If you’re in the market for a smart air purifier you’ll find lots of different air purifiers that clean the air with different types of air filters, but are these units actually smart? In this article, I’m going to look at what makes a smart air purifier smart! I will also look at some tips for choosing an air purifier.
OK… So what makes an air purifier smart? A smart air purifier lets you keep track of the air quality in your home using a smartphone app. This information is given in real-time thru the app, while a normal air purifier just filters the air and doesn’t provide you with any information on the quality of the air it’s filtering.
Once you’ve read this article you should have a better understanding of how air purifiers actually work and the differences between “smart” and none “smart” air purifiers. With this information, you can decide if the technology used in a smart air purifier is going to be worth the extra cost compared to a regular air purifier.
Let’s Look at What an Air Purifier is
Once you know what a regular air purifier is capable of it will be easier to see what a smart air purifier can do. Basically, the role of an air purifier is designed to remove particles from the air that may be causing respiratory and allergic conditions. The typical harmful airborne particles are: Pollen, airborne dust, spores caused by mold, bacteria, and smoke are the most common.
The device pulls in the unclean air in the room, runs it thru its filters to remove the dirty air, and then returns the air to the room. The higher quality air purifiers do this process a few times an hour to filter out the bad air and return the filtered air back again.
How Non-smart Air Purifiers Work
Normal air purifiers operate in one of these ways:
Continuous Air Filtering – Just like how a regular fan operates once the air purifier is activated it will clean the air at the speed you set continuously, it doesn’t matter if the air in the room is clean or dirty. The machine has no way to know if the air its cleaning is clean or not.
Automatic Air Filtering – When operating on the automatic setting the unit will use sensors to check the air for any impurities. If the unit detects these dirty particulars in the air it will automatically run until the sensors tell it that the impurities have been removed from the air. In the automatic mode, the air purifier provides the best cleaning of the air.
The continuous mode needs to be manually monitored and can’t monitor the quality of the air it’s cleaning. The unit in automatic mode does the monitoring and makes the necessary adjustments as needed to clean the air. Nevertheless, both modes don’t provide data on what impurities it has removed from the air.
Not knowing what was in the air can’t provide any help in determining what type of particle is entering the room. With the smart air purifier, it can tell you what particles it is cleaning from the room, which allows you now to look into where the particular dirty air is coming from, and then you can take steps to deal with the source of the problem.
What is a Smart Air Purifier?
So as we know now is those regular air purifiers don’t have the capacity to let you know what’s in the air your breathing. And a smart air purifier can give you the data that will let you know what’s in the air. With this information, you can now track and then take the steps to find out the cause and eliminate it.
These types of purifiers get the nickname “smart” for just that… They use a smartphone app that gives you accurate readings of the quality of air in the room. The app monitors the airborne particles and delivers the amounts in real time on your smartphone. Using the smart app you can see the quality of air over time, usually 3 to 5 days and you can see when during the day or night the air quality is worst or better.
Having this information can assist you in determining what toxins are in your home and when they are the worst. Using special sensors the air purifier tracks and sends the data to the app. You can also use this data to adjust the settings to maximize the cleaning process. You probably know now that smart air purifiers are in the automatic category, which allows them to adjust settings that help keep the air clean.
Smart air purifiers also have a built-in scheduler so you can program their schedule so it comes on at certain times, saving you energy. The advantages of a “smart” unit over a normal one gives you exact data about the air quality and lets you fine-tune the cleaning process.
Smart Purifier Names
When you’re researching smart purifiers don’t be surprised by the different names you’ll come across, it’s just how manufacturers try to make themselves stand out from the others. Here are some expressions they use:
– Smart Air Purifier.
– Smart Air Filter.
– Wireless Air Purifier.
– Wi-Fi Enabled Air Purifier.
– Bluetooth Air Purifier.
While the names may seem unalike for different products, these names basically mean that the device uses some form of smart technology and usually can apply to one or more of the devices.
Also, see my article on the Best Air Purifier for VOCs and formaldehyde
How to Pick an Air Purifier
If you’re in the process of picking a good air purifier for your home your research has shown you that there are many benefits they can offer you health-wise. With the many different makes and models to choose from it can be somewhat of a chore deciding on what purifier you need. To make it easier to pick one ask yourself:
What Does the Air Purifier Need to Do?
