When it comes to the air you breath and the air your skin is surrounded in, you want it as toxin free as possible. You also want to free from other yucky stuff such as allergens, odors, bacteria, and mold.
An air purifier is one of the most important investments you can make if you have been exposed to mold in the past or are currently being exposed to mold.
An air purifier won’t “fix” your mold problem and it won’t help you detox from mold exposure. Choosing an air purifier to remove mold spores is extremely important as it can make a huge difference in your health both by helping to lesson your mold exposure symptoms as well as prevent them all together.
So how does one go about choosing the best air purifier to remove mold spores?
It is a bit of a process – one that can be overwhelming if you’ve never had to shop for air purifiers before. I have outlined all of the important points to consider and provided as much information as I can (based on both my personal experience and research). I have used about a dozen different air purifiers along the way and certainly have a solid understanding of the good, the bad, and the great!
- So how does one go about choosing the best air purifier to remove mold spores?
- A Guide To Choosing The Best Air Purifier For Mold
- Besides mold spores, what do you want to remove?
- What is the ideal filter type?
- Find an air purifier with the right coverage area
- When choosing an air purifier to remove mold spores, the ACH rating should be at least 4x
- Would you like to be able to adjust the speed settings and what does this mean exactly?
- Give consideration to CADR Ratings
- Look for a warranty of at least 3 years
- Check the noise level when choosing an air purifier
- Do you need to remove odors as well as mold spores and other contaminants?
- Where will you place your air purifier?
- How many hours per day do you want to run your air purifier?
- When choosing an air purifier to remove mold, look at the recurring costs
- When choosing an air purifier, check to see if there is other maintenance required.
- And there you have it! A complete guide to choosing an air purifier to remove mold spores and other yucky stuff!
- Do air purifiers kill mold?
- Can air purifiers remove mycotoxins?
- Can you run an air purifier all the time?
- Is buying a used air purifier safe?
- Can mold grow in an air purifier?
- How To Clean An Air Purifier
- Top 7 Air Purifiers For Removing Mold Spores
- Are you looking for some HIGH QUALITY 3rd party air filter replacements from a reputable company?
A Guide To Choosing The Best Air Purifier For Mold
When choosing an air purifier, here are the questions to ask yourself (and the companies you might be considering).
Besides mold spores, what do you want to remove?
You may know exactly which particles you react to or simply don’t want to inhale. If that’s the case, then this part is easy!
Many people are not sure what particles they want to remove or what an air purifier is capable of taking away. Depending on the make and model, air purifiers are capable of removing the following impurities from your indoor environment:
Particles: Besides mold spores, these can include allergens like pollen, dust mite feces, dust, and pet dander
Smells: These can be anything from cooking smells to stale smoke to pet odors. Will an air purifier get rid of the musty smell from mold? Yes, but only if you remove the mold first.
Chemicals and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): These are ‘off-gassed’ by certain solids or liquids and are common in the home. Some of these are considered harmless – for example foods contain VOCs. However, there is a subset of these which negatively affect human health, such as formaldehyde and benzene. You can find VOCs in solvents, some household paints and cleaning products. They can also be off-gassed by items of furniture like memory foam mattresses, carpets and MDF products.
Bacteria and viruses: These are rather self-explanatory. They can be trapped in specific filter types.
What is the ideal filter type?
Air purifiers use air filters – these are not one in the same. Some types of filters are considered better than others for removing specific particles. When it comes to choosing an air filter to remove mold spores, there is a definite hierarchy of filter types. Here is a brief explanation of the main filters available:
HEPA filter: HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. This air purification technology was originally developed during World War II to remove radioactive dust particles from the air to protect soldiers’ respiratory systems. Today they are often used to filter household air with the capacity to trap 99.97% of all airborne particles that are as small as 0.3 microns in size and 95% of minute particles down to 0.1 micron.
When air contaminants are inhaled, the body’s natural defense system is more vulnerable to small particles below 0.5 microns. That is why HEPA air filters are the most recommended by Allergists and Doctors because of their ability to remove the majority of air contaminants down to the microscopic level.
Examples of some common air contaminants and their size in microns:
- Mold (2-20 microns)
- Pollen (5-100 microns)
- Pet Dander (0.5-100 microns)
- Dust Mite Debris (0.5-50 microns)
- Bacteria (0.35-10 microns)
HEPA filters are the gold standard when it comes to removing airborne mold spores.
