When it comes to cleaning the air in your home or office, the best and most efficient tool in your strategy is to open windows, wide, to open doors, to open blinds and ventilate, ventilate, ventilate.
However, ventilating may just not be enough, or in some homes and offices, non-existent. The best and second most efficient tool is an air purifier. But not just any air purifier: the air purifier that meets the room’s space and benefits you!
There are several types of air purifiers you can choose from: filters, Photo Catalytic Oxidation, negative ionisation, ozone, electrostatic filters, air ionizers, germicidal lamps etc. However, with countless air purifiers in the market, offering a variety of features and air cleaning processes and technologies, and distinctly vary in price. I created an Air Purifier Checklist for you ♥
So without further ado, here is what I found are the best of the best when it comes to air purifiers …
First, I look at what is the outcome you are looking for, and I ask ‘will the air purifier benefit you in your situation, your environment?’ Let’s go through each part systematically and tick which is most required.
OK, hats off, check what pollutants affect you. I made it easy by grouping them together and you simply tick that pollutant which affects you the most.
- Live particulates – mould, dust mites, animal dander, pollen, bacteria, spores, viruses
- Non-live particulates – smoke, dust, renovation dust, heavy metals, others …………..
- Gases – fumes from things like new furnishings, painting, cleaning products, vehicles, diesel, ambient pollution, carbon monoxide, pesticides, others ……….
Dust mites feature high in everyone’s environments and so you don’t have to run your filters while these critters are around, and use your electricity. Take control of dust mites and debris, I would cover mattresses and pillows with dust mite free allergy covers. We recently made it even more difficult for dust mites to get up close and personal.
Allerprotect Dust Mite Bed Set
Create a barrier between you and the dust mite allergens by enclosing the entire mattress, the entire pillow and the entire doona. Provides asthma and allergy relief by stopping the continual night time exposure to dust mite allergens while you sleep.
2. The Technology?
Now that the gloves are off, let’s get to the backbone of air purifiers. I’ve been recommending air purifiers for years to my customers (residential and commercial that definitely lacked cross ventilation and air movement inside) and guess what, they could breathe so much easier and felt heaps better.
I made it easy here by adding a selection of air filtering mediums you can match to your identified pollutants. This time round, simply tick the medium that matches the pollutant you identified in no. 1.
- HEPA – captures particulates such as dust, dust mites, pollen, mould spores, some bacteria and other allergens
- Activated Carbon – captures gases, VOCs, chemical fumes, cigarette smoke and odours
- Mechanical or electrostatic filters – simply trap particulates physically in a filter such as HEPA, charcoal, pre-filters ….
- Photo Catalytic Oxidation (PCO) – for particulates and gases
- another term you may read is oxidation, a chemical process that breaks down air pollutants by shining a UV light on an electrochemical cell.
- Negative ionisation – for particulates – disperses charged particles into the air to cling to nearby objects, or to each other, such as dust and so settling them faster to the surface
- Ozone – for live particulates – activated oxygen assisting breakdown of biologicals
- Others include Electrostatic Filters / Air Ionizers, Germicidal lamps (High Energy UV lights)
I’m a huge fan of saving energy and the planet and Zeolite rocks adsorbs that musty, stuffy air in cupboards and rooms – like a magnet, gases and water molecules get stuck on the surface. Zeolite uses nature with nature capturing gases, VOCs and moisture. Place the Big Bag of Zeolite Rocks out in the sun monthly, the heat absorbs and dries and freshens the pores, and continues working silently in your space for many years to come. I’ve been selling them for years, since 1997, and weighing just under a kilo, it comes with convenience and simplicity written all over it.
Zeolite- Bag of Rocks
Eliminates moisture, damp and musty smells safely and naturally from any wardrobe or room. Reduce mould, mildew, dampness, condensation, odours.
3. The Terminology?
Remove your shoes, let’s get a feel for the names and meanings, let’s jump straight into it!
- HEPA or High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance is arguably the king of drop name phrases. First developed during Apollo era of space exploration, medical grade HEPA filters are certified with an efficiency of 99.7% down to 0.3 microns.
- HEPA is a filter, it’s not a brand!
- Micron is a unit of length equivalent to 1/1000th of a mm. The smallest particle visible to the naked eye is 40 microns.
