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Air Purifiers 6 Steps Before You Buy 

Air Purifiers are becoming an essential appliance of every homes. There are literally hundreds of purifiers to choose from, some very inexpensive and others that cost many hundreds of dollars. The initial purchase price of your purifier is not the only cost, some high end purifiers cost several hundreds of dollars for new filters. So do air purifiers really work, and if so, just what are the best for your home.

 

 
 
Tags:  air purifiers  best air purifiers  do air purifiers work  air purifiers reviews  air purifier cost 
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Published:  January 08, 2012
 
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Slide 1: ==== ==== What are the Best Air Purifiers for your home? See for yourself, check out the latest customer reviews and comparisons of the best seller Purifiers. Visit : www.Best-AirPurifiers.com ==== ==== Life is good for the air purification industry. With studies indicating that the rising rates of respiratory ailments are the result of high levels of indoor air pollution found in American homes, residential air cleaning systems have been selling like hotcakes. But take a moment before you join the horde of consumers rushing out to a big box retailer for the latest in air scrubbing technology. Finding a quality air purifier can be tricky, and a bad one might pollute your air more than clean it. But with a little preparation, you can up your chances of finding a system that'll do the job. Here are some steps homeowners should take prior to purchasing a home air purifier. 1. Determine Your Needs Many types of air purifiers fill the market place, and they operate in different ways and target different pollutants. Finding one that fits your needs requires you have a clear understanding of what those needs are. A person suffering from mild allergies has a very different set of needs from someone with severe asthma or autoimmune deficiencies. Clarifying your needs can help you avoid wasting money on a system that does too little or too much. Furthermore, upon reflection, many of you might find that you don't really need a purifier at all. 2. Stopping Indoor Air Pollution at its Source You wouldn't address a mosquito problem by lighting citronella candles while a plastic kiddie pool full of fetid water sits in your backyard. Similarly when dealing with air quality it's best to address a problem at its point of origin. Pollutants come from a variety of sources within a typical residence and preventing their occurrence requires a comprehensive multi-step approach including: Cleaning - Vacuuming rugs, dusting furniture, addressing mold and mildew build up, and cleaning out your HVAC systems air ducts. Dehumidification - Installing a dehumidifier to address high humidity levels which often exacerbate pollutant levels. Maintenance - Ensuring that stoves, dryers and your HVAC system are all in working order. Ventilation - When possible, incorporating natural or mechanical ventilation to help reduce levels of indoor air pollutants. Many times, addressing these problems will fix your air quality problems and eliminate the need for an air purifier altogether.
Slide 2: 3. Decide Between a Room or Whole House Purifier Probably the most important decision you will make regarding an air purifier purchase is whether you want a central purifier that cleans your whole home, or a room only purifier. Each type has distinct advantages: Room Purifiers These are the ones you'll see in Best Buy, Sharper Image or other electronic stores. They're generally free standing devices that don't require professional installation and they range from under $200, to over $1000. Many manufacturers put them out and they can use a wide variety of processes to clean the air. As you'd expect, these systems are ideal for maintaining clean air in a single room. If you're suffering from allergies that interfere with your sleep then a single air purifier placed in the bedroom might be all you need. Also keep in mind that most room purifiers are portable, meaning that you can move them around the house and thus avoid having to buy multiple systems. Here are some pros and cons of room only purifiers Advantages Often cheaper than whole house alternatives Generally don't require professional installation Don't require a forced-air HVAC system for operation Portable Disadvantages Take up space in living area Often noisy Generally don't work as well at lower(and quieter) speed settings Occasionally produce smells Whole House These systems usually hook into your forced air HVAC system, using its fans and ducts to draw air in to the purification unit. Most systems are installed into your HVAC ducting. The price and complexity of whole house purifiers range from cheap, doityourself filters that simply replace the standard furnace filter; to expensive systems requiring professional installation and costing hundreds. Some of the priciest systems are freestanding self-powered units that rely upon ducting but operate independent of the HVAC system. Advantages Quieter than room only systems Doesn't take up space in your living area Ideally situated, as HVAC ducting is often a prime source of air pollutants, mold, dust etc
Slide 3: Disadvantages Often expensive Critics claim that whole house systems don't target specific rooms as well as a room air purifier Generally require a forced air system Usually don't work when HVAC is off 4. Learn the Different Methods of Purification Air purifiers can use many processes in their operation, many of which target certain pollutants while missing others. Some excel at getting rid of particulates such as dust and pollen but miss gaseous pollutants such as carbon monoxide. Others only target viruses or bacteria. And some don't really target anything at all. i.e. some don't work! Common types include: Media/HEPA Filters These systems trap particulate matter through the use of physical filters. The majority of legitimate purification systems incorporate some kind of media filter technology. The most effective of these are HEPA or High Efficiency Particulate Absorbing filters which are so effective in cleaning the air of particulate matter that they're used in hospitals and other facilities that depend on sterile air. Advantages Excellent at catching particulate pollutants Many of the top performing purifiers are of this type Require little maintenance Often increase in effectiveness as they are used Disadvantages The more effective filters block airflow and thus can reduce efficiency of HVAC systems Replacing filters can be pricey Filters that incorporate an electrostatic charge will quickly lose efficiency Media filters can be hotbeds for bacteria Ionizers These purifiers pump ions into the air. The ions transfer their charges to airborne particles causing them to attach to walls or other surfaces and thus taking them out of the air. The process might sound bogus but it actually does work. Unfortunately it also has the side effect of creating ozone, a toxic gas that can exacerbate asthma and which also happens to be the main component of smog. Advantages Quiet Often Effective Generally more affordable to maintain than HEPA systems. (No filters to replace) Disadvantages
