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2013 Air Purifier Buying Guide

Learn about what to consider when choosing an air purifier. Use our Air Purifier Buying Guide to read about air purifier features, technologies, and recommended brands.

Getting Started

What does an air purifier do?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks we currently face. The best way to address the risk of breathing polluted indoor air is to eliminate the source of pollutants with ventilation and filtration.

An air purifier can reduce the concentration of airborne pollutants and allergens in a designated area. The amount of pollutants removed by an air purifier will differ, depending on the specifications of the particular unit.

Why do you offer four select air purifier brands?

Since 1996, we have seen countless air purifier models and brands be discontinued due to lack of market penetration or failure to perform as advertised. Once they are discontinued, customers tend to receive little-to-no support post-purchase, leaving them without replacement filters for their air purifier.

AirPurifiers.com is different. Our approach is to offer only the best air purifiers on the market — air purifiers that are produced by trustworthy companies and approved by our expert research team. After nearly two decades, we confidently recommend Alen, Blueair, AllerAir, and Austin Air as the best air purifier brands.

What should I consider when choosing an air purifier?

To find the best air purifier for you, consider what kind of solution you are seeking, as well as which air purifier technologies may work best for your needs. Read to learn more about what you should keep in mind before purchasing an air purifier.

  • Features
    When researching which air purifier to purchase, consider if you would like an air purifier with a shut-off timer or other features, such as technology that sensors air pollutants in the air, a filter life indicator, or a UV light.
  • Effectiveness
    Air purifier effectiveness varies from model to model, removing different amounts of airborne particles from your air. For example, a lower-end air purifier may remove only 30% of particles, whereas higher quality units can remove up to 99.97% of particles. Always consider square footage in conjunction with effectiveness to measure performance.
  • Square Footage
    The placement of your air purifier will make a difference in its effectiveness. Before you purchase, decide where you will place your unit and make sure the square footage of the space can be covered by the air purifier.
  • Style
    While the function of your air purifier is paramount, you may want to consider whether the style of the air purifier is important to you. In other words, think about how the air purifier fits in with your home’s decor.
  • Price Point
    We believe that air purifier technology is an investment in your health. Many air purifier brands claim significant results at lower price points. In our experience, the unit quality and performance suffer at lower price points. However, we recommend investing in the best air purifier you can get within your budget.
  • Warranty
    Air purifier warranties are beneficial, especially if you plan to use your unit long-term and encounter issues after several years of ownership. When it comes to air purifiers, a good rule to remember is this: the shorter the warranty, the shorter the lifespan of your air purifier.

Which air purifier will work best for me?

When buying an air purifier, we recommend that you first identify your primary concern and understand what problems you are trying to solve with your purchase. Many of our customers look for solutions for allergies and asthma symptoms, while others have more specific concerns, like mold or pet dander. Whether your concern is to simply improve your indoor air or to remove smoke odor, we have the expert resources and an air purifier to meet your needs. See which air purifier may benefit you best:

Understanding Air Purifier Technology

The list of air purifier technologies available can be long and robust. Some of the more common technologies available are High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration, electrostatic precipitators, and ozone generators. While many of these are advertised as beneficial, we do not recommend all technologies.

Technology Pros Cons Brands Recommendation
HEPA
  • + Most effective, removing up to 99.97% of particles
  • + Trusted worldwide in medical cleanrooms
- Regular filter replacements
Electrostatic + No filter replacement
  • - Eliminates only 30% of airborne particles
  • - Does not clean all of the air in an enclosed space
  • Ionic Breeze
  • Pure Ion Pro
  • Crane
Ozone
  • + Eliminates heavy odors
  • + Kills bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms
  • - Extremely dangerous lung irritant
  • - Restricted in the state of California
  • - Unsafe for residential use
  • Air-Zone
  • EdenPURE
  • Ultra-Pure
  • Crystal Air

Additional Air Purifier Features and Technologies

Pre-filter

The pre-filter is a removable filter layer that captures larger particles, such as dust and hair, helping to extend the life of the main HEPA filter. Pre-filters are typically designed to be washable or vacuumed. Replacement costs are relatively low.

Activated Carbon

Activated carbon neutralizes odors and traps chemicals and gases. It is commonly combined with zeolite or potassium iodide in air purifier filters to optimize toxin removal.

Ultraviolet Light

Ultraviolet light (UV) can be used to neutralize bacteria that accumulate on air purifier filters. The key to effectiveness is exposure time, so benefits will vary depending on the specific air purifier model.

Ionizer

Ionizers charge airborne particles, causing them to clump into larger particles. This technology complements HEPA filtration, as it allows the larger particles to be more easily captured. However, ionizers are considered ineffective without HEPA filtration, as it does not remove a significant amount of particles. It is important to also note some ionizers emit ozone, and only ozone-safe ionizers should be considered for residential use. All of the units on AirPurifiers.com are ozone-safe.

Filter Life Indicator

A filter life indicator is a digital display on your air purifier that notifies you when your filter is full and requires replacement. Filter life indicators are often based upon a manufacturer’s recommended filter life. In some higher end units, the filter life indicator reflects actual usage and filter capacity.

Shut-off Timer

Some air purifiers feature a built-in timer, which can be set to automatically shut off the unit after a designated amount of time.

  Alen Blueair AllerAir Austin Air
Best Usage
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Dust
  • Pet Dander
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Smoke
  • Gases
  • Heavy Odors
  • Odors
  • Chemicals
Filter Options
  • Dust and Allergens
  • Antimicrobial
  • Chemicals and Odor
  • Smoke and Heavy Odor
  • Smoke
No additional filter options available. No additional filter options available.
Warranty Lifetime Limited Warranty 1 Year + Option to Extend 10 Year 5 Year
Price Range $169 - $599 $329 - $849 $700 - $1,100 $375 - $765
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