Carbon filter: these are also known as activated carbon filters. To make carbon into activated carbon, the original charcoal is placed in a heated tank and treated with stream and oxygen to give it a huge number of tiny pores that adsorb smells and odors. Regular activated carbon is excellent at adsorbing organic compounds. Activated carbon filtration will remove VOCs such as Benzene, Toluene, Xylene, oils and some chlorinated compounds. It is possible to increase the number and type of chemicals that can be removed by activated carbon by the addition of additives to the carbon.
While carbon is a commonly used material in odor control applications it does have several serious disadvantages. Most significantly, carbon only physisorbs toxic, noxious, and other odor causing molecules, meaning that the unwanted chemicals do not react chemically with the carbon and can be released them later and cause the re-emergence of an odor believed to have been initially neutralized or eliminated. Changes in humidity or temperature can hasten this process, causing the odors and other unwanted chemicals to be released back into the air. In addition, carbon doesn’t effectively remove particles. Therefore, it is pretty useless against mold spores.
Ionic Filter*: An air ionizer is built around a negative ion generator. This generator sends out a stream of negative ions that attract positive airborne dust and allergen particles in the air. As a result, these particles become too heavy to remain airborne and fall to the floor. As the majority of surfaces in a room are positively charged, the particles from the ionic air are attracted to these surfaces as well. This means that the area around the ionic filter tends to get dark spots on nearby walls and floors. Some ionizers however, have special electrostatic precipitators which trap particles on a metal plate. To remain effective, these plates need to be cleaned regularly.
Ionizers are a relatively inexpensive way to clear second hand smoke. However, if you have a problem with mold, dust or pollen an ionizer air purifier may not be the best choice because the particles are not completely eliminated.
UV Light Air Filters*: The last type of commonly used filter is the UV light air filter. Harmful particles such as mold and bacteria are neutralized through the process of titanium dioxide being exposed to UV light. High intensity UV is capable of destroying the majority of carbon-based compounds, which means that these filters are commonly used alongside HEPA filters.
* When choosing an air purifier to remove mold, avoid air purifiers that produce ozone.
Ozone is great when it’s far away in the upper atmosphere of the earth, because it protects us from ultraviolet rays. But ozone is a known lung irritant that doesn’t belong in our homes. High levels of ozone in our home can worsen asthma symptoms and compromise our ability to fight respiratory infections.
Air purifiers that use an electrostatic precipitator or ionizer technology will electronically charge pollutants as they enter the unit and produce a small amount of ozone as a byproduct. Many of the top rated air filters use one or both of these purification methods (in addition to HEPA and carbon filters), so they are difficult to avoid. Some ultraviolet filters generate ozone to kill bacteria and sometimes may not be properly dispersed, posing a serious health concern. So while I mentioned these two types of filter types, it is best to avoid them all together.
Find an air purifier with the right coverage area
Do you need the air purifier to cover your entire house, just your living room, or just your bedroom? All air purifiers will list their coverage area—or the size of the room recommended for using the air purifier in.
Every air purifier can only cover a limited area specified by the manufacturer. Make sure the one you are buying fits or exceeds your total room space. Do not expect an air purifier that is built for a 300 sq ft room to work for the whole house or apartment unless your home is of that size.
Realistically, most air purifiers can only purify one room or one area at any one time, as they cannot circulate air effectively throughout an entire house or apartment with multiple rooms. So if you are like me, you have 6 air purifiers to ensure that the entire house is covered.
When choosing an air purifier to remove mold spores, the ACH rating should be at least 4x
ACH stands for air changes per hour. The ACH rating indicates the number of times the air purifier can exchange the air in its coverage area in an hour. The higher the better—for those dealing with mold, look for an ACH rating higher than 4.
Would you like to be able to adjust the speed settings and what does this mean exactly?
When you look at specifications for speed, you are talking CFMs. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute, and this number provides insight into the efficiency of the air purifier, namely how many cubic feet per minute this air purifier can scrub.
The number describes the amount of air that is passing through the system at a certain point. It is usually measured as the air exits the unit. The higher the CFM count, the larger the space the air purifier can clean and the better potential for air purification results.
Keep in mind that CFM can be impacted by a variety of factors, including fan speeds, insulation, air flow in the room, furniture in the room, and the amount of pollutants in the air. However, there is an equation to help you determine an ideal CFM, which can provide help when deciding on air purifiers.
In order to figure out how high the number for your air purifier should be, you need to know the size of your indoor space. To find your ideal CFM, calculate the total volume of your space (length x width x height in cubic feet) and divide this number by your desired ACH. Below is a sample equation:
- Total Volume of Room (10ft X15ft X8ft) = 1200 cubic feet
- Ideal ACH = 5
- Ideal CFM = 240
Now that is a pretty average size room I did the sample math for. But I think you get the picture.