Slide 4: Produces ozone Ionization results in pollutants clinging to home surfaces, which can eventually lead to a blackening of those areas. UV Lamps These purification systems consist of UV lamps, which work by irradiating germs with lethal doses of ultra-violet radiation. They are designed solely to kill germs however and thus should only be used in addition to a filter system. Warning: While all UV lamps generate ozone as a bi-product of their cleaning process, some are designed specifically to generate ozone. These should be avoided. Advantages Effective in killing biological contaminants Affordable and require little maintenance Disadvantages Only kill germs May produce ozone which assists in destroying viruses and bacteria but which can also prove harmful to humans Whole house UV lamp systems require professional installation as improper installation can result in damage to eyesight Gas Filters These filters use activated carbon or other substances to trap volatile organic compounds and other gaseous pollutants. They can be effective when used in conjunction with a particle filter. They tend to be found more in industrial and commercial applications than in homes. In residences these filters are often found in combination with a HEPA style filter in high-end purifiers. Advantages The best way to filter gaseous pollutants from your air Disadvantages These filters often can only target certain types of gasses Cheaper residential models are often not effective Ozone Based Air Purifiers The villains of the air purification world, ozone producing air purifiers intentionally produce ozone gas due to its ability to neutralize pollutants of all types including bacteria, VOC's and particulate matter such as dust and pollen. It can also eliminate unwanted odors. In residential situations however these systems are largely ineffective due to the lower levels of ozone used, furthermore they can prove harmful to residents as ozone has been linked to respiratory problems. Most reputable experts and publications advise that ozone air purifiers not be used in residences. California has gone so far as to ban them.
Slide 5: 5. Learn the Lingo Manufacturers will throw lots of terminology at you when trying to hawk their contraptions; it helps to understand just what they're talking about. Some of the important terms include: Microns Effectively a millionth of a meter, the micron, or micrometer (symbol m) is the most common unit of measurement used to describe the size of particles a filter can catch. To give you a comparison here are some common measurements of particles in microns. Human Hair 30 m - 120 m Particles visible to eyes 50 m Pollen 10 m Respirable particle 10 m and under Bacteria.3 m Viruses.003 m Respirable Particles Respirable particles refer to airborne matter 10 m in size or smaller. These particles can get deep into your lungs and cause both respiratory and cardiovascular problems. CADR Standing for Clean Air Delivery Rate, the CADR system was developed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) to measure the volume of air effectively treated by a portable air purifier. CADR ratings are generally found on the unit's packaging and consist of three numbers each representing the purifiers effectiveness in catching major types of particle pollutants: dust, pollen and smoke. When trying to make sense of the number system, AHAM recommends you buy an air purifier with a smoke rating 2/3 the square footage your room. Thus a 10 ft by 15 ft room with a square footage of 150 ft would need a purifier with a CADR smoke rating of at least 100. This estimate assumes a ceiling height of 8 feet. A higher ceiling will require a higher CADR rating. Keep in mind that while CADR is a widely respected system, many purifier manufacturers don't use it and don't be surprised when while shopping, you run across brands without an AHAM CADR seal. MERV MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers(ASHRAE) to measure a filter's ability to trap dust and other particle pollutants. The rating scale ranges from 1-16, with 4 being the rating for a typical dust filter used to protect your HVAC system and 16 being a filter so effective that it can catch up to 95% of particulate
Slide 6: matter and even can be used for surgery. True HEPA filters meanwhile are not supported by this scale but would rate somewhere between 17 and 20. Most home owners wont need or necessarily even want a MERV 16 air filter, as these filters restrict airflow to the extent of reducing the efficiency of the whole house HVAC system in which their located or, in the case of room only purifiers, cause them to be noisy and energy consuming. Furthermore, many filters that claim MERV 16 ratings or above actually prove to be much less effective than lower rated filter systems; which brings us to our next topic: 6. Research All Models Before Purchase Research is key to picking a good air purifier but unlike cell phones, computers, and other consumer products, finding quality research on air purifiers can be tough. Properly testing an air purifier requires proper facilities. Unfortunately many of these proper facilities belong to the very manufacturers who produce the systems; a slight conflict of interest. So do thorough research. Check out credible publications, consult HVAC and medical professionals, and take advice from any trusted friends or acquaintances using purifiers. And for most people, don't obsesses over your home's air quality. Unless you have a serious health condition you simply don't need to invest thousands of dollars with the intent of keeping your home 100% pollutant free and the health benefits you'll gain from the clean air could very well be negated by the stress caused by your pursuit. Visit http://MyLocalHVAC.com/ to find more articles about Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning or to schedule an appointment with an HVAC technician in your area. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dan_Devenot ==== ==== What are the Best Air Purifiers for your home? See for yourself, check out the latest customer reviews and comparisons of the best seller Purifiers. Visit : www.Best-AirPurifiers.com ==== ====

   
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