An air filter is a machine that removes dust and other pollutants from the air that passes through it.

Why use an air filter?

Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Lung Association recommend air filtration for people with allergies and asthma.

Types of air filters

  • Mechanical Filters
    • Mechanical filters force air through a special screen that traps particles including allergens like pollen, pet dander, and dust mites.
    • Mechanical filters also capture irritant particles such as tobacco smoke
  • Electronic filters
    • Electronic filters use electrical charges to attract and deposit allergens and irritants.
  • Hybrid filters
    • Hybrid filters contain elements of both mechanical and electrostatic filters
  • Gas phase filters
    • Gas phase filters remove odors and non-particulate pollution such as cooking gas, gasses emitted from paint or building materials, and perfume.
    • Gas phase filters do not remove allergens
  • Ozone generators
    • Ozone generators are devices that intentionally produce ozone, which manufacturers claim cleans the air
    • Ozone generators are not recommended by the EPA or American Lung Association.

Finding an air filter that is best for you

The first step in finding the most suitable air filter is to assess your needs.

A crucial step to finding an air filter that meets your need is to determine why you are buying the air filter. For example, if you are buying the air filter because you have allergies you will want a filter that has a high efficiency percentage. The higher the percentage, the more types of pollutants the filter will trap.

The second step in finding the most suitable air filter is to determine type of air filter and the amount of square footage you want your filter to clean.

Features to look For

  • warranty
  • frequency of cleaning
  • square footage it covers
  • particles filtered
    • dust, pollen, smoke, odors, mold spores and pet dander
  • cost of filters
  • type of filters
    • HEPA
    • carbon
    • washable
  • size
  • cleaning settings
    • night mode
    • turbo clean
    • allergen mode
  • efficiency % of small particles
  • efficiency % of large particles
  • fan settings
  • air quality light indicator
  • layers of filtration media
  • anti-microbial media core
  • pull tab for easy filter removal
  • noise level
  • power source