Should I Have An Air Purifier In Every Room?

by Véronique Raymond
air purifier

While the decision to acquire an air purifier is an easy one to make, there are a lot of other factors that you need to consider such as where you’re going to put it and how many you actually need to keep your whole house full of clean air.

Every air purifier will have different capabilities, so there are some things you’ll need to figure out in order to ensure that your air purifier(s) can adequately keep up with the air purification demand in your home.


How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers use a fan to pull air into the machine and through a single filter or a series of filters. The clean air is then pushed back out into the room. This process doesn’t take very long, so an air purifier will be able to cycle through all the air in a room at least twice per hour, if not more. Every air purifier will have its own CADR (clean air delivery rate), square footage coverage, and air filter setup. As a result, while the basic functionality of each air purifier is the same, their airflow capabilities and filtration rates will differ. You’ll need to assess the needs of your home with the capability of each machine to ensure your indoor air quality reaches optimum levels.

air purifier

Benefits Of An Air Purifier

Air purifiers come with a number of benefits when you introduce them to your home. One of the main reasons people get them is to make the air cleaner and healthier to breathe. Air purifiers are incredibly effective at pulling pet dander and other allergens out of the air as well as pathogens like viruses and bacteria depending on their filtration method. They trap dust mites effectively too, so the people in your home will likely start to notice improvements in breathing as well as in the overall cleanliness of the house. If your air purifier includes a true HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter, it will be able to filter all of those contaminants as well as odours and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from the home.

One of the lesser known benefits of an air purifier is that it can actually help your HVAC system work more effectively. Clean air will filter through the system more efficiently and reduce the demand on your air conditioning. It will also help reduce the frequency at which you need to replace your furnace filter since most of the particulate matter in the air will already be trapped.


Do I Need An Air Purifier For Every Room?

Most people only keep an air purifier in their main living room since it will generally have the most exposure to pollutants and is where the family spends most of their time. However, you may also wish to put them in bedrooms or even basements. You’ll have to consider the cost of purchasing and running multiple air purifiers in your home, but one machine simply won’t be able to adequately reach every corner of the household. All in all, you don’t NEED an air purifier for every single room, but it is certainly recommended to effectively get rid of air pollution throughout the entire home.

What Is A CADR Rating?

A CADR rating, or clean air delivery rate, is a measurement of an air purifier’s performance developed by AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers). The CADR indicates how quickly an air purifier can pull contaminants out of the air and therefore is also indicative of its effectiveness in different room sizes. A high CADR would be better for rooms with a larger square footage because they can clean the air faster. As a general rule, you want to purchase an air purifier with a CADR at least capable of meeting 2/3 of the demand. So, if you have a room that is 120 sq. ft, you’ll need a minimum CADR rating of 80 for the machine to be effective.

How To Decide On The Best Air Purifier For Your Needs

In addition to matching the CADR of an air purifier to your room size, you’ll also need to consider its cost, maintenance needs, and filtration ability. Most times people only focus on the initial purchase cost, assuming that all machines will have the same maintenance needs. However, some air filters will need to be replaced more frequently, others need a professional to install them, and some don’t use filters at all.

air purifier

Types Of Single Room Air Purifiers

There are in fact seven different kinds of air purifiers that you can purchase for your home. Each type of air purifier cleans the air in a different way, so their coverage area, filter replacement needs, and effectiveness will vary. Every type of air purifier can be purchased in different sizes, so you’ll be able to adapt to any room size no matter how many square feet it is. Let’s look at a few of the most popular types of air purifiers for a single room first.

HEPA Air Purifier

A HEPA air purifier is one of the most effective on the market because of its ability to filter down to 0.2 microns in size. It can therefore clean more than 99% of the irritants and pollution out of your home. They range in price so can be affordable for every budget, but you will have the extra expense of replacing the filter every month to keep the machine working properly. This filter type on its own cannot filter out viruses, bacteria, or any odours/gasses.

Many HEPA air purifiers will include an activated carbon filter as well in order to remove chemicals and odours from the air. You can purchase air purifiers with only a carbon filter if you only wish to target smoke and other odours in your home. Some will even include a pre-filter in order to trap larger particles and reduce the load on the more effective HEPA filter.

Ionic Air Purifiers

Ionic air purifiers are ionizers, meaning they emit negative ions into the air rather than performing normal filtration. These ionizers are incredibly effective because they can remove all of the same contaminants as HEPA purifiers with the addition of removing viruses and bacteria. The negative ions bind to the particles in the air, making them heavy enough to fall to the floor. If you are fighting illness on a regular basis, an ionic air purifier may be the solution you need. They will need to be cleaned on a semi regular basis to retain their effectiveness, but they are great for a small room, large room, or even the entire house. Some models will be able to trap the ionized particles inside the machine, but others won’t and will increase the cleaning demand in your home. Ionic air purifiers lack a motor so are the ideal type for those that want an ultra-quiet machine.

UV Air Purifiers

UV air purifiers are the best type to choose if you’re fighting illness but don’t have a lot of trouble with other pollutants in the air like dust, odours, or allergens. UV air purifiers use ultraviolet light to kill all of the viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms that are carried in the air. UV light is the industry standard for disinfecting without chemical products, so you’ll be sure to notice a difference. You will need to replace the UV bulb once every year or so depending on how much you use the machine.

air purifier

Types Of Whole House Air Purifiers

If you would like to clean the air throughout your entire home without needing to consider the cubic feet of a space or purchase multiple machines, you’ll want to look at whole house air purifiers. These machines connect to your HVAC system in order to filter all of the air in your home. They will need to be installed by a professional, so that extra cost is something to keep in mind.

Electronic Air Cleaners

An electronic air cleaner can be attached to either an air conditioner or furnace in order to remove air pollution from the entire home. They incorporate both HEPA filters and positively charged ions to purify the air. All of the air that passes through your HVAC system will be first put through a HEPA filter, and any remaining contaminants will then be removed with the positive ions. The dual functionality means they are one of the most effective types of air purifiers you can purchase for your home. They will require a fair amount of maintenance on a monthly basis, but you can do this yourself if you don’t wish to bring a professional in.

Central Air Cleaners

Central air cleaners work in the actual ducts in your home to purify the air. They are very effective at removing allergens, pathogens, and other contaminants like dust and smoke. They can filter particles down to one micron in size. These central air cleaners will have the more positive affect on your HVAC system itself; since it will filter out the contaminants before they’ve had a chance to make their way through the entire system, you will end up improving efficiency and longevity of your heating and cooling systems.


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