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-   -   Air purifier/cleaner recommendations (http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f38/air-purifier-cleaner-recommendations-72963.html)

David1961 07-23-2014 02:48 PM

Air purifier/cleaner recommendations
I suffer from allergies (this has been a really bad year IMO) and am looking at buying an air purifier and/or ionizer for my bedroom. There are many of them on the market with huge price ranges. Does anyone have any particular model they use and find effective for helping with allergies? I checked with Consumer Reports but they last review they had was in 2012. Thanks.

MichaelB 07-23-2014 03:03 PM

DW has bad allergies, we've used an in room air purifier for years. Whirlpool Air Purifiers | AP51030K (top rated by CR). It is pricey and noisy. Two filters, one changed quarterly and one yearly ($120 x year). The fan doesn't bother us because it's like white noise and we live in an urban area, so it actually helps.

If you can, buy from a retailer that has a 30 day return policy, so you can try it out at home.

zinger1457 07-24-2014 11:22 AM

I've had an Austin HealthMate air purifier for years and pleased with it. It's rated to clean up to 1500 sq-ft which is about the size of my main living area and it seems to handle it well. I don't have allergies so can't comment on that aspect of it but it does a good job cleaning and freshening up the air inside the house. Noise barely noticeable when on low (my normal setting), not a big distraction but you'll know it's running when on high setting.

DFW_M5 07-25-2014 12:54 PM

If you have forced air AC/Heat, you might want to consider a higher MERV rated filter which can remove more contaminants/pollen/etc.

Jgot 08-22-2014 11:28 PM

We also have an Austin Healthmate air purifier - we have had for 8 years - it works well. However, we bought an IQ air for our second home and it is a noticeably better purifier. A bit pricey, but we have a granddaughter that has severe allergies that visits there often and we wanted the best. My daughter has 2 of these air purifiers in their home and told us how well they work and it was also recommended to us by a good friend that is a pediatrician.

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Chuckanut 01-16-2015 02:43 PM

You can make a simple air filter device for well under $50 if you don't mind how it looks.

Make a Simple Air Purifier with a Fan and a Furnace Filter

daylatedollarshort 01-16-2015 07:16 PM

I don't know if this would work with allergies, but we got rid of the electric air filters and are replacing them with plants to clean the air in our house:

Best air-filtering houseplants, according to NASA | MNN - Mother Nature Network

Hermit 01-16-2015 09:42 PM

I kept my furnace fan running 24/7 with 3M low micron filters. Changed the filters every month or month and a half. It worked for DS's asthma. (Also didn't have any problems with dust!)

samclem 01-16-2015 10:35 PM

Using a high-quality filter to reduce allergens throughout the house sounds like a good approach, and uses equipment that is already there (the furnace fan). It will need to be kept running. A small room-size HEPA filter in the afflicted person's bedroom is often cited as producing results.

People often have very limited success in reducing allergies just from adding a filter. It's just one part of a much bigger process of eliminating places for the allergens to lurk throughout the home. If the problem is dust, then there's little sense in buying air filters if the home will have a lot of carpets and upholstered furniture. Every time a person moves on a piece of upholstered furniture or walks across a carpet/rug, a storm of tiny dust bits is kicked up, to eventually settle elsewhere. Some will make it to a central filter--eventually.

Ready 02-02-2015 09:19 PM

I contracted a flu like cold and bronchitis back in November, and it lingered on for three months with persistent coughing. It's the longest I've ever been sick. After countless visits to the GP and lung doctor, it appears that I may have developed asthma as a result of the bronchitis. I find myself very sensitive to polluted air now, where previously it only bothered me a little bit.

I had lots of down time while sick to research air purification. I've always thought the industry was mostly smoke and mirrors and had a hard time believing that these devices really work. From my research, I learned that manufacturers generally overstate the capabilities of their air purifier equipment and recommend room sizes that are significantly higher than what the equipment can really handle.

