Many of us are looking for cleaner air to breathe. Air purifiers can fit that bill. Air purifiers work by drawing air in (normally with a fan), purifying it, and pushing the clean air back out. The purification is done one of three ways: mechanically, through adsorption, or electronically. Mechanical filtering is forcing the air through a filter, which removes both chemicals and air particles. HEPA filters fall into this category. Adsorption is filtration by passing the air through a compound such as
carbon. This method is good for removing chemicals from the air, but not particles. Electronic filtration uses a collection grid that is designed to charge the air particles with one grid, and then collect the particles on another grid with the opposite polarity. Each method has its benefits and drawbacks, and the best cleaners have a combination of the above.
Air purifiers come in a wide range of prices and sizes. Here is a list of more affordable air cleaners priced at or under $50.
P3 International P4620 Air Purifier (The IonizAir)
The IonizAir offers 400 square feet of coverage, about the size of an average living room. It works by electrostatic charge, and can remove pollen, animal dander, smoke and dust from the air. Since there is no fan, this unit operates very quietly. There is no filter, so no additional costs are required there. The collection grid can be removed for cleaning. The unit is 11.25 inches tall and weighs 1.5 pounds.
Holmes Products HAP540 Air Purifier
The Holmes HAP540 has a HEPA filter. The HEPA Filter is a filter which can remove particulate matter as small as 0.3 microns. In conjunction with the HEPA filter is an activated charcoal filter to remove chemicals and odors from the air. The HAP540 will clean a 10×12 foot room six times per hour. With average use, the filters will last three to six months. This purifier
will require you to purchase replacement filters, and HEPA filters are more expensive than other filters.
Honeywell Enviracaire 16200 Air Purifier
The Honeywell Enviracaire will clean a 110 square foot room. It is fairly quiet in operation. It has a HEPA filter, with a filter change indicator built in. It also has an ionizer for extra air purification. Reports show it to be 99% efficient in removing dust, mold, smoke and pet dander from the air. The design of this air cleaner lets it be used either on a tabletop, or on
its side in a narrow area. While the electrostatic filter can be cleaned, you will need to purchase replacement HEPA filters.
Hunter 30027 Air Purifier
The Hunter 30027 covers 110 square feet, and will cycle the air every 10 minutes in this size room. This cleaner also uses a HEPA filter, which is rated to remove 99% of airborne particles. It operates very quietly. With its Height at 7.25 inches, and its width at 14 inches, this is a perfect tabletop size.
Sharper Image Ionic Breeze SI627 Air Purifier
The Ionic Breeze SI627 normally comes as a free gift when you purchase a full size model, however, you can purchase it alone. It is a plug in wall unit, so it won’t take up any table or floor space. Since this is designed for small spaces, it is best used in bathrooms or closets. The SI627 is too small to purify a larger room. Another plus is that this model also
has a built in night light, perfect for using in the bathroom to light the way. It has an ozone filter, so there is no expensive filter to replace with this unit.
For smaller rooms, any of these air purifiers will do the job. They are reasonably priced, and you can choose a model without the replaceable HEPA filter to keep costs down. Whichever model you choose, you will definitely breathe a cleaner sigh of relief!