By continuing our series on air purification, we are again this time with the best air purifier for asthma. In this article we examine the top three air purifiers for people with asthma based on HEPA filtration, airflow characteristics and management, coal filter integration and overall construction machine, packaging and end-user experience.
Do air purifiers help with asthma? Absolutely. Indoor air quality is an important factor in our overall respiratory health, and adding a machine that draws air pollutants from your home will only improve the quality of your air inhale.
Our # 1 Choice and Editor’s Choice for the Best Air Purifier for Asthma is the Austin Air Bedroom. Due to superfluous decontamination technologies such as ultraviolet and ionizing components, the chamber machine uses a purely mechanical filtration process to remove air from airborne particulate contaminants. In purely mechanical terms, the incoming air is purified with a filter and nothing more – because it does not need anything else.
Note: Although some manufacturers, such as Blueair, use ionization correctly, others fail to create additional cleaning methods (such as ionization) in their machines. This leads to a discharge of contaminants into the treated environment, which is not ideal for people with allergies and asthma.
Best Air Purifier for Asthma
|Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now|
|Austin Air Bedroom Machine||Blueair Classic 405||Airmega 400S|
|Rank||#1 – Editor’s Choice/Best Air
Purifier for Asthma
|#2 – Best Air Purifier for Dust||#3 – Best HEPA Air Purifier|
|Carbon Weight||47 lbs||31 lbs||24.7 lbs|
|Advertised Sq Ft||1500||400||1560|
How We Choose the Best Air Purifier for Asthma
Crossing the sea of air purifiers on the market today can be overwhelming if you do not know what you are looking for but we are here to make this process a little easier. Our collaborator, Chase Williams, has nearly a decade of experience as an instrument and control instructor working with heavy equipment and monitoring devices at some of the world’s largest manufacturing facilities. It has thoroughly reviewed air purifiers from a wide variety of manufacturers and the list below only includes the top three performing air cleaning products for consumers who suffer from allergies or asthma.
Air purifier inspections began with a general review of the physical filters used in each machine. Filtration methods vary from one manufacturer to another, but generally, a purification process will push air into the following stages: pre-filtration, carbon medium, HEPA filter.
Pre-filtration, or pre-filters, are intended to remove large amounts of air from the air stream prior to treatment. This is entirely meant to protect the machine from blocking the flow caused by things like pet hair, dust bunnies, and really something bigger than human hair. An excellent air purifier (and some would argue properly) usually includes an external pre-filter that is removable and washable. They do not need to be replaced and require only minimal maintenance during accumulation.
Carbon media are the most effective for removing odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from environments. The types of carbon supports, additives, treatments and total amounts of media used should be considered as a weighing efficiency for each application and a comparison between similar air purifier models. That said, there are some good rules to adhere to: (1) The more activated carbon medium used in an apparatus, the greater the filtration capacity. Manufacturers proud of their carbon filters will openly announce the weight of activated carbon; (2) Coal filters and HEPA filters will not have the same usable lifetime, so a product that has separate filters instead of a filter is ideal for those looking to reduce associated costs replacement of the filter; (3) Specific treatments and impregnation of various materials, such as alumina, are used for specific applications. Alumina is used as a desiccant to remove moisture from the air and the environment of the air treatment is dried in the process. If you need specific chemicals eliminated from the air in your home, take the time to make sure that the filtration process you are investigating will do the job.
Finally, the classification of the HEPA filter was measured to ensure the medical quality needed to treat air in people with asthma. HEPA filter classes can be measured in terms of the density of the filter construction, and there are standardized filing systems that manufacturers and consumers can refer to. The most common specification used is the European standard which defines several classes of filters depending on the retention rate of particles of a specified size or larger. For this list, only HEPA filters capable of having a retention rate of 99.95% were considered (medical quality filters).
Why You Should Buy an One of the Best Air Purifiers for Asthma
Asthma can be debilitating. Allergies can stop an otherwise perfect day. Regarding indoor air quality, you should not worry about the irritants that make the situation worse – and you do not have to. The Environmental Protection Agency lists domestic air pollutants as one of the major health risks in the US, and for good reason – as more and more products are sold to consumers, contaminants are introduced into the homes of these consumers. Cleaning products release VOCs that can affect the health of individuals at specific levels. Cooking also releases VOCs. Even some furniture can release harmful pollutants into the air.
In addition to VOCs, indoor pets, dust, dead skin cells, dust mites and even fecal matter can linger in the air of a home, causing respiratory reactions and unwanted complications. Buying the best air purifier for asthma for your family can dramatically improve respiratory health.
That said, let’s continue with our list on the best air purifier for asthma this year.
#1 Pick Editor’s Choice/Best Air Purifier for Asthma – Austin Air Bedroom Machine Air Purifier
Price: $765 | Medical-Grade HEPA: Yes | Weight: 47 lbs
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The best air purifier for allergies and asthma we tested. Austin Air takes the air purification seriously and the machine in the room shows it.