There seemed to be an overwhelming amount of reviews on the IQAir Health Pro Plus, and the almost unanimous opinion that it's the best one you can buy. At $899, it's not cheap. But I've had one for a month now and I notice that I can be coughing almost non stop in my living room, and if I head up to the bedroom where the IQAir is, I stop coughing almost instantly and never cough even once while I'm in the room. So I have to say I'm really impressed with it. I wish I had known about this unit years ago. It would have really improved my quality of life.

Being a engineer at heart, I was troubled by the fact that I couldn't measure exactly how the IQAir was performing, even if it was making me feel better. So I invested in a Dylos DC1100 Pro laser particle counter so that I could measure the particulate matter in my house, both before and after using the IQAir.

My average particle count on a relatively good day is 160,000 particles per cubic foot. On a smoggy day, the number jumps to over 300,000. If I measure the outdoor air, it has been as high as 700,000.

In my bedroom, with the IQAir running on full power, the count drops to about 15,000. Sometimes it goes down as low as 8,000, but generally on a bad day I can't get below about 15,000. My bedroom is 700 square feet with high ceilings, so I'm pushing the limit of what the IQAir can handle.

But I love having the particle counter. It tells me exactly what the air quality is, and whether I need to crank the IQAir up to full power, or if its safe to lower it or even turn it off. And it confirms my somewhat subjective observation that I don't cough when I'm in a room where it's running.

There are certainly other good air purifiers out there that cost less, but I would find it hard to evaluate if they were working well without a particle counter to confirm the results. Many of them are just fancy fans with very basic filters in them that don't do much of anything. And consumer reports has some very sketchy testing methods which make their results look suspicious to me.

I am evaluating the IQAir Perfect 16 whole house system as a possible option for the rest of the house. If it can keep me from coughing in the rest of the house, it's worth every penny.

It's certainly been a fascinating topic for me to delve in to, and I've really enjoyed learning about the industry. If anyone else is thinking about buying one, feel free to PM me. I've probably spent more than 100 hours reading about them by now. And, I'm feeling better.

samclem 02-02-2015 10:29 PM


Originally Posted by Ready (Post 1551938)
My average particle count on a relatively good day is 160,000 particles per cubic foot. On a smoggy day, the number jumps to over 300,000. If I measure the outdoor air, it has been as high as 700,000.

ASHRAE recommends that residences get 1-2 air changes per hour--that is, that enough air be exchanged so that the entire air volume of the house is exchanged with the outside air once to twice per hour. Typical older homes achieve this through natural leakiness, new "tight" homes need to achieve it via deliberate ventilation. Given this high and continuous amount of air exchange, it would seem to be an uphill battle to get the indoor air quality to differ significantly from the outdoor levels unless the home's HVAC system has very good filtration and is run continuously.

Homes often have much higher particulate levels than outdoor ambient air (due to dust stored in/released from upholstered furniture and rugs, etc). Getting a home's particulate level down to the average outdoor particulate level would be an achievable goal.

papadad111 02-06-2015 04:18 AM

In beijing china, air quality is toxic on a good day. Recommend the IQ Air brand air purifiers. They are the best and I (hope )they do a decent job.

Know the difference between PM 2.5 and PM10 particulates.

Difficult to prove air purification effectiveness.

freebird5825 02-06-2015 10:59 AM


Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort (Post 1545088)
I don't know if this would work with allergies, but we got rid of the electric air filters and are replacing them with plants to clean the air in our house:

Best air-filtering houseplants, according to NASA | MNN - Mother Nature Network

I concur. I have a lot of the plants listed at the link. TY for the info ! :flowers:

My indoor growing room is a constant source of peace and tranquility. Not everyone wants to do such a setup, but there are numerous ways to introduce plants into your environment at low cost.

For pet owners and homes where small children are present, keep all plants above eating/touching level.

Shelf units from any big box hardware store, the PVC type that fit together and have open grate (to let light through) style shelves will work. I use the bottom watering method, place a glass or ceramic bowl under each plant and simply fill the bowl when it runs dry.

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