How to choose an air purifier for wildfire smoke

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — You see the smog and may feel its effects, especially if you have asthma or another respiratory condition. But even without such diseases, what you breathe can affect your health.

As wildfire smoke continues to blanket the Denver metro, experts advise looking into air purifiers to filter the contaminants out of your home.

Keith Jordan has studied air quality issues for more than 15 years and is an industrial air expert at Super-Tech Filter. Jordan said he was born with asthma and understands the risks involved with being exposed to smog.

“The average person drinks 3 liters of water per day and we prefer filtered water, but we breathe 9,000 liters of air per day, and nobody pays attention” Jordan said.

Those with asthma and other breathing conditions are at risk of experiencing severe symptoms when the air quality is poor, as it has been for weeks in the Denver metro.

“Your lungs become the filter if you do not have another source of filtration,” Jordan said.

Air purifiers that use HEPA filters can clean your home of bacteria, allergens, viruses and harmful chemicals found in smog.

How to choose an air purifier

When the market is flooded with so many versions of them, how can you tell you’re making the right choice?

Jordan urges consumers to do their research by reading reviews and getting information from experts. Instead of focusing on gimmicks or appearance, consumers should check the clean air delivery rate, called the CADR, and weigh the power of the unit with the size and type of area it would service.

“That boils down to how fast the air purifier can process the air in the room,” Jordan said.

The CADR can be found in the item description if you’re shopping online or on the box if shopping in a store. Another thing to check is the MERV rating to make sure the unit can handle the particles you’re likely to find in your home based on your square footage. Jordan says the higher the MERV rating, the better.

Newer air purifiers have air sensors that can adjust your fan speed, which also saves energy.

Even though many HVAC systems have exceptional and extremely effective HEPA filters, they can only be of a certain thickness as not to obstruct air flow, Jordan said. Adding an air purifier can provide added power to clear particles in areas with a high concentration of contaminants.

Units that combine a carbon filter with a HEPA filter are even more effective. Humans produce 37 million bacteria per hour, so place the unit in areas where people congregate more often.

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