Air purifier advertisements try to appeal to people’s fears about pollution getting worse.
Resist the temptation to make an impulse purchase: experts on air purifiers say most people overpay yet end up with the wrong device for their needs.
One aspect of the overspending is something you might not discover until it’s too late: The most critical component, the air filter, needs periodic replacement and is usually overpriced compared to what the purifier costs.
About Those Reusables
While some models supposedly have filters you can clean and reuse, that puts you in close contact with the very things you were trying to avoid exposure to in the first place.
A common problem with air filters and the purifiers that run them: They emit ozone, which can irritate the lungs. If the product description refers to ionization, that’s a euphemism for ozone emission.
Other air purifiers might elminate only a portion of the pollution or leave some allergens in the air like dust.
Look for HEPA Filters
At a minimum, you should get an air purifier that has a HEPA filter — the acronym stands for high efficiency particulate arrestance. That means it’s 99.97% efficient at filtering particles of 0.3 microns in size.
It’s important to note that the pollutants created by wildfires include molecules and particles that are smaller than 0.03 microns.
So if pollution is your only concern driving you to buy an air purifier, slow down your decisionmaking so you don’t buy something that doesn’t do what you intended.
Look at Replacement Filter Prices
If you’re still charging ahead with an air purifier purchase, you can look to rein in the lifetime cost of the device by only choosing a model for which the replacement filters cost less than $60.
You might end up with yet another hidden expense if you buy an air purifier that has only a one-year warranty. It could indicate that the device won’t last long.
The most common cause of failure in these devices is a weak fan motor, according to Air Purifier Reviews, which recommends you look for a purifier with a three to five year warranty.
Don’t buy an air purifier through an infomercial; the mark-up is up to seven times as much as what retailers charge.
And even retailers charge a 50% markup — apparently, they sell only the cheaper models in order to price accordingly.
Buy Air Purifiers Direct
You can save a lot of money buy purchasing directly from the manufacturer online.
Something else to consider: If you feel any kind of rush to buy an air purifier, that could be a sign you need to slow down. Anything you buy impulsively in this product category might dissatisfy you.
Take your time deciding not just which product to buy but whether an air purifier will address your needs in the first place.
Readers, what have your experiences been with air purifiers, if at all?
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