COVID-19 has affected millions of people worldwide. The increased spread of the virus has taught us the importance of improving the air quality, especially indoors. Here are the top 18 air purifier features that we have explained in an easy to understand manner. Besides wearing a face mask, maintaining social distancing, avoiding physical contact, and maintaining hygiene, it is equally important to improve ventilation in your home. Stay here till the end to find all the features in one place. We have covered the top ones to keep you well-informed. So, if you or someone you know is planning to purchase a new air purifier or has already purchased one and wants to understand the purpose of each feature in a better way, then this article is a must-read for you.
Top 18 Air Purifier Features
1. Ultraviolet (UV) Light
The ultimate motive of using Ultraviolet (UV) light in air purifiers is to reduce the number of indoor air pollutants. Air purifiers with UV light are creatively designed to use short-wave ultraviolet light (UV-C light). This helps to eliminate or neutralize airborne pathogens and other microorganisms such as bacteria, mold, and viruses. Thus, keeping your home hygienic and safe.
2. HEPA Filter
A crucial feature among the top air purifier features is the HEPA filter. Air purifiers that are equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter component are a great way to eliminate 99.97% airborne particulate matter with a size of 0.3 microns (µm) or larger than that. Pollen, dust, pet dander, and smoke circulate in your home and are hazardous to your health. HEPA filters force air through a fine mesh thereby trapping all these harmful particles and killing them. Eliminating these pollutants from your home and surroundings not only improves your sleep quality but also increases life expectancy and provides long-term health benefits.
3. Smart Technology
Some air purifiers are designed with Smart technology which is full of smart features. It is an IoT-based smart device that can be connected to your smartphone via Wi-Fi. This helps you to control the air purifier through an app on your smartphone. All you need is a decent internet connection. Generally, scheduling is a key feature of any smart device. The good news is that even a smart air purifier can help you set schedules and timers. Besides purifying the air, it also allows you to schedule power on or off, depending on your routine.
Additionally, it also offers live air quality monitoring. This means it monitors the Air Quality Index (AQI) so that you can keep track of the quality of air that you’re breathing at home. Simply install the smartphone app pertaining to your air purifier brand and you will get to see the live air quality index of your home and even each room. Plus, you can alter the air purifier modes as per requirement. Some smart air purifiers also come with a child lock feature. Children often tend to play with anything and everything around the house. This may lead to unfortunate accidents or damage to the appliances. So, if you have kids, then the child lock feature is the best as it makes the air purifier a safe device.
Voice control is another feature that air purifiers with smart technology offer. They can interpret and execute your command from any remote location. In spite of being far away from home, you can still have control over your devices. This is the power of smart technology.
Purchasing a medical-grade air purifier is a must in hospitals, clinics, dental offices, and other healthcare settings and large environments since there are high levels of airborne pathogens. The quality of air can’t be compromised since it is vital to the health and safety of the patient. Some patients have a weak immune system and some come with open wounds. Bad-quality air can hamper the recovery of the patient admitted.
Medical-grade air purifiers meet extremely thorough standards for air cleaning and purification as they eliminate much smaller particles from the air compared to regular air purifiers. They use high-efficiency filtration such as HEPA filters or ULPA filters and some even offer more effective filtration compared to HEPA filters. Note that air purifiers with HEPA filter ratings of H13-H14 are considered medical-grade since they are within the highest tier of HEPA air filtration.
A HEPA grade H13 filter has the power to eliminate 99.97% of airborne particles that are even less than 0.3 microns in size. To be precise, they can even eliminate airborne particles as small as a diameter of 0.1 microns. On the other hand, a HEPA grade H14 eliminates 99.995% of particles. If you or someone you know suffers from asthma and allergies, then a medical-grade air purifier is a saviour. They reduce or eliminate the risk of diseases spread by the pollutants.
5. Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR)
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) measures how effective an air purifier is, how well it is performing, and the volume of clean air that it produces in a given time frame (mostly per minute). This proves how well the four most common indoor air pollutants i.e. pollen, dust, mold, and smoke are eliminated from the air that you’re breathing. Firstly, the CADR rating is based on the size of the room. Secondly, it’s based on the amount of air that is circulating in the room. A higher CADR rating indicates that the air purifier is capable of eliminating more particles from the air and it also means that it provides better quality of air.
Also, the higher the CADR value for each pollutant, the faster the air purifier filters the air. As a matter of fact, a good CADR rating should equal at least 2/3 of the room’s area. For instance, if the area of your room is 120 square feet, a good CADR rating would be at least 80. Note that an air purifier needs to have sufficient airflow to be effective in keeping your room pathogen-free.
6. True HEPA
True HEPA is a HEPA filter that meets the strict standards set by the United States Department of Energy which includes the ability to capture 99.97% of particles of size 0.3 microns (µm) or larger. These particles include dust mites, bacteria, pollen, pet dander, mold, smoke, and other airborne particles. Eliminating these particles helps to improve the air that you breathe. The key to knowing whether the filters are True HEPA filters or not is to look for specific numbers on labels i.e. “99.97% of airborne particles at 0.3 microns in size”.
7. Activated Carbon
HEPA filters are capable of removing only airborne particles. However, air purifiers with Activated carbon contain special properties that enable them to eliminate odours, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in most households, and those emitted by consumer products and building materials, as well as, other gaseous pollutants like fumes, and, other pesticides and chemicals from the air. Don’t worry, activated carbon filters are absolutely safe to use in residential, industrial, and commercial places.
