It's allergy season, so I wanted to get out an updated list to help those of you looking for cleaner indoor air. In addition, a few weeks ago I sat on an in-house panel for a Very Big Company, evaluating a totally new air purifier which their labs are working on. After a day of talking about air purifiers, I came away with some pretty interesting facts:
- Less than 10% of homeowners have air purifiers
- Most of those who have them do so because of bad allergies or smoking related issues
- Many air purifiers are too expensive for most people to purchase comfortably
- Ionizing purifiers have faded due to fears of the ozone that they tend to create
While this VB Company's new invention won't be out for a few years (I'll keep you posted), here is an exhaustive list of everything you need to know now, along with a recommendation from me to use one of these things - particularly in your bedroom - to help "cure" your home.
I've become a bit of an air purifier nut over the years and have two in the office and two at home. Originally, I used them because I believed that they helped keep the dust down and the home cleaner, and now I've come to appreciate how much better the air quality is as well.
With indoor air much more polluted in general than outdoor air (if you can believe it), having a quiet, energy efficient air purifier in your home should be, in my opinion, an integral part of your home design plan.
>> IQAir HealthPro Plus ($800 and up): This one comes with the highest price tag and the highest rating from our own test lab, BUT it's big: "we cannot recommend this thing enough...it is one of the few products that completely lived up to its claims with immediate noticeable effects in a real world environment."
"I have asthma and once lived with a roommate who had a long-haired cat and refused to vacuum. My solution was the IQ Air machine for the living room and the Blue Air for my bedroom. They were extremely expensive, but very, very useful." - Jplee
"i have a blueair and has done wonders on my allergy. it is pricey but it's well worth it." - cscamp
>> Blueair ($300-$1000) - This Swedish company first popped up in the US about ten years ago, offering premium air purification in a much more stylish package. Their purifiers are all filter based, often with multiple stages, extremely quiet and come with steel construction.
"After learning a bit more about air quality and reflecting on the fact that I live with 2 cats on a very busy street that's 1 block away from the BQE I JUST got an Austin Healthmate last week on Craigslist and I love it. It's got three speeds so it can either be quiet or a white noise machine, and it really makes a difference. It also inspired me to keep the house cleaner in its honor. I recommend it!" - mskk
>> Austin Air ($300-$550) - These air purifiers are made by an American company and also combine steel construction with multiple HEPA filters and activated carbon to clean the air. What I like about Austin is their mini Health Mate Jr. which seems particularly well shaped for small spaces.
>> LightAir IonFlow 50 ($350-$495) - This one is a very attractive, ionizer style of air purifier which suits the designer inside of us (consider it the Absolut of air purifiers). It is silent, creates no ozone and we clean it weekly, as it collects dust and particulate matter that quickly. While these don't seem to clean the air quite as thoroughly as the fan driven HEPA models, they DO work, require no filter purchases and tests show that the LightAir "effectively eliminates practically all airborne particles (size 0.3-1.0 μm) in only 5 hours."
>> Honeywell HEPA Air Purifiers ($100-$260) - These are dependable, affordable workhorses that do a great job if you don't care too much about looks and aren't hyper air sensitive. We've used these for a number of years and are always impressed how dirty they are inside after just a few months. Honeywell has a number of shapes and sizes, and most are 99.97% efficient at capturing particles 0.3 microns. This seems good enough for most of us.
>> Blueair Airpod ($99) - I saw this while doing a house tour and liked the design. It's just a mini portable air purifier, which comes with a disposable filter that also doubles as a changeable decor statement.
OTHERS I'VE HEARD GOOD THINGS ABOUT
>> Biozone Air Purifiers: "I have Biozone air purifiers http://www.air-purifier.org and they work great for removing pet odors and my allergies." - Jlc68
>> Rabbit Air Purifiers: "I have a rabbitAir MinusA2. It is sleek, quiet, and works really well!!" - Kit
>> Vornado Aqs35: "I have a vornado vaqs35 with HEPA. It has greatly reduced the dust in my small (290 sq ft) studio. At the highest setting, it clears out lingering cooking smells in about half an hour." - ilonastella
GREAT RESOURCE POSTS
>> How to Shop for an Air Purifier
>> How To (Almost) Allergy-Proof Your Home
>> How To: Create a "Dust-Free" Bedroom