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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Best air purifiers to buy for wildfire smoke and more, according to experts

As wildfire smoke from northeastern Canada continues to drift to numerous cities in the United States, precautious Americans are actively searching for air purifiers that they can use for current and future air quality alerts.

On Google, the term “best air purifier” has been highly searched in Washington, D.C., New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Hartford and New Haven, and other major metros in the northeast since Wednesday, June 7, according to data collected by Google Trends, a search engine analytics platform.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a “poor air quality alert” for parts of New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island) on Wednesday, which was followed by similar announcements made by various city-level environmental and health agencies.

WILDFIRE SMOKE: DO AIR PURIFIERS HELP WITH SMOKE FROM FIRES? PEOPLE SEARCH FOR ANSWERS AS AIR QUALITY PLUNGES

Children, pregnant women, seniors and people with respiratory or cardiovascular problems, like asthma or heart disease, are most at risk for medical complications from inhaling wildfire smoke, according to the husband-and-wife medical team.

As of Friday, air quality levels improved across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic and there are still “some pockets of unhealthy air remaining” from Canadian wildfires, according to FOX Weather and the FOX Forecast Center.

Atmofizer A500 Model One next to Clorox Large Room True HEPA Air Purifier next to LG PuriCare AeroTower Air Purifying Fan with True HEPA and UVnano LED.

As smoke from the Canadian wildfires make its ways to the U.S. and make northeastern skies hazy, Americans are searching for air purifiers to ensure their indoor air quality declines. (Atmofizer/Clorox Home Appliances/LG Electronics)

Air purifiers with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can help reduce harmful air particulates that have made their way indoors from wildfire smoke, according to Ready.gov, an emergency preparedness website run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Josh Helman, of Tampa, Florida, a board-certified lifestyle emergency medicine doctor who’s also a board member of Atmofizer, an air purification device company, recommends the brand’s A500 Model One air purifier because it utilizes agglomeration technology.

The air purifying agglomeration process works by taking “the smallest of particles in smoke” and making the nanoparticles larger, so they can be captured and broken down by the machine, Helman explained.

Atmofizer A500 Model One set up on side table.

The Atmofizer A500 Model One retails for $699. (Atmofizer)

“As a physician focused on my patients’ health and wellness, I’m very aware of the damage and deleterious effects that the ultra-fine particles in wildfire smoke have on the brain, blood and a person’s overall health,” he told Fox News Digital. “It’s extremely hard to capture the smallest of nanoparticles.”

Nicole Backus, of Richmond, Virginia, who’s a home environment product and brand manager for Hamilton Beach and Clorox Home Appliances, suggests shoppers consider the air purifiers that are available at Clorox. 

“The Clorox Large Room Air Purifier includes an air quality sensor that continuously monitors your indoor air quality,” Backus told Fox News Digital. “The three-layer True HEPA filter captures 99.97% of allergens and fine particulates, such as smoke, and it’s Clean Air Delivery Rated (CADR) to remove smoke particles from 206 cubic feet of air per minute when operated on the highest fan speed.”

Woman sleeps in bed while her Clorox Large Room True HEPA Air Purifier runs next to her.

The Clorox Large Room True HEPA Air Purifier (without Amazon Alexa) retails for $149.99. (Clorox Home Appliances)

The Clean Air Delivery Rate is a metric that was developed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) in the 1980s for measuring the performance of residential air purifiers, according to AHAM Verifide, the association’s consumer website.

Daniel Taylor, of Pennsylvania Township, Illinois, co-founder of The Stock End, a shopping comparison service, told Fox News Digital that his company has noticed that American consumers who are being affected by the “current wildfire situation” are looking for HEPA filters that claim to “remove 99.97% of airborne particles that are 0.3 microns or larger, such as PM2.5.”

Particles that wildfires can emit: David Taylor

    PM2.5, also known as fine particulate matter: PM2.5 is a type of air pollution that’s made up of tiny particles that are equal to or less than 2.5 microns in width, which can get deep into the lungs and cause health problems.

    PM10, also known as coarse particulate matter: PM10 is a type of air pollution that’s made up of “larger particles” that are generally 10 micrometers or smaller, which can irritate the nose, throat and eyes.

“If you’re looking to justify spending higher amounts on purifiers, I would recommend higherend purifiers such as the Coway Airmega AP-1512HHS ($299) in two situations,” Taylor said. “One is where the size of the particle matter in the air is smaller than usual viruses, and two, is if you live in a larger home with minimal airflow.”

The air purifiers made by Coway are best suited for households that are in dense industrial areas, according to Taylor.

The Coway Airmega 250 is designed to clean air in rooms as big as 930 square feet while the Coway Airmega 160 is designed to clean air in rooms as big as 214 square feet. 

Dayette True HEPA Air Purifier for Large Rooms (AP401)

Retail price: $189.99

Tim David, of Huntsville, Alabama, the CEO of Airlucent.com, an online resource for HVAC/Heating/Air Quality issues, recommends the True HEPA Air Purifier from Dayette, an air purifier brand that can be found on Amazon. 

LG PuriCare AeroTower Air Purifying Fan with True HEPA and UVnano LED

Retail price: $549

Blerim Billy Marku, of New York City, an associate product manager at LG Electronics, suggests American consumers consider the LG PuriCare AeroTower Air Purifying Fan with True HEPA and UVnano LED for minimizing smoke particles.

The multifunctional air purifier was built with an energy-efficient true HEPA filter that can clean air in rooms that are up to 818 square feet by capturing 99.97% of fine dust particles, according to Marku.

The LG PuriCare AeroTower Air Purifying Fan is currently on sale for $399. If the discounted price is still too high, the appliance maker is partnered with Klarna, a Swedish fintech company that’s offering interest-free financing if four on-time payments of $99.75 are made after signup.

Slevoo Air Purifier

Retail price: Starts at $55.99

American consumers who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on an air purifier should consider Slevoo, a modestly priced air purifier brand, according to Taylor.

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Taylor noted that small air purifiers like the ones Slevoo sells are noisier than more expensive models and “typically require more on time to get the best [air quality] results,” which could entail four to seven hours of runtime.

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