Leading a clean and healthy life can be quite an exhausting endeavor these days. What with the plethora of chemical additives and pollutants that can inadvertently wind up in everything from the food we eat to the air we breathe, keeping track of them all quickly becomes a tall order.

Although the human body is quite resilient, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take our own preventive measures to ensure our continued health. And while there are few matters in which we can control the chemical composition of the things that go into our bodies, the air that we breathe is one of those that can be monitored and regulated in a fairly practical fashion.

Naturally, if you’re out and about in the city, town or in a public space, you’re at the mercy of the elements, but you can at least give yourself–and your lungs–a moment of respite by using air purifiers in enclosed spaces such as your home, car, or office, to name a few. That isn’t to say that buying any old purifier and bringing it wherever you go will instantly clean the air around you. There is, after all, some nuance to the size and type of purifier you buy, as different ones will cleanse different types of particles from your general vicinity.

Picking Out Your Purifier

What you want to look for, first and foremost, is the AHAM Verified certification. AHAM (or Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) is an independent organization that works closely with manufacturers and, as is the case with their Verified certification, tests their products to ensure that they meet industry-wide standards of operation for their given category.

The reason why this certification is so important is that, as mentioned earlier, air purifiers come in a variety of sizes and perform similarly, but different functions. What the AHAM certification does is require these manufacturers to state on the packaging what sort of particles they filter out and to what extent, so you know right away if the purifier you’re looking at would be good for your kitchen, bathroom, office, etc.

So, for example, if your main concerns are the larger, more common sorts of particles like allergens, you may wish to invest in a purifier that uses a HEPA (High-efficiency particulate air) filter. These kinds of filters are actually made up of several different layers of filtering material in several different layouts that can help trap larger particles such as animal dander, pollen, and what are known as volatile organic compounds (VOC), which are commonly found in products such as cosmetics, office appliances, furniture, and more.

If, on the other hand, you want to filter out pet odors, the smell of tobacco, or any other gaseous substances, you might opt for an activated carbon filter purifier. Activated carbon traps the odor particles through a process called adsorption, which essentially means that any organic compounds passing through the filter will react with the carbon, causing them to stick to its porous surface, where they might normally pass through a traditional filter.

Once you’ve looked into what the best air purifier for you is, there are a few follow-up measures you will want to take to make sure you’re getting the most out of it. The most important step is regularly maintaining your purifier and changing the filter according to the manufacturer’s suggestions. That will ensure its longevity and efficiency. You’ll also want to pay attention to where you place your air purifier, as particles tend to flow near the edges of a room, meaning the middle is actually the least favorable positioning for a purifier. Lastly, you’ll want to cross-ventilate with outside air, which is comparatively cleaner than the air in your home and helps dilute the number of particles in the air, meaning your purifier has less work to do, extending its lifetime.

About the author

Steven Regener

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