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Best Portable Air Purifier

If you need an air purifier for medical reasons such as allergies or asthma you should look for the very best you can afford. If you just want to improve the air in your home you may be able to get away with a little bit cheaper unit.

No matter what your needs, it isn’t worth going into debt for an air purifier unless it is a medical necessity. Choose an air purifier that fits your budget.

Don’t buy an electronic air purifier if you don’t have the time to mess around cleaning the plates frequently. Mechanical air purifiers need filter changes, but they are much less frequent and will go for months before needing any attention at all.

There are many extra features on some of the higher priced units that are nice, but if you don’t need them, you may want to avoid paying the price for extra features like filter change indicators that tell you when to service your unit, remote controls or timers.

Name: Rating:Price on Amazon:
LEVOIT LV-H132 Purifier 4.6
RabbitAir BioGS 2.0 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier4.8
The Austin Air HealthMate5.0 (Highest Quality)

The Austin Air HealthMate Review

There are a lot dangerous particles in the air all around you. If you suffer from allergies the way I do, you know they’re there. You just can’t see them. Other things have a huge impact on your home’s air quality too. Odors from cooking or strong food odors, smoking or just that “stale” smell during winter months when the house is all closed up. The Austin Air HealthMate cleans the air around you, and gets rid of the aggravating allergens and odors in your home so you are more comfortable and healthier.

What to Look for in an Air Purifier

Most important is a strong HEPA filter to catch the smallest particles in the air. The HEPA filters on the Austin Air HealthMate get rid of 99.97% of the particles that are floating around unseen in your air. You’ll notice a fresher, cleaner smell in just hours.

4-stage cleaning is one of the leading edge technologies that Austin Air HealthMate incorporates to ensure top quality air. Stage 1 uses a pre-filter to get the larger particles such as pet or human hair out of the air before it ever gets to the main filters. Stage 2 takes care of mold and pollen. Stage 3 provides a cleansing that gets rid of odors in the air. Finally, stage 4 uses the powerful HEPA filter to trap health hazards that make your home sick such as viruses and bacteria.

The types of particles the Austin Air HealthMate controls are:

  • Gases
  • Odors (chemical and organic)
  • Micro-organisms (viruses and bacteria)
  • Mold spores
  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Hair
  • Pet dander

Quality Assurance

Warranty is another big issue when choosing an air purifier. The Austin Air HealthMate has a full money back guarantee if you are unsatisfied for any reason for up to 30 days.

Color Choice

Okay, when it comes to air quality, color isn’t that big of a factor, but it is going to be in your rooms. If you spend time and money decorating your house, it’s nice to not have to sacrifice that décor for good air quality. The

Compact and Easy to Handle

It is important that any appliance I bring into the home looks good while doing its job. I spend a lot of time making my house look as good as I can, and decorate it to my taste. I like the fact that the Austin Air HealthMate is a compact and good looking machine that also controls the allergens in the air so my home looks good while letting me feel great.

What You May Not Like

Peace in the home is important. Loud appliances make it hard to hear TVs or stereos and conversations. The Austin Air HealthMate is rather loud on the high setting. Having seen several video demonstrations specifically pointing out the sound the Austin Air HealthMate makes at various settings I would compare it to a window air conditioner. On the lower settings it is much quieter, making almost no sound at all.

One thing I do agree with is that the Austin Air HealthMate is one of the more expensive stand-alone type air purifiers on the market. There is also a hidden cost involved that can be a problem if you’re not fully prepared. The filters are expensive to replace. The good side of the high cost is that these filters last for years, as opposed to many air purifiers that must have their filters changed once or twice a year.

Getting What You Paid For

The old standard saying “you get what you pay for” actually does apply to air filters. The Austin Air HealthMate is well worth the price and even the expensive filters are costly because they are such high quality. Bundled up inside the single filtration cylinder is over 60 square feet of medical grade HEPA filtration. That’s a serious filter. The Austin Air HealthMate also covers a much larger area than other lower priced models. At 1500 square feet it is strong enough to handle an entire floor of an average sized home.

Totally Made in the USA

Not many products can boast this claim. The Austin Air HealthMate is a USA product you can buy and feel good about supporting the economy.

