While AirPura has been around for nearly ten years, it was just last year we began offering these durable air purifiers. In a relatively short period of time, they've quickly filled a niche with customers looking for an very quiet but extremely powerful air purifier. Now, until February 1, is your last chance to take advantage of current pricing before the increase. But why have these HEPA air purifiers become popular so quickly?
The answer to that is summed up in three easy points. First, they're effective. Most come with a thick two inch carbon filter as well as a HEPA filter and prefilter. The system is sealed via a series of felt gaskets, and the carbon is customizable. Need UV? That's an option. How about photocatalytic oxidation for VOC removal? That's an option too! From particle allergens like pollen, dust, and dander to chemical vapors and fumes, like smoke, exhaust, and VOCs, there's an AirPura built to meet your filtration needs.
Second, they're durable. From top to bottom, the AirPura is built for the long haul. Steel, powder coated construction is standard with each machine. Even the filters have steel end caps! While this does add some weight, it dramatically reduces the chances of off gassing, which is more common with plastic housing and filter frames.
Lastly, they're exceptionally quiet. On the lowest setting, the fan is quiet enough that it won't disturb even light sleepers. If you want to get the most out of this unit, turn the fan speed to its highest setting. While the noise level will go way up, the fan and coverage area is the largest of any residential air purifier. So whether you need the quiet operation at night, or robust coverage during the day, an AirPura offers both in one package.
Prices are going up 5-10% on all models, so if you were considering an AirPura, time is quickly running out. Use promo code "SNOW14" and take 10% off your order of any AirPura air purifier and get free ground shipping!
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Author: K. Gilmore
Two readers astutely pointed out a discrepancy between what Austin Air states as their coverage area for the HealthMate air purifier and what we state. Austin lists the HealthMate with 1500 sq. ft. of coverage, while we say it covers 750 sq. ft. Who's correct? Technically, both.
Coverage area is determined by a couple things. First, how powerful the fan is. The more powerful the fan, the larger volume of air it can move and ultimately clean. The second is how you actually define coverage. Air purifiers aren't like paint. With paint you're going to get about x number of sq. ft. out of each can. This number can vary a little depending on how heavy you apply, but generally, if four people paint with the same bucket, they're going to get pretty similar coverage areas. With an air purifier, the coverage not only describes how large of a room/space it will operate in but also sheds some light on how well it will actually clean in that size of space.
It's wise to remember how an air purifier works. Air moves through the filters, pulled in by the fan, and once cleaned, it's pushed back into the room. This process happens over and over, and for good reason. Air is constantly being polluted with indoor and outdoor allergens and particles. The ACH is the measure of how often an air purifier can cycle through the entire volume of air in any space, and this is linked to how powerful the fan is. If you have a very powerful fan and the air purifier is operating in a small room, it's going to have the ability to cycle through all the air in that room many times per hour. If you take that same air purifier and place it in a large cavernous room, it may only be able to cycle through that volume of air once or twice per hour.
So in large part, coverage area depends on how many air exchanges per hour you want to target. We generally recommend a minimum of four ACH per hour, and that's true for every air purifier we sell. That's the minimum though, and if possible, we recommend getting to six per hour. Air purifier manufacturers vary when it comes to ACH. Some rate the coverage of their machines based on 5 or 4 ACH and some, like Austin, base it on 2 ACH. This means, that Austin Air Purifiers will appear to have very large coverage areas, when it reality if your goal is to filter all the air in your room at least 4 times per hour, then the space can be no bigger than 750 sq. ft. If someone else only needs light filtration, say 2 ACH, over a larger area, then perhaps the Austin HealthMate is perfect for a 1500 sq. ft. area.
As you can see, coverage and ACH are closely linked, and as I've shown here, when it comes to who's right - Austin or us? Both.
For more information on how to calculate air exchanges per hour or visit our highly informative Air Purifier Buying Guide for all the info you need to make the most informed choice about which HEPA air purifier is right for you.
Author: K. Gilmore
When it comes to microbes, there are really only two options in terms of neutralizing them - antimicrobial treatments and UV light. Antimicrobial treatments act the same as hand sanitizers, often a blend of agents that kill microbes that pass through the HEPA filter. With the AirPura UV600, you get the other type of technology, UV-C light. UV light has long been shown to neutralize microbes. Since this phenomenon was first described in 1878, UV light has been used in a variety of applications from hospitals to deli counters. A look into how UV light works, demonstrates why it is so effective and why you find it in a broad range of industries.
