Many people, especially in large cities, think of poor air quality as an outside thing. Cars, factories, trains, trucks, and other things we encounter daily emit pollutants that affect the air we breathe. However, the fact is that the air you breathe outside is usually not the most harmful air to your health. Most people do more damage by breathing the air inside their homes, thanks to harmful airborne particles such as dust, dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and tobacco smoke.

Choosing an air purifier that meets your needs will solve the problem of having harmful, contaminated, polluted air inside your home. There are a lot of different air purifiers on the market, so it is important to take a few steps to ensure you get the right unit at the right price for you.

When purchasing an air purifier, here are the questions you should ask yourself.

1. Does the unit contain a true HEPA filter? Wording is very important here. If a unit boasts a “HEPA type” filter, it is insufficient and will not clean your air effectively. If you are serious about clean air, the air purifier your purchase MUST contain a “true HEPA filter” which will eliminate 99.97% of all airborne particles down to 0.3 microns in size.

2. How big is the living area you need cleaned? Any air purifier you are looking at should tell you how big of a living area it is capable of cleaning effectively. If you need 500 or more square feet cleaned, you need to get a unit that is powerful enough to handle that job. There are many units on the market that are of a very high quality that just can not clean that big of a living area, so make sure you study this carefully before you make your decision.

3. Are there any other features you need? Below the vital features of a true HEPA filter and being sufficiently powerful to clean the living area you need, there are some extra features that some units offer and others do not. These features include an ultraviolet light to capture bacteria and other biological airborne contaminants; a carbon prefilter to trap large particles before they get to the HEPA filter; and an ionizer to release negative ions and trap particles in the air, making them easier for the HEPA filter to eliminate quickly. Familiarize yourself with these features and determine which ones are important to you and which ones are not. This will help you select only units that contain the features you need so that you can compare them side-by-side.

4. What is your budget? You do not have to break the bank to purchase a quality air purifier that will keep your family safe and healthy. However, if you just look for the cheapest unit on the market, you may end up sacrificing quality or ending up with a unit that is not capable of doing everything you need it to do. There are good units across many price points, so first figure out which of the features above you need, then set a budget, then compare only machines within your budget that offer those features.

By choosing an air purifier that is capable of cleaning the air in your home effectively and efficiently, you can greatly improve your own health as well as the health of your loved ones. It is one of the simplest things you can do to ensure your home is a happy, healthy place for all who live there.