Why should you get rid of smoke
Smoke, whether it be from cigarettes, cigars, or a forest fire, can be extremely detrimental to your health. Even if you are a totally healthy individual otherwise, prolonged exposure to smoke can have debilitating consequences. If you are a cigarette smoker, you will bear the brunt of the damage caused by smoking, though the other members of your household will still deal with issues.
Second-hand smoke from cigarettes and cigars can cause people, and pets, to develop a cough, catch colds more often, and may even lead to asthma. Pneumonia, emphysema, and even lung cancer can also be consequences of breathing in second-hand smoke from cigars and cigarettes. Second-hand smoke is especially dangerous for children, whose lungs are still developing as they grow. Excessive exposure to this type of smoke could have a lasting effect on their entire life, which is why it is so important to remove it from the air that they are breathing.
If you are unfortunate enough to live where there is a significant risk of a forest fire, then you will want to be prepared with the best air purifier for forest fire smoke, just in case. Though smoke from a wildfire will not have all of the same toxins in it that smoke from a cigarette has, it can still be a big problem, especially for young children, older adults, and anyone with breathing issues. The biggest danger from the smoke of a forest fire is the fine particles that are in the smoke. These particles are what cause coughing fits and watery eyes. Thankfully, if you get a good air purifier, you can capture these fine particles, which are too small to be seen, so that they don’t cause any big issue for you, your pets or anyone in your family.
Features to consider while choosing an air purifier
As you can imagine, there are several different features that you need to factor in before you find the best air purifier for smoke removal. In this section, we will go through everything you need to know so that you can make the best decision on the model that will best meet your needs.
The number of cleaning levels might sound like an indicator on the purifier for how hard it is working, but this is not the case. It is instead, the number of different levels or parts inside of the purifier that the air will be pulled through. Each of these levels will work differently to try and capture harmful particles from smoke, bacteria, or allergens so that your air is as clean as possible. Apparently, the number of levels will have a direct effect on how clean the air will end up being. The higher the number of levels, the cleaner the air. For instance, the Coway AP-1512HH, which is our pick for the best overall air purifier for smoke removal, has a total of four levels. Not each of these levels will be a different filter, however.
While each purifier should have a series of filters to clean the air, other components can also be used. Many models will also have an ionizer built-in, which send out negative ions into the air to attract positively charged particles such as dust, bacteria, pollen, smoke, and many other allergens. Some purifiers will also include a UV-C light. This technology can also be found in water purifiers. It uses a bright, ultraviolet light to destroy harmful bacteria and allergens, which makes it much easier, and safer, to breathe in your home.
Number and type of filters
While ionizers and UV-C lights are nice additional tools for removing the odor of smoke in a home, they are not the most essential part of a good air purifier. How well a purifier works will come down to the types of filters it utilizes and the type of smoke that you are trying to remove. For instance, the best air purifier for cigar smoke is going to use different filters than the best air purifier for forest fire smoke. This, of course, only makes sense, since each type of smoke is unique, and the different particles need different filters.
No matter what type of smoke you are attempting to remove, you should be sure to have at least two filters. There are a lot of different types of filters out there, but the one that you should make sure that your purifier has is a HEPA filter. These filters are designed to remove extremely small particles from the air, which makes them ideal for clearing smoke and its odor from home. Charcoal filters are another good idea, as charcoal naturally attracts allergens and pollutants. These filters will need to be replaced often, which could become expensive. To combat this, you could purchase a purifier with a washable filter, such as the Winix 5300-2. That way, you can save a bit of money on the operation of your filter.
When you are looking for an air purifier for smoke removal, you will want to look for a model with a high CADR rating. This is a metric that was developed as a way of measuring the performance of air purifiers. It reflects the volume of the air in cubic feet per minute or CFM, that is cleaned of particles of various sizes. To measure how effective an air purifier is at removing different particles, each purifier is tested based on three types of particles: dust, pollen, and smoke. These represent large, medium, and small particles. Each is then measured and assigned its CADR score. Naturally, since we are worried about smoke removal that is the CADR score, we will focus on.
The CADR scale makes it simple to see how useful each model is. The higher the score, the better the purifier will be at removing the fine smoke particles from the air.
