How to Buy the Right Air Purifier in Australia

How to Buy the Right Air Purifier in Australia

How to Buy the Right Air Purifier in Australia

Why do you need an air purifier?

Better air quality can help you breathe better by lowering the risk of respiratory issues, especially in those with allergies or asthma. This is where the right air purifier can help. Try as you might to keep your home clean and stay on top of dust, even the cleanest homes can be full of allergens. Everything from dust and pet dander to outdoor irritants and even pollen pollute the air in your home. All of these things can wreak havoc on your breathing.

While everyone can benefit from cleaner air, those who have allergies or respiratory issues should really consider an air purifier. As well, any household with pets or smokers should have an air purifier. Did we mention fireplaces and wood stoves? Yes, wood smoke can pollute your air and make it harder to breathe well, too.

What does an air purifier do?

Just as their name suggests; air purifiers purify the air. An air purifier reduces the overall concentration of any airborne contaminants in your home, including dust and dust mite faeces, pollen, mould, pet dander, smoke, chemical irritants, and odours. They circulate the air in the room; pulling in the contaminated air and filtering it before sending it back out so that you end up with cleaner, healthier air that’s also free of foul odours.

How do they work?

The air purifier pulls in air where it passes through a HEPA filter.

The filter catches the contaminants so that when the air is pushed out it is clean and free of pollutants. It continues to circulate the air, repeating the process over and over.

Every time the air passes through the filter, more of those contaminants get caught by the filter so that the air gets cleaner with every pass.

Who Needs An Air Purifier?

Hay Fever, Allergy and Asthma

Sufferers benefit from air purifiers through the removal of pollen and particles that cause breathing problems, sneezing, itchy eyes and skin, or running noses. Many asthma sufferers experience fewer attacks and far better sleep when they include an air purifier in their home.

Every person who lives with asthma has different triggers, and some find that an air purifier can reduce their reliance on medications to control and treat their symptoms. Households with smokers use air purifiers to reduce damage from secondhand smoke and prevent the smoke smell from permanently settling in the house.

Breathing problems

Use air purifiers to filter out potentially harmful contaminants and assist their the immune systems while protecting their respiratory tracts.

Households with pets

Can use air purifiers to keep pet hair/ dander and odours under control. Animal lovers with allergies, sometimes find that an air purifier can allow them to live with their pets comfortably rather than choosing between their pets and their quality of life

Households with smokers

Use air purifiers to reduce damage from secondhand smoke and prevent the smoke smell from permanently settling in the house.

Households with young children

Use air purifiers to filter out potentially harmful contaminants and assist their the immune systems while protecting their respiratory tracts.

What particles will an Air Purifier filter?

A common question is will an air purifier filter out particles such as smoke, pollen, dust mites, dust particles, pet dander, viruses, bacteria, mould and mould spores.

A HEPA based air purifier will filter down to 0.3 microns and some brands will even filter down to 0.1 microns.  To help give you a better idea we have put together table of common particles an their typical sizes.

Common Household Contaminants and their Particle Sizes

Particle Size
Human Hair 50 microns
Lower limit of visibitlity of a human eye 40 microns
Pollen 10 - 100 microns
Plant Spores 10 - 70 microns
Mould Spores 3 - 40 microns
Pet Dander 2.5 - 10 microns
House Hold Dust 0.5 - 100 microns
Bacteria 0.3 - 3 microns
Viruses 0.005 - 0.3 microns
Tobacco Smoke 0.01 - 4 microns
Gas Molecules 0.0001 - 0.001 microns

What about Gases and Harmful Chemicals?

As you can see gases, VOCs and gaseous chemicals will pass right through a HEPA filter as they are just too small to be filtered by a HEPA filter. To remove these contaminents from the air you will need a Carbon Filter in your Air Purifier. Carbon binds with the chemical particles removing them from the air. Hence the carbon filter requires replacing on a regular basis.

