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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top Of The Best Electrostatic Air Purifiers Reviewed In 2018Last Updated November 1, 2018
№1 – Blueair Classic 205 Air Purifier with HEPASilent Filtration for Allergen Reduction, Small Rooms 279 sq. ft. WiFi Enabled, ALEXA compatible
№2 – Philips Air Purifier 1000, True HEPA, Reduces Allergens, Pollen, Dust Mites, Mold, Pet Dander, Gases and Odors, For Medium Rooms
№3 – Ionic Pro 90IP01TA01W Turbo Ionic Air Purifier, 500 sq ft Room Capacity, Black
Take A Deep Breath
Before you decide to purchase an air purifier, there are some steps that you can take in order to make the air in your home more pure.
First, you will want to vacuum often, especially if your vacuum is equipped with a HEPA filter. These filters are designed to help remove allergens from the air.
Smoking should never be allowed inside your home and you need to also minimize the use of wood fires and candles. All of these things can add to the allergens, dirt, and other air pollutants in your home.
It is also important to remember to keep your heating equipment maintained. You will want to make sure that you regularly change out the filters.
If allergies are keeping you from opening up your windows, make sure that you run your air conditioner with a clean and fresh filter.
Exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom should be used regularly. These fans will suck up particles from these areas and help clear the air that you are breathing.
Easy to move
Can stand on the floor or on a table, heavier models typically have wheels
Many offer HEPA filters, which capture ultra fine particles.
Some room models use ionizer technology or electrostatic precipitators, which may produce ozone, which can irritate the lungs.
Entire Home Air Filter
If you own a home that has forced heating and cooling, choosing a specialized filter is one way to save money. These specialized filters work directly with your heating or cooling unit just like a regular filter.
Easy, simply take out your old filter and replace it with the new one
Large range of sizes to fit almost any filter box or air return unit
You may have to have your ductwork in your home modified in order for the specialized air filter to fit.
There are some units that use a pre-filter in order to capture larger airborne particles before they get to the HEPA filter. This can possibly lengthen the life of the filter, thus lowering the overall cost.
Typically, you need to replace a filter once every one to three months based on usage.
A programmable timer is a nice feature as it will allow you to set the air cleaner to run at a specific time, such as a couple of hours before you plan to use a room.
The timer can also be used to automatically turn off the air purifier when necessary.
Lugging around an air purifier from room to room may not seem ideal. There are some of these devices that come with a carrying handle, which makes the process of moving the unit into a different room much easier.
There are also some that have wheels, which also makes moving the machine a much simpler process.
Number Of Speeds
Some units will allow you to adjust the speed of the device to meet your needs. You can lower the air purifier speed if you are sleeping, working, reading, or just simply need it to be quiet.
You can run the air cleaner on higher speeds when there is a lot of pollen or other allergens in the air.
Some units offer a washable pre-filter option. A pre-filter will collect larger particles before the smaller ones go through the higher efficiency filter. A washable pre-filter can help cut down on costs. However, many top rated models of air purifiers do not have this option.
How to choose
And the certifications on the box? All tell how well a model filters particles at its highest speed. The certifications all also allow up to 50 parts per billion of ozone, a respiratory irritant. We advise against using models that produce any ozone, even if they are effective cleaners.
If you still want one, use this air purifier guide to picking the appropriate model for your circumstances. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers certifies most room models as part of a voluntary program that includes appropriate room size and maximum clean-air delivery rate (CADR), a measure of cleaning speed. We judge a CADR above 350 to be excellent and below 100 to be poor. Choose a model designed for an area larger than yours for better cleaning at a lower, quieter speed. Many whole-house filters list a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. The top performers in our tests typically had a MERV higher than 10.
Winix 5300-Air Purifier
This filter is the same size and uses the same fan and sensors as the 5500-2, and is also rated to 360 square feet. It comes in only one color, doesn’t come with a remote, and has slightly more charcoal in it’s filter—but not enough to meaningfully reduce VOCs and odors.
How we tested
For 201we conducted two new tests of air purifiers. John Holecek re-created his 201lab tests in a new round of testing, including new models. Tim Heffernan did a week-long real-world test—the first of its kind that we know of—using Wirecutter picks and competitors in a New York City apartment.
The lab results give a measure of absolute performance under controlled conditions and act as a baseline for comparison of the air purifiers’ performance. The real-world results give something equally useful: a detailed picture of how our air purifiers performed in an everyday home (wool rugs, pollen, city air, a cat)—and, as it happened, in the middle of a stretch of hazardous outdoor air quality.
