Last Updated January 15, 2021
Wherever you live and work, the air you breathe matters. Whether in an office building, a living room or a home office, the areas where you spend the most time in deserve to have good, clean air that’s good for you and your health.
When it comes to getting that fresh-air feeling all year round, an air purifier can be a helpful addition to your home, office or other living space. With their variety and versatility in use, you can get the right one for whatever your environment holds.
But is an air purifier right for you? And if so, what kind will best meet your and your family’s needs?
As you take your next step in bringing cleaner air into your home, we’re here to help. Here we share some key things you’ll want to know as you improve the air — and health — of your home. We’ll share why air purifiers matter and how they can transform the air you breathe. We’ll also help you understand the different types of air purifiers, especially desktop varieties, so you can select the right fit for your exact living space.
What Are Air Purifiers?
Are you ready to start breathing easier? Let’s get started by exploring what’s the big deal about effective and efficient air purifiers.
Why is Air Quality Important?
Regardless of your age, home environment, health habits and behaviors, the air you breathe matters. While high-quality air may not seem like such a direct factor on your overall health, it does have the potential to significantly improve or alter your both physical and mental health.
And the pollutants, or what compromises quality air, can be found both inside and outside the home. It’s not just the smog and smoke we see from outside our windows. It can also include the pollen, dust and pet dander that comes into the home through vents or opened windows.
Breathing in quality air that’s free from chemicals or other allergens can greatly improve the health and well-being of our families and ourselves. Whether you currently suffer from conditions like asthma or headaches or may be more prone to them, having improved air quality can alleviate those symptoms and bring about dramatic effects for your overall well-being.
As people spend more and more time indoors, having quality air inside the home becomes more and more significant. In fact, the EPA estimates that the air inside a living space can be 2 to 5 times dirtier than the air outside, depending on location and environment. Wherever we spend the most time, it’s important that the air we breathe is clean and supports our overall health.
One key and common way to improve the quality of air in your living space is through an air purifier. As they bring about this improved filtering of air, they come with significant health benefits you’ll want to keep in mind as you move forward in better health.
Why Get an Air Purifier
Before deciding on what type of air purifier to get, it’s important to understand the value of an air purifier in the first place. We know that fresh air can just feel good, for both our physical and mental health. But being able to get fresh air brings many more benefits. Air purifiers are highly effective at transforming stale, old air into refreshing breezes that both delight and help your health.
An air purifier is designed to eliminate potentially harmful particles from the air. Using high-efficiency filters, they catch things like pollen, pet dander, dust and other pollutants that have the potential to compromise your health. They can be useful in both residential and commercial environments as efficient and effective ways to improve the airflow in sometimes stale locations.
Certainly, air purifiers bring some significant health benefits. However, they also can do more to preserve the operation of your home and other systems you have in place. With an air purifier, you can help to extend the life of your HVAC system’s filter. With the air filter’s work at removing contaminants before they reach the HVAC system, you’ll put less strain on that unit, therefore making it last much longer.
Regardless of your health status, air purifiers can bring about significant benefits that can equip you to live a healthier life as you breathe easy.
Health Benefits of Air Purifiers
Among the many reasons to get an effective and efficient air purifier is the many health benefits that result from their use. As they work by filtering out potentially harmful pollutants, using them can dramatically or subtly improve your respiratory system, nervous system and overall mental health. Air purifiers have also been linked to improving energy levels and providing better focus as you live and work.
Prevents asthma attacks – One significant benefit of an air purifier is its ability to alleviate symptoms of asthma. For those suffering from asthma, breathing in those harmful chemicals can spark attacks of coughing and wheezing that compromise your health. Air purifiers work to eliminate these sparks of attacks to keep you breathing easy.
Eliminates potential allergens – Even if you don’t suffer from asthma, an air purifier removes things like dust, pet odors and other allergens that can cause a reaction or just make you feel uncomfortable. While you may not even notice the use of one at first, the long-term effects of eliminating those harmful particles can be significant.