Easy Cleaning

The filter inside the Austin Air HealthMate is easy to change. Some air purifiers have several stages of filtration too, although rarely 4, but the nice thing about the Austin Air HealthMate is that all 4 stages are in one single filter unit that is simple to remove from the bottom. With other purifiers you have to change each filter, and there are different ways of handling each. Some need to be washed, others discarded and thrown away. With the Austin Air HealthMate each stage of filtration is on a different layer of the cylinder style filter. It is very light, and requires no special tools to take out and replace.

The Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-421A Air Purifier Review

One of the hardest things to decide on when it comes to air purifiers is the type of filter to choose. There are air purifiers that have separate filters for every stage in order to catch all types of particles, and some that have all-in-one filters that do the same job, but only require you to change a single filter. Multiple filters are a hassle, and single filters are very expensive, but the Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-421A changes everything when it comes to air purifier filters.

The Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-421A has me sold on the fact that while I still have to do the work of removing it, I can save a lot of money because the pre-filter, the main one that needs replacing most often on multi-filter units, is washable. That beats having to pay for replacements each time the filter needs changing. The HEPA and charcoal activated filters must still be replaced as needed, but an antiviral and antibacterial coating on the HEPA helps it last longer. On average, the HEPA filter section of the Rabbit BioGS SPA-421A’s HEPA filter and charcoal activated filters last up to three years between changes.

There’s a lot more to the BioGS SPA-421A than just the simple and cost-effective filter however. Some of the features of the Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-421A are:

  • Zero Ozone Emissions
  • 600 Square Feet of Coverage
  • Carbon Activated BioGS HEPA Filter
  • Washable Pre-Filter
  • Stylish, Hi-Tech Console
  • Gasket Seal on HEPA Filter
  • Odor and Particle Sensors

Air Quality from Anywhere in the Room

I have to admit it, I love remote controls. I like to be able to control my electronic gadgets from anywhere in the room without getting up. The Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-421A comes with a control so you can change settings easily.

Looks Great Anywhere

This is a very sleek, classy looking machine. It has a futuristic appearance, and bright easy to read control panel. It is rather tall and wide, but still thin enough to set on a shelf. The deco-modern appearance blends in naturally with almost any décor. The Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-421A comes in several sharp, metallic colors so you can match your home’s style. You can choose from chrome/Silver, Lime Green, Metallic Blue or Pearl White.

Complete Seal for Extra Clean Operation

The HEPA filter on the Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-421A has a gasket to seal it, keeping small particles from being thrown back into the air.

What You Get

When you open the box you’ll find the Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-421A air filter, and in addition you’ll get:

  • 1 BioGS HEPA Filter
  • 1 Washable Pre-Filter
  • 1 Activated Carbon Charcoal Filter
  • 1 Lithium 3V Battery
  • User and Starter Guide w/Filter Installation Instructions
  • 1 Remote Control
  • Warranty Card and Product Registration Card

Get Rid of the Unseen Dangers in Your Air

You can clean, and you can scrub, but you’ll never get rid of the unseen particles that infiltrate your home without a quality air filter. The Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-421A helps eliminate mold, dust mites, pet dander, hair and pollen.

Is Your House Making You Sick?

The elements that permeate the air can’t be seen, but they can make you sick. Bacteria and viruses ride in on guests, pets and even your own clothes and shoes, and they take hold. These and other VOC (volatile organic compounds) in your air are responsible for the seasonal flues, and what’s known as “sick building syndrome.” The Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-421A gets rid of the smallest of all particles: bacteria and viruses.

The Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-421A also gets rid of annoying odors from cooking, as well as paint fumes and chemical smells that can damage lungs and make breathing difficult. After just a few hours of working, you’ll notice the difference the Rabbit Air SPA-421A makes in the overall air quality, and the way your home smells and feels.

Complete Protection from A To Z

When you buy any product you want to be sure it has a solid warranty. The Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-421A not only has a fantastic 5-year warranty for parts and labor that includes 24 hour tech support, when you buy it from Amazon.com it also has Amazon A-to-Z protection!

