Thinking about buying an Air Purifier? (Things you need to know)
Recently, a tenant in a condo requested a mold inspection because of a musty odor and concerns that something in her unit might be exacerbating her respiratory and allergy symptoms. Our protocol for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) inspections is to interview the occupant regarding health concerns and provide recommendations towards eliminating potential allergens in the home and pollutant generating activities such as smoking and burning candles. Our client was concerned about an “air purifier” she was talked into buying and is pictured in the photo below. We advised her to immediately turn off and unplug the device.
Our client was surprised to learn that the company selling this “Air Purifier” is clearly listed on the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) website on Potentially Hazardous Air Cleaners. Using the CARB website you can quickly look up air cleaning device manufacturers. First search the “Air Cleaners to Avoid” link and see if the company is listed. The seller of this device had multiple models listed here. We advised our client to try to return the equipment for a full refund. http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/ozone.htm
For a manufacturer to be listed as a “California Certified Air Cleaner” they must submit testing results that demonstrate their device does not produce more than 0.05 parts per million (ppm) of Ozone. Ozone is a highly reactive, unstable, toxic gas. Ground level ozone is a major component of photochemical smog that plagues larger cities during the summertime. Levels outdoors can range from 0.01 to 0.04 ppm. All portable indoor air cleaning devices sold in California after October 18, 2010 must be certified by the California Air Resources Board. If you see Hazardous devices for sale in California, please let the CAR Board know about it.
For recommendations about which California Certified Air Cleaner best suits your needs, we recommend subscribing to Consumer Reports and reading up on results of their testing. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/air-purifiers.htm
You should also consider upgrading your HVAC air filter to the most efficient filter that is compatible with your air-conditioning equipment. Talk to your Air-Conditioning company before purchasing filters to make sure your air-conditioner will not be harmed by the filter you want to install.