Most reputable air purifiers come with at least 3 speeds. I prefer to have 4-5 speeds. But remember – it is about more than speed! You need to know the CFMs for each speed.
CFMs are, in my opinion, more important than the CADR rating. And with that…
Give consideration to CADR Ratings
In addition to the ACH rating, most air purifiers will also have a Clean Air Delivery Rate rating. CADR is one of those technical terms that is not easily understood. In short, it is the volume of filtered air.
CADR comes from AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers). This is a way for you to compare the amount of clean air from air purifiers.
How it works: There are 3 sizes of particles measured. They each give an indication of the air purifier’s ability to remove the smaller particles (smoke) up to larger sized particles (pollen).
- Smoke CADR (0.09 – 1 micron)
- Dust CADR (0.5 – 3 microns)
- Pollen CADR (5 – 11 microns)
There are two factors that influence the CADR ratings scale. They are the filter efficiency and the air flow through the filters. Taken together they give an indication for how much filtered air you will get from the air purification system.
The CADR represents the amount of clean air coming out of the air purifier on the highest fan speed. It is only measured on the highest fan speed. If you run the air cleaner on a lower fan speed then the CADR will be lower since the fan airflow is less.
CADR is measured in cfm or cubic feet per minute in the US. For example, if the air purifier produces 100 cfm and the filter removes 90% of particles (efficiency) then the CADR for the air purifier will be 90. 100 times 90%.
Typically, a higher number indicates the unit is more efficient in cleaning the air of that particular pollutant. Look for CADR ratings of at least 100. The best air purifiers will have CADR ratings of at least 200.
A criticism that some brands have with the Clean Air Delivery Rate is that it penalizes the use of higher efficiency HEPA filters and activated carbon. Say, a HEPA-type filter can remove 90% of airborne particles while a true HEPA filter is at 99.97%. If each air filtration system can move 100 cfm (cubic feet per minute) through the air purifier filters, then the HEPA-type unit will have a CADR of 90 and the true HEPA system will have a CADR of 99.97.
The issue is with a higher efficiency filter the air flow resistance increases a lot. Yes, the air flow through the air purifier filters is important since you need to move the air. However, you also need to have the smallest particles removed. So in my professional opinion, CADR isn’t as important as a lot of people make it seem.
Look for a warranty of at least 3 years
You want maximum protection should there be any manufacturing defects. A 3-year warranty should be the bare minimum, especially if the air purifier will be getting a workout. In addition, a 30 day money back guarantee is an added bonus in the event that you have a change of heart.
Check the noise level when choosing an air purifier
This is not usually stated clearly by the manufacturer but most air purifiers will generate some white noise. Most air purification manufactures list a decibel rating for each air purifiers fan speed. Use the chart below to get an idea for the level of sound an air purifier will make based on its decibel measurement.
|20 dB||Falling Leaves|
|50 dB||Average Home|
|60 dB||Normal Conversation|
|70 dB||Vacuum Cleaner|
Read user reviews to get a sense of whether this is a noise level you are comfortable with (eg. Is it consistent, soft white noise that is barely noticeable, or does it get annoying?) This often times is better than trying to decipher a decibel measurement.
Do you need to remove odors as well as mold spores and other contaminants?
Air filters only remove particulates. If you need an air purifier with odor removal capabilities, look for those with pre-filters or a two-step filtration process. These have the additional advantage of being able to remove odors, as they will absorb odorous gases and chemicals passing through.
Where will you place your air purifier?
Most air purifiers are designed to clean single rooms, so naturally, it’s best to place an air purifier in the room you spend the majority of your time in. For most people, this place is the bedroom. However, you may also spend a bulk of your hours in a home office or a living area with your family. Moreover, children may make frequent use of a dedicated play area. It’s beneficial to create clean air in these environments as well. You may want to consider purchasing an air purifier with wheels that allows you to easily move the unit from room to room to gain clean air anywhere that you spend your time.
Be sure to check the air purifier dimensions! Air purifier placement is an important factor to consider. For maximum effectiveness, you should place your air purifier at least two feet away from the wall. (I prefer to place it a good 3 feet from the wall and other things like furniture). Check the product dimensions to make sure you have enough space in the house for your air purifier.
How many hours per day do you want to run your air purifier?