Enjoy the Peace

The Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-421A is super quiet, and is energy efficient so it won’t cost you a fortune to have the best quality air in your home. A brushless direct current provides a smooth five speeds of power that self-adjust to the proper level so you aren’t using more power than you need. Front particle sensors keep a constant watch on the quality of your air and make adjustments as needed.

Issues with the Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-421A

There aren’t many, but the brightly lit control panel can make it hard to sleep when the unit is placed in a bedroom. Another drawback is the fact that there are some functions that you can ONLY access with the remote control. As much as I love remote controls, and the fact that the Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-421A comes with one, I don’t like the fact that if I can’t lay my hands on the remote at any particular time, I wouldn’t be able to operate the Rabbit until I found it.

What Purifiers Work Best For Certain Conditions

There are two types of purifiers: HEPA filter air purifiers, also known as “mechanical” air purifiers, and Ionic air purifiers, also known as electrical air purifiers.

Mechanical air purifiers use fans to circulate the air through a set of filters starting with a pre-filter to catch the big dust and debris like pet hair, a carbon filter to filter out odors and gases, and finally a tight HEPA filter that gets rid of the smallest particles and germs.

Electronic air purifiers do not use filters at all. They use electricity to produce negative ions that attract and neutralize positive ions in the air to deodorize them, and also to bond with them and make them so heavy they cannot float. Electronic air purifiers have metal plates that attract the particles and draw them in to stick to the plates rather than fans to push air through.

Electronic air purifiers are not as strong, and do not cover as much space as mechanical air purifiers. They also get clogged up faster, and when the plates get dirty they lose even more efficiency. Electronic air purifiers also emit ozone as a by-product of ionization. While it is a relatively low amount, there are some safety measures to take if you choose an ionizer over a mechanical air purifier.

Run the Ionizer while you are out of the house, or at least in a different room, and give the area an hour or two after you shut it off before going back in the area. This is especially important if you have allergies, asthma or lung problems. Doing this allows the ozone to convert to simple oxygen and is then safe for anyone to breathe.

Electronic air purifiers are not a good idea for anyone with small children, pets or when there are elderly people or individuals with immune deficiencies living in the home. HEPA filter purifiers are best for persons who suffer from pet or seasonal allergies, asthma or multiple chemical sensitivity.

Where To Use An Air Purifier

If you can only afford to place an air purifier in one or two rooms, choose the rooms you use the most. The most common places for air purifiers are bedrooms and living rooms. However, for the best air quality, you should place an air purifier in every room in the house.

Whole house air purifiers are much less effective because they have to fight walls and doors to pull in particles from distant areas of the home. Single room purifiers are much more effective.

How To Choose An Air Purifier

Once you have narrowed down the type of air purifier that suits your needs best, and where you will use them, there are a few other things to consider. Make sure you know the size of the room you want to put the air purifier in.

It is not possible to have a HEPA air purifier that is “too big” for a room. In fact, it is better to error on the side of too big, rather than too small. A HEPA air purifier that is too small for the room it is in, will not be effective beyond its coverage limits. If you have an 200 square foot room, a HEPA air purifier that is capable of cleaning a 100 square foot space is going to leave a lot of room area uncovered.

If you really like the size and shape of a particular air purifier but it isn’t big enough, it is best to buy two. However, if you have that same 200 square foot room, and the HEPA air purifier you like is guaranteed to cover 300 square feet, you’re air quality will be fine and there are no side effects of too much coverage.

However, if you are looking for an ionic air purifier to clean the air, it is possible to have too much power. Never get one of these types of air purifiers that is rated for a room bigger than where you will be placing them because the by-product of these machines is ozone. The levels are regulated, but putting a machine that is too powerful in a smaller room will generate proportionately more ozone, and take longer to dissipate making it more hazardous, especially for anyone who already has breathing problems.

Is It Worth The Money?

Air purifiers can range in price from $150.00 to several thousand dollars. How do you know if the price is worth paying for? Some of the things to consider when you are buying an air purifier are:

  • Why do I need a purifier?
  • What can I afford to pay for an air purifier?
  • Do I want to bother with constantly cleaning an electronic purifier?
  • Do I really need the special features?

