We spend so much time inside our homes that it’s important to think about the indoor air quality and its effect on our family’s health and well-being. If you have ever considered using an air purifier, you will know there are so many on the market, all with varying features. Let’s break down the top features to look for when choosing one for your home.
Indoor air quality is now more important than ever when it comes to your home. Whether you are an allergy or asthma sufferer, need to help clear the air of viruses or bacteria when your family gets sick or are concerned about the effects of bush fire smoke during summer, keeping the air clean inside your home is an ongoing concern.
It’s easy to think of pollution as a problem that just exists outdoors, yet it’s the same air containing traces of airborne pollen, smoke, and other pollutants that find its way inside our homes. To add to this, there is also household dust, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pet dander, bacteria and more, which are all common pollutants already in the home.
All these reasons make it is necessary to consider using an air purifier. But with so many on the market, what are the top features to look for when choosing the right one for your home?
Clean Air Delivery Rate
The Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is an industry measure used to indicate the volume of filtered air delivered by an air cleaner. It is measured in cubic metres per hour, and the higher the value, the better.
The CADR test is performed in a small room (about 3.4m per side and 2.4m high), with the Air Purifier in the centre and set to its highest speed setting. It’s a 20-minute test for each of the three pollutants; dust, tobacco smoke and pollen.
Compare the CADR between models and look for air purifiers with a high CADR, like the Mitsubishi Electric E85R Air Purifier, which has a high rate of 508m3/h.
Air Filtration Capability
The three common filters contained in most air purifiers are Pre-Filters, HEPA Filters and Carbon Filters. Pre-Filters catch large particles like dust and hair; a HEPA Filter catches up to 99.97% of ultra-fine particles in the air and Activated Carbon Filters filter hazardous gases and fumes.
Gases such as VOCs will flow straight through a HEPA filter as they are too tiny to be screened by one. An Activated Carbon Filter in your Air Purifier is required to remove these contaminants from the air.
Another less common filter to look for is the Platinum Catalyst Filter, which uses nanotechnology to absorb various odorants and deodorise the air and feature in better quality air purifiers.
The size of the main filters (HEPA & Carbon) within the air purifier is also worth comparing. The larger the filter, the better it could help to increase air purification flow and reduce the time between replacing.
It’s important to note that some filters in an air purifier need to be changed at some point; a vital distinction between brands is the amount of time they will last before replacement is required. While most brands will need a filter replaced every 6-8 months, some models, such as the Mitsubishi Electric E85R, contain HEPA & Carbon filters that could last for years (depending on your operating environment and usage), needing replacement on average every five years when the unit is used mainly on ‘Normal’ mode. This is an excellent feature to look for as it is more convenient and could save money in the long run.
To warn you when your filter needs changing, a replace filter indicator light is also a handy feature to have, as it takes the guesswork out of when to change your filter and ensures you get the most out of its life.
One of the more important features to consider when finding the correct model for your home is the capacity. What size rooms will the air purifier need to be servicing? You don’t want to buy a unit that is too small for the area as it won’t work effectively.
Air Quality Sensors & Monitors
The ability to monitor the air quality in the room and automatically adjust the cleaning settings is a key feature. These Smart Search Sensors continuously scan your room for air contamination, using PM2.5 sensor (for the most advanced models) and odour sensors to detect airborne allergens and pollutants. Automatically keeping your room at its optimum level, altering the unit to what is needed, rather than just running continuously. Light monitors can indicate the levels of indoor air contamination for dust, PM2.5 small particles and odour.
Not all air purifiers are made equal, and some are quieter than others. Night modes are a useful feature if you will be using the unit in a bedroom. The Mitsubishi Electric E85R offers silent night mode, meaning the device lights are dimmed, and the unit operates very quietly at reduced air volumes, so you can breathe cleaner air while sleeping.
Airflow and speed control
Look for Multi-Directional Airflow options allowing louvres to automatically move across different angles and stopping where the air is most contaminated. Also, Multi Speed Settings ranging from turbo air volume for faster indoor air cleaning to silent mode for a quieter operation.
For more information on the Mitsubishi Electric E85R air purifier and its features see our Air Treatment page.