Air purifiers are not a scam, and they are certainly not a waste of money. Despite the headlines that have been circulating on social media, air purifiers can be incredibly effective when used correctly. Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous sellers who make false claims about their products, such as claiming that a unit without a carbon filter can remove particles and gases from the air. In other cases, air purifiers may not work at all or even actively reduce indoor air quality.
The good news is that air purification technology has been studied extensively and has been proven to dramatically improve indoor air quality. Air purifiers can be used in conjunction with a HEPA filter to remove allergens, smoke, and mold from the air. However, filtration is more effective at removing mold from the air than an air purifier alone. When shopping for an air purifier, look for one with a HEPA filter that can capture more than 99.97 percent of 0.3 micron particles in the air.
Additionally, it is important to consider the quality of the outdoor air, the amount of airflow between indoor and outdoor spaces, and the activities that occur inside your home when assessing the risk of indoor air pollution. Air purifiers can help remove dust and other particles from the air, but they will not remove dust or dirt from surfaces. It is important to choose an air purifier with a true HEPA filter and activated carbon for maximum effectiveness. While some studies have shown that air purifiers can reduce VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the air, these studies were conducted under very controlled conditions and may not be applicable to homes with complex air environments. Finally, it is important to be wary of exaggerated claims made by some sellers about their products.
The EcoQuest air purifier, for example, is backed by outlandish commercial claims such as “EcoQuest Fresh Air is the safest and most sought after air purifier in the world” which should be taken with a grain of salt.