It’s mechanical filtration at its best. The chamber machine moves 250 cubic feet per minute through its 5 year filter network and covers up to 1500 square feet. The filter network contains 15 pounds of activated carbon (which is very important considering most other machines at this level, are between 3 -5 pounds) and a medical grade HEPA filter. As the filter is built, air first passes through a PERMAFILT prefilter to capture large particles easily observed with the naked eye and then through a medium particle filter to capture things like pollen and mites , then through the activated carbon filter on the unit’s HEPA filter, and finally through a high-efficiency gas adsorption filter that serves as a second line of defense against harmful gases and VOCs.
The unit itself is solidly built (which is demonstrated by its weight), but the roulette wheels help to move this unit quite easily. The maximum speed of the fan may be a little stronger than most (67 dB), but this is because the machine moves a ton of air into its filter set. If you are using in a bedroom, we recommend setting the machine to its average fan speed setting during sleep. This is a manual air purifier, which means it does not offer automatic mode – but its purification is top-notch, so if automation is not a high priority, you can be assured that the machine in the room will be delivered as promised.
Replacement filters are not cheap for this device. They are between $ 350 and $ 450, but they last about five years. Expect to spend an extra $ 135 per year in energy costs to use this device.
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#2 Pick Best Air Purifier for Dust – Blueair Classic 405
Price: $599 | Medical-Grade HEPA: Yes | Weight: 31 lbs
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Blueair manufactures some of the best asthma air purifiers in the world, and the 405 demonstrates the company’s commitment to exceptional air quality devices.
Blueair air purifiers use ionization in the right way. The company’s machines draw air through a filter network composed (in this order) of an ionizer, a carbon filter and a HEPA filter. Ionization creates a by-product of ozone, but Blueair has proven that its machines reduce more ozone than they create, mainly due to the placement of the ionization stage in the filtering process. When the particles are electrically charged through the ionizer, they pass over the staged spinning network and bind to the interlaced fibers. The purification process at work here is the state of the art.
The 405 is very well built, and due to the engineering level, the unit is actually very light. No unnecessary parts, just the bits that matter. On-board sensors detect filter life, open panels (power to the machine is turned off if the access panels are removed during operation), and WiFi connectivity allows users to control the device distance. This machine does not offer automatic mode. We recommend that you operate on the medium setting. The highest setting produces about 52 dB which is really not noticeable, but after the initial setup, the average setting should suffice for most households.
Filters should be changed about every six months with 24-hour usage, and costs for the HEPA and Carbon SmokeStop filters will cost you about $ 180. The average annual energy costs should not exceed USD 100.
Note: The best air purifiers for asthma often demonstrate superior design through simplicity. They are easy to control, easy to maintain and provide clear and measurable results on air quality.
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#3 Pick Best HEPA Air Purifier – AIRMEGA 400S
The only air purifier we’ve seen with dual HEPA filters.
Price: $749 | Medical-Grade HEPA: Yes | Weight: 24.7 lbs
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The dual-filter arrays, medical equipment, brilliant design, excellent intelligent features and outstanding performance make the Airmega 400S one of the best choices.
Do you know the feeling you get when you open an Apple product? The packaging is designed with such detail and the products are so perfectly designed that you know – even before you buy – you are the experience that will be one of the best. This is the experience Airmega customers can expect with the 400S. The added bonus is that the purification process is one of the best. The dual filter assemblies pull the air on each side of this machine and push the purified air into the top of the unit. The air is filtered through a removable prefilter and then through a filter assembly that Airmega calls the Max2 (it is a combined medical grade HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter).
The machine is very well built. The magnetic side panels can be removed by pulling up and out of the bottom of each, exposing the pre-filters and Max2 filters to the front side. This machine is SMART. Automatic modes for normal daily needs and a time setting mode are designed to ensure that users have to do very little to manage device control. A multicolored LED ring on the front panel gives users a simple visual indication of air quality, and the controls at the top of the system allow for manual operation if desired. Wireless connectivity and an Airmega iOS and Android app are available that not only allow the remote control but also provide users with indoor air quality and timing information. On its highest setting, the 400S produces about 52 dB of noise (which is not remarkable).
The filter change recommendations are provided by the machine itself – it even indicates when it is time to clean the pre-filters, and a set of replacement filters will cost you $ 129. Of our three best choices on this list, this appliance consumes the least amount of energy, which costs about $ 90 a year to a household for its operation.
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Best Air Purifier for Asthma – Key Factors
- The weight of the carbon-based filter played a major role in our decision to classify the Austin Air Bedroom Machine as our main choice (at 15 pounds, the activated carbon component of the filter network is one of the heaviest seen in a quality air purifier).
- Activated carbon is the only filter media that will completely reduce or eliminate odors from an environment and is the only effective way to reduce VOCs. For people with asthma, carbon filtration is an essential element.
- HEPA filters are classified according to the particle retention rate. When the air flow is directed by a HEPA filter, the particles are captured by woven fibers inside the filter membrane. The tighter the weave, the higher the retention.