Both tests concentrated on particle filtration; John also measured VOC (molecular) filtration, noise levels, and ownership cost over time.
Between the two writers, they re-tested our longstanding main pick, the Coway AP-1712HH Mighty; our runner-up, the Winix 5500-2; and our pick for VOC removal, the Austin Air HM-400. We also tested five new purifiers:
In 2014, John measured all of that year’s test purifiers for their effectiveness at removing VOCs, or molecular pollution. He added milliliters of ethanol to a Pyrex dish heated to 50 degrees Celsius (12°F), where it quickly evaporated, and used a fan to distribute the vapors through the test lab. He then measured the concentrations of ethanol vapor at the beginning (averaging about 3parts per million), and again after 1minutes of running the air purifiers at their highest moderate speed. (Test equipment was an RAE Systems miniRAE 3000 VOC meter.)
The results from the VOC testing were illuminating. While most air purifiers we tested claimed to be effective at removing VOCs, most had almost no impact, including the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty (our main pick). That’s because most use only a thin sorbent filter of activated carbon, alumina, and/or zeolites (a class of minerals with a unique physical form that means they can act as molecular filters). However, one model stood out: The Austin, which contains 1pounds of activated carbon and zeolite, left only 1percent of baseline ethanol remaining.
Both upfront and operating costs are a significant part of owning an air purifier. These units can be expected to last for several years, so we took a long view at the cost of ownership of our picks, including the purchase price, electrical consumption, and recommended filter replacement schedule, using the shortest time for filter replacement if a range was specified.
2016/1cost calculations. Purchase cost as of August 201Note: The Austin filter lasts five years, so the annual cost is calculated by dividing its price by five.
Real-world test details
For Tim’s real-world tests, he pitted seven air purifiers against the New York City summer air. As it happened, the week he ran the tests was one of the worst, in terms of air pollution, of 2018, with temperatures in the high 90s and numerous health advisories related to outdoor air quality.
He measured the purifiers’ performance against particulate air pollution with a TSI Aerotrak 9306, a professional-grade handheld particle counter capable of measuring particles down to the HEPA-standard 0.3-micron size.
His “lab” was the back room of his Queens apartment. It’s approximately 200 square feet (18.square meters; 1feet by 12.feet), with 8-foot-ceilings. The floor is hardwood but mostly covered with old wool rugs. There’s some wood furniture and a daybed with a wool blanket. The building is across the street from a well-planted city park and in the middle of a very leafy neighborhood. Elevated trains run past two blocks north and two blocks south, and two major thoroughfares—Queens and Northern boulevards—are just a few blocks farther. Big Alice, the city’s largest power plant, is a mile or so west; three highways, the BQE, the LIE, and the GCE, are a similar distance east, north, and south. He lives just outside the usual approach flightpath to LaGuardia International Airport. And he has a cat. Simply put: His apartment is a good place for testing particulate air pollution, from pollen, dust, and pet dander to soot and exhaust.
The week he ran the tests was one of the worst, in terms of air pollution, of 2018, with temperatures in the high 90s and numerous health advisories related to outdoor air quality.
He set each air purifier 1inches from one of the long walls of the back room, about a third of the way from one end of the room. He set the particle counter 6.feet (meters) away, 90 degrees to one side of the purifier, about a third of the way from the other end of the room. This was to avoid any potential “halo effect” of cleaned air settling near the purifier and creating a false reading.
The TSI Aerotrak 930detects particles as small as 0.micron, which is the standard for HEPA certification. Photo: Tim Heffernan
Tim ran two tests on each purifier: a 20-minute cycle on the sub-55-decibel setting (medium/midrange on most machines), and a 30-minute cycle on the high setting. Each test consisted of 20 or 30 45-second sensing periods, separated by 15-second periods with the particle counter idling, in order to generate a minute-by-minute picture of how the purifiers were performing.
Immediately prior to each test, he took a 45-second reading on his balcony, to set an outdoor baseline, and another in the test room with the purifier off, to set the indoor baseline. He then turned on the purifier and left the room for the duration of the test.
Each morning, before any tests, he simply measured the particulate levels in the back room for 20 minutes, to get a baseline on how the room was “behaving” that day: Even in still air, particulate levels vary as particles clump together, settle on surfaces, or kick back up if someone (like a Wirecutter writer) walks past.
