Air Purifier for Home
Even before COVID-19 led to millions of people spending many more hours at home, Americans spent the plurality of their time in their own homes. All the time we spend indoors means we should pay attention to the indoor air quality of our living spaces.
How to choose
The type of air purifier you choose to purchase may be determined by how your home is heated and cooled. If your home has a central heating or air system, it might make the most sense to incorporate an air purifier for home usage into the central HVAC system. Although many HVAC systems include a filter that keeps large particles from getting into the heating or cooling system, these filters are often not sufficient to remove the small particulate matter that are problematic for people. The most dangerous particle sizes are less than 2.5 microns across, which can be inhaled deeply into the lungs. Some pre-filters can catch particles 1 micron across, but a special air purifier final filter should be used in a HVAC system to get the most benefits.
If installing an air purifier for home use in an HVAC system is not possible or unrealistic, there are models that are meant to be used within the rooms of a home. These plug in to the wall like any other home appliance. Ideally there should be an air purifier for every occupied room. If this isn’t feasible, the purifier can be moved from room to room as people move around the home.
Sizing a purifier
The size of an air purifier for a home will be determined by the volume of air in the home. HVAC systems with integrated air purification should be installed or sized by a professional HVAC company or technician.
When purchasing an air purifier, the size of the room where the air purifier will be used needs to be taken into account. If you are purchasing an air purifier for a small room, the air purifier will not have to process as much air as an air purifier for a larger room.
It is important to consider that for the purposes of sizing an air purifier, rooms that are able to readily exchange air should be considered a single room. For example, a kitchen and living room that are delineated by a half wall are functionally one volume of air. An air purifier for a room should include manufacturer’s guidance on the square footage to be treated.
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For an air purifier to effectively improve air quality, it must be able to remove contaminants faster than they are introduced into the air. This means that for a large room, more air must pass through the air purifier filter per minute than in a small room. Air purifiers for small rooms simply can’t process air as fast as larger air purifiers, so the air doesn’t get treated quickly enough to overtake the sources of contamination.
HVAC systems often have some type of filter to protect the equipment, but there is no guarantee that this will serve as an effective air purifier. The kind of filtration that protects HVAC equipment is different than the kind that purifies air. HVAC pre-filters are usually rated according to the MERV rating system, which doesn’t rate a filter’s effectiveness at stopping particles that are hazardous to human health. A HEPA or ULPA filter incorporated into an HVAC system will serve as an air purifier.
Nebulizing, or making a mist with, essential oils may provide valuable aromatics to a living space. There is some evidence to indicate that some essential oils are capable of killing pathogens, however an oil nebulizer will not actually reduce the amount of airborne particulate matter. Soot, dust, and tiny metal particles will not be removed by essential oil nebulizers.
If you only have one air purifier for a home, it should either be placed where people spend the most time. If no one is breathing the air in a room with an air purifier, then no one can receive the air purifier benefits. If it isn’t clear which room has people in it for the most time, a safe bet is an air purifier for a bedroom.
Although we often think of the air in our living spaces as freely flowing, in reality each room can be effectively considered its own environment. This is because while there is air exchange between rooms, it may not be enough to bring purified air from wherever the air purifier is located to all the other rooms in a house. If different rooms have different smells in the same home, the air doesn’t completely mix.
Keep your home fresh and SoClean with the SoClean Air Purifier+. Up to 3,000 times more efficient than HEPA standards, the SoClean Air Purifier eliminates particles down to 10 nanometers and generates cleanroom-level clean air for your home. The easy-to-use design makes it simple to produce quality air wherever you are.