So... let's clear the air when thinking about air purifiers and their effectiveness in the home.

Unwanted, and sometimes harmful dust particles and materials invisibly invade and meander through our environments in a free form network of allergens and irritants. The marketplace is inundated with various air purification systems that claim to rid us of all these antagonistic pollutants from the air we breathe. But the question is – how effective are air purifiers? And which ones are the best to introduce into your household? Three types of air cleaners are currently offered on the market:

- Electronic-style cleaners
- Mechanical filters
- Natural ion generators

Air cleaners may be in-duct units that are typically installed in central air conditioning/heating systems. All-inclusive portable systems are used as personal units for bedrooms and where pets may congregate in the home. The effectiveness of various cleaners, of course, depends on size, handling capacity and overall quality. The amount of air a system can handle, and its pollutant-removing capabilities are expressed as the unit’s clean air delivery rate (CADR).

Three strategies may be used to reduce indoor air pollutants:

1. Source Control to eliminate individual sources of pollutants and reduces emissions.

2. Ventilation to bring fresh air inside the room environment by way of open windows, doors and exhaust fans.

3. Utilize air cleaners to control ventilation and eliminate allergens and unwanted particulates, odors and gases. 

So, what do you want to look for in an air purification system?

Before selecting, you will want to consider the potential effectiveness of the device under the conditions in which it will be used.


  • The need and frequency of routine maintenance, including cleaning and replacement of filters, and installation requirements.
  • The estimated overall maintenance cost.
  • The ease of use when following the manufacturer's recommended operating procedures.
  • The possible production or re-dispersal of pollutants; such as ozone, particles, formaldehyde and trapped gaseous pollutants.
  • The ability to control gases, food odors and tobacco smoke.
  • Possible health effects from charged particles produced by ion generators.
  • Possible soiling of surrounding surfaces and walls by charged particles produced by ion generators.
  • The noise generated at the typical operating level the product will be used.

    The right air purifier can make a difference in providing optimum comfort and health benefits when carefully selected and used wisely. Something to always remember: change central air system filters monthly to maximize the efficiency of your air purifier(s). You'll soon be saying… now that’s a breath of fresh air!