Air Purifier News

Air Purifier News

What to Look for When Shopping for an Air Purifier

A lot of people worry about the air they breathe. With all of the cars on the road and factories spewing out toxins, air pollution is pretty bad. What a lot of people don’t realize is that indoor air pollution can be even worse than the pollution outside.

Indoors we have to deal with things like dust, pet dander, mold spores, pollen, volatile organic compounds, fumes from cleaning products and other household chemicals, the list goes on and on. Some of the things floating around in the air inside your home can trigger allergic reactions, and some things can actually make you very sick.

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Because indoor air pollution is such a big problem, buying a good air purifier would be a wise investment and on this page we’re going to tell you what you should look for when shopping for an air purifier.

The world’s largest air purifier is turning Beijing’s dirty air into diamonds

As smog season starts to hit China, Studio Roosegaarde, a design team led by award-winning Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde, unveiled their pollution-fighting Smog Free Tower in Beijing last Thursday.

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According to the press release, at 7 meters in height, the Smog Free Tower is the largest air purifier in the world — and it’s mobile! Meaning that it can help to clean up other cities if it ever runs out of smog to eat in Beijing.Reuters reports that the tower sucks in 75% of the particles in the nearby air that are dangerous to humans, and then spits back out clean air into the surrounding space.

According to the press release, at 7 meters in height, the Smog Free Tower is the largest air purifier in the world — and it’s mobile! Meaning that it can help to clean up other cities if it ever runs out of smog to eat in Beijing.Reuters reports that the tower sucks in 75% of the particles in the nearby air that are dangerous to humans, and then spits back out clean air into the surrounding space.

 

 

The classroom should be installed air purifier cited hot.

As schools in Beijing and other parts of northeastern China suspend classes because of the red alert over air pollution, many parents are demanding that air purifiers should be installed for the students.

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With major pollution days becoming more frequent, students are staying home, often without supervision. Their parents say it would be better if their children were in the classroom, and that’s why schools need to install air purifiers.

“Our school bought air filters last year. We did a little fund raising, with each parent throwing in several hundred for that. We’ve already bought two air cleaners for the class, both of which are installed.”

Debate over whether should schools use air purifiers

With the repeat occurrence of smog in China, many parents call for installation of air purifiers in classrooms. Some parents even offered to pay for the purifiers. However it is refused by school authorities. It has caused hot debate over whether air purifiers should enter schools.

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Experts say air purifiers on the market are mostly designed for homes or offices. It still needs evaluation to know if it is useful in classrooms. Education authorities in Shanghai said they will coordinate with relating departments and work for a feasible plan.

Meanwhile, reports said a test has been held in a school in Beijing. After using the air purifier, the level of PM 2.5 in the classroom decreased, but with dozens of students in the enclosed room, the dense of CO2 has passed the healthy standards.

Whole-House Air Purifiers: Efficiency Report

Manufacturers say their newest designs of whole-house air purifiers reduce the amount of ozone that’s in the home through the use of carbon filters, which appears plausible. However, you still should be wary about claims of overall effectiveness.

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The push for healthier indoor-air quality by Environmental Protection Agency and the green-building movement has fueled the market for whole-house air purifiers in today’s homes. According to market-research group Freedonia, sales of portable and whole-house air purifiers are expected to rise by 4.8 percent annually to $1.7 billion in 2014.

As concerns about the effects of poor indoor-air quality have increased, manufacturers have marketed whole-house air purifiers as capable of doing more than ever before—including helping consumers who suffer from chronic respiratory illnesses, such as allergies and asthma. Although studies indicate that some claims might have merit, other claims are misleading.

In 2009, Food and Drug Administration issued cease-and-desist orders to 10 manufacturers that claimed that their whole-house air purifiers could remove the H1N1 flu virus. FDA’s approval of air purifiers extends only to models that are considered commercial-grade and are approved as a medical device in hospitals and laboratories. Such models may make this virus-killing claim, says Sarah Clark-Lynn of FDA. As of press time, no portable or whole-house air purifier that’s marketed to the consumer can treat, prevent or remove the H1N1 virus, Clark-Lynn says.

CARBON CONCLUSION. When it comes to whole-house air purifiers, the biggest change in the past 3 years is the increase in the number of units that include carbon filtration to address ozone.

The emission of ozone is a particular problem with whole-house electronic air cleaners, which apply an electric charge to trap irritants on plates of filterlike grids. (The other type of whole-house air purifier—media filter cabinets—moves air through a filter that must be replaced every so often.)