Answering this question can be very important for picking one.
Why? There’s a reason why you’re considering getting an air purifier and this reason/s will send you in the right direction for choosing which one will be best for you. There are different units that are better at cleaning certain particles from the air than others. Picking an air purifier that may be good for getting rid of odors may not be very good for removing pet dander.
While another unit will excel in getting rid of allergens, but may not have very much effect on getting rid of harmful bacteria. So it’s very important when choosing your air purifier that you have a good idea of what it is you’re trying to remove from the air.
Which Type of Air Purification is Better?
Now I will take a look at the 2 most common types of technology that air purifiers employ to clean the air, choose the one that best suits your situation.
First is the HEPA filter – For those of you who don’t know what HEPA stands for it’s “high-efficiency particulate air”. The HEPA filter is an excellent solution if you’re dealing with allergies or suffering from asthma. The HEPA filter removes 99.7 percent of fine particles as tiny as 0.3 microns.
Just for your own information, the average human hair is about 2 microns and that’s a lot bigger than 0.3 microns. The HEPA filter will catch those microscopic particles that trigger allergic and asthma systems. The HEPA filter is also really good at trapping pollen, pet dander, and many more tiny particles.
The nice thing I like about an air purifier that uses a HEPA filter is it is a physical filter that traps the fine particles and does not let them go back into the air. They’re a little more costly when it’s time to replace the filters, but worth every penny for someone who is suffering from asthma or dealing with allergic issues.
Second is the Ionic Air Purifier – This system doesn’t use an actual paper-type filter to trap fine particles that are in the air, rather it emits charged particles, and the toxins and contaminants latch onto the charged particles. When a bond is completed the particles simply fall to the floor or some units have an electrostatic collection device.
The ironic air filter system can remove particles as tiny as .01 microns from the air which is a lot smaller than the HEPA filter can trap. That being said… The charged particles can cause irritation for asthma sufferers. Another problem with the ironic system is if the device does not have an electrostatic collection tray the particles that have fallen on the floor can be pushed back into the air if they are disturbed.
Optional Features to Consider
When you’re looking at different air purifiers there are a couple of other features you may run into when you’re looking over the features.
The First is Ultra Violet LightIf you need a smart air purifier that will provide you with a sterile environment then getting a unit that uses ultraviolet light will be the best choice. It works by using a powerful electromagnetic emission that breaks down the DNA of the particles that have bacteria, germs, and other viruses in them.
When this process has taken place the particles are no longer going to pose any danger to the environment. Air purifiers that use ultraviolet technology are safe to use for you and also won’t harm your pets.
Carbon Filter – While all the features I’ve mentioned are going to give you cleaner better air to breathe none of them will completely get rid of smelly odors. If you’re dealing with an odor issue as well that get an air purifier that has a carbon filter upgrade. The carbon filter is the best choice when it comes to odor caused by smoke, pets, and more.
If you having a difficult time choosing between the 2 there are options in a smart air purifier that combines the 2 features giving you the best of both worlds.
Also, consider if the unit is going to be powerful enough to purify the size of the room you’re planning on using it in. After all the time spent in choosing an air purifier, you don’t want to be faced with a unit that can’t effectively handle the room size. Look at the specifications of the unit to find what its coverage is, it should be stated in square feet.
My Recommendation for a Smart Air Purifier
InvisiClean Aura Air Purifier
what I like about this particular air purifier is the 4 in 1 system. It has a HEPA filter and a Carbon filter as well as ultraviolet technology and ionizer technology. The powerful DC motor delivers 170 cubic feet of air movement that gets purified per minute.
Power use is over 80 percent less than other air purifiers in its class, so it won’t cost a lot to operate. Standing only 18 inches high it can clean a room up to 319 square feet. Other models offer only 3 speeds, this unit gives you 4 speeds, so purifying a room in a hurry is no problem.
– Easy to replace HEPA 99.97 percent filter.
– Activated carbon filter.
– Optional ionizer and ultraviolet light.
– Very quiet operation at low speed.
– 3 years warranty and lifetime support.
Talking about value for the money, it also has a filter change light, automatic times shutoff, a bonus sleep mode that turns off all the little lights, and optional ultraviolet light controls as well as separate ionizer controls.
While it’s technically not labeled as a “Smart Air purifier” it will give you all the useful features without the big cost of a true smart air purifier.