With the concern of air pollutants rising, air purifiers seem like a good solution to the problem of increased allergens and poor air quality. The question is, are cheap air purifiers worth it? While some remain spectacle over whether or not cheap air purifiers pack the punch that more expensive ones do, neither will solve every problem. Although they do clean the air, they are not a cure-all and you should be wary of their promises, because they may not be truly effective.
Most air purifiers promise the same thing—sucking pollutants and allergens out of the air in order to provide a healthier environment and help ease allergy and asthma symptoms. For people that suffer from seasonal allergies, air purifiers serve an important purpose in making allergy season more bearable while spending time in your home. In addition to the benefits for those suffering from allergies, air purifiers can help take pollutants out of the air, which is becoming increasingly important as air quality worsens in states such as California.
How do they work?
Most air purifiers work by sucking in air with a fan, then running the air through a filter or filters. As the air runs through the purifier, the filter captures the pollutants so that clean air may circulate in the room. In order for them to work properly, they need to be run constantly and stay in a room which matches the dimensions of the air purifier. As a result, it is recommended to keep them in the bedroom, where you spend a considerable amount of time sleeping.
Types of Filters
Certain air filters use ionizers that use negative ions to bond to allergens and take pollutants out of the air. While these kinds of filters are effective, they also have risks. Some of these filters may produce ozone gas, which is a lung irritant and can further aggravate asthma symptoms.
Reusable vs. non-reusable filters
The filters in air purifiers should be changed every three months in order to be as efficient as they can be. As a result, some people opt to use reusable filters which can be taken out, cleaned, and rinsed off. These filters are better at capturing large particles and allergens and are more cost-efficient. While more cost-efficient, they do not work as well as non-reusable filters which are better at taking smaller particles out of the air. Depending on the symptoms you are trying to alleviate, a reusable or nonreusable filter may better suit your needs.
The efficiency of your air purifier depends on the type of filter used, the size of the room it’s used in, and the CADR (clean air delivery rate). For most air purifiers, getting a HEPA filter will improve its efficiency and work better at protecting against allergens and pollutants. The efficiency also depends on what size room the air purifier is placed in. If in a room over the size requirement of the particular air purifier, it will not be able to function properly and get the allergens out of the air enough to where there would be a difference. As a result, the air purifier should be placed in a room as big or smaller than described for the particular air purifier. The CADR is also an important factor to look at when considering an air purifier. An air purifier with a CADR of 300 will work well, but a CADR of 350 would work best. With each of these things in mind, the efficiency really depends on the product and placement of the air purifier.
Is It Worth It?
While air purifiers make large promises of helping with allergy season and asthma, they do not act as a cure-all and can only improve these symptoms so much. If a cheap air purifier does not seem to be working effectively, it could be because the filter needs to be changed, it’s in too large of a room, or the CADR isn’t high. Another thing that could improve your cheap air purifier is purchasing HEPA filters instead of the ones provided with the air purifier. The efficiency of the air purifier may not be high if extremely cheap, but there are also other ways to improve the air quality in your home. Opening windows, vacuuming often, changing air filters regularly, and minimizing the use of candles can improve the air quality in your home without purchasing an air purifier. These tactics may also be used in addition to having an air purifier.
Although air purifiers promise to improve the air quality in your home, they should not be used as the only way to improve allergy season and asthma symptoms. A cheap air purifier may not work as well as an expensive one but changing the filters to HEPA and making sure they are clean would improve the performance of any air purifier. The tactics listed above would also improve the air quality in your home. As for whether or not cheap air purifiers are worth it, it depends on the positioning and use of the purifier.
Written by Adelaide Durant