He did not attempt to hermetically seal the room—after all, we wanted to see how the machines performed in real-world conditions—but did take two steps to make it more like a typical home with central HVAC. Tim sealed off the through-wall air conditioner with foil and tape, in case of leaks around the perimeter—most homes don’t have large holes in their outer walls. And he closed the vents on his apartment’s two forced-air ventilation shafts, which draw about 200 cubic feet of air per minute out of the apartment—and a corresponding amount into it from outdoors. (Central HVAC, by contrast, recirculates the inside air.)
After the back-room tests were finished, he conducted two additional tests. First, on a handful of units (our main pick and the large-room models), to see how they performed when running on high in a large space (the 600-square-foot living room-kitchen-dining area-hallway), with the AC on and people moving around as they normally would. And second, on our main pick, to see how it performed overnight on low with the air conditioner blasting and a guest using the daybed in the back room.
As in the lab tests section above, these graphs show the test models’ absolute performance when measured against the initial particle concentration, but in Tim’s real world apartment. And again, they show the percent change each purifier achieved, allowing for direct comparison of purifier performance by eliminating differences in initial pollution levels. The key takeaways here:
In 2018, we also tested the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Link for particulate performance in the lab and in the real-world New York apartment. It offers two distinct fan functions, diffuse and focused; we tested it on both functions in the lab and in the real world. John further tested the Hot + Cool Link for VOC removal in the lab, given that Dyson received an upgrade of its VOC filter since our 201test of its predecessor. In every case the Dyson delivered disappointing performance relative to our pick. On particulates, it proved considerably less effective, reducing particulates by roughly 2or 50 percent (low and high fan settings respectively), versus 50+ to 85+ percent from other models. And as a VOC filter, it barely reduced the pollution level beyond the background conditions: to 34.parts per million (of vaporized ethanol) in 1minutes on the highest fan speed, versus the 36.ppm background level over the same timeframe—a percent reduction. Compare that to our pick for VOC removal, the Austin Air HM-400, which achieved an 8percent reduction in our 201lab test. It’s only fair to note that the Dyson is a unique machine, combining the functions of a fan, a space heater, and an air purifier—both HEPA (particulate) and VOC (molecular)—no other purifier we tested attempts this broad utility. But the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Link objectively underperformed simpler, single-function air purifiers that also cost much less. Given its high upfront cost and relatively weak performance, we can’t recommend it.
Molekule advertises its technology as PECO—photo-electrochemical oxidation. It is a variant of photocatalytic oxidation, or PCO, which came to prominence in the 1990s, as a way of eliminating ethylene—a ripening agent naturally produced by fruit—in cold-storage fruit warehouses. In the early 2010s, a PCO home purifier, the Airocide, was introduced to great fanfare but deeply dubious results. Molekule’s PECO variant is 1to 100 times faster than what we’ve seen before, but Molekule says (in our lengthy interviews and in its own literature) that the fundamental chemistry is similar if not identical.
How a Filterless Air Purifier Works
Many airborne contaminants and pollutants, such as allergens, are made up of positively charged ions. To remove these particles from the air, an ionic purifier emits a steady stream of negatively charged ions.
Because opposites attract, the negative ions attach themselves to the positive ions forming an ionic bond. Eventually the bond becomes so large that the particle becomes too heavy to remain in the air and fall to the floor (or get captured on the electrostatic collecting plate located on the device).
Why Ionic Air Purifiers are So Popular
While air ionizers are not the only type of air purification technology available today, these devices have become very popular among households and businesses. The main reason is because they do not require costly filter changes.
Instead of using a paper filter, which gets clogged and deteriorates over time, most ionic purifiers have an electrostatic collection plate. This plate attracts the negatively charged particles from the air and collects them on an easy to reach surface. The electrostatic plate can then be washed clean and replaced, ready to purify the air repeatedly, over and over again.
As you can see, the most attractive aspect of filterless ionic purifiers is that once you buy the device, you never have to spend another penny to keep it working effectively.
Five Star FS808Ionic Air Purifier Pro with UV-C
Another feature you may like is the nightlight switch option. This produces a faint blue light that illuminates your room and makes it easy for you to see at night, without having to turn on bright lights.
