Thanks to the pandemic, everyone has spent a lot more time indoors over the past two years. This has resulted in people focusing much more on their indoor air quality than before; after all, if you can’t go outside for fresh air, then you want to keep the air in your home as fresh as possible.
The home air purifier market has exploded with options in every possible price range, from incredibly inexpensive options to high-end, $1,000+ devices. Their main purpose is to improve indoor air quality, but we’d be willing to bet that there are quite a few things you didn’t know the best air purifiers could do. And to prove it, we’ve pulled together a list of some of our favorite features and tricks below.
What To Look for in an Air Purifier
Before purchasing an air purifier, there are a few key things you should keep an eye out for.
Washable filters: Air purifier filters can be expensive, sometimes costing as much as $150 or more. If your air purifier has a washable, reusable filter, you’ll save money in the long run.
Carbon filters: In addition to a HEPA filter, carbon filters can trap gasses and smaller pollutants, removing them entirely from the air. However, these need to be replaced on a regular basis.
Noise control: Air purifiers are going to make some level of noise while running; it’s practically impossible for them to be totally silent. However, some purifiers reach volume levels as high as 70 decibels, or about the same noise level as running a vacuum cleaner. Look for one that lets you control the fan speed so you can quiet it down if needed.
Reduce Odors In Your Home
Purified air doesn’t necessarily smell good. After all, the majority of air purifiers are only capable of capturing larger particles, while the molecules that carry scent are nanometers in size. To put this into perspective, pollen is about 5 nanometers in size, while odor-carrying molecules are as small as 0.03 nanometers in size.
The Levoit Air Purifier offers this exact feature, promising to eliminate odor in the home thanks to its activated carbon filter. The carbon captures the odor from the air. The Levoit Air Purifier also has other filter options, including a Pet Allergy Filter and Smoke Remover filter.
Kill Bacteria and Viruses
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have wondered whether an air purifier might offer any level of protection. At the time, most consumer-grade air purifiers lacked the facilities needed to effectively kill bacteria and viruses in the air, but now many of them can actually make a not-insignificant difference in the amount of bacteria you breathe in.
The Molekule Air Pro uses photoelectrochemical oxidation, or PECO, to remove particles as small as 0.1 nanometers. This feature can kill organic matter (including viruses) that are otherwise too small to be captured by a traditional filter.
Automatically Adjust Filtration Levels
There are times your air quality will be worse than others, and you might need a little boost to your air filtration. Rather than manually changing the level by hand (or through the app), some air purifiers have built-in sensors that automatically adjust according to the level of pollutants in the air.
The Alen BreatheSmart air purifier has a built-in air quality sensor that will not only let you know the number of particles in your air at any given time, but it will also automatically adjust the filtration level to compensate. If there are a high number of particles detected, it will swap to a higher level of filtration until that number drops to safer levels.
Enter Sleep Mode
Air purifiers can be loud. Between the intake fans and the vent fans, there are a lot of moving parts, especially at higher filtration levels. If you’re a light sleeper, that can be a big problem — but sleeping with an air purifier has positive effects on your health. If you want to keep one in your room but you don’t want to be disturbed, look for an air purifier that has a sleep mode.
This mode dims any lights on the air purifier and reduces its overall noise level, but still continues purifying your air throughout the night. The Coway Airmega AP-1512HHS is a great choice for this. It’s designed for rooms up to 325 square feet and includes a sleep mode that keeps your air fresh even as you snore.
Fit Into Different Sleeves to Match Decor
Air purifiers aren’t always the most aesthetically pleasing devices to look at. They can be big, clunky, boxy devices that don’t blend in well with the rest of the room. Usually, there isn’t much you can do about that. The Blueair Blue Pure 411 offers a solution: swappable colored sleeves to change the look of the body of the device.
The Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier takes in air from a 360 area around it. While it’s designed for smaller rooms, it can be swapped between its default color and the Diva Blue color at any time. Other colors are sold separately.
Go With You Anywhere
Here’s something we bet you didn’t know air purifiers could do. An air purifier isn’t the first appliance you think of when you think of portability, but there are actually several options that have been designed to help clear the air no matter where you are. These portable air purifiers usually lack some of the bells and whistles of larger models, but can still provide you with a better breathing experience in your car, on a plane, and more.
The Pure Enrichment Pure Zone Portable weighs less than a pound and can run for 12 hours on a single charge. You can also plug it in for continuous usage. With a two-in-one filter, you can get near-home-quality air purification even on long train rides.
Reduce Your Pet Allergies
Anyone that suffers from pet allergies knows how debilitating they can be. This author is highly allergic to cats, but still owns one — and often suffers from swollen eyes and a runny nose as a result. Some air purifiers can reduce the amount of pet dander in the air that causes these allergic reactions.
The Hathaspace Smart Air Purifier 2.0 can replace the air in a 1,500 square room once per hour, eliminating over 99.97% of particles and pollutants. The five-in-one filter system is highly effective and can make it possible to own a pet without suffering for it.
Though you may have known about a few of the options on our list, we can all but guarantee this is a thing you didn’t know an air purifier could do. Air purifiers can be a pleasant source of white noise, but what if they could double as a speaker? While there aren’t many that can do this, there are a few options. The WBM Smart Air Purifier has a built-in Bluetooth speaker that lets you sync your phone with it and play your favorite music.
It also cleanses the air up to five times an hour. It’s perfect for use in a dorm room or right beside your bed.
Heat and Cool the Air
While you’re purifying the air in your home, why not control the temperature a bit too? The Dyson Pure Hot + Cool has a powerful HEPA filter that removes up to 99.97% of dust and allergens, but it can also act as a fan in the summer and a heater in winter. It’s not enough to heat your entire home, but it can certainly make specific rooms more comfortable.
It also links up with the Dyson Link app to provide you with real-time data on the air quality in your home, while also providing you a way to control the purifier remotely. Now how’s that for a thing you didn’t know air purifiers could do?
Sync With Your Smart Home
Even many so-called “smart” air purifiers lack true smart home features, but there are some that sync up with Alexa and Google Assistant to give you easy control over its power, settings, and more. Take the Govee Smart Air Purifier, for example.
You can control its fan speed, activate sleep mode, brightness levels, and more all with your voice. It even works with IFTTT for more intricate levels of control in your home.