When it comes to choosing an air purifier to remove mold spores, it is recommended you choose a model that you are ok with continuously running. The air purifier has to work harder after it has been turned off. Plus in order for it to really work, you need it scrubbing the air 24/7. It is more energy efficient to leave it running continuously but adjust the speed settings as needed. For example, to maintain your indoor air quality while you are away from home, your air purifier can be on a lower setting than when you are home. This saves energy and cuts costs while still maintaining a clean environment.
Speaking of costs…
When choosing an air purifier to remove mold, look at the recurring costs
In order for an air purifier to work at its best, the filter must be replaced regularly. How long a filter lasts depends very much on the model, frequency of use, speed the air purifier is run on, as well as the air quality of the environment. Once you know how much a replacement filter costs and how long it typically lasts, you can easily calculate likely cost incurred per month.
And of course, there is the obvious cost of keeping an air purifier running. You would be surprised at how little it adds to your overall electricity bill. I have 6 air purifiers running 24/7. My electricity bill is just a little higher in this house than it was in my moldy house (where I didn’t have air purifiers as I didn’t know about the mold). And this house is slightly larger in square footage too. Air purifiers use slightly more electricity than a lamp but significantly less than a computer.
When choosing an air purifier, check to see if there is other maintenance required.
Other than replacing filter cartridges, does the air purifier need to be hand cleaned regularly? Many air cleaners come with washable pre-filter to trap larger particles such as hair and fur so as to increase the durability and performance of subsequent filters in the device. If you don’t like to idea of adding another task to your household chores, then you may want to consider looking for a maintenance-free unit.
And there you have it! A complete guide to choosing an air purifier to remove mold spores and other yucky stuff!
Let’s look a a couple of common questions about air purifiers as it relates to mold. Things that don’t have anything thing to do with “choosing” an air purifier for mold.
Do air purifiers kill mold?
No they do not. They help remove mold spores from the air and then can help prevent mold but air purifiers do not kill mold.
Can air purifiers remove mycotoxins?
That’s a tough one. They may be able to remove some mycotoxins that are hitching a ride on another particle but mycotoxins don’t fly around like mold spores. Check out my post on mycotoxins for more information but in short, no, air purifiers really won’t remove mycotoxins.
Can you run an air purifier all the time?
Yes you can and you should! They work best when they are running continuously.
Is buying a used air purifier safe?
Can mold grow in an air purifier?
Mold can grow anywhere. While it typically won’t grow on the non-porous parts of an air purifier, the filters can certainly grow mold under the right conditions. After all, they are trapping mold spores. If you have high humidity in your home or a room, it is best to run the air purifier in conjunction with a dehumidifier.
Before we get to which air purifier is best for mold, we need to discuss…
How To Clean An Air Purifier
First, you can clean the air purifier housing but not the HEPA filter itself. Cleaning the HEPA filter degrades it and it will not function properly. This defeats the point of using a HEPA filter. It is always best to replace, not clean, the HEPA filter. As for the rest of the air purifier…
Does it have a pre-filter? You need to check the condition of the washable foam pre-filter every 2-3 weeks. The pre-filter needs to be washed at least once a month. You will need to have the pre-filter replaced in the event that it already is worn or damaged.
If it is dirty, here are the steps of how to clean a pre-filter:
- Turn off and unplug the purifier before cleaning the pre-filter.
- Carefully remove the pre-filter. It is delicate and can tear easily.
- Wash it using warm, soapy water. This is the mild detergent I use.
- Allow it to air dry.
- As an extra mold prevention step, spray it with EC3 mold solution spray and allow it to dry.
How to clean the exterior of the air purifier
- Unplug the air purifier from the wall outlet.
- If there is dust or debris on the purifier “vents”, HEPA vacuum those areas.
- Use a soft damp cloth to clean the unit’s surfaces.
- Use a small brush with soft bristles to clean the air vents and other small spaces.
- As an extra mold prevention step, spray it with EC3 mold solution spray and allow it to dry.
How to clean the inside of the air purifier
Since the device is mainly comprised of electrical components, make sure that you do not introduce any moisture.
- Wipe the internal parts with a dry, soft cloth.
- Use a small brush to remove dust from the unit’s internal components.
Now that we have cleaning under control, let’s get to the heart of this post shall we?
Top 7 Air Purifiers For Removing Mold Spores
I have personally used each and every air purifier on this list. I currently have 5 of the 7 brands running in various rooms of my own home. Believe me when I say that I have thoroughly vetted over 15 brands of air purifiers. They are not at all created equal.
All of the air purifiers I am recommending are worthy of finding a place in your home. However, I am ranking them in order from Great to Outstanding!