What to Look for in an Air Purifier
Warranty- Look for a comprehensive warranty. Even though an air purifier pays for itself with its health and comfort benefits, it can be an expensive investment. Generally speaking, the shorter the warranty, the less time your air purifier is likely to last. Austin air purifiers carry five-year warranties and filters (including replacements) carry a five-year pro-rated warranty. Customer Service – Good customer service is a rarity these days. Look for an air purifier company with a good customer service history. When possible, read through customer reviews and choose a company that values direct customer relationships. Value and Price – Expect to make a significant investment in a quality air purifier. Many customers end up going through several cheaper models before they realize that quality isn’t cheap. It is usually true you get what you pay for. Service and Filter Availability – Make sure you buy an air purifier with a lasting brand. You want the company to still be around when you need replacement filters, repairs, or customer service assistance. Austin Air has been in business for over 3years! Performance – When making the investment of purchasing an air purifier, you want to make sure your investment delivers a valuable return. Choose an air purifier proven to be effective. If the company gives you the opportunity to test drive the purifier in your home without risk, make sure you give it a try! Austin Air offers 30-day no risk, money back trials on our air purifiers (less shipping costs).
Long Term Health
Most of us take our health somewhat for granted in our early decades, which is the time when our behavior can very easily help determine our later state of health as the years pass. Long-term health is created by avoiding health risks in our youth and middle age, and is an investment that must be made early to generate the greatest benefits later in our lives.
Air quality easily ranks as among the most influential factors on our health, as evidenced in countries that suffer from high levels of air pollution, but the tricky thing about air pollution is that so much of what is harmful to us is undetectable with our noses. When you are cold, you know it keenly, but your body can’t always tell you when the air you breathe is contaminated.
Every day our bodies are exposed to small amounts of toxins, carcinogens, and organic pollutants, and over the course of our lives this can have a very harmful effect, and lead to an increased risk of serious disease.
Our health is influenced the most by what we do with the most consistency. Regular exercise, even in small amounts, helps keep us healthy. A healthy, balanced diet does the same. Unfortunately, the unhealthy things in life work the same way, and smoking even one cigarette a day, for example, can be very dangerous to your long-term health.
The same is true for all inhaled pollutants, many of which are exuded by the modern things in your house such as carpet, furniture, and the very materials your home was built from. The consistent exposure to these things over time will affect your long-term health, and fighting this requires a steady, everyday solution with the same constancy. The BioSmart™ SA-700 can operate continuously in your home to help reduce this risk, and help you attain the long-term health that you deserve.
Making smart lifestyle choices for your health and well-being must go beyond diet and exercise, and extend even to the air you breathe. We so often are concerned about what we take into our bodies in the form of food and drink, but what we breathe is just as important. You have the choice to purify the air in your home and reap the future benefits of this healthy habit, and the BioSmart™ SA-700 can help you do it. Make the choice today to invest in your long-term health.
Not all air purifiers are equal. In fact, some are real garbage!
You have undoubtedly seen air purifiers for sale in most big box stores, many of which are from major, well-known brands, and costing into the hundreds of dollars. Some of these are good products, but some are outright junk! The key as a consumer is to understand what you’re getting, and evaluate for yourself whether the performance of a product matches the price.
Cost and Maintenance
The best part is the filter only needs to be replaced once every three to five years because the HEPA filter can be vacuumed. Furthermore, the 50250-S comes with an electronic filter indicator that tells you exactly when the filter needs to be changed.
Since many people do not need an air purifier for odor removal then the carbon filter will not need to be replaced every three months. This will end up with massive savings in the long run that others do not offer.
The downfall of this model is that the carbon filter is recommended to be replaced once every months which is very inconvenient. In addition, the design is absolutely hideous. It may do the job but I still really appreciate aesthetics in the household.
What to look for and avoid in an Air Purifier
What one should look for in an air purifier is the filter and how many square feet they cover. The best way to get a close estimation of how much square feet a unit covers is by multiplying CADR by 1.For example, the Honeywell HPA300 has a CADR of 300. To get a rough estimation of how much square feet it covers, multiply 300 by 1.to get the total of 450 Square Feet. This varies between companies and types of air purifiers.
An air purifier that uses Ozone to clean the air may cause irritation to the lungs which can cause problems to people with lung complications. However, most come with both a filter and ozone cleaning so it may be hard to avoid. Luckily, the UV-C or ozone cleaning feature can be turned on and off.
Panel Air Filters
Panel air filters can be made of a variety of materials, including fiberglass and synthetic fibers. They are the traditional disposable air filters found in many home HVAC systems. They are 1-inches thick and designed to protect your heater and air conditioner by removing larger dust particles from your home’s air. However, they are not capable of improving your indoor air quality by removing airborne pollutants that cause health problems
Electrostatic Air Filters
Electrostatic air filters consist of electronically charged fibers that are designed to “magnetically” draw air pollutants out of the air. Many electrostatic air filters are washable and can last for years if used correctly. However, there are numerous different designs available, and they are not all equally effective.
