Well, when you consider that a majority of the population spends about 90 percent of the time indoors, and that indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, it's not really a surprise that you need something to ensure the air you're breathing is clean and healthy.
Another scary statistic? The EPA estimates that each day, you inhale the equivalent of two teaspoons of dust, just by breathing the air in your home.
Air purifiers are especially important if you or your family members suffer from any type of allergy or asthma, as poor quality air can significantly exacerbate the symptoms.
But, with all the choices out there, how do you know you're getting a good air purifier and not just wasting your money on something that doesn't really work?
Ron and Lisa Beres, Certified Green Building Experts, are back on Naturally Savvy to give you the lowdown on what to look for in an effective, efficient air purifier.
Some of the labels you'll see when shopping for air purifiers include the following:
- Activated Carbon
- HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air)
- Electrostatic Filtration
- Negative Ion Generation
- Ultraviolet Light
- Electrolyzed Water Technology
- Nano Coil Technology
For example, filters that include "ozone" are actually bad for you; so be leery of these types of units.
How do you know which is the best?
There are three elements that you want for sure in your purifier.
One, a large particle pre-filter that goes around the perimeter of the unit and removes the larger particles -- basically anything that's visible to the naked eye -- like dust and pet dander. You want to make sure your unit has one of these filters and that you change it once a year.
Two, your unit should have activated carbon and/or zeolite. This is important because this part of the filtration process actually absorbs toxic gasses like formaldehyde and cigarette smoke.
Three, your unit should be certified HEPA. This is essential for taking out those very small particles, like dust, pollen and mold spores.
Which specific brands to Lisa and Ron recommend?
Two things to consider are your budget and the size of your space. You're going to need a different kind of filter for a small, one-bedroom apartment than you would need for a three-story house. Most purifiers will clearly tell you the amount of square footage they are capable of covering.
The best of the best, in the Beres's eyes, is the IQ Air Filter. Now, it does run upwards of $1,000, so it's a big investment. But, it will cover approximately 1,000 square feet. This particular filter is actually even more efficient than a HEPA filter.
Austin Air Healthmate, which runs anywhere from $250-$400, is another great option. This unit has been recommended by the Army as well as the Red Cross.
HoMedics Breathe Air Purifier, which is based on nano technology, is very effective at taking out particles.
Tune in as Lisa and Ron discuss why it's so essential to have an air purifier in your home, as well as the technologies and specific brands they recommend.