If you are looking for the best cheap air purifier then this is it! GermGuardian air purifiers are one of the most popular brands on Amazon (and elsewhere). They are little powerhouses with a very high user satisfaction rating. For the price they definitely give some of the more expensive brands a run for their money.
Basic Information About The GermGuardian Air Purifier Line
The GermGuardian air purifiers use a HEPA filter to capture small particles, while also using Guardian Technologies™ powerful and safe UV light technology to kill airborne bacteria. It captures 99.97% of dust and allergens as small as .3 microns in size!
They offer several different models and sizes of air purifiers to reduce airborne mold spores and germs in your home, all at prices you can afford.
Attention to superior customer service, top quality products and continued innovation has allowed them to grow into a trusted national brand to both retailers and consumers.
Why The GermGuardian Air Purifier Is Awesome
- It has a lightweight and vertical design and can be moved from room to room, fitting practically anywhere.
- It has an antimicrobial agent to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew on the filter itself.
- The GermGuardian air purifier has an ultra-quiet working mode, and you can use it while you sleep.
- Great air coverage for its price range
- AHAM Verified & Energy Star Certified
- True HEPA filter + prefilter/carbon filter
- Easy to operate
- UV-C light feature kills germs. You DO NOT have to turn it on which is a huge plus for people concerned about it emitting trace amounts of ozone.
- Filter & UV replacement reminders
- 3-year warranty
- Maintenance is easy to perform
- CADR rated 125+
- The only common objection people have about this product is that it tends to emit a plastic smelling odor during the first 48 hours of use. This is worth knowing if you’re extra sensitive to odors. I have never smelled an odor myself and I have had 4 different GermGuardians.
- If you want to use the UV-C light you have to turn it on yourself. It does not turn on automatically. If you turn the air purifier off, it doesn’t come back on when you turn the unit back on. Just something to be aware of. Not a major drawback.
- No auto mode or auto-off timer feature
- Blue glowing trim can add light to a dark room.
- Rotary manual control fan speed switch
- If you live in a high dust area like I do, you will need to replace the filters often. Filters should last 6 months but in a high dust area that likely will last not more than 2 months.
What’s The Price Of The GermGuardian Air Purifiers
The price varies depending on size. You can check the current prices here. They almost always have coupons with extra $$ off.
Where To Buy
I find the best deals on Amazon. Its also a great place to check out the reviews of the various models. These are the three models I feel are the best:
- GermGuardian AC5350B 28” 4-in-1 Air Purifier
- GermGuardian AC4825 22” 3-in-1 Full Room Air Purifier
- GermGuardian AC5250PT 28” 3-in-1 True HEPA Filter Air Purifier
This is absolutely the best desktop air purifier and travel air purifier which is why it made the top 7. If you have a larger air purifier running elsewhere in your home but just needed something small OR you want a great desktop air purifier for your office, this is your best bet. And like I said, it also makes a great air purifier for travel.
Basic Information About The Levoit Vista 200
The Levoit air purifier uses 3 stage filtration to capture 99.97% of 0.3 micron particles. The first Fine Preliminary Filter helps neutralize airborne bacteria, pet dander, mold, and fungi. The True HEPA Filter then traps dust mites, large particles, and pollen. The Activated Carbon Filter, the third stage of filtration, purifies various household odors such as cooking smells, pet odors, and cigarette smoke.
Why The Levoit Vista 200 Air Purifier Is Awesome
- It is 100% ozone free, does not use UV or ions which produce trace amounts of measurable ozone, a harmful air pollutant and lung irritant. This can be a huge deal for some people.
- Uses an advanced brushless motor and consumes as little as 0. 9W of electricity. Running this air purifier 24 hours a day for an entire year can cost as little as $6—up to 30% less than other air purifiers.
- 3-Stage Filtration
- A REALLY quiet sleep mode
- The night light features 2 brightness levels to promote a perfect night of sleep. You can turn the light off anytime.
- 3 fan speeds
- Has a timer you can set for 2, 4, or 8 hours to auto Shut-off.
- CARB/ETL/CA PROP 65 Certified
- Lifetime support from California Air Purifier Team.
- Shorter height than competing tower purifiers.
- Electronic soft button controls
- Filter replacement reminder
- Great build quality & high reliability
- Easy filter replacement
- Smaller room coverage than others in its price range (161 sq. ft.)
- No air quality sensor
- Electronic controls may not be suitable for some
- While it does have a two year warrently it is a little goofy. Initially you get a 1-year buyer assurance with a free option to extend it by 1 more year. Why not just say it’s a 2 year warranty?