Pros: Long lifespan, less waste, more efficient than traditional panel filters
Cons: Must be regularly cleaned and maintained, wide variety of designs with vastly differing efficiencies.
Electronic Air Filters
Electronic air filters are different from electrostatic air filters in that they require electricity to operate. Electronic air filters are installed in your home’s existing HVAC system and use electronic charges to collect and remove even very small airborne particles. However, not all are created equal. Some electronic air filters have been shown to emit ozone, which can be harmful. We recommend the Bioguard Powered Filter because it has no ozone emissions.
Pros: Very efficient at removing small particles, lasts for many years, very little restriction to airflow, good for allergy and asthma sufferers
Cons: Higher initial cost, best if used in conjunction with panel or other filter.
Armed with this useful information, it will be easier to decide on and find the air filter that fits your needs and HVAC system.
Gaseous Pollutant Filtration
There are times when you may want to remove or treat gaseous pollutants in your home. As first noted the best way to improve air quality is often by introducing fresh outdoor air into your living area. The cure of Gaseous Pollutants should be first conducted by eliminating the source of the pollutant.
Gaseous filtration can be accomplished through UV light and Carbon filtration.
If you are in need of this type of filter you should consult the manufacture or a certified professional.
Manufacturers often rate their filters good better best to give the consumer a quick idea of how a filter may perform The MERV rating system was adopted to rate different filters from different manufacturers against each other to provide a common standard.
The MERV Rating system is a number from to 20 with one being the worst and 20 being the best. When looking for a HEPA filter you may see manufacturers describing a HEPA Type filter however true HEPA filters have a MERV Rating of 1and above.
Home Furnace Filters are rated at a MERV rating of to and most personal or single room filters are rated at a level of to 1on the MERV scale.
Most filters with a rating over can provide some relief for people that suffer from pollutants but if you are in need of a device for medical reasons you should consult your doctor and use the device they suggest in the method they suggest.
Rabbit Air MinusAAir Purifier.
The Rabbit Air is a good “compromise” air purifier. It only provides maximum coverage for rooms up to 350 square feet and can only cover 700 square feet at less effective operating levels, but is usually cheaper compared to the Alen Breathe Smart.
But it offers customizable filter options allowing you to specifically target the purification system at toxins, germs, odors, or pet dander. If any of those issues are a major concern for you or your family, you may be very willing to compromise on a purifier’s coverage area and price.
There’s no compromise on the quality of the MinusA2’s performance, however. There are five other filters built into the system including a HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter. Working in tandem with your choice of custom filter, they do an outstanding job of cleaning the air of particles and contaminants. There is also an optional ionizer for the air leaving the machine – the manufacturer claims, though, that it does not produce ozone.
One drawback is that there is no programmable functionality with this Rabbit Air model. There are several advantages, though. There is a handy air quality sensor indicator which shows you how well the air purifier is working, the unit is one of the quietest on our list, and the MinusAis attractive and easily mountable on the wall.
This isn’t the machine to choose for a spacious living room with floor-to-ceiling windows, but it’s definitely worthy of consideration for smaller rooms where there are specific types of pollution or contaminants to filter.
Honeywell 50250-S Round Air Purifier.
It is slightly larger than the Coway but sells for a bargain-basement price. It features a glass-fiber HEPA filter and carbon-activated pre-filter for well-above-adequate removal of contaminants, and its round design (while not particularly attractive) circulates the clean air 360 degrees throughout the 390 square feet it can cover.
There’s no air quality monitor and the purifier is not programmable, but there is a sensor that determines how many pollutants the filters have captured and tells you when they should be changed.
This is a loud machine, but it does the job at a cost that just about anyone can handle.
What you need to know about the Honeywell 50250-S Round Air Purifier:
For the person who wants a high quality purifier, suitable for a smaller room (32square feet), at a reasonable price.
PRO: Great price, removes contaminants and odors, very quiet, air quality monitoring to reduce energy usage.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Electrostatic Air Purifiers wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Electrostatic Air Purifiers
- №1 — Blueair Classic 205 Air Purifier with HEPASilent Filtration for Allergen Reduction, Small Rooms 279 sq. ft. WiFi Enabled, ALEXA compatible
- №2 — Philips Air Purifier 1000, True HEPA, Reduces Allergens, Pollen, Dust Mites, Mold, Pet Dander, Gases and Odors, For Medium Rooms
- №3 — Ionic Pro 90IP01TA01W Turbo Ionic Air Purifier, 500 sq ft Room Capacity, Black