, keep in mind the total amount of your investment. Active systems may cost a little more up front, but increased coverage and long-term savings could make that initial investment worthwhile. For example, when looking at total coverage, an active air purification system can cost as little as $0.25 per square foot while a simple HEPA filter may set you back between $0.40 and $1.40 or more per square foot to operate. Also, be sure to look at filter replacement costs and other maintenance items.
Making the decision. Since every home is different and it’s important to get the most for your money, you may want to begin by talking to other air purifier owners or possibly looking for a free in-home trial. Actually placing the unit in your living environment will tell you exactly what it can do for you and may make your decision much easier.