What’s The Price Of The Levoit Vista 200
It is usually $89.99 but often times they have 10& off coupons or $5 coupons attached to it. Click here to check the current price.
Where To Buy The Levoit Vista 200
Again, Amazon has the best deals.
If you are looking for a slightly larger Levoit Air purifier, check these models out:
EnviroKlenz is somewhat of the new kid in town. This made in the USA air purifier is a really great choice and their customer service is fantastic!
Basic Information About The EnviroKlenz
The EnviroKlenz mobile air system uses hospital-grade technology to guarantee the air in your home or office space stays as clean and pure as possible. The EnviroKlenz Mobile Air System with optional UV Light combines advanced EnviroKlenz technology for toxic and noxious chemical and odor removal with HEPA filtration and ultraviolet germicidal radiation (UVC) to remove airborne particulates and allergens and inhibit the growth of captured microorganisms (such as bacteria, mold, and viruses).
The EnviroKlenz technology was originally designed for chemical warfare decontamination. The patented Earth Mineral Technology works to attack the VOC and break them down on a compound level.
Why The EnviroKlenz Air Purifier Is Awesome
- 4 speed settings
- Very quiet on the lower two settings
- Covers up to 1,000 square feet
- Powerful fan design
- Safer and faster at removing VOC’s than traditional carbon filters and Peco air purifier
- Separately replaceable filters
- Easy filter replacement
- There are no tools required for maintenance
- Solid, well-made metal design – no plastic parts!
- UV-C version is available
- 5 year warranty
- 30 day money back guarantee
- Great HEPA filter life
- Indicator lights inform you when individual UVC lamps need to be replaced or when the HEPA filter is clogged with particulate buildup. The system monitors HEPA filter loading by a differential pressure switch that measures air resistance through the filters, not by a timer so that you get maximum usage out of the HEPA before replacement because you know exactly when it is blocked.
- Rolling feet make placement easy
- You can actually put things on top of the air purifier which you can’t with most brands
- Really noisy on highest setting
- Power light remains on when switched off
- Rear cover screw holes can be tricky to align
- Filter replacement costs are a bit high
- No locks for wheels
- Air cartridge size doesn’t center properly with HEPA filter
- Not very attractive
- There is some controversy as to whether this unit produces ozone. So far I cannot find any hard evidence that it does.
What’s The Price Of The EnviroKlenz?
It runs $649. Sometimes there are additional discounts or free filter promotions. These don’t happen often though. Check the price of the EnviroKlenz here.
Where To Buy The EnviroKlenz
I suggest purchasing direct through the EnviroKlenz website. You can find these air purifiers on Amazon but my understanding is that the warranty is not guaranteed if the product is sold by a third party.
#4 IQ Air
The IQ Air is considered the best air purifier for mold by many reviewers. It’s easy to see why. Their technology is impressive.
IQAir’s exclusive HyperHEPA filtration technology can stop ultrafine particles down to 0.003 microns – 10x smaller than a virus! Independent testing verifies that IQAir HyperHEPA filtration stops at least 99.5% of all particles down to 0.003 microns for unequaled protection against fine and ultrafine particles, including bacteria and viruses.
Ultrafine particles are smaller than 0.1 microns in diameter and comprise about 90% of all airborne particles. The tiny size enables them to be easily inhaled, deposited into the lungs and absorbed directly into the bloodstream. From there, they travel to all vital organs, including the brain. Viruses, tobacco smoke and diesel soot are all ultrafine particles.
Manufacturers of other air filtration systems filter particles larger than 0.3 microns. IQAir’s HyperHEPA filtration is proven and certified to filter down to 0.003 microns which does give them a major edge over the competition. So you are probably wondering WHY they are #4.
Basically, it comes down to price, size, and an odd odor issue. Read on…
Basic Information About IQAIR Air Purifiers
The IQAir purification system is a 4 stage process:
1. Pre-Filter: Protects the core by first removing larger particles such as pet dander, pollen, and dust.
2. Activated Carbon: the carbon filter is the best defense against pesky odors. Activate carbon absorbs odors easily and also traps any volatile organic compounds. V5, a specialized gas and odor filter removes a large variety of chemicals and odors.
3. Pelletized Chemisorption: the pelletized chemisorption is extremely powerful and takes care of chemicals that most other room air purifiers will not be able to capture. This feature makes the IQAir the best air purifier for formaldehyde.
