Buying an air purifier can be tricky.
It can be especially hard to compare air purifiers and find the best one since they all sound great.
In many cases the marketing hype can be misleading. It may not lead you to purchase the best air purifier for your situation.
We get it. Air purifiers are appliances and appliances aren’t something most people get too excited over. To overcome this some air purifiers are marketed with key pieces of information missing. In other cases claims are made that are simply not true.
At Oransi, we’re not holding back anything. We think transparency and being honest about products is the best way. As asthma and allergy sufferers ourselves we build products for people like us. We want you to have the purifier that is best for your needs regardless of brand. If there is another brand that is better for your issue we will recommend that product.
We will “clear the air” about 6 marketing practices so you can be a more informed shopper.
Common Air Purifier Marketing Tricks
1. Most air purifiers marketed as HEPA don’t meet the HEPA standard. HEPA is a term that commonly refers to pleated filter material. However, using the term HEPA does not necessarily indicate the effectiveness of the filter.
This is important as most people we talk with want an air purifier to alleviate allergies, asthma, dust, mold, mildew or smoke. To be effective you have to be able to remove the smallest particles. These tiny particles can stay suspended in the air for days. This is what you will breathe deep into your lungs. These are by far the most important particles. To remove them you need true HEPA filters and in some cases advanced activated carbon.
We do not compromise on filter quality and that’s why Clemson University rated our filters #1 in an independent study. Other “HEPA” air filters that we have seen do not even come close to the effectiveness that is needed to remove these tiny particles.
2. It doesn’t matter how many levels of filtration you have, just how much filter media you have and the quality of the filter media.
The number of levels is just marketing hype. Many levels typically implies very small, cheap air filters. It sounds impressive to say 5 levels of air filtration. The problem is when you have 5 levels of air filtration the filters have to be very thin. If you want to remove the tiny particles you need a high quality HEPA filter. You cannot achieve the results you are looking for with a thin filter. It simply cannot achieve the needed efficiency.
In the testing we have done with leading scientists in the US, I can tell you a thicker filter with a very high efficiency rating is best.
Another problem with thin filters is they become clogged much more quickly. They have much less filter media. This means you will need to replace them more often.
You will want a true HEPA filter. This is because the higher the efficiency of the filter the better it does in removing the smaller sized particles. You also want good seals in the air purifier to prevent air leakage. Otherwise the air purifier will only filter part of the air.
4. The more filter media the air purifier has, the longer it will last and the better it will perform.
Smaller, cheaper air filters can get clogged very quickly. This will reduce the air flow and mean you are not getting the air cleaning you expect.
Tip – make sure the filter is not thin.
5. Additional features such as ions, ionizers, PCO (photo-catalytic oxidation), UV, etc. provide a marginal improvement at best to filter performance for allergy and asthma sufferers.
We wrote this article that compares HEPA air filters vs ionizers. In the article we go into some depth on ozone and what you need to look for. We also wrote a guide on car air purifiers and what to look out for.
6. Foam pre-filters carry the lowest filter rating (MERV 1-4) and filter out less than 20% of “larger” particles (sized 3-10 microns).
Marketers exist to sell products. Our goal is to educate you so you can make an informed decision.
Air purifiers can be difficult to decide upon and this is further magnified by some marketing in our industry. We hope you found this guide useful in knowing what to look for.
For more information on the vital technical specs and air quality statistics to make the right air purifier purchase, head to our Education Center.
To help you select the best air purifier for your situation we suggest the air purifier Help Me Choose wizard. This simple tool will provide you with the top 3 air purifiers.
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