The two methods in which UV light works is by either breaking molecular bonds within the microbe or physically altering the DNA. In both instances, the end result is either the destruction of organism or an alteration of the DNA to the point where the microbe cannot replicate. In either case, the end result is the effective neutralization of viruses, bacteria, and other germs.
There are also two factors that can shape the effectiveness of UV light - exposure time and wavelength. Exposure time is key to killing microbes. UV light can be strong and of the right wavelength, but if the exposure time is too brief, it may take multiple passes to effectively kill the microbe. Wavelength also effects the efficacy, with 254 nanometers being the wavelength of UV light ideal for neutralizing microbes. With the AirPura UV600, the bulb is placed in the center of the filtration chamber, allowing it to effect all microbes that are ensnared in layer of filtration of nearest to it, the HEPA filter. Additionally, the lamp is a UV-C lamp that produces the wavelength necessary to kill microbes.
In addition, to the UV bulb, the AirPura UV600 air purifier has the staples that make AirPura a solid choice for broad removal of pollutants and irritants in your home. A large particle preflight traps visible particles and helps to keep the other layers of filtration clean. After passing through this, the air travels through a 2" thick carbon filter that adsorbs chemicals, odors, and smoke. As the last two phases, a medical grade HEPA air purifier removes you particle allergens like dander, dust, mold spores, and pollen before the UV light neutralizes microbes. All four layers of filtration are enclosed in a durable steel shell, and for those concerned with noise, the AirPura offers the quietest operation on the lowest fan speed, nearly silent. Like the other models in the AirPura line, the UV600 offers simple operation and the best coverage area of any residential air purifier available.
In all, the UV600 offers comprehensive filtration ideal for those coping with a variety of irritants and anyone looking to reduce microbes in the home or office. To see the full line of AirPura home air purifiers.
Author: K. Gilmore
Let's start at the door. The first person you often see if someone checking IDs. This person also turns away people who aren't dressed appropriately or anyone who seems like they might cause problems once inside. This character is a lot like your HEPA filter. Pollen, dander, dust, and other D-list celebrities (Note to Bruce Campbell - You're in!) aren't allowed to pass, and for people with allergies or asthma, they represent potential troublemakers. The HEPA filter refuses to allow 99.97% of all particles 0.3 microns or larger to pass.
A certain group of troublemakers get by the HEPA filter. They dress the part and for them, the HEPA filter makes an exception. This group includes things like smoke, fragrance, chemical vapors, and exhaust emissions. Fortunate for you though, you have a friend on the inside - activated carbon.
Activated carbon is the equivalent of a social butterfly. He's hip. He's cool, and he REALLY enjoys giving out free hugs. While smoke, chemical vapors and others may get by the HEPA filter, activated carbon seeks these characters out, and once he finds them, it's time for a hug! Like long lost pals, molecules bind with activated carbon in a warm, permanent embrace. Because of the molecular composition of activated carbon, substances are naturally attracted to him, but there are still some things that can slip by the embrace of even activated carbon. This is where a blended carbon filter comes in.
Friends of activated carbon can vary, but all help him do his job better. Some friends, like zeolite will attract and soak up chemicals. Others play a slightly different role. Substances like potassium permangante, potassium iodide, magnesium dioxide, or copper oxide act in one of two ways. They either seek out some of the bad apples that slip by activated carbon and bind to them, or they play the role of the "mean girl". Particularly harmful compounds like dioxins and hydrocarbon pollution are literally broken apart into smaller, inert components via the process of oxidation. So in this way, they broaden carbons ability to remove reaction causing compounds.
So, yes, your air purifier is actually like a night club, and some of the best filter out a wide range of bad apples and prevent them from causing you problems. Knowing what triggers your reactions and matching it to the right filter media is the winning combination when it comes to controlling asthma, allergies, and chemical sensitivities.Want to see our top pick for best air purifiers for allergies and asthma or our top MCS and VOC air purifiers? Or click here to see a picture of my dog in a Santa hat (he is NOT amused).