4. HyperHEPA: this final step captures ultrafine particles including viruses and bacteria.
They also have patented triple-sealing technology which eliminates air leakage:
- Filter media is 100% sealed into the filter frame
- 3D UltraSeal perfectly seals the filter frame to the housing
- Individual seals ensure all is airtight
Why The IQAir Air Purifier Is Awesome
- Trusted by hospitals and winner of multiple awards internationally, the IQAir is extremely energy efficient
- It uses a HyperHEPA filtration system, which no other air purifier has.
- Maintenance free motor
- No draft
- Pretty quiet on the lower settings
- Programmable operating options
- Filter-life monitoring
- Color-coded lights indicate when a filter change is needed
- Filters up to 1125 square feet
- Long filter life under normal conditions
- IQAir purifiers are VERY expensive. The most expensive in the industry which puts them out of reach of most people.
- Filter replacements are very expensive.
- The unit itself is massive. It is about the size of a nightstand or end table.
- It is loud on the highest setting. Really loud.
- Heavy and the wheels are not the best.
- A lot of complaints about a weird chemical smell when you first use the unit or change the filters. IQAir has an explanation for this. What happens with the V5 filter is it contains charcoal and it soaks up stuff in the air (odors, chemicals, etc.) whether the machine is running or not. So where the machine is stored, how long it is stored, how it’s shipped, the kind of container (Styrofoam or plastic) it is stored and shipped in, etc. can mean that the filter gets lots of “usage” before it ever shows up at your door. Hence why it outputs a weird odor. Do I believe this explanation? Yes, its possible.
What’s The Price Of The IQAir Air Purifiers and Where Can I Buy It?
Expect to pay a pretty penny. You are looking at anywhere from $900-$1300. You can check current prices on Amazon or directly on the IQAir website.
You can also check out the reviews on Amazon. I think you will find them really helpful.
#3 Air Doctor
The Air Doctor would be IQAir’s main competitor from a filtered particulate standpoint. The UltraHEPA filters are 100x more effective than ordinary HEPA filters, capturing 99.99% of particles, down to .003 microns. Yes, you read that right. Almost 100% of particles.
Basic Information About The Air Doctor
The Air Doctor utilizes three filters to effectively purify the air: pre-filter, dual-action GasTrap filter, UltraHEPA filter. The pre-filter works to capture larger-sized particles like dust and pet fur, the dual-action GasTrap filter removes ozone, gases and VOCs, and the UltraHEPA filter that is 100 times more effective than regular HEPA filters—it can remove 99.99% of the smallest, ultra-fine PM2.5 particles from the air.
Why The Air Doctor Air Purifier Is Awesome
- Utilizes a 100% sealed system that prevents air from leaking, ensuring all air passes through the filters to create pure, clean air.
- Its control panel is located on the top of the unit for manual adjustments and it has an air quality monitor display that changes color to notify you if the air is good, marginal or bad
- Auto sensory measures and adjusts filtration level instantly to air quality
- Really quiet.
- For what it can do, it is really affordable.
I have not personally used the Air Doctor but two people I know personally have. They have used other air purifiers before as well and to be completely honest, they were a little underwhelmed by the Air Doctor. They saw no difference between what it can do and what other air purifiers can do.
- It only offers a one year limited warranty.
- It looks like an air purifier and is fairly large in size.
- It hasn’t been on the market long enough to generate enough “negative” reviews.
What’s The Price Of The Air Doctor?
The Air Doctor will run you about $499 on Amazon. You can always check the price here.
Where To Buy The Air Doctor
Amazon offers some additional warranty options making it my top choice as the place to purchase. Click here to learn more.
I can’t recall how I ended up with the two Blueair purifiers that I own but I am glad I did! The company is amazing and these units have performed very well!
Basic Information About The Blueair Air Classic 605
The Blueair Classic 605 is a phenomenal, WiFi-enabled air purifier that uses a traditional HEPA and activated carbon filter assembly in conjunction with an ionization unit to remove allergens, dust, pollen, gases, and VOCs from the air. HEPASilent technology uses a combination of electrostatic and mechanical filtration to expertly target and eliminate 99.97% of allergy and asthma triggers such as, pollen, dust, mold and pet dander, down to 0.1 micron in size. Because the filters are optimized to be used with HEPASilent technology, AlleryGuard Plus maintains a best-in-class Clean Air Delivery Rate with a quiet delivery and less low energy consumption.