Must-Have Features

Air purifiers that eliminate smoke, cooking odors and gas emissions from appliances like stoves, furnaces and water heaters are worth paying extra money for. The more energy efficient an air purifier is, the better. You may pay a bit more up front, but it will save you a lot of money in the long run. If you choose a mechanical air purifier, look for anti-bacterial coating on the HEPA filter portion so that it kills bacteria in the air that cause viruses.

Problems With Purifiers

One of the most common complaints of air purifier users is the noise. Bigger units that use fans and filters often make as much noise as a window air conditioner when on high. This can be aggravating in bedrooms where you are trying to sleep or in an entertainment room when you’re watching TV or having a conversation.

Some people find the noise of an air purifier to be “white noise” that is easily lived with, and others find it offensive. The best solution for these rooms is to run the purifier on low when you are using the rooms and on high when you aren’t.

Maintenance Requirements

Both styles of air purifiers require some maintenance. Ionic air purifiers require less cost in maintenance because there is nothing to replace, but you will still have to clean the unit often to keep it working at peak efficiency. The filters on mechanical air purifiers need to be replaced at regular intervals.

Check the details on your chosen purifier to see what the recommendations are for replacements. Most HEPA filters can last several years, but the carbon-activated filter usually needs to be replaced every two or three months. The felt pre-filter is usually washable, and should be removed and cleaned whenever it becomes soiled.

There are concerns in the medical community that asthma is becoming much more common and the attacks asthma sufferers have are reoccurring more frequently. Stronger medications are needed increasingly for those with this condition.

It has been suggested that one of the reasons asthma is becoming more of a problem is because of the quality of the air we breathe. Sophisticated equipment used to measure the air quality in major metropolitan areas indicates that air pollution and asthma go hand in hand.

Federal air quality as last updated by the 1990 changes to the Clean Air Act allows for the EPA to set those standards. Unfortunately, those standards are not met in many parts of the country. It is difficult to mandate air quality standards in open spaces because the contributors to the problem are so numerous.

Indoors, products like the Alen A350 Air Purifier can significantly improve air quality beyond the requirements set by the Federal government, but there is not enough manpower to stop all the pollution in highly populated areas.

Industries that contribute to air pollution receive fines and must perform upgrades to meet the standards, but that isn’t the only problem area.

Air Pollution

Everyone is concerned with air pollution caused by automobile emissions, green house gases, chemical spills and other industrial age complaints. However, many are surprised to find that the air quality in their homes is usually much worse than the most congested areas outside. Air is invisible, and it’s impossible to see the contaminants that float around in it, but they’re there.

The dirt, debris, pollen, molds and gases that surround us every day in our homes contributes to many sicknesses. Some of the problems we experience from bad air quality in the home are temporary, and will go away when we leave the house, but long term exposure to them can cause more serious problems and diseases such as cancer, heart disease, lung disorders and even depression.

For people who suffer from allergies and asthma, bad air quality can even be lethal. Air purifiers are one of the methods of removing the dangerous particles that exist in your home recommended by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), but how do you know which one is right for you? Here is a guide that will help you choose the right air purifier for your needs.

The Pollutants on Our Roads

One of the government’s agendas for many years has been reducing vehicle emissions of the combustion engine. Although there have been some strides made, they have been unable to make a significant difference. Diesel engines contribute forty different toxins to the air and three carcinogens.

Some of the other ingredients in that black smoke emitted from tractor and semi-tractor trucks are formaldehyde, arsenic, benzene, and nickel, among many lesser-known poisons. Studies have substantiated that diesel exhaust exacerbates respiratory illnesses of all types.

Studies have also indicated that those who work around diesel exhaust have a higher cancer rate, and this extends to people who live along the major trucking routes.

Who Is Affected Most?

Air pollution is worse for those who have reduced lung capacity. That is why the elderly are so susceptible to poor air quality. The young people who do not have fully developed lungs are also in great danger from air pollution. So obviously, asthmatics are not the only people suffering from poor air quality.

The body has natural defenses to fight air pollution, but they are not sufficient for much of the pollutants in the air. PM2.5 is the term given for the particulate matter that comes from diesel exhaust.

The size of a 2.5 micron is 1/20 the size of a human hair, so it can bypass the nose hair and mucous the body uses to catch and filter air pollutants.