Author: K. Gilmore
What's the difference between the C600 and C600DLX? In reality, they are much more alike than different. Both have the staple features of an AirPura, including quiet operation, the largest coverage area, superior airflow, separate filters, simple operation, steel construction, and a sealed system. Throughout both machines, there is very little plastic or adhesive, and the gaskets are felt instead of rubber or foam. These things reduce the potential for off-gassing, which is particularly important for people with chemical sensitivities.
The primary difference between these two models is in the carbon filter. While both use 26 lbs. of granular, activated carbon, created from a coconut shell base, the C600DLX employs a blend of carbon. Very similar to the VOCARB blend that you'll find in a competing brand, the AirPura C600DLX carbon blend is designed to capture a broader range of chemical vapors, making it uniquely suited for a VOC filtration. So while the standard C600 is great for most residential applications, for situations dealing with heavy concentrations of VOC from industrial pollution, exhaust emissions, or large areas of newly painted walls or newly finished floors, the C600DLX is an excellent alternative. Perhaps the best part about these two models - the filters are interchangeable. If you have a C600 and want better VOC filtration, simply purchase the C600DLX replacement filter when your current filter is all used up, and you've turned your C600 into the C600DLX.
The C600DLX is the first in a few models that you can expect to see added to the line in the coming week. For more information on the C600DLX air purifier or to see all AirPura models.
Selecting an air purifier can be a real hassle. There is a glut of products on the market that range all across the board in terms of price, filtration and features. For now, I want to focus mainly on the models you'll find in your local big box store. You know what I'm talking about. The $50-150 plastic, Made-In-China special that features "Super-Awesome-Never-Needs-To-Be-Replaced-Amazingly-Ultra-Real-True-HEPA-Filtration!!!" Ok, so perhaps I exaggerate just a bit, but you know I'm talking about. There are several points that I want to make about this style of air purifier, so let's just start with the most basic.
You Get What You Pay For - The reality is, most of us gave up on the notion of repairing appliances a long time ago. Thirty years ago you likely would have found at least a handful of people in your local community who repaired home appliances. Replace a part here or there, a new belt, and you were as good as new. While prices certainly haven't gone down, quality and longevity of home appliances have.
As quick anecdote, growing up, my family had an old Westinghouse refrigerator. Unlike now, back then Westinghouse was made here in the U.S. It was as ugly as sin, weighed as much as a Yugo, and nearly as big. It was a hand-me-down, but by the time it finally died, it was roughly sixty years old! Even then, I think we got $15 out of it just for the steel. Can you imagine a home appliance lasting sixty years? No? Well neither can most manufacturers. There's more money in cheap and disposable than durable and long lasting. It's good to keep this in mind when looking at any home appliance, and the same holds true for air purifiers.
Too Good to Be True? - If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don't get caught up in superlatives, glittering generalities, and marketing language. There's a lot of it out there, and ultimately, an air purifier is just another tool that you can use to better control your indoor environment. It's not a cure-all. You won't be running four minute miles or leaping tall buildings in a single bound, but with the right one, you will likely sleep better, wake up feeling better and breathe a little easier.
Different Name, Same Place - This is pretty common in the air purifier industry anymore. Notice how several different brands all look the same? It's often because they come from the same factory in China. Often the only difference, particularly amongst cheaper air purifiers, is the name or color.
Features - What do you need? Carbon for odors? Don't expect a cheap air purifier to pack much carbon. Sealed systems? Virtually non-existent with these types of models. Want something made of steel that won't off gas? Not going to happen. Ionizers? This... this you can get. Ionization is an inexpensive technology that can produce ozone, but remains a feature built into many less expensive air purifiers, mainly because it can increase filtration rates while using a lower quality filter. It has a high CADR. That means it's the one for me, right? Maybe. Inexpensive air purifiers are often run through the CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) test and display good results, but the CADR has its share of drawbacks, so don't let it be the only reason you select a particular model.
Filterless Units - Simply don't work. Stop considering or buying them. Let someone else be a sucker. "But Kevin, I can see the dust that the plates are collecting. That means they're working right?" Wrong. My coffee table collects dust, but I don't sell it as an air purifier. These "air purifiers" almost ALWAYS produce ozone, which even in small amounts isn't something you want to introduce into your home.