The most effective model on our list, the Blueair Blue Pure 211+, has a CADR score of 350. It is much more effective than a smaller model, such as the GermGuardian AC4100, which only has a CADR of 50. This makes it more suitable for lighter smoke removal jobs.
One of the things that you will want to pay special attention to when you are looking for an air purifier is the coverage area. This will usually be displayed as square feet. It will tell you how large of an area the purifier can be used to clean. The reason that this is so important is that if you buy a model that is too small for your space, it isn’t going to be very effective. On the other hand, if you buy a model that has a much larger coverage area than you need, you might end up overpaying for it.
Make sure you measure your space before you buy so that the purifier you get matches your needs.
If you have an ample space, then the IQAir HealthPro Plus is going to be your best bet. It can purify the air in a larger space, even up to 1,000 square feet. If, on the other hand, you have a much smaller space, you can get by with a model like the GermGuardian AC4100, which has a much smaller coverage area.
The noise level of any device, whether it be the best air purifier for smoke odor removal or a power tool, is always expressed in the same manner. Noise levels are measured in decibel, or dB, scale. The higher the number in dBs, the louder something is going to be. This will play a large part in where you have your purifier setup. If, for instance, you want to use it in your bedroom, you’ll need a much quieter model than you would if you were putting it in your basement or living room.
The quietest model on the market is the Winix 5300-2, which only has a dB rating of 27. This is as quiet as a whisper. This, therefore, makes it a great model for use in a bedroom. Thankfully, even the loudest air purifiers are not all that loud. The Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite 4-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier, for instance, which puts out 60 dB of sound, is still only as loud as normal conversation, so you won’t have to worry too much about noise no matter which model you select.
Another big determining factor as to where you will put your air purifier is going to be its dimensions. The size of your purifier might limit where you can place it since you might not have enough room for it. Usually, the larger the purifier, the more coverage area it will have. This actually can work out to your benefit.
If you have a smaller space, then a compact model, like the GermGuardian AC4100, should suit you quite well. However, if you have a larger space, then a model, like the IQAir HealthPro Plus, shouldn’t be difficult to fit. The Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite 4-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier is on the smaller side, but has a pretty large coverage area, making it easy to keep out of the way.
There are several different features that you can look for in to make your air purifier more effective at taking the smoke out of your home. While filters are the first line of defense against the small pollutant particles in your air, they don’t need to be the only removal feature. You can also get a purifier with either an ionizer or UV-C light. These will help to remove even more particles from the air, which will make the air that much cleaner.
Another additional feature that you might want to look for in a purifier is different fan speeds. With this option, you’ll be able to clean up the air at different rates based on how much smoke there is at any given time. Faster speeds are obviously better for quicker removal, which would be perfect for wildfire smoke. On the other hand, slower speeds are much more energy-efficient, which will help to keep your purifier running for extended periods of time.
While these other features are important, a clean, working filter, is still the essential part of any purifier. It can be difficult to tell when a filter needs to be changed, so it is a good idea to look for a purifier that has an indicator light that lets you know when you need to change the filter. This will help to make sure that the purifier is running as efficiently as possible.
You may also want to look for a model with a remote control for even more convenient use. Some smart air purifiers went further as they can be controlled via your smartphone with only a few taps.
Tips to maintain your air purifier
There are several things that you can do to make sure that your air purifier runs correctly. If you don’t properly maintain your purifier, it won’t do an excellent job at cleaning the smoke out of your home, which could be extremely detrimental to your health.
- If your purifier has a permanent filter, you should vacuum it every few weeks.
- Washable pre-filters should be rinsed out every month.
- DO NOT drop or insert anything into the openings of the purifier.
- Keep your purifier at least three feet from walls. Otherwise this will limit the air flow.
- DO NOT put anything on top of your purifier.
- When cleaning your purifier, DO NOT use detergents, solvents, or cleaners.
- Be sure to turn the purifier off before you unplug it. Always unplug the unit when you are cleaning it.
- Always be sure to plug your purifier into a grounded outlet, especially if it has an ionizer.
- Any purifier should only be used in a room above 40 degrees and below 110 degrees.
- The outside of the air purifier can be cleaned with a soft, damp cloth.
- The vent can be cleaned with a small, soft brush.
- You can also wipe the inside of the purifier out with a soft, dry cloth after you have removed the filters. NEVER use a damp cloth on the inside of the purifier, as this could promote mold growth.