Our Air Purifier Range

Our Air Purifier Range

Blueair

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Climate

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Philips

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HoMedics

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AirTamer

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Blueair

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Climate

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Philips

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Ionmax

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HoMedics

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AirTamer

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What size/capacity do I need?

Air Purifiers are classified by the room size that they can manage effectively. To determine your room size simply measure both walls in meters and multiply to determine room size (eg 5m x 6m = 30m2). A larger capacity unit for a smaller size room is an advantage as it will circulate through the full volume of air in a room faster and will clean the air more effectively. A correctly sized air purifier will typically circulate through the full volume of air in a room on average 5 times.

Coverage Area

Typical Use

 

0 - 10 m2

Personal Airpurifier for travel - office table - bedroom table

11 - 20 m2

Small Room

20 - 29 m2

Typical bedroom to large bedroom

30 - 50 m2

Living room to open plan living room & kitchen

60+ m2

Large open plan living spaces

Coverage Area

Typical Use

0 - 10 m2

Personal Airpurifier for travel - office table - bedroom table

11 - 20 m2

Small Room

20 - 29 m2

Typical bedroom to large bedroom

30 - 50 m2

Living room to open plan livin room & kitchen

60+ m2

Large open plan living spaces

What if there is not an air purifier large enough for my room size?

You can use two smaller air purifiers together in one larger room – 1 either side of the room. It is a bit like having 2 small heaters in a room to warm keep it warm. One alone is not enough but 2 work well together.

For those more Technically minded:

Knowing what size air purifier to buy begins with understanding the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). This seal program was developed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers to help consumers choose the best size air purifier for their needs. The CADR is determined by the cubic feet of air that a purifier is able to filter per minute. So what this means is that the higher the CADR number, the quicker the air purifier cleans the room’s air. It’s recommended that you choose an air purifier with a CADR score that is approximately two-thirds of your room size. The following formula can help you to easily figure out the best CADR for you:

Square footage x .75 = CADR

Our Top Rated Air Purifiers

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What are the types of filters and for what are they most effective?

Let’s take a look at the different types of filters available in most air purifiers in Australia:

Pre-Filters

Some air purifiers come with a pre-filter which is ofter a coarse filter which is designed to filter out larger particles such as hairs, dustballs, clothes and carpet fibres etc. Not having a pre-filter is not necessarily a bad either. Manufactures design their fitlers so that they can handle larger particles without becomming clogged.

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filters

They live up to the hype that makes them the gold standard in air purifiers. A HEPA filter, which was originally created to trap radioactive dust particles, by the Atomic Energy Commission, is typically able to remove 99.97 percent of air particles. Impressive, especially since we’re talking about particles as tiny as 0.3 microns—or 0.1 microns depending on the brand you choose!

Air Purifiers and their associated included fitlers often quote a HEPA Grade.

HEPA Grade Filtration Efficiency
H14 99.995%
H13 99.95%
H12 99.5%
H11 95%
H10 85%
  • What does a HEPA Grade Mean?
    The Filtration Efficiency refers to how much air bypasses the fitler without being filtered down to 0.3 microns. So for example for an H13 fitler 0.05% of air would pass through the air purifier without being filtered.
  • What does True HEPA Mean?
    A True HEPA air purifier captures upt to 99.97 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns.

Activated Carbon Filters

Though not generally used alone and instead combined with other filters to purify air; activated carbon or charcoal filters do serve an important purpose. They’re great for trapping gases and odours and are able to neutralize smoke,fumes, and chemicals making them an especially great choice for households with wood burners and smokers. People who suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) will also benefit from an air purifier with an activated carbon filter because they absorb chemicals in the cleaning products used at home and formaldehyde, which is found in carpet and upholstery, and wood panelling.

Air purifiers with a carbon filter as well as a HEPA filter are also available and ideal for those looking to get maximum results. When choosing an air purifier with a carbon filter, remember that the larger the carbon filter, the more toxins it will absorb, which means cleaner air and longer use before needing to be replaced.