Seven manufacturers now have models of both types of whole-house air purifiers that have carbon prefilters and final filters. The use of carbon filters not only removes odors that are left behind from cooking and tobacco smoke, but it also captures ozone (and volatile organic compounds, or VOCs), manufacturers say.

The ozone that’s captured isn’t just the ozone that’s produced by electrically charged rods that are in whole-house air purifiers. The latest whole-house air purifier from Lennox, which is called PureAir and was released in 2012, helps to eliminate the ozone that occurs naturally in highly populated areas and collects in a home, says Kevin Lyons of Lennox. It reduces the ozone that’s produced by electrical motors, cleaning chemicals, home furnishings and automobile emissions in the garage. Lennox says the carbon filters that are in the PureAir reduce ground-level ozone that forms inside of a home by 50 percent. Other manufacturers make similar claims but without a specific reduction figure.

Models that have carbon filters start at $239, compared with $130 for similar models that have a only standard mesh filter. Based on our conversations with manufacturers, we believe that increasingly more models will include carbon filters in the next 3 years.

No test data confirm the effectiveness of ozone removal by a whole-house air purifier, but Brett Dillon, who owns IBS Advisors, which is an energy-efficiency consulting company, tells us that whole-house air purifiers that are fitted with carbon filters can be effective at clearing ozone and VOCs. However, he points out that the efficiency of carbon filters decreases over time. Also, depending on the type of filter that’s used, areas that have high humidity also might decrease the effectiveness of carbon filters.

Three experts tell Consumers Digest that a big part of a whole-house air purifier’s effectiveness is how well that it’s maintained. The introduction of carbon filters made us wonder whether this type of filter shortened the recommended interval in which you should replace the filter. Happily, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Manufacturers say carbon filters should be changed every 3 months—the same as standard filters. Unfortunately, you should get ready to reach for your wallet anyway. The cost of a replacement carbon filter ranges from $35 to $60. A standard filter costs about $60 for a year’s supply, or $15 every 3 months.

Do Air Purifiers Work?

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”!

Home 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.

Home air purifier told you 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. A home 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”.

Home air purifier told 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 home 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.

How to Buy an Air Purifier for your home

We’re glad you asked! After being introduced to air purifier technology you might wonder, “This is great, but what does my home 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.

What the best air purifier has

  • HEPA filtration. HEPA filtration is regarded by experts as the most effective type of filtration for removing allergens and small particles from the air. Other filters are designed to mimic this effectiveness, but few achieve the ability to remove particles down to 0.1 microns in size or smaller.
  • High maximum air-exchange rate. Maximum air-exchange rate refers to the amount of air an air cleaner is capable of passing through its system in a minute. Air purifiers with higher maximum air-exchange rates will clean the air faster than those with lower rates.
  • Filter-change alert. Many air purifiers come with a counter to let you know when it’s time to change the filter. Some operate on a daily-countdown basis, while others actually base this information on the state of the filter.
  • Dust sensor or air-quality monitor. A few air purifiers have automatic sensors to detect how polluted the air is, with the ability to adjust the purifier’s cleaning speed accordingly without manual intervention. This, of course, provides users with less precise control over energy consumption and noise levels, but it’s a useful feature if you’ll be using an air purifier in a non-occupied space.
  • Several fan speeds. Most air purifiers have multiple fan speeds, which adjust the speed at which the air is cycled through the unit. There’s a direct correlation between higher fan speeds and more noise, however.
  • Large capacity. If you need an air purifier for a small space, more affordable options are practical. But for larger rooms, you’ll need to purchase a more expensive model capable of handling more square footage.
  • Reasonable cost of ownership. Most air purifiers have long-life filters that must be replaced every three to five years. Some models have more than one filter, while others come with a permanent filter meant to be vacuumed periodically instead of replaced. The more frequently you have to replace the filter, the more it will cost you over time.
  • No or very low ozone. Experts say that ozone is effective in neutralizing odors and chemical gases. They also say that this is a classic case where the cure is worse than the disease as high-levels of ozone can be toxic. If you opt for an electronic air purifier, chose a design that emits low or, better still, no ozone. Skip ozone generators sold as air cleaners altogether.

Know before you go

Do you want a whole-house or room air purifier? Experts say that a room air purifier might not be necessary for most individuals. Some owners say they’ve experienced significant relief from allergy symptoms with the use of a $25 furnace filter that works with an existing household unit.

Do you have severe allergy or asthma symptoms? Owners and experts agree that for individuals suffering from severe allergy or asthma symptoms, the investment in top-of-the-line air purifiers is worth it. But if you suffer from only mild symptoms or simply want to reduce smoke or pet dander in your home, a more affordable model can do the trick.