Labels - Labels can be really helpful. They can give you a quick indicator of some key features. Plus, they lend credibility to products and performance, and that is also where the problem lies. Some labels don't necessarily convey what you think they do. The CADR can lend itself to a false sense of confidence in a product when taken by itself. Air purifiers can even be endorsed by recognized entities yet still not deliver what they promise, and even the Made in the USA logo has been found to have been abused by manufacturers, all to capitalize on sentiment and sell their product. Labels are, well labels. Investigate them. What do they mean and stand for? Talk to people who have used the product, consider the company's reputation, and avoid buying something just because of a label.
If you want more comprehensive information of what types of filtration are out there and what are the qualities you should look for in a quality HEPA air purifier, visit our Air Purifier Buying Guide. In it we give you a thorough overview of the different types of filtration available as well as the information you need to make a solid choice while avoiding the pitfalls of marketer-speak or being overwhelmed by a tidal wave of imitators and snake oil. This is why on this site you'll find more information than any other. From determining which products best meet your needs to finding simple, everyday solutions to help alleviate symptoms, you can find a variety of answers to your questions.
Author: K. Gilmore
There are three areas where AirPura has made changes to provide a better product.
- Filtration - From tried and true to cutting edge, AirPura offers a range of filtration styles to remove particle allergens like pollen, dander, and dust mites as well as odors, smoke and chemical vapors. A HEPA filter is standard in most models, as is a carbon filter and large particle prefilter. Some models integrate UV light while others integrate AirPura's TitanClean technology for some of the most comprehensive filtration available. Regardless of which AirPura you choose, each filter type can be independently changed. So unlike some combination filters that result in one of the combined filter medias wearing out before the other, each type of filter in the AirPura can be changed exactly when it needs to be.
- Components - For some of the most sensitive individuals, the solution to air quality problems can actually create more problems. From plastics that off-gas and UV bulbs that emit ozone to compounds in the carbon and rubber/foam/plastics found throughout the machine, many modern air purifiers can emit harmful byproducts that can aggravate conditions for those coping with chemical sensitivities or severe respiratory problems. AirPura takes a different approach by greatly limiting the use of adhesives, rubber, foam and plastics. This is why you will notice felt gaskets around the filter assembly, a steel shell with powder coat finish, a coconut shell based activated carbon (one of the most MCS friendly carbon bases available), UV bulbs that are CARB compliant (meeting California's stringent UV standards and exceed EPA standards), and electrical components that rest outside of the flow of cleaned air through the machine. Particularly for anyone who has dealt with problems caused by cheap air purifiers, these small details add up to a big difference.
- Air Flow - Air and water share some similar characteristics, and in this case, kinks or bends in the flow can dramatically reduce coverage. The more sharp bends air has to negotiate inside the air purifier, the less efficiently it flows through the machine and the more energy it uses. Things like 90° angles inside the machine can dramatically reduce not only airflow but also coverage. AirPura air purifiers have a very streamlined internal flow with no sharp bends. This is why it has the highest CFM of any residential air purifier, 560. This is also why an AirPura can cover up to 700 sq. ft. at a rate of 6 full air exchanges per hour. Thanks to the internal design and a powerful motor, you get more coverage for your buck with an AirPura.
- Noise - On the lowest fan speed, each AirPura air purifier registers about 28 decibels at six feet away. This makes them some of the quietest air purifiers on the market. This also means you can simply turn the fan down at night and make the bedroom more accommodating for light sleepers.
Currently, the three models we offer are the base model, the AirPura HEPA R600, which provides excellent three stage filtration suitable for most people dealing with allergies, asthma or COPD; the carbon-rich AirPura C600, which employs a thick, 26 lb carbon filter ideal for chemical abatement, removing high levels of smoke, odors, vapors; and, the most comprehensive, the AirPura HEPA P600, which uses five-stage filtration to tackle the widest range of allergens, pollutants, pathogens, and irritants of all AirPura models. Each model offers a unique solution for general or specific air quality problems.
If you want to learn more about what AirPura has to offer you, visit our AirPura page or view our entire line of high quality HEPA air purifiers.