- The European standard for the classification of HEPA filters varies from a retention rate of 85% to 99.999995%. For our review, only HEPA filters that retain at least 99.95% particulate were included.
- The use of HEPA as a primary cleaning method means that things like ionization and ultraviolet treatment are not incorporated into the design of the air purifier. The pulmonary side effects of ionization by-products (ozone) are avoided by purely mechanical filtration.
- Air purification machines are designed to suck dirty air and push air that has been filtered, but without the proper placement of the inlet and outlet vents, the airflow patterns around the machine can inhibit effective cleaning. If the inlet and outlet ports are too close, the machine can only recirculate the already purified air, and this is not good. For our study, we analyzed air flow patterns to determine if this type of cycling was probably and removed from machines with inadequate designs.
Best Air Purifier for Asthma – Features to Look For
- An automatic mode allows users to move away from managing the increase or decrease of the fan speed setting. It is automatically adjusted from the bottom up depending on the level of indoor air quality. If pollutants are detected, the machine increases the airflow to remove contaminants as quickly as possible and then returns to a lower setting after the decrease in particulate detection.
- Wireless connectivity, as stupid as possible for some, can be very convenient. Some machines allow remote monitoring of indoor air quality and functionality of the machine. If you are a busy professional who wants to make sure that your home air is always treated for pollution properly, a WiFi feature might be something to look for.
- Some machines that do not have an indoor air quality sensor can connect to remote sensors (sold separately). In this case, WiFi connectivity is required to communicate the air filtration needs between the sensor and the purifier.
- Managing energy use on vacation is another great feature that can be used with a WiFi-enabled device.
- While a well-constructed filtering network (a room including the pre-filter, carbon filter and HEPA filter) works well if properly designed, a removable prefilter is ideal for easy cleaning of heavy accumulation dust. Prefilters should be visually inspected regularly to ensure that the airflow is not inhibited by blockage.
- We also prefer that the removable prefilters are accessible from outside the air pretensioner. It makes inspection and cleaning easier for end users.
Best Air Purifier for Asthma – Mistakes to Avoid
Do not buy a machine that lacks a quality carbon filter. Look for specific information about carbon filtration stage, call the manufacturer if you can not find the data online and compare the carbon filter weight of each machine you are looking for. Remember, a heavier activated carbon filter means a longer life of the filter and a larger area to more effectively adsorb odors and VOCs.
Just like carbon filters, HEPA information should be readily available on the manufacturers or retailers website. Look for the 99.95% badge – this will ensure that purification is in the right range of retention for asthmatic consumers.
Choose a dedicated place for the air purifier in your home that is at least 12 inches away from any surface or object. This will ensure that the air flow is not obstructed in or out of the device. Run the machine at its highest setting 2-3 hours after installation, after which a lower fan speed setting can be selected, or you can start an automatic program if it is displayed on the machine you buy.
Overvoltage protection must be used to protect the air purifier motor from unstable electrical current. Any protection against low voltage surges will suffice.
If you are concerned about energy consumption, consult the owner’s manual to determine maximum and average electrical loads. In manual mode, adjust daily needs. If you clean, aspirate, bathe the dog or cook, turn the machine to its highest fan speed. If you leave your home or sleep, reduce the fan speed to its lowest setting. This will optimize the use of electricity and air purification. As a simple way to estimate approximately the energy costs, look for the power of the device in question and assume a cost per year equivalent to that power. For example, if a machine consumes 175 watts, suppose it will cost $ 175 per year to operate. This trick can not be used with devices such as dryers – this only works for 24-hour operating devices, and this does not take into account variations in fan speed. For a more accurate calculation, use this online tool and select “fan” from the drop-down list.
What Else You Should Think About When Buying an Air Purifier for Asthma
Not all air purifiers are equal. Do not assume that using an air purifier is preferable to not using just one, which is absolutely incorrect. Depending on the technology used to clean the air, some machines may even exacerbate allergy and asthma symptoms.
The introduction of the air purifier in your home is only the first step in the fight against irritants in the air. Make sure that the contaminants that can be removed outdoors are. Avoid spraying aerosols in the house if possible. Vacuum the carpets with a HEPA vacuum cleaner and clean the curtains and bedding regularly. If you have an indoor pet, consider using a hypoallergenic shampoo.
Inhalation of VOCs and other pollutants can significantly impact overall respiratory health.
Check out our article on how to properly clean your air purifier; If you want to know more about HEPA filtration, we have something for you; If you are interested, check out our lists of the best air purifiers for allergies and the best air purifiers for pets. Changes in filter dynamics affect the efficiency of air purifiers for various intended uses. For example, the best air purifier for smoke is not the best HEPA air purifier;
The best air purifier for asthma, the Austin Air’s Bedroom room machine, can help reduce indoor air pollution and improve overall health if used properly and in conjunction with best practice cleaning. Always consider air purification as a component in the fight against indoor air pollutants. To ensure continuous improvement in air quality, your air purifier should operate on a regular schedule (otherwise 24 hours a day).