Choosing an Air Purifier

Your issues in buying an air purifier to support better management of allergies are:

1. Do you need portable air purifier or central filtration system?
Between tabletop and room-model portable units, most people agree that the room models are more effective at cleaning a single room. If you want a larger living space or an entire house cleaned, consider a built-in central filtration system. The smaller portable units cost between $50 and $150, while larger or more efficient portables may cost up to $800. Central air cleaners can cost $1000 to $3000, depending on the size and efficiency of the device.

2. Does the air purifier capture enough of the pollen particles?
System efficiency can be measured by the particle size captured. - 0.3 microns or smaller is an excellent "capture" size for any air purifier. If you are a seasonal allergy sufferer, you have to consider that pollen particles can be extremely small and so, you are likely to need a more efficient system and a system that can trap the smaller particle sizes. Make sure the system also removes larger particles in order to give you the least stress on your respiratory system. Check out the pollen calculator for your region.
3. Can you handle the air purifier's noise?
Make sure you get a demonstration of any model or system to determine noise levels, even at slow speeds. Your 'comfort' with using an air purifier could be compromised by higher noise levels.

4. How fast does the air purifier clean the air?
The Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is a standard of measurement that describes the 'number of cubic feet of clean air per minute' that an air cleaner can provide. CADR values can range from 30-450 CADR, depending on sizes and models. Many models will express a CADR number for different particulates. For example, a system may cover a room of 70 square feet and report CADR ratings of 45 for dust, 45 for smoke and 60 for pollen.

5. What will I pay for reliability?
Check the warranty on any air purifier unit you wish to purchase. Compare the product's lifespan, both for the motor and for the filters or cleaning plates. Look for filters with a long life and filters which can be changed manually without requiring a professional. Costs can add up over the lifetime of a air purifier unit, so be sure to consider both ongoing costs as well as the initial purchase cost.

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