I want to start by talking about the filtration. You'll notice that Alen uses the terms "HEPA like" or "HEPA style". This is because all Alen air purifiers offer near HEPA filtration, but come up just a smidge short. There are few filtration categories that are HEPA or near HEPA for most air purifiers The traditional ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) HEPA standard is 99.97% filtration efficiency of particle 0.3 microns or larger. In Europe the standard is H13, 99.95% of the same size particles, and lastly there is an H11 standard with a filtration efficiency of 95% or greater. The Alen BreatheSmart filters 99% of particles 0.3 microns or larger. So, it comes in higher than H11 filters but just under traditional HEPA efficiency ratings.
What does this mean for you? Could be a lot. Could be not much of anything. The answer lies in which type of allergens affect you. If dust mites or pollen is the nemesis, the BreatheSmart will work well. The low end of the particle filtration range will get collected and retained by the filter of the BreatheSmart. If pet dander, smoke or odors are your game, you may want to consider a different model. Not simply because the particles of these can be smaller than what a certified HEPA filter would capture, with pets, smoke and odors, HEPA filtration plus activated carbon is typically the best way to remove these allergens. So to recap, for dust mites or pollen the BreatheSmart is a champ, for smoke, odors or pet dander, the BreatheSmart might not deliver the knock out you've been looking for.
Beyond filtration, the Alen BreatheSmart is a really simple air purifier to operate. There are no dials, just a series of easy-to-use push buttons and indicator lights. Select one of four fan speeds or the Auto Mode (which will select the appropriate fan speed based on current particle pollution levels in the air). Filter Life indicator lights let you know how long until you need to replace your filter, and unlike strict timers, it factors in fan speed and actual run time. There is also a timer that allows you select 4, 8 or 12 hours of run time before the unit will automatically shut off. Plug it in, press a few buttons, and you're finished!
The last thing that really stands out with the Alen BreatheSmart is its quiet efficiency. While the top fan speed is still somewhat loud (this is pretty much unavoidable with any fan/blower-based air purifier), on all three lower speeds, it is significantly quieter than comparable models. Best of all, it consumes fairly little power, so much so that it is Energy Star certified.
In all, the BreatheSmart is a solid choice for those dealing with particle allergies. With spring allergy season just around the corner, and pollen counts already nearing 1000 in Atlanta, now might the best time to invest in an air purifier for your bedroom or living room.
For more information about the our full line of home HEPA air purifiers.
Author: Kevin Gilmore
For starters, the new T500 is a bit smaller. Shorter and lighter, this model is now sized between the T300 and T100 but still retains the same size footprint. Other than this, the T500 retains most of the same features, functionality and style of the T300 model. It still has digital controls, 3 fan speeds, and a filter change indicator. It also retains the limited lifetime warranty, EnergyStar qualification, and coverage area. And, as the T300, the new T500 has an optional ionizer (produces no ozone), for your convenience.
The only downside with this model is the UV bulb, that came standard with the T300, is no longer included with the T500 model. In lieu of the UV bulb, there is a filter option, the HEPA-Silver that does the same thing - neutralizes microbes and germs. The standard filter with the T500 is the HEPA-Fresh filter, which is a HEPA-style filter that traps 95% of particles 0.3 microns or larger (think N95 filtration). Aside from the HEPA-Fresh and HEPA-Silver option, there is also a HEPA-OdorCell filter that uses Alen's MCP technology to target odors.
Lastly, it is priced the same as its predecessor - $299.00. This model is currently in-stock and available to ship today.
For a full rundown of the T500's specs and our review of this air purifier, visit our T500 page or to view all Alen air purifiers.
Author: K. Gilmore
Since its introduction, the Paralda has been a popular air purifier for anyone concerned with their indoor air quality. With a HEPA style filter and embedded Silver Ion technology, the Paralda reduces not only allergens like ragweed, mold spores and dander, but also pathogens and microbes that can cause colds or the flu. This is critical as we head into the flu and fall allergy seasons.
A small footprint allows you place it in nearly any room, regardless of the size of the room or space issues. Though it is compact, this tower air purifier will cover about 200 to 500 sq. ft., depending on how many air exchanges per hour you desire. The digital, soft-touch controls are easy to use and give you flexibility to customize the filtration level that is right for you.
Some additional benefits of the Paralda: Energy Certified, and with regular filter replacement, the Paralda comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty. Right now you can save $100 and add this stylish air cleaner to your home or office for only $339.