Updated: May 9, 2015
Air Purifier Reviews:Air purifiers have been around for years, but it seems like recently the air quality reports and overall respiratory problems that people are experiencing have caused a buying spree for the ionic air purifiers. There is much controversy on how well they work. We know they help clean the air environment around us (that much is proven), but it's a matter of how much better the air quality is that really counts. For example the Oreck XL Professional Air Purifiers sell for $370 and at one point so did the Ionic Breeze Quadra from Sharper Image - so we need to determine if the price is justified based on the results of their performance. Consumer Reports reported not too long ago that the Ionic Breeze failed to clean the air significantly and actually exposed users to "potential high levels of ozone". I had owned 2 of the Sharper Image products due to our daughters indoor allergy problems and thought they were working good, but you just never know. Air cleaners, either for room or whole house purposes are a huge business. It's estimated that almost $350 million is spent each year on home air purifiers
Top manufacturers of air purifiers are Honeywell, Hunter, Holmes, Kemore, Austin, Friedrich, Blueair, IQAir, Oreck and Whirlpool. You can buy them at stores like Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, and Target. They all have air purifier ratings and most claim to do their best work if you setup the air purifier to manage only 1 room roughly 20 X 30. You can even get a personal air purifier that travels with you if you are so inclined. The air purifier comparisons show that Oreck and Honeywell produce the best air purifiers. HEPA Air Purifiers - HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arrestor) is a type of air filter that is used in air cleaning equipment including things like vacuum cleaners. Most HEPA air cleaners will filter particles at an efficiency rating of 99.7%. They will filter and remove some of the smallest microns of allergens such as dust, smoke, pollen, animal dander. They work by filtering the allergens in the air through the HEPA filter which traps the particles, allowing only the clean air to circulate. Hence, the more times the air is forced to travel through the air filter, the cleaner the air will get. People with HEPA purifiers in their rooms find that they have less allergy and asthma symptoms while sleeping at night. Air purifiers, on the other hand, don't clean the air by filtration like HEPA air cleaners. The 2 types of air purifiers are ozone/ionizer. The ozone purifiers the air by oxidation (splitting the 02 molecule into 03 which is ozone). Ozone penetrates into odors, bacteria, and fungus molecules to create a clean smell. The ionization process is where negative ionic charges from the air purifier attach to airborne particles like dust, smoke, pollen, and animal dander forcing the particle to drop out of the breathing environment down to the ground. Prices range from $49 to $200 but keep in mind that the filter replacements add up over time (once a year they need to be replaced). Living with an air purifier is essential for those of us with asthma or other respiratory diseases that require the cleanest air quality we can get. Air purifier reviews - We found dozens of good independent reviews on websites like Amazon.com and Epinions. The few reviews posted on allergy product websites seemed more based on fear than anything else and results were mixed. Consumer Reports had the most thorough testing (26+ models) - they rated the air purifiers on ability to remove dust or smoke (at both high and low speeds), noise levels, ozone emissions, and annual cost to run the purifier for energy and filter prices. I have found that the noise levels are way to high on most purifiers. I bought the Honeywell Enviracare 50250 but on high speed it's hard to tune it out. Most purifiers scored well at low speeds for noise, but almost all did less than average at higher speeds. You can browse the top selling air purifiers online here.