Improving your air quality decreases your risk for a lot of serious health issues and can even lengthen your life expectancy. But, if your purifier isn’t powerful enough for the room you’re using it in, it won’t properly clean the air, leaving you vulnerable to pollutants.
So, how can you tell if your purifier is the right size? Let’s find out…
Where is the purifier located?
Are you trying to clean the air in a bathroom? Bedroom? Kitchen? The entire house? While some rooms (such as kitchens) tend to have more pollutants than others, the amount of pollutants shouldn’t matter much to a good purifier. What does matter is the size of the space. It’s important to take measurements of the length, width, and height of the room you want to purify.
What’s the CADR of your purifier?
CADR stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate. It’s recognized by both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Lung Association.
CADR indicates how much air is filtered in an hour for three particular pollutants in Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM).
Although the particular pollutants are labeled as smoke, dust, and pollen, that’s only a general classification. Generally, dust represents the very smallest particles while pollen represents the larger ones like pet dander, dust mites, and larger particles of dust.
The higher the CADR number, the faster the air purifier filters the air.
Generally, the CADR of your air purifier should be equal to at least two-thirds of the room’s area.
So, for example, a room that is 15 feet by 10 feet has an area of 150 square feet. ⅔ of 150 is 100, so an air cleaner for that room should have a smoke CADR of at least 100.
To get an even more accurate number, include the ceiling height in your measurements by using the 3 x rule of thumb.
For instance… consider you were looking to find the minimum CADR for that same 15ft x 10ft room, but now you are also factoring in the ceiling height of 8 feet. First, you would determine the volume of the room (15ft x 10ft x 8ft = 1,200 cubic feet). Using the 3x rule of thumb, you would then multiply the volume of the room by 3 (1,200 cubic feet x 3= 3,600 cubic feet per hour). To translate cubic feet per hour, divide by 60 (3,600cfph/60 =60 cfpm). So, the minimum CADR for a given pollutant in that room would be 60.
Since CADR is only meant to be a guideline, ceiling heights are not generally used unless you have a particularly high ceiling.
If you don’t want to do the math yourself, there are online calculators available to help determine the minimum CADR you’d need for each particular room.
What pollutants do you want to filter out?
Do you have allergies? Chemical sensitivities? Are you immune-compromised?
While pollutants are dangerous to everyone, the more health concerns you and your family members have, the more important it is to get the right size purifier.
Those with allergies or compromised immune systems should not only make sure that their purifier is big enough, but also that it uses a combination of True HEPA filters and activated carbon filters. The HEPA filter will remove harmful particles from the air, while the activated carbon filter will get rid of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
Regardless of your health status, it is important to make sure that your purifier is powerful and effective enough to remove fine particulate matter.
Fine Particulate matter, or PM2.5 are a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets in the air that are smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter… meaning that they are about 30 times smaller than a human hair.
PM2.5 are generated through everyday activity such as cooking and cleaning. They can also seep into your home through windows, doors, and tiny cracks.
Because PM2.5 are so small, they are easily inhaled and are able to penetrate deep into your respiratory system causing a whole range of health problems.
Short-term issues from PM exposure include eye, nose, and throat irritation, coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath. Long-term exposure to PM2.5 can cause permanent respiratory problems such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and heart disease. PM2.5 particles also increase the likelihood of premature birth and infant mortality.
One recent study called PM 2.5 “the largest environmental risk factor worldwide,” responsible for many more deaths than alcohol use, physical inactivity or high sodium intake. In fact, 4.2 million people die every year from breathing in large amounts of fine and ultrafine particulate matter.
So, shouldn’t you just use the biggest purifier possible to be safe?
No! A purifier that is too big will be a waste of money and energy. Finding the right size purifier is the most economical and effective option.
For rooms under 700 square feet, we recommend the aair lite. The aair lite uses HEPA H13 Filter to Filter 99.95% of ultra-fine particles at 0.1 microns, ensuring that pollutants like pollen, dust, smoke particles, pet dander, and more will be removed from your home in minutes. It’s small and easy to transport, so you can move it from room to room if necessary.
For rooms up to 1500 sq ft in size, consider the aair 3-in-1 Pro. It uses a HEPA 13 filter embedded with 2 lbs of activated carbon to filter out both VOCs and 99.95% of ultra-fine particles at 0.1 microns.
Check out our site to find the right size purifier for your home.