HEPA Filters Vs. Electrostatic Air Cleaners
There are at least five secrets the air cleaning industry doesn't tell you when advertising their products on TV, such as Sharper Image's Professional Series Ionic Breeze Quadra air purifier and the Oreck XL Signature Series. Sure, they were nice enough to let you know that your indoor air is dangerously unclean. But did they also tell you…
1. Size matters.
An air cleaner that is smaller and has a slower rate of air circulation will have a harder time fully purifying your air. Smaller air cleaners, especially ion-generated ones, received negative reviews from Consumer Reports. We tested all of the top models, from Sharper Image's Professional Series Ionic Breeze Quadra to Oreck's Oreck XL Signature Series Air Purifier as house air purifiers and found that all rated poorly for cleaning the air.
2.Ozone is bad
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not like ozone-emitting products, although some companies brag about it. Ionic air purifiers (AKA electrostatic air cleaners) like the Oreck XL Professional Air Purifier Signature Series and the Ionic Breeze Quadra emit ozone. Air filters like the Honeywell Permanent HEPA Filters do not. Ozone is a known lung irritant and can cause respiratory problems if enough is produced. Electronic and ionic air cleaners do emit levels of ozone. While some companies have found a way to clean air without the use of ozone, others apologetically state that only a little amount is incidentally produced.
3.Filters Can Be Expensive
In general, HEPA filters are the preferred filters for air purifiers. Honeywell makes a permanent HEPA air purifier that is 99.97% effective at trapping particles 0.3 microns or larger. Honeywell's permanent HEPA air purifier is widely used. And as for HEPA filtration technology, there exists no better type of filter. But some HEPA filters depending on the model of air purifier can be costly. Some HEPA filter replacements can cost between $100.00-$200.00 and have to be replaced once to twice a year.
4.No Filter Replacement! Is This A Good Thing?
Some companies will tell you that their product comes with a permanent filter or that no filter is needed at all. However, it is an arguable point if these purifiers truly work as well as a traditional cleaning device. Air filters that are permanent like the Honeywell Permanent HEPA Air Purifier still have to be washed regularly. Furthermore, though you may not be required to purchase air filter replacements, you may still need to regularly replace other parts on the unit such as carbon absorbers. Air cleaner electrostatics with no need for a filter, for the most part, receive poorer reviews than standard HEPA-filtered products.
5.You Need More Than Just An Air Purifier!
While an air purifier can help, in order for your home to be totally free of pollutant particles, floors, walls, and furniture must be clean. Air purifiers clean what’s in the air—they cannot absorb an entire hairball or a piece of food. All sources of dirty particles must first be removed before an air purifier can work its magic.
When purchasing an air purifier be sure you know everything about a product—including the secrets the major companies don’t think you need to know.