Air Treatment Buying Guide

The air we breathe is something that we all take for granted – until it doesn’t feel quite right. Particularly dirty, dry or humid air can have adverse effects on both humans and homes, resulting in not just discomfort, but sometimes conditions that are far more serious.
Thankfully help is at hand. Whether you suffer from allergies, respiratory irritability or simply have a smelly pet, there are a variety of air treatment devices designed to get you breathing easy again.
But how do you make an informed choice on such a rarely bought product? To help you navigate the ocean of air treatment options, we have created an air treatment buying guide which highlights a few key considerations you should make when hunting for your perfect air purifier or dehumidifier.

Do you need air treatment?

The first question you need to ask yourself is whether you need air treatment at all. The following situations may be cause to invest in an air treatment device:

  • You suffer from a condition caused by airborne allergens.
  • You’re affected by levels of moisture in the air.
  • You want lingering smells, such as those caused by pets, smoking or salt damp, removed from the air.
  • You struggle to dry your clothing indoors.
  • You want to reduce cooking smells (particularly in studio apartments and other open plan living spaces).

Types of air treatment devices

There are three main types of air treatment device available.
Air purifier: Air purifiers are designed to filter the air in your home, trapping and removing allergens such as dust, bacteria and organic matter. There are many different types of purification filter available, including ozone, carbon, ionic and UV, but the best all-rounder is the HEPA filter, which is the type used by hospitals and other medical practices.
Air purifier considerations:

  • The CADR (clean air delivery rate) of an air purifier indicates the speed at which the device can purify the air. A CADR of 300 or above indicates a high performance model.
  • Search for a model which tells you when to change or clean the filter via a filter indicator light.
  • Choose a model with multiple speed settings to achieve the perfect purification rate for your home, no matter its size.

Humidifier: Many people suffer from respiratory aggravation when the air is too dry. In fact, your respiratory tract relies on moisture to help catch germs, viruses and bacteria before they reach the vital airways and organs. Humidifiers have been designed to add moisture to the air in order to relieve this aggravation and boost your body’s natural defences.
Humidifier considerations:

  • There are three main types of humidifier – ultrasonic, evaporative and warm mist. Of these ultrasonic is the most popular, as it produces the finest water droplets and uses less electricity.
  • Many humidifiers come with either a warming or cooling function, allowing you to humidify and change the temperature of a room.
  • The tank capacity of the humidifier will dictate how often you need to refill the unit.

Dehumidifier: The very antithesis of a humidifier, dehumidifiers are perfect for use in the tropics and any other humid area. They remove moisture from the air which reduces discomfort, discourages damp and mould growth, and helps your washing to dry in even the moistest of climates.
Dehumidifier considerations:

  • A humidistat function allows you to set the humidity that you’d like the unit to maintain in your home.
  • The larger the capacity of the dehumidifier, the less regularly it will need to be emptied. A plumbed dehumidifier can drain its water out constantly and may be worth the extra investment for regular users.
  • Compare the extraction rate of different models to identify which is most efficient at removing water from the air.

Useful features

The following features may increase the functionality and usability of your air treatment device:
Quiet operation: Most air treatment devices will indicate their operational noise levels on their spec sheet. The lower the decibel (dB) rating, the quieter the unit.
Sleep mode: Some models can be set to automatically turn off or reduce their operation during the night.
Air quality sensors: Units that can keep track of air quality and adjust their operation to suit will be far more effective than those that can’t.
Digital display: For ultimate control, look for a unit that features a digital display that can give you live readings from its sensors.

Shopping considerations

Before you shop for your ideal air treatment device, ask yourself:
How big is the room/space that I’ll be putting my device in? The size of the perfect device will depend on the size of the space that it needs to treat.
Do I need more than one type of air treatment? If you need air to be both purified and humidified, or indeed any combination of the three treatments above, there are combination devices to suit.
How much am I willing to spend? The more you spend, the more effective, efficient, smart and sizeable the device will be. Identify the level of device you require, then set a budget based on those requirements before you go shopping.
Ready to buy your air purifier, humidifier or dehumidifier online? Shop the category now!