What should I look for when buying a room air purifier?

Indoor air contains pollutants that can affect human health. Some of these pollutants come from outdoors, and others come from indoor sources and activities, such as cooking, cleaning, secondhand smoke, building materials, consumer products, and home furnishings. Portable air cleaners, also known as air purifiers or air sanitizers, are designed to filter the air in a single room or area and help improve indoor air quality. Find the right room air purifier product for your home with the tips below and read more about managing your indoor air quality in EPA’s Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home.

When buying a room air purifier, request an ENERGY STAR certified model to ensure you are purchasing an energy-efficient product. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, choosing an ENERGY STAR certified room air purifier over a standard model can save you $490 in energy costs over the life of the product.

Check your room size.
Be sure to consider the square footage of the room where you will place the room air purifier. Larger models use more energy, so choose a model that is sized appropriately to fit your room.

*Note this chart is for estimation purposes. The CADRs are calculated based on an 8-foot ceiling. If you have higher ceilings, you may want to select a portable air cleaner with a higher CADR.

Consider placement.
While many room air purifiers are designed to sit on the floor, tabletop models and wall-mounting designs are also available. Regardless of configuration, it is important to read the accompanying product manual for instructions on where to place your room air purifier to achieve optimum performance. Make sure the airflow is not obstructed. Keep air cleaners away from curtains and anything that might block airflow.

Understand Clean Air Delivery Rates.
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) measures how quickly a unit delivers filtered air and can be used to measure the performance of a room air purifier. The higher the CADR, the more quickly the room air purifier filters the air and the larger area it can serve.

Related Information

  • EPA indoor air pollution information