Air Purifiers: Why You Should Own One & What You Should Know

Did you know that indoor air can be two to five times dirtier than outside air? On top of that, due to limited ventilation, the same stale and dirty air is circulated again and again throughout the home. Owning an air purifier is your answer to having clean air in the house.

Credit: Philips

Air purifiers use filters to get rid of allergens and pollutants, such as smoke, dust, pollen grains, bacteria, and viruses (most of which can’t be seen by the human eye.) An Indian study posted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information highlighted that “new data reveals a stronger link between indoor and outdoor pollution exposure and cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and ischemic heart disease as well as between air pollution and cancer.” They concluded that the use of efficient air filters results in a reduction of particulate matter and allergens, ultimately reducing symptoms of respiratory diseases and in some cases, even preventing disease progression (across all age groups).

Luckily for us, technology has advanced enough to create air filters that both work and look good! It’s imperative, however, that you buy a HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air filter rather than an ionizing air cleaner. The problem with ionizers is that most of them produce ozone—triatomic oxygen, O3—which is especially harmful. Even the best ionizers on the market emit small amounts of ozone. The American Lung Association, stresses that “relatively low concentrations of ozone” are associated with lung function decrements, increased respiratory symptoms, and respiratory mortality. That being said, mechanical purifiers such as the HEPA filter do not produce ozone; they simply draw air through a filter (usually made of interlaced glass fibers) and trap harmful particles. Hence being a better, and safer option for your home or dorm room.


When it comes to purchasing an air purifier, be aware of its Air Changes Per Hour (ACH) and its Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). The ACH rating lets you know how many times per hour the purifying device will exchange the air within a room. An ACH rating of five, for example, would then purify the air in the room five times per hour. ACH typically varies from 1x to 7x, thus an ACH of 7x would be the most preferable and efficient. Now, the CADR rate tells you how much air is being filtered per minute. Using the CADR is a good way to ensure that the purifier is performing according to the manufacturer’s product claims. CADR measures smoke, pollen, and dust in order to test a purifier’s ability to remove different particle sizes—smoke representing smaller particles and pollen larger particles. The CADR rating for dust can be as high as 400 and the CADR rating for pollen and smoke can be as high as 450. These indices help when comparing which air purifier is right for your home.


Air purifiers tend to be expensive and could hurt your college wallet, so if that’s the case, opt for an air purifier that covers less square feet as they tend to be more affordable. Put the air purifier in the room in which you spend the most time in. An air purifier with small coverage and great efficiency that I recommend would be the Levoit LV-H132 (which you can find on Amazon). Though if you’re willing to spend more dough, Breathe Quality has compiled a list of the top 10 best air purifiers in 2019.

No matter what air purifier you buy, any purifier is better than none and any mechanical purifier is better than any ionized one.


Want to keep up with HCBU? Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, check out our Pinterest board, and read our latest Tweets!