Filters out external smoke and smog – If you live in an area that tends to have high levels of pollution, having an air purifier can significantly improve the quality of the air you breathe indoors. Studies have shown that having prolonged exposure to heavy emissions and pollution may decrease your overall life expectancy. Having an air purifier catches those harmful particles before you get a chance to breathe them in and compromise your health.
Eliminate bacteria and diseases – While not all air purifiers may come with this feature, some may have the capability to eliminate disease-causing pathogens and bacteria from the air. Although it may not be full-proof protection against illnesses, an air purifier can be quite effective at removing potentially harmful particles.
With so many health benefits of air purifiers, it’s become an easy and efficient way to care for your family and your home. Once you’re set on getting an air purifier for your space, the next question to ask yourself is what kind of air purifier is right for you. Here, we’ll share one size of an air filter that’s easily portable and perfectly designed for smaller spaces.
Finding the Right Filter: Desktop Air Purifiers
When it comes to selecting the right air filter for your space, you’ve definitely got some options. For smaller spaces, a desktop air purifier can be a great way to improve the quality of air in your space.
How Do Desktop Air Purifiers Work
While air purifiers come in a variety of sizes and functions, the desktop varieties tend to be smaller and easily transportable. With these features, they make great additions to home office spaces, cubicles and other desk environments.
Like other air purifiers, the desktop air purifiers bring in stale air and pushes it through expertly designed filters to remove particles like dust and pollen. What results is fresh, clean air for you to breathe and enjoy. The level of purification that can happen may depend on the model you choose as well as the type of filter you include in your personal air purifier.
Do Desktop Air Purifiers Work?
Most of the desktop air purifiers work exactly the same way as a standard air purifier used for residential or commercial spaces. However, their size limits the area it’s able to cover in purifying air and improving your health.
If you’re looking to filter air through in a larger environment, such as in a home, a desktop air purifier can work, but it may not be the most efficient or effective option.
Benefits of a Desktop Air Purifier
Like the benefits of a standard air purifier, the desktop variety brings in additional benefits in its ease of use and portability. Its small size allows it to be placed in a variety of spots around your work areas, so space is never an issue. They allow you to have quality, pure air wherever you are, no matter your environment. Their size also equips you to travel well with it so you can always have clean air at the ready.
With the health benefits of an air purifier, it can also help to improve your brain function and overall work performance, whether at home or in the office. Cleaner air can help you feel more awake and lively, equipping you to do your best work.
Types of Air Filters
The effectiveness of your air purifier may be strongly associated with the type of air filter that you include in your air purifier. Different air purifiers may incorporate different technologies to produce effective and efficient filtration systems that allows the air purifier to function as intended. The most commonly used filter is a HEPA filter.
What is a HEPA Filter and Why Is It So Important
When it comes to easy-to-use filters that are also very safe for almost all environments, the HEPA filter is most often the top choice. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particle air. This type is described as being able to eliminate 99.97% of particles that are airborne, which are 0.3 micometers or larger.
One of the great things about the HEPA filter is that it releases no harmful chemicals or other components that may not be suitable for all environments. It also can catch a variety of types of particles including pollen, pet dander, mold and others.
HEPA filters also tend to be fairly affordable, as air filters require regular replacements or cleaning. Despite the many great things about this type of filter, it’s important to remember that HEPA filters are not very effective at removing smaller particles such as funes, gasses or other odors that are smaller than 0.3 micrometers.
Types of HEPA Filters
Like other filters, HEPA filters are ranked based on a MERV scale, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values. This scale helps you determine how effective and efficient the filter is able to eliminate particles that it comes into contact with. According to the EPA, the higher the MERV rating, the higher effectiveness of trapping various particles.
Other Types of Air Filters
In addition to HEPA filters, other air filters may be used to be effective in removing particles from the air to bring about clean and purified air. UV light filters may be effective in eliminating bacteria and viruses, using ultraviolet light. While these types can be effective, it’s worth noting their potential for causing harmful side effects due to releasing ozone or other negative effects. Due the small size and close proximity of desktop air purifiers, ultraviolet light or other ozone-related filters are not recommended.
