What is an air purifier

An air purifier is, as its name suggests, a device designed to remove polluting elements that are present in the air. For example, dust, mites, pollen or even others such as tobacco smoke.

Various types of solutions can be used to eliminate these impurities, but for the consumer market, it is usual to use special filters that capture the air in the room and expel it cleaner again.

This capture and expulsion process is carried out by means of a fan that is in continuous operation. Thanks to this and the current that is generated, little by little it is able to absorb all the air in the room in which it is located. Of course, depending on its capacity, renovating all the air will be a more or less slow process.

So, to choose the ideal purifier you have to know what are the key elements and how do they affect depending on the needs of each user.

Types and characteristics of HEPA filters

Types of HEPA filters

High Efficiency Particulate Air or HEPA filter It is the element in charge of trapping all those particles that are in the air and that detract from its quality. As you can imagine, there are different types of filters depending on the degree of retention that it is capable of achieving. What’s more, there is a nomenclature that you can find in many purifiers and that you are also interested in knowing to know what it means.

A HEPA filter is not the same as a HEPA filterIn other words, it is similar but does not meet the same standards of functionality. Thus, particle retention may be less efficient or fail to do so with the same number of types. So, since you are going to invest in an air purifier, even if they cost a little more, ideally, it should include a HEPA filter and not a HEPA type filter. Yes, it can be a bit confusing now, but it is simply a matter of making sure before buying by looking at the technical sheet that you will see even in the box.

HEPA filters air purifiers

Going back to HEPA filters, they offer different retention levels and nomenclatures.

  • HEPA E10, E11 and E12 filters: they offer a total retention of between 85 and 99.5% PM (Particular matter)
  • HEPA filters H13 and H14: they offer a total retention between 99.95 and 99.995% and more than 99.7% of local retention PM (Particulate Matter)
  • HEPA filters U15, U16 and U17: total retention between 99.999995 and 99.99999995% and local retention of up to 99.9999% PM (Particular matter)

It goes without saying that the higher the retention percentage, the cleaner the air returned by the purifier will be. Nor that these filters will need to be replaced according to the manufacturer’s instructions depending on the time or number of hours of use.

How to choose the ideal air purifier

Portable air purifier

Now that you know what the function of a purifier is and what HEPA filters are, the next step is to know what other aspects to consider to choose the most suitable model according to your needs.

The first basic point is to know what is the volume of air you want to purify. Or in other words, what is the volume of the room where you want to use it. If you intend to do it in several rooms, logically you will need the data of the largest.

With that data you can now choose the purifier with the adequate power for it. If not, if it has less power, the time it will take to clean the air in the room will be greater and its efficiency will drop.

Being a device that you are going to have on for long periods, what ideally it should also be as quiet as possible. Because at certain times of the day it will not disturb with daily activity, but when you want to be quiet for a while you will notice that the hum that can cause your ventilation system bothers a lot. Below 30 dB is considered very quiet, perfect to leave at night, and up to 40 dB would be optimal for the day.

From here, everything that a purifier adds with respect to another model will be an extra that you will have to again assess to what extent you are interested or not. Because the final price of the product is likely to increase.

And, it is not the same a purifier that controls manually to another that has integration with home automation systems or that you can remotely control through an app. Neither does it include any type of system that allows it to monitor air quality and be activated accordingly, or an active carbon system to also combat odors.

In summary, to choose an ideal purifier you must take into account the following:

  • Power according to the room you want to purify
  • Retention level of particulate matter or PM that you want to achieve
  • If you want it to be a HEPA filter or a HEPA filter is enough for you
  • Maximum and minimum noise level
  • Additional smart options

With that you will be ready to start seeing different models, assess their capabilities and whether it is what you are looking for or not.