Why The Blueair Air Purifier Is Awesome
- Blueair has a separate specialized Smokestop filter you can order that works wonders against VOCs, heavy gases and smoke. The filter contains activated carbon, magnesium dioxide and copper oxide, a potent mix that traps smoke particles and tobacco exceptionally well. When I lived in an apartment with smokers all around me, these Smokestop filters saved the day!
- The filters are made with pol-propylene that prevents bacterial growth, are free of chemicals and binders, and resist clogging so they won’t re-release particles back into the air.
- Built-in sensors continually monitor room air quality and can send reports directly to your smartphone if you choose.
- You can set it to auto mode or choose a manual setting.
- Each Blueair purifier is independently verified by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) for clean air delivery rate (CADR), ENERGY STAR rated, and certified by the California EPA Air Resources Board for ozone emissions.
- Purifiers up to 1,550 sq. ft.
- There is a digital countdown timer telling you exactly when you need to change the filters.
- Is more expensive than others with same room coverage
- The machine is big and heavy
- It looks more like an industrial air purifier than a home purifier.
- Changing the filters is a little goofy but doesn’t take a lot of time.
What’s The Price Of The Blueair Classic 605 Air Purifier?
It runs about $650.00. The other Bluair air purifiers run anywhere from about $115 – $800 depending on the size and type. You can check all the current prices here.
Where To Buy The Bluair Purifiers
#1 The Best In Show! Austin Air Purifiers
These are all around my FAVORITE air purifier. You will learn why in a second but the entire line of Austin Air Purifiers are incredible. Plus the company itself it very generous. They have sent thousands of free air purifiers out each year to wildfire victims. Austin is very community minded which I appreciate it. Plus their customer service absolutely rocks.
Basic Information About The Austin Air Purifier Line
Austin Air is known for their reliable and affordable air purifiers. They are a great economical choice and require minimal maintenance with low filter replacement costs! Austin Air concentrates on the important essentials equipping each air purifier with a medical grade HEPA filter for allergen removal, surrounded by a large amount of high grade carbon for odor, chemical and gaseous contaminants reduction. Designed for performance and not frills, they are a great value for quality air purification.
Environmental doctors and allergists recommend Austin Air ten to one over other air purifiers.
Why The Austin Air Air Purifier Is Awesome
- Minimal maintenance and long filter life. Filters last 3-5 years and are easy to change!
- Very durable! No plastic parts and well made. The Austin Air air purifiers have a superior steel construction with a baked-on powder coat finish. They are a good, safe choice for those irritated by plastic off-gassing.
- Austin Air’s reputation is excellent and they have been in business for many years and stand behind their product with a 5 year warranty on parts and labor. They are also one of the only manufacturer’s to offer a 5 year pro-rated guarantee on their filters!
- 360 degree intake system draws air into all sides of unit, passing air through a 4 stage filter. The Bedroom Machine actually has a 5th stage of filtration.
- Very quiet on the lowest setting.
- Amazingly quick air purification on the highest setting.
- The standard size air purifiers can filter up to 1,500 square feet. Based on my experience I think they perform best up to 700sq ft.
- They blend in with décor and you can set things on top of them.
- Low profile although they are a bit wide. But again, you can kind of make them a piece of furniture.
- The filters are affordable.
- Can be rolled around from room to room with ease.
- Performs VERY well in a home with lots of pets. This is only air purifier I have used that has not gotten clogged with pet hair at some point or needed weekly vacuuming to keep the intakes from being blocked.
- Not the quietest air purifier.
- No filter change indicator.
- Does not have an auto sensor or auto adjust feature.
- A bit more expensive than other air purifiers.
- Noisy to move around.
What’s The Price Of The Austin Air Purifiers?
That depends on which model you chose. You can check the current prices here but expect to pay between $349 for their Junior models to $845 for their Bedroom machine.
Where To Buy The Austin Air Purifier
I have always found great deals on Amazon.
The models I own and use currently are the:
I have also used the Healthmate Plus standard in the past. My parents are using that now.
Are you looking for some HIGH QUALITY 3rd party air filter replacements from a reputable company?
You need to check out Filter Monster! They are amazing and their prices are unbeatable. I have tried a few other 3rd party dealers and the filters all emitted a horrible smell. Not the case with Filter Monster. They ship fast and they back their product!
In this post I refer to EC3 products. Please read my article outlining what makes EC3 superior when it comes to killing mold and mycotoxin and why it is the only independently lab tested product on the market that works. I encourage you to purchase EC3 products directly through Micro Balance. You can use COUPON CODE tencsoff to get 10% off your entire order. If you prefer to shop on Amazon, Micro Balance has a presence there as well.