Air Purifier Buying Guide

The right air purifier can make a dramatic improvement in your home's air quality. But choosing an air purifier shouldn't make your head spin. That's why we've put together some buying guides that will start by explaining the basics, and will then lead you to the air purifier that's right for you.

What Air Purifiers Do

What exactly does an air purifier do, anyway?

We're glad you asked! After being introduced to air purifier technology you might wonder, "This is great, but what does my air purifier actually do?" It's a great question; understanding what air purifiers do is important for picking the right one.

To Put it Simply: Air Purifiers Clean the Air

Air purifiers clean your air by passing it through a filtering process that is targeted at removing one or more types of pollutants—dust, allergens, odors, chemicals, and so on.

Clean Air = Easier Breathing

If you suffer from allergies, asthma, COPD or another respiratory problem, filtering the air has the effect of removing a hazardous irritants from your environment.

The Bottom Line

The end result is cleaner air, easier breathing, better sleep. For many this is a very real improvement in their overall standard of living.

Learn More About How Air Purifiers Work:
About Air Purifiers | Test Results | HEPA Filters

What Air Purifiers Don't Do

So an air purifier will magically solve all of my problems?

We wish it was true.

Think of it this way: your allergy medication helps to relieve your symptoms by working with your body. An air purifier helps to relieve those same symptoms by working to prevent your body from exposure to the triggers. It's a small but important distinction.

Overall, we think that air purifiers are pretty great, but we should add a few words of caution:

  1. Not all air purifiers are created equally. There are plenty of air purifiers on the market that use technology that simply doesn't work. Here at Air Purifiers America we don't stock ineffective products. We offer only proven and tested units that actually deliver pure air.
  2. Air purifiers aren't a cure-all. We wish they were, and though we have thousands of customers that swear by their air purifiers, the reality is that air purifiers can bring relief, but they won't cure your asthma or allergies.
  3. Air purifiers won't clean your house for you. Trust us, we would love to give up dusting (and vacuuming and laundry), too, but air purifiers are limited to cleaning the air that is circulating in your home. They help lessen the long-term accumulation of dust, but they can't pick up any pollutants that have already settled out of the air, or dirt that's been tracked in by your puppy. So even though you may notice that you don't have to dust or sweep as frequently, we can't promise you perpetually clean floors and furniture.

That said, the list of "can do's" is far great than the list of "can't do's".

View our selection of top-rated multi-purpose units to get an idea of the selection of "can do" units that address many concerns.

Do Air Purifiers Work?

Ok, I get what air purifiers do (and don't do). But are they effective?

A really common follow up question that we get is "I get what these things do, but do air purifiers work?"

The answer is an unqualified and enthusiastic "Yes"!

Air purifiers work to relieve many breathing related concerns—allergies, asthma or odors, for example—by dealing with a major source of these problems and replacing your pollutant-filled air with the pure air.

Without an air purifier, your lungs are the air purifier.

In fact, a well-designed and well-built air purifier can be used to effectively trap over 99% of the pollutants in your indoor air: pollutants that would otherwise end up in your nasal passages, throat and lungs. Use of a good air purifier will have a significant impact on your indoor air quality.

See Air Purifiers Effective for:
Allergies | Smoke | Mold | Chemicals | Pet Odor/Dander | Dust

What Can Air Purifiers Remove?

Can you tell me about some of the concerns that air purifiers help with?

Absolutely. We've compiled the list for you to the most common concerns where air purifiers are able to help.

  1. Allergies, asthma, COPD and other respiratory concerns. The air purifiers you'll find on Air Purifiers America do a particularly good job with this category of concerns since HEPA technology thoroughly removes the airborne pollutants that trigger breathing issues.
  2. Pets and Dust. We commonly talk to customers who are looking to simply have cleaner air or to relieve the dander and odor concerns that come along with the joys of pet ownership. Many of our air purifiers with HEPA filters will address these concerns effectively, but we may also recommend a purifier with active carbon to deal with odor.
  3. Mold and Germs. Many people are quite sensitive to mold, or concerned with other microbes that are in their air. We sell units that both effectively trap mold and germs, along with some units that go one step further and utilize technology that will kill mold spores or germs.
  4. Odor, Smoke and Chemicals. This category of concerns usually requires a different approach, since a HEPA filter doesn't address them directly. However, we carry a good number of units that use activated carbon and other additives that have been tailored to removed odors or neutralize chemicals. Some of these units have been built to deal with very specific concerns (e.g. formaldehyde); in that case, you would do well to talk to one of our product specialists who can get you to the specific unit you need.
  5. Other. As we mentioned above, the list of specific concerns that air purifiers can help with goes on and on including MCS, Pulmonary Fibrosis and many others. But don't take our word for it! Spend a few moments on our customer reviews page and you'll see story after story of how the high quality air purifiers that we stock have positively impacted the lives of people with a wide variety of backgrounds and circumstances.

The bottom line: Proper use of a quality air purifier can relieve a wide variety of concerns. We encourage you to give one of our top rated allergy units a try in your bedroom and see how your breathing and sleep might be improved.

See Air Purifiers Effective for Your Concern:
Allergies | Smoke | Mold | Chemicals | Pet Odor/Dander | Dust

Placement and Usage Recommendations

How do I use my air purifier for the best results?

air flow in a room

This is a really, really key question that not enough people ask.

First, remember how air purifiers work.

The purifier's fan circulates air around a room, pulling the air and airborne allergens towards the unit. The fan ultimately pulls the air directly through the unit where the filter captures the allergens. The resulting stream of pure air is returned into the room.

1. Coverage Area Impacts What Speed You Must Run It On
coverage area chart for air purifier

Air purifiers are built to clean the air in a certain size room and are most effective when they are used in rooms that match their coverage area.

Buying more coverage than you need is a good thing in the air purifying world, so don't hesitate to go for a higher coverage area unit if you are in doubt.

Also, keep in mind that coverage areas are affected by the speed that you operate your purifier at; the maximum coverage area requires running the unit at the highest possible speed.

2. Placement Impacts Effectiveness

air purifier placement

We always recommend to start with putting an air purifier in your bedroom. You spend a lot of time in your bedroom and clean air is a great way to improve your sleep. Some people report that the noise from the fan in their unit also lulls them to sleep, but if you need a quieter experience, we can point you to units that work well at a whisper or below.

Be smart about where you put your unit. Watch the inlet and exit vents and make sure that the unit can adequately circulate air in and out of the unit.

3. Run It 24/7 for Maximum Effectiveness

air purifier usage chart

That's right, don't think about it, just run it! Air purifiers are most effective when they are in constant use. And if you are worried about energy consumption, see our page on Energy Star rated units. Air is always moving. Our testing has shown that a clean room can go back to being full of pollutants in as little as an hour! The coverage area rating for each unit is also calculated with this idea in mind, so keep it on and you'll get the best possible results!

Still have questions? Talk to an Expert!

We're confident that we can answer your questions and help you find the perfect unit for your needs and your budget. And we can probably point you in the right direction faster than you can dig through all these buying guides.

Experts are available Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm CST

By Chat: Chat with one of our experts right now. -OR- By Phone: Call (800)-334-1494 to talk an expert directly over the phone.