What are the types of filters and for what are they most effective?

There are a few different types of air purifiers to choose from. As for which are the most effective, it really depends on your needs. Let’s take a look at the different types of air purifiers in Australia:

Pre-Filters

Some air purifiers come with a pre-filter which is ofter a coarse filter which is designed to filter out larger particles such as hairs, dustballs, clothes and carpet fibres etc. Not having a pre-filter is not necessarily a bad either. Manufactures design their fitlers so that they can handle larger particles without becomming clogged.

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filters

They live up to the hype that makes them the gold standard in air purifiers. A HEPA filter, which was created to trap radioactive dust particles, by the Atomic Energy Commission, are generally able to remove 99.97 percent of air particles. Impressive, especially since we’re talking about particles as tiny as 0.3 microns—or 0.1 microns depending on the brand you choose!

However HEPA fitlers and Air Purifers are often quote a HEPA Grade

  • What does a HEPA Grade Mean?
    The Filtration Efficiency refers to how much air bypasses the fitler without being filtered down to 0.3 microns. So for example for an H13 fitler 0.05% of air would pass through the air purifier without being filtered.
HEPA Grade Filtration Efficiency
H14 99.995%
H13 99.95%
H12 99.5%
H11 95%
H10 85%
  • What does True HEPA Mean?
    A True HEPA air purifier captures upt to 99.97 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns.

Activated Carbon Filters

Though not generally used alone and instead combined with other filters to purify air; activated carbon or charcoal filters do serve an important purpose. They’re great for trapping gases and odours and are able to neutralize smoke,fumes, and chemicals making them an especially great choice for households with wood burners and smokers. People who suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) will also benefit from an air purifier with an activated carbon filter because they absorb chemicals in the cleaning products used at home and formaldehyde, which is found in carpet and upholstery, and wood panelling.

Air purifiers with a carbon filter as well as a HEPA filter are also available and ideal for those looking to get maximum results. When choosing an air purifier with a carbon filter, remember that the larger the carbon filter, the more toxins it will absorb, which means cleaner air and longer use before needing to be replaced.

What features should I look for?

Along with considering features like HEPA, carbon, and UV filters for the benefits listed above; consider these features as well:

Filter Life Indicator

Unless you’re an especially diligent planner, chances are that you won’t always remember to change the filter when you should. Look for a unit that automatically alerts you when it’s time to change the filter.

Quiet operation

Light sleepers, those who are especially sensitive to noise, and households with babies and small children should definitely consider the noise level. Look for units that offer quiet operation, as some are quieter than others.

Automatic air quality monitor

Some units have sensors that monitor your air quality and automatically adjust the cleaning speed accordingly without you having to stay on top of it and adjusting manually. This is an especially important feature if the unit will be in an unattended space.

No or low ozone

Look for an air purifier that emits as little ozone as possible. Steer clear of ozone generators that are sold as air cleaners. High amounts of ozone can actually cause breathing difficulties, increase the risk of infections, and worsen asthma.

Tips Lightbulb

Tip:

When ordering an air purifier make sure to order 1 or 2 spare replacement filters.

This way you will have a replacement filter at hand when you need to replace the filter. Also as some manufacturers discontinue models – from time to time it is not a bad idea to stock up on replacement filters. Lastly – you typically will get free shipping with your air purifier – so combining your replacement filters with the air purifier order will save you on shipping costs!

Air FilterAir Filter
Tips Lightbulb

Tip:

When ordering an air purifier make sure to order 1 or 2 spare replacement filters.

Air Filter

This way you will have a replacement filter at hand when you need to replace the filter. Also as some manufacturers discontinue models – from time to time it is not a bad idea to stock up on replacement filters. Lastly – you typically will get free shipping with your air purifier – so combining your replacement filters with the air purifier order will save you on shipping costs!

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