As the name says, portable air purifiers can be moved around easily, unlike stationary and large air purifiers. They help to improve the quality of air in individual rooms, areas, or spaces, thus making them a convenient option. Additionally, portable air purifiers are smaller which makes them an ideal choice in smaller spaces like bedrooms, offices, cabins, etc. An advantage of portable air purifiers is that they can also filter the spaces within buildings that are not served by central HVAC systems. Plus, they also filter the air independently of cooling or heating. They also help to improve productivity and can handle more than you think.
Ionizer is a component present in the air purifier that releases negative ions into the air which is why they are also known as negative ion generators. These negative ions then attach to tiny particles such as dust, pet dander, and tobacco smoke which, in turn, electrically charge these particles. In other words, the negative ions work by creating a static charge around the airborne particles that are floating around your room. This process causes the particles to clump together and stick to the nearest surfaces they find such as walls rather than float in the air. Ionizers are of great help if you’re suffering from chemical sensitivities, asthma, or allergies. However, due to their electric charge, they tend to release potential levels of ozone. It’s better to avoid using it if there is a pregnant woman or if you have kids at home.
10. Filter Replacement Indicator
The latest air purifiers come with a filter replacement indicator that alerts the user when the filter requires replacement. In fact, most of these filter indicators work like timers that notify you as soon as the recommended period passes by. Replacing the filters at regular intervals is of utmost importance since they ensure the airborne particles are trapped properly. This ensures your air purifier is working effectively and helps you breathe clean air and improves your immune system.
A pre-filter is a fundamental filtering component of an air purifier. It is the first stage of filtration and helps in capturing large particles larger than 5 microns from the air like hair, dust, pollen, pet hair, insects, and several fibres before it reaches the main filter (HEPA). Generally, HEPA filters tend to get clogged up by larger particles. The pre-filter is a saviour indeed as it prevents the HEPA filter from getting clogged. This, in turn, prolongs the life of the HEPA filter which helps you save on repair and maintenance costs. Additionally, pre-filter also makes your device much more effective and efficient.
Among the top 18 air purifier features explained, this feature is something you should definitely invest in. Yes, purchasing an eco-friendly air purifier is the best thing you can do since they prevent mold, bacteria, and mildew from reproducing inside the filter. Additionally, they don’t require the use of mold inhibitors or chemical-based bacteriostats. Eco-friendly air purifiers are creatively designed with sustainability in mind; they are devices that don’t harm the environment. Additionally, they are highly energy efficient as they offer high efficiency by consuming low power. This reduces the impact on the environment and also saves costs on electricity bills.
13. Air Changes Per Hour (ACH)
Air Changes Per Hour (ACH) is also referred to as “air exchange rate” or “air change rate”. It measures how many times the entire volume of air in a room is added, removed, or exchanged per hour by an air purifier. Generally, healthcare professionals say that a good air purifier will exchange/replace the air at least three times per hour. However, some brands are able to exchange the air five times per hour. This differs from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Whisper-quiet is a term used to refer to air purifiers that are silent, which means they operate at low noise levels. They clean and purify the air around you by being extremely quiet, so there is no noise. These are best suited in libraries, study rooms, bedrooms, meeting and conference rooms, and other areas where there can’t be disturbance. Opt for an air purifier with a maximum sound level of 40-50 dB.
15. Energy Star
Air purifiers that are certified as ENERGY STAR measure the energy efficiency by using a CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate)-to-watt ratio. This indicates that they deliver the same filtration results as that of a standard air purifier. To earn the ENERGY STAR certification, the air purifiers must meet strict energy efficiency guidelines that are set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the US Department of Energy. However, the advantage of air purifiers with ENERGY STAR certification is they do the job of purifying the air efficiently by using less energy compared to air purifiers that are not energy star certified.
Air purifiers with ozone actually produce the gas ozone which helps to neutralize odors and eliminate viruses and bacteria. Ozone does this by changing the chemical composition of airborne particles or other gases in the air. This not only makes the air seem fresher but also cleaner. However, the downside of ozone is that they are unable to filter and eliminate particles that are very small in size. Plus, inhaling ozone is harmful to human beings and animals and can lead to health issues.
17. Multi-Stage Filtration
Air purifiers that are equipped with multi-stage filtration make use of multiple filters. These multiple filters include pre-filters, activated carbon filters, and HEPA filters. Some air purifiers equipped with multi-stage filtration even use PCO (Photocatalytic Oxidation) technology and ActivePure Technology. Together, these filters use their mechanism to trap and kill pathogens, airborne particles, and pollutants in the air. This makes the air in your home, office, or clinic safe to breathe.
As a matter of fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that indoor air pollution is one of the top 5 environmental health risks. The Allergen-reducing feature is specially designed for those people who suffer from asthma and severe allergies. It reduces airborne allergens such as dust mites, including the microscopic ones and also those particles that are responsible for causing allergies and respiratory issues like pet dander and pollen. The Allergen-reducing mode can even detect a vacuum cleaner passing by. When such events occur, the air purifier will automatically give an extra boost to the airflow through the allergen-reducing mode which, in turn, reduces the allergens. One of the best-known allergen filters is the HEPA filter.
These were the top 18 air purifier features that are mostly researched by the majority. We hope you enjoyed reading all the features as much as we enjoyed writing them. An air purifier with all or most of these features is a saviour in your home, office, clinic, salon, or any business establishment. Keep all these features in mind and choose the best one to suit your needs. Remember to choose an air purifier that is energy-efficient and environment-friendly to serve you in the long run.