There are so many types of air purifiers on the market. In order to understand which is best for your family, it’s really important to go over all your options.
Pros: HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. These filters meet the Department of Energy requirements for the removal of about 99% of the particulates from the air. These air particulates have to be at least 0.3 microns or larger to capture. If you are wanting to remove mold spores, flame retardants, dust pollen, bacteria or pet dander, this may be a good option. But the one thing they may not be able to capture is viruses, which are smaller than bacteria.
Cons: HEPA may not be able to trap gases, fumes or other chemicals and odors. It also has problems capturing viruses. In order to trap all those things, you’ll need a disinfecting filtration system instead.
Pros: Activated carbon is also known as activated charcoal. The charcoal binds with certain toxins and pulls them out of the air. It’s very effective at absorbing gases and fumes like formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, and other such VOCs from the air. It’s also very effective in removing odors from the air.
Cons: Activated carbon doesn’t have the abilty to remove particles or germs from the air inside your home. In order to do this, you’ll need some sort of combo machine.
Pros: UV filters have the ability to kill bacteria and viruses.These filters kill bacteria and viruses using UV lights.
Cons: UV filters do not have the ability to filter out large particles like a HEPA or gases and chemicals like formaldehyde like an activated carbon filter does.
Pros: Instead of relying on fans to move air through filters, ionic filters release a steady stream of negatively charged ions that electrify dust & dander. The particles become negatively charged and are then attracted to the positively charged collection plate inside the machine.
Cons: They don’t really do a good job at all. Sometimes the air particles become attracted to the walls, table tops , and TV screens and stick. They also do not absorb formaldehyde or other VOCs. But what I find most troublesome is the idea that when you introduce ozone into your home, it can interact with the VOCs in the air and create smog.
Pros: These use electrostatic plates as their primary means of filtration, and but utilize Ozone to remove odors and freshen the air.
Cons: They are actually very dangerous not only to humans but can kill small pets. Even the Environment Protection Agency says they are dangerous so I wouldn’t recommend them for anyone.
Pros: This system is the most powerful one on the market. It is about 40x more efficient than HEPA technology and can handle the tiniest particles imaginable. It has the ability to eliminates 99.99% of all particles down to .007 microns in size, whereas HEPA filters capture 99.97% down to 0.3 microns in size. It also has the ability to capture ultrafine particles like viruses, molds, and bacterias that are airborne.
Cons: This system is pricey, but you get what you pay for.
After years of searching for an air purifier that was robust enough to help my family with severe pet allergens, I finally decided to make some a recommendation on a system that I feel is superior in quality and quiet enough for a home–The Intellipure Ultrafine 468 which is a disinfecting filtration system (DFS). And there is a personal story behind my decision that I think you’ll enjoy. Months ago, Intellipure sent me a unit to test out and possibly reivew. At first, I didn’t think much of it. I’ve tested out air purifiers and haven’t written about them because they didn’t help with my husband’s extreme pet allergies. Anytime anyone who owns a pet enters my house, my husband can’t breathe for days because they leave pet dander behind on the couch or in the rugs. He ends up having to take over the counter (OTC) allergy medication to be able to breathe. And to my husband, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic pet because he reacts to the saliva which is on all pet dander. And that is no way to live because it seems like everyone has pets. It makes it challenging for us to have friends. When we go to someone’s house with pets, the reactions are worse, but at least he can remove himself from the situation. So this basically means everytime we have friends over or go to other people’s homes, he suffers for days. And because of this, we are a bit limited on where we can go and how often we can have people over.
This year, we got the Intellipure system about two days before my brother came over for Easter. My brother has a dog and every time he comes over, my poor husband suffers for days. But who can say no to family around the holidays, right? But this time things were different. My husband didn’t react to the pet dander at all that day. And then in the days that followed, he still didn’t react. Life was good. He could breathe. WHOA, this thing actually works…and works better than anything we’ve ever tried before. I was convinced this machine was worthy of a mention on Mamavation so it could help others, especially people with a chemical sensitivity or pet allergy.
Then after about a month of having the system, I was finally encouraged to do that kitchen remodel that I had been putting off forever. I was worried about the dust from the demolition getting into the air and becoming a problem for my sensitive husband and young children. I was also worried about the off-gassing from the chemicals used to primer and paint the cabinets. I kept putting things off longer and longer and longer until the appliances broke and I was out of options. So we started the kitchen remodel and I sent the kids off to their grandparents for a few days while the demolition was happening and primer & paint were being put on the cabinets. But I stayed home and held down the fort and had the Intellipure on full blast the entire time. Then one day I was working on the couch with the window open and I started to get a headache. I looked over and someone had turned off the Intellipure. So I ran over and turned it back on and my headache went away within about five minutes. (I’m so sensitive to scents that the off-gassing in office stores and fragrance counters gives me headaches. I dread getting into a Lyft or Uber when they have a synthetic air freshener or are wearing strong perfume.) But I knew the system was working exceptionally well when my headache cleared up in minutes. It seemed like a miracle. So not only was this thing a miracle for my husband, but for me as well.
Air purifiers aren’t just for the uber-sensitive and allergic, Intellipure is something I would recommend for anyone. It’s estimated that the average American is spending 90% of their time indoors. And with each breath, we are breathing in 45-75,000 particles of pollutants. That’s a lot of pollutants. No wonder over 6.5 MILLION people die prematurely every year as a result of air pollution!
Recently, a study was published that estimated $340 BILLION each year was spent on health care expenses and loss of productivity due to endocrine disrupting chemicals. Most of the chemicals that were analyzed in this study problematic attach themselves to common dust. And when you breathe in that dust, you are getting doused with fire retardants, which are a VERY problematic endocrine-disrupting chemical that can affect your thyroid, cause cancer, bring down the IQ of children, etc. Having an Intellipure would be a really good tool to have in your home to protect your family from teenie tiny particles of fire retardants that have attached themselves to household dust.
And then, of course, the worse the air quality is outside your home, the worse it’s going to be inside your home. Air is trapped inside with nowhere to go so it stays and gets stale. Outside pollutants get broken down by the sun and the wind and all the elements, but that’s not happening inside your home. So if you are living by a freeway or inside a city that has polluted air, another reason to really consider picking one of these up. Curious what the air quality is like in your city? Click here to see in an interactive map that ranks your city and gives you a number based on historical trends and forecasts several days of air quality.
What types of things do you want to avoid in the air you breathe? I call them the three-headed horseman of the indoor air apocalypse: pollutants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and microorganisms. All of these substances are sucked inside the Intellipure Ultrafine 468, which in turn makes the air inside your home safer for your family:
As you can see from the list above, the Intelliure has the ability to pick up all the airborne contaminants you may have concerns about. It removes 99.99 percent of harmful viruses, fungi molds and bacteria down to .007 micron in size. An ordinary HEPA filter only picks up 0.3 microns in size. This is by far the most efficient air purifier on the market today.
After reading up on the product, I discovered that it’s actually 40x more efficient than the HEPA based filter we had in the house before. (That thing didn’t help my husband with his pet allergies) and again can pick things as small as .007 microns in size. That’s teeny tiny portions. It’s also extremely quiet for a robust system.
“The Ultrafine Series utilizes out patented DFS (Disinfecting Filtration System) technology, which we developed through a United States military grant. It removes 99.99% of harmful viruses, fungi, molds, and bacteria, down to 0.007 micron — that’s 40 times more efficient than HEPA. This technology is currently used in hospitals, medical clean rooms, government buildings and military applications.”
Written by Leah Segedie, Mamavation