Carbon filters may another great option in addition to HEPA filters. These varieties use carbon fibers to trap particles from the air. They also release no additional harmful chemicals or have negative side effects.
Among air filters suitable for desktop air purifiers, you may also find washable or other reusable varieties that can help you cut down the maintenance costs of your unit. They may be constructed from a variety of different types of materials, such as fibers, polyester or cotton.
As you choose the right filter for you, be sure you understand what kind of budget you have for not only the initial investment of an air purifier but also the regular upkeep that’s required to keep it functional and efficient. For most air purifiers, a HEPA filter is commonly the recommended option.
When To Replace an Air Filter
Unless your air purifier has a reusable filter that all you need to do is throw it in the wash, you’ll need to replace your filter on a regular basis. Replacing the filter on schedule ensures that the purifier stays effective and efficient in removing those potentially harmful particles from the air.
The easiest way to know how often you should replace your air filter is by looking at the package of the filter. However, regardless of the material, the filter in your air purifier should most often be replaced every 3-6 months.
Other factors that may affect how often you replace your filters include where the air purifier is located and the amount of dust, dirt, pollen and other particles that your environment is exposed to. For more polluted spaces, you may need to replace your filter closer to three months. However, if your space is generally clean and not exposed to a lot of pollution, you may only have to replace it every six months.
Places You Can Use a Small Desktop Air Filter
With their versatility and design, you can put a small desktop air filter just about anywhere. Stack it alongside a bookshelf in your home office. Set it on top of a shelf in your cubicle. Set it next to your computer monitor so you always have close access to clean, fresh air to keep you going throughout the day.
Desktop air filters can also be easy to travel with. Whether you’re setting up shop as you travel to different offices or find yourself moving from place to place frequently, you can have fresh air wherever you go.
Things to Look for in a Quality Desktop Air Purifier
As you choose which desktop air purifier is right for you, there are a few important things to keep in mind. For example, one of the most important factors is the quality rating of both the purifier and the air filters you include in the unit. You may want to think of your air purifier as an investment both in your health and the overall operation of your home. In this perspective, you may not want to settle for the cheapest option out there. In order to get quality, you may need to put in a little investment. Compare ratings, read reviews and truly understand how effective the filter is before purchasing.
Other factors you’ll want to keep in mind as you choose the right air purifier for you is the size of the unit. For desktop varieties, these air purifiers tend to be smaller, making them a great fit for a variety of sizes. The noise level of the unit may also be something to factor into your decision.
Additional maintenance costs and filter replacements may also help you determine the right air purifier and filter for your desktop. There may also be some additional features that may be important to you, such as app integration or other seamless remote control options that can add even more ease to your desktop air purifier.
Where You Should Position Your Desktop Air Purifier
With its small size, desktop air purifiers can fit in a variety of locations, especially when space can be an issue. You can put it right on your desktop next to your other work materials or off to the side. Wherever you place it, you’ll have easy access to fresh, life-giving air that can keep you living your best life.
Can You Keep a Desktop Air Purifier Running All Day
For most desktop air purifiers that use HEPA filters, you can leave your air purifier running all day. In fact, most air purifiers are designed to be running all day to provide the best benefits. However, with desktop air purifiers that you use in smaller spaces, you may only need to run it for when you are there. Having these purifiers on only when you’re in the office or at your desk can cut down on energy costs as well as prolong the life of your filters and air purifier.
How to Take Care of Your Desktop Air Purifier
To get the most out of your desktop air purifier, it’s important that you take care of the unit as you use it. Perhaps the easiest way to do so is in regularly changing out the filters or washing them if they’re reusable. These filters are what keep the air purifier operational. Take the time to stay consistent with the maintenance of those filters.
Choose the Air Purifier That’s Right For You
When it comes to breathing in clean and purified air, it shouldn’t matter what office space or building you’re in. With a desktop air purifier, you can have constant access to clean, fresh air that can help support your overall health as well as productivity levels. Use this helpful guide as you take your next steps in getting an air purifier that’s just right for you and your environment.