- Activated Carbon removes many gases and VOCs and does not release contaminants back into the air. They will only hold a certain amount of contaminants till saturated at which point carbon re-emits VOCs back into the air.
So, sit back, put your feet up, let’s check when would you need an Air Purifier most? Classic situations come up regularly.
Simply tick the ones you and your environment relate to most.
- You find nothing seems to work, you and your family are sick, seems forever!
- A temporary solution while adverse triggers are identified and fixed
- Sanding, painting, removing old materials like carpets, laying new flooring, moved furnishings in – like a new lounge or mattress
- Your space is closed up, there’s no ventilation what so ever, may even be totally sealed and locked down
- Inadequate mechanical ventilating or air conditioner system
- Security is a concern and is more important than fresh air, I found this particularly in apartments
- Homes and offices located close to busy arterial roads, flight paths, industry, coal mining, council tips
- In the event of bush fires, high pollen counts, winter fires smogging the valley air
- You can’t remove the carpets, you can’t fix the HVAC system simply because you are relying on these projects like these to be planned and of course can take some time, or simply because you are renting and the decision is up to other invested parties
- If you or your family are suffering from asthma, coughing or skin irritants and can’t stop coughing and scratching
- Live in a busy traffic congested area or at least anywhere up to 150 metres on either side and up to 250 metres down wind
- Other …….
I believe you should spend less time figuring out what to do (that is my job) and more time breathing easier, living easier. I cut out all the fluff and confusion to indoor air quality maintenance and strip it down as a Building Biologist. Adverse health effects and effective strategies reduce occupants’ exposure by eliminating and controlling as many sources of pollutants as possible.
4. What Would I Consider When Shopping For An Air Purifier?
Air purifiers sell based on marketing, media, people’s emotions and sad to mention, people’s suffering and fear. Compatible with all the features above, point 4 highlights independent considerations and require a tick next to each one, I encourage you to really assess these important points. I feel, no amount of marketing can justify what is happening with you and your situation, everyone and every environment is different!
> At Top of Mind, the Air Purifier needs to complement your health needs
> At the Same Time, effectively deliver to the space you are sleeping, living or working in.
These Two Points are so Important! If you’re looking to step up your indoor air quality, these are the two points to consider!
Mitey Fresh Air Purifier Check List
Access your easy to use air purifier checklist with important things to consider, space to write your calculations plus extra key information you need to remember when shopping.
Calculate and note prices and the money you will spend now and in future replacements.
And most important feature, how easy are the filters accessed in the Air Purifier unit itself when maintaining and replacing them.
A study by Gale et al (2009) states that the mixture of airborne chemicals present indoors is far more complex than previously demonstrated.
“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”
― Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (2005) states that the EPA and the American Lung Association include the home when declaring the indoor environment as a “high priority public health risk.” In all likelihood this is where you and you family get your greatest exposure to allergens and irritants.
Wolverton (1996) states that millions of people fail to realize the serious nature of the problem, or even worse, fail to recognise that there is a problem. People living in industrialized societies spend up to 90% of their lives indoors, increasing their exposure to indoor air pollution and directly correlates to an increase in the number and severity of allergic reactions.
- HEPA Air Purifiers have some level of activated carbon-based material to absorb odours and chemicals. Carbon absorbs gasses that will not be caught by the HEPA element. However, the smaller the amount the quicker they fill up. Pre filter captures the largest particles.
- Look at how big the filters are, a larger filter will be more effective however costly compared to a smaller filter.
- Units will vary in price from inexpensive to more expensive depending on their research and development, country of manufacture, quality of the mechanics and housing, certification, quality and design of HEPA, amount of activated carbon, combination of HEPA and carbon, design and off course brand marketing.
Air Purifier Hire
Hire an Air Purifier to reduce particulate pollutants, pollens, moulds and environmental chemical overload and enjoy welcome relief from your symptoms.
- Air purifiers made from steel casings are more durable and avoid off gassing.
- 100% airtight sealed ensure no air by passes around the filter. Majority of air purifier filters on the market are constructed from either cardboard, plastic or foam which are less than ideal materials for making an air tight, efficient filter. These materials contribute to off gassing, entirely unhealthy for those suffering from chemical sensitivities.
- Cylindrical shaped filters allow for greatest surface coverage, increases efficiency and filter life. Compared with typical panel type filters, which is a fraction of the size, their surface is reduced, filter effectiveness decreases and replacement cost increases, repeatedly.