Inside the home, it is possible to improve the quality of air with Alen air purifiers, which can trap microns the size of those in diesel exhaust, but there is no way that such air treatment can reasonably be accomplished outdoors.

The problem still lies in stopping air pollution rather just than purifying the air, even though it is better to have an option for cleaning the air we breathe indoors.

It is true that air pollution is deadly for asthma victims, but it also reduces the performance of those without lung problems. It can also cause secondary problems affecting the heart and lead to death.

Crops in the field have negative growth due to air pollution, too. So it is easy to see that air pollution is an issue that warrants significant concern from everyone, not just those suffering from asthma.

Do Air Purifiers Really Work?

Having clean pure air in your home isn’t as simple as doing routine chores around the house. There are too many forces working against you. Common household cleaners that produce harmful odors, cooking odors, cigarette smoke, outdoor pollutants that enter from vents, windows and doors, pets, and even uncontrollable substances such as mold and bacteria hide in unreachable spots, and float around unseen in the air.

Air purifiers are effective in getting rid of up to 99.97 percent of those harmful particles. How effective an air purifier really is depends on the type of purifier you purchase, and what kind of filters it has. The two main types of air purifiers are ionizers and multiple filter purifiers. Both types of purifiers have the same goals, but go about them in different ways.

Ionizers

Ionizers get rid of the particles in the air that can harm your lungs and breathing passages by producing negative ions. These ions float about in the air and bond to the particles there making them heavy and unable to remain airborne. Ionizers also produce small levels of ozone that neutralize bacteria by bonding with them, and oxidizing them.

Pros And Cons Of Ionizing Air Purifiers

Ionizers are popular because they are slim, sleek and modern looking. They are usually much smaller than filter air purifiers, and fit into the décor of a room better. Ionizers are also much quieter when running than filter air purifiers. That’s because they do not use fans to circulate air.

Ionizers aren’t as effective in large spaces as filter air purifiers for the same reasons. They aren’t big and bulky because they don’t use filters that trap particles flowing through a fan driven circulation system. They use metal plates to attract falling particles, but the plates get covered up and full quickly reducing the ability to pull in particles. The ionization still makes particles fall, but the reduced capacity of the plates leaves them fall to the floor or your furniture making more of a mess to clean.

The biggest con to ionizing air purifiers is that they produce ozone as a by-product. While ozone does help reduce odors and bacteria, it can be aggravating and even dangerous to people with compromised immune systems, young children, pets and the elderly.

Even though ionizing air purifiers have to pass strict EPA qualifications, and emit very low levels of ozone, it is still best to use ionizers when you are not home, and allow one to two hours after use for the ozone to revert to pure oxygen in your home.

HEPA Filter Air Purifiers

HEPA filters are the most effective type of filtration system. It traps the smallest particles down to .03 microns and eliminates as much as 99.97% of the elements that can harm you in the air. These types of air purifiers are very effective in cleaning the air, but they can be noisy and take up a lot of floor or shelf space.

Filter air purifiers have more than one type of filter because even though the HEPA filter system is very efficient, it would get clogged up too easily with larger particles. These purifiers also use carbon activated filters to eliminate odors, and a filter pad to trap the larger filters coming in to the purifier first.

Pros And Cons Of Filter Air Purifiers

Besides being big, bulky and noisy, filter air purifiers are more work than ionizers. Filter pads need to be removed and washed regularly. Carbon activated and HEPA filters need to be replaced when full, and although carbon activated filters usually last several months, and HEPA filters can last up to three years, it is still an additional expense to the operation of these types of filters.

Do Air Purifiers Work On Mold and Bacteria?

While pet dander and pollen are extremely aggravating to people with allergies, and noxious gases are damaging to lungs and nasal passages, mold and bacteria are even more dangerous. Floating mold spores will not only damage your health, they also destroy your home, and bacteria floating in your home’s air are responsible for many common illnesses that affect your quality of life.

Air purifiers greatly reduce the amount of mold and bacteria in your air, and it doesn’t take long before you notice how much better you feel when air purifiers have been running.

About Jameson Benning

As an apartment renter, having a limited amount of space affects my purchasing habits. I review the best portable items so you don't have to!

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