How much space do you have? Air purifiers can be heavy and bulky, with some requiring a few feet of clearance on all sides. Be sure to measure your available space and allow for all space considerations before you buy.

What room will you use an air purifier in? If you’re planning to use an air purifier in your bedroom, for instance, you’ll want to choose a model with a noise level that you can tolerate while sleeping. In living spaces, choose an air purifier with adjustable speed settings so you can turn it up to a higher setting when you’re not in the room to be disturbed by the noise.

Value expectations: The dollars and cents of it

Air purifiers aren’t cheap to own. Many cost several hundred dollars up front, and most replacement filters are fairly expensive — some cost as much as $100 for the HEPA filter, with additional costs for prefilters and carbon filters. Some air purifiers require more frequent filter replacements, which adds to the cost over time. Owners suggest purchasing multiple filter packs online to save money. For those suffering from severe allergies or asthma, the cost is often worth it, and you may be able to purchase it with FSA funds with the proper documentation from your medical professional. Others should try more affordable options, such as furnace filters, which cost significantly less and can be just as effective for most people. While there aren’t a lot of complaints about malfunctioning air purifiers, many models offer warranties of five years for peace of mind. Also, keep in mind that if you can hunt down and eliminate sources of allergens and odors, you might be able to do without an air purifier altogether.

Air Purifier Buying Guide from home air purifier

The right home 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.

How to Buy the Right Air Cleaner

Even the cleanest homes can contain dust, pet dander, pollen, and fumes. If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) or other lung problems, these airborne irritants can make it harder to breathe.

Although it’s impossible to remove all of the particles, a portable air cleaner (also known an an air purifier) may reduce asthma and allergy symptoms.

“Since many people with COPD have sensitive airways and problems with allergies as well, an air cleaner may be worth a try,” says Norman Edelman, MD, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association. “It’s not going to make a huge difference in their illness, but it may be beneficial.”

How to read the label

Air cleaners are tested and rated by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), which assigns a number from 0 to 450 known as the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) to indicate how quickly a cleaner filters dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen out of the air. The AHAM also suggests the size of the room (in square feet) for which a particular model is best suited.

When shopping for an air cleaner, compare these four key numbers by looking for the AHAM seal, which the association requires manufacturers to display on their packaging. Consumer Reports recommends that you purchase a model with more square-footage capacity than you need, so that you can run the machine effectively on its (quieter) “low” setting.

Electronic air cleaners

Air cleaners that use electrically charged plates known as “electrostatic precipitators” have grown in popularity. These cleaners are very efficient and don’t require replacement filters, but they produce small amounts of ozone, a gas that irritates the lungs and has been shown to exacerbate COPD. “We caution against buying any air cleaner that generates ozone, because ozone is very irritating to the respiratory tract,” says Dr. Edelman. (Another type of air cleaner known as ‘ozone generators’ that purposefully produce ozone should also be avoided, according to both Dr. Edelman and the EPA.)

Though Consumer Reports has expressed the same concerns about ozone, the magazine listed the Friedrich C-90B (left), which retails for around $550, as the top electronic air cleaner in a 2007 test.

HEPA filters

The other main type of air cleaner uses high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. These are effective at removing dust and other irritants from the air, yet they produce no ozone.

High-end HEPA cleaners, such as the Airgle 750 andBlueair 650E, have earned the AHAM’s top CADR score and are rated for rooms as large as 26-by-26 feet, but these units typically sell for $800 or more. For a more affordable HEPA room purifier, Consumer Reports has recommended the Hunter Permalife 547 (left), which retails for between $300 and $350.

Be sure to check the price of replacement filters before buying. HEPA filters need to be changed about once a year and can cost $100 or more.

Low-cost clean air

Upgrading the existing filter in your forced-air HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) system is an inexpensive alternative to room cleaners.

Just as the AHAM does for room cleaners, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers assigns a “minimum efficiency reporting value” (MERV) to filters that measures their effectiveness at removing particles from the air.

Most HVAC systems are equipped with filters of MERV 1 to 4. While most homes cannot accommodate HEPA filters (MERV 17 to 20) because they are too big and dense, filters with a MERV between 7 and 13 are nearly as effective as HEPA filters. Filters in this range, such as those from True Blue (pictured), are available at most hardware and big-box stores for $20 or less.

Online resources

For more information on shopping for air cleaners, check out these valuable online resources:

• The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers’ comprehensive online directory of Clean Air Delivery Rates; browse by brand, room size, or other criteria.
• The Environmental Protection Agency publication,Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home.
• The Consumer Reports online Air Purifiers Buying Guide.