Inova Air Review Video
Looking for an honest Air Purifier review? Our video for this highly recommended air purifier will surely help you decide on buying one.
Air Purifier E7
Ideal for allergy & asthma sufferers in the bedroom and small offices. Excellent value being the only medical-grade HEPA air purifier in Australia in this price range.
5. Still Thinking About Buying an Air Purifier?
Now that you’ve read and worked through your check list – and you still need a good reason to spend your hard-earned money on an air purifier …
If you want to make your life easier, I cannot highly recommend an air purifier enough. I started my company back in 1996 and customers have been enjoying the cutting edge of air purifier technology, because they were well equipped with up to date effective and efficient air purifiers. Air purifier units literally custom made to the best air for customers to breathe.
I found the room air purifier to be the most effective all-rounder. And what about larger spaces like your office space? Simply calculate the floor dimensions and multiply by number of units. Simple, call Mitey Fresh and we can help.
Alternatively, go through your check list and find a specific unit that suits the sufferer the most.
Table top air filter units, they are my least favourable ⊗
Whichever Air Purifier you purchase, or hire, simply by choosing a quality unit and maintaining it properly, you will notice the difference in your indoor air quality and the health of the occupants.
Inova Air E20 Review
Looking for a unit that is capable of filtering air in larger areas? Our video for this highly recommended air purifier will surely help you decide on buying one.
Air Purifier E20 PLUS
E20 PLUS includes an additional final stage 6kg carbon filter for applications requiring heavy duty chemical & odour removal. Excellent for removing pollution from main roads, smoke and mycotoxins produced by mould spores.
6. And What About Draw Backs?
Filters are my favourite air purifier means of delivery by far! Nevertheless, they can and some do require frequent changing in relation to the adverse environmental triggers they are filtering. Therefore, check out how easy is it to get replacement filters and their cost.
Photo Catalytic Oxidation (PCO) on the other hand is extremely slow in disinfection.
While Ionizers have been shown to produce unsafe by-products like ozone, a lung irritant, and other ultrafine particles less than 0.1 microns in size.
Ozone is ineffective at cleaning indoor air except at extremely high, unsafe ozone levels and may convert some VOCs to other more toxic compounds. It reacts with furnishing materials containing plastic, nylon or rubber such as curtains and carpets.
Ozone is an extremely dangerous lung irritant which my family and I experienced first-hand back in ‘98. Today, I feel there are inadequate instructions by operators and families tend to be too busy to monitor ozone exposure in the home. The space needs to be totally evacuated and EPA USA have issued warnings.
The Last Air Quality Tip …
My guide explains how to set up the perfect room with particular attention to air quality so that you never have to worry about it again.
As a Building Biologist, I have acquired knowledge of adverse health effects and recommend effective strategies to reduce occupants’ exposure by eliminating and controlling as many sources of pollutants and hazards as possible.
Where to next?
I encourage you to have conversations about Air Purification and ask questions on the Mitey Fresh Facebook page, other people may well be wondering the same thing, and I will do my best to answer them there.
Towards healthier living, Carol Parr ♥
Our passion comes from pure necessity that we can all live natural and healthy lives, we can all contribute to human wellbeing and preservation and determine the future health of our children and their environment tomorrow.
As a result of working with us, families thrive, sensitive occupants heal. They’re healthier, they’re alert, they’re happier, more relaxed, more productive, and enjoying life.
Together we bring about healthy indoor environments and create rooms that provide calmness, healthy sleep, relaxation and restored energy for you and your family.
By maintaining indoor spaces to close as possible more natural conditions, occupants are healthy and happy, it’s nice that it sustains our planet’s ecology, you’d agree.
Gale, R.W. Walter, L.C. Alvarez, D.A. Huckins, J.N. Petty, J.D. Robertson, G.L., 2009. “Semivolatile Organic Compounds in Residential Air along the Arizona−Mexico Border”, Environmental Science and Technology., 2009, 43 (9), pp 3054–3060 (Online). Available: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/es803482u [15 April, 2015]
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 2005, “Air Pollution”, (Online), Available: http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=8&sub=16&cont=38 [15 April, 2015]
Wolverton, Dr B.C. 1996, How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants that Purify Your Home or Office, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London.