Breathing clean air is essential to maintaining our health, and the rising concern of air pollution has made air purifiers a common household item. However, the wide array of models and features can make choosing the right one quite challenging. This article breaks down crucial features you should look for in an air purifier, such as HEPA filters, activated carbon filters, high Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR), low noise, and durability. We'll also debunk some gimmicks that are often marketed but may not add value or may even be harmful, like negative ion generators, UV lights, and auto sensors.
The Gold Standard: HEPA Filters
HEPA filters are the cornerstone of air purification. They can trap microscopic particles smaller than 0.3 microns, including dust, pollen, and pet dander, offering relief for allergy sufferers and those with respiratory issues. It's essential to select an air purifier with a genuine HEPA filter, not a HEPA-like filter, as the latter might not perform as effectively.
Neutralise Odours: Activated Carbon Filters
In addition to a HEPA filter, an activated carbon filter can enhance an air purifier's performance. This type of filter excels at trapping and neutralizing odors and chemicals, providing a more comprehensive air purification solution when combined with a HEPA filter.
Efficiency Matters: High CADR
CADR, or Clean Air Delivery Rate, measures an air purifier's efficiency in cleaning air. A high CADR rating indicates an air purifier can filter a large volume of air per hour, which is a key factor to consider when choosing an air purifier.
Quiet Operation: Low Noise
The noise level of an air purifier can affect your comfort, especially in quiet spaces like bedrooms. Choose a model with a low noise level, ideally under 55 decibels. Many purifiers offer a "sleep mode" for quieter operation during rest or quiet periods.
When investing in an air purifier, durability matters. For commercial-grade units, metal construction is preferable for its longevity. Our Blast and Blast Mini air purifiers are excellent examples of durable, high-quality air purifiers.
Features to Be Wary Of
While some features enhance an air purifier's functionality, others can be unhelpful or even harmful. Here are some to avoid:
Negative Ion Generators/Ionisers
These devices produce negative ions that attach to airborne particles, causing them to fall onto surfaces. Do you want these falling on your bed? Unless you're regularly cleaning every surface, we think it's much better if these particles end up in the HEPA filter of your air purifier!
Negative ion generators can also produce harmful ozone as a byproduct. Especially concerning for younger ones, elderly or if you suffer from respiratory problems. We've seen these marketed for nurseries of newborn babies in New Zealand, which we consider extremely irresponsible and dangerous. None of our air purifiers include negative ion generators for this reason.
UV lights are marketed as a way to kill bacteria and viruses in the air, but they can be ineffective against many common allergens and pollutants. While UV lights can kill bacteria and viruses, the main issue is they require time to kill them. If air is quickly passing through the air purifier, the UV light won't have enough time to do its work. Remember as well HEPA filters can normally capture upwards of 99% of these anyway.
Auto sensors, while seemingly convenient, can be wildly inaccurate and may not represent the overall air quality of your space. Instead of relying on these, consider our Qingping Air Quality Monitors for a precise read on your indoor air quality.
An Optional Extra: WiFi
WiFi-enabled air purifiers may seem appealing for those who enjoy remote control or smart home integrations. However, this feature may not be necessary for everyone and can add to the cost. Our range of air purifiers keep things simple and affordable, without WiFi connectivity. However, for those who wish to have this feature, a WiFi-enabled smart plug can be purchased separately at any electronics shop for a reasonable price.
When selecting an air purifier, look beyond the marketing hype and focus on the features that genuinely improve air quality and add value. Always remember that clean, breathable air is the ultimate goal. By making a wise choice, you can ensure a healthier and more comfortable living environment in New Zealand.
Choosing the right air purifier can be a daunting task, but we hope this guide has made the process simpler. For more detailed information, don’t hesitate to check our comprehensive guide for Choosing an Air Purifier. And remember, we're here to help you breathe easier.