Among the worst pollutants in the environment is tobacco smoke. The presence of hundreds, if not thousands, of toxic compounds, makes it associated with a raft of diseases.
The problem with indoor smoke is that it’s common. If you add additional sources of smoke, such as open fires, log burners, and nearby houses and factories, it becomes clear that indoor smoke should be taken seriously.
The use of coal, wood, or dung to cook still occurs in many parts of the world, just like tobacco use, which releases dangerous dust particles that can cause illness and trigger allergies.
Although you may not cook with wood or dung in the Western world, you still face the risks posed by smoke, burnt food, and fires… hazards that very often go unnoticed.
Smoke air purifiers use particulate air filtration to remove fine particles, while an activated carbon filter removes odors. One of these units may be the answer if you have indoor smoke and need to clean the air.
|Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier|
|Medify MA-40 Air Purifier|
|Germ Guardian AC4825 22” 3-in-1|
|Coway Airmega 400S Air Purifier|
|BISSELL air320 Smart Air Purifier|
1. Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier
The Blueair air purifiers seem to crop up on our best-of lists regularly. Among a variety of options to choose from, the Blue Pure 211+ has consistently ranked highly in consumer reports for fighting cigarette smoke. This unit is best suited for rooms up to 540 square feet, and it is available in different colors for customization.
A washable pre-filter is included with this purifier, as well as a 3-part filtration system. HEPA filters in the 211+ protect against airborne particles.
This filter is most useful in removing odors thanks to the layer of activated carbon. It has a CADR of 350 when it comes to odor removal.
One of its most notable features is how simple it is to use. This device doesn’t have a touch screen or a lot of buttons.
All the device’s functions are controlled by a single large button. Additionally, there’s an LED that indicates when it’s time to replace the filter, which is usually every six months.
2. Medify MA-40 Air Purifier
To effectively purify large spaces of air, the Medify Air MA-40-W air purifier uses four layers of filtration.
Prefilters catch larger particles like hair and pet dander; HEPA filters remove pollen, dust mites, wildfire smoke, and other large particles; and activated carbon filters remove odors, VOCs, formaldehyde, and other gases.
The device can clean up to 1,600 square feet of air in one hour, or 420 square feet every 15 minutes. The unit is available in three different operating speeds, with moderate noise levels between 46 and 66 decibels.
Energy Star certification certifies energy efficiency, CARB certification ensures zero to minimal ozone emissions, and Electrical Testing Laboratories approval verifies safety. Sleep mode, an eight-hour timer, an automatic night mode, and a child lock are also available.
3. Germ Guardian AC4825 22” 3-in-1
Under $100, you can get the GermGuardian AC4825E, a 22-inch tower unit. However, people who bring in smokey odors from outside will benefit from this, while indoor smokers will not be able to benefit from it. The unit provides space for rooms up to 167 square feet, making it ideal for small rooms and offices.
Four purification levels are housed inside the spaceship-looking unit. There are HEPA filters and activated carbon filters, a UV-C light to kill germs, and TiO2 (Titanium Dioxide) treatment to reduce VOCs.
Easy-to-operate controls make this unit extremely convenient. You can adjust the fan speed with a dial, activate the UV-C light with a button, and check the status of the filter using the light.
4. Coway Airmega 400S Air Purifier
The air purifier recommended here is ideal for smokers who smoke indoors. Despite its high price, this is the most powerful unit we reviewed. Built to cover an area of up to 1560 square feet. Dual suction and four fan speeds help to rid the air of smoke odor and impurities.
There are two sets of filters on either side of the Airmega 400S from Coway. They include a washable pre-filter, a True HEPA filter, and an activated carbon deodorization filter. The unit is on the larger side, but with two sets of filters running simultaneously, it’s not surprising it’s popular with smokers.
There are plenty of extra features on the 400S for those who enjoy them. On the front panel, a circular LED shows the air quality, which is displayed using an electronic device that monitors air pollution.
The device will adjust itself automatically based on the conditions. As if that weren’t enough, the air purifier can be controlled using Amazon Alexa by connecting to your WiFi network.
In case your room is smaller, you may want to check out the smaller version of the Coway Airmega 300, which uses a lot of the same features as the Airmega 400S.
5. BISSELL air320 Smart Air Purifier
To remove smoke, VOCs, odors, dust, and other large contaminants from the air, the Bissell air320 uses a three-stage filtration system, including a cloth prefilter, HEPA filter, and activated carbon filter.
Filtering up to 1,000 square feet per hour, this model has features that are ideally suited to bedrooms. When pollutant levels change, the smart purifier automatically adjusts speed to maintain air quality during sleep.
There are five air cleaning settings on the Bissell Smart Purifier, and it has a pleasantly quiet operation range of 34 to 51 decibels, as well as an automated night mode that dims the light. For easier maintenance, the Bissell air220’s legs are elevated, and the front panel of the unit is accessible for access to the filter.
Things to Consider Before Buying
If you have never owned an air purifier before, knowing the technical features, as well as air quality and environmental ratings, will make finding the right model much easier. Getting to know the various acronyms makes comparison-shopping much easier. In the following, you will find a description of our criteria for selecting units.
To remove larger particles, HEPA filters work in combination with activated carbon filters, which eliminate smaller particles. The HEPA filter traps 99.97 percent of particles smaller than 0.3 microns. Pollen, pet dander, dust mite waste, mold spores, and smoke are all examples of pollutants and allergens found in the air.
In most cases, HEPA filters need to be replaced every 6 to 12 months. Make sure the air purifier you choose has “true HEPA” or “HEPA” filters. Purifiers that are marketed as “HEPA-type” or “HEPA-like” don’t always have a true HEPA filter.
Filters of this type do not always meet the U.S Department of Energy’s 0.3-micron particle filtration standard of 99.97 percent. Remember that HEPA filters capture particles, not odors and gases. An activated carbon filter would be a good idea for filtering smoke.
Airborne molecules such as odors and gases are captured and held on the surface of activated carbon filters. Home odors such as pet odors and cooking odors can be eliminated with these products. Additionally, they may reduce the odor of wildfire smoke by capturing a few of the gaseous molecules that are found in it.
Large airborne particles are captured by prefilters before they clog up the filtration system. The inclusion of both HEPA and prefilters will save money in the long run since HEPA filters are more expensive to replace than prefilters. Cleaning and replacing the prefilter are part of maintaining the prefilter on a monthly basis.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are commonly found in household products and are removed by activated carbon filters.
Adsorption and sorption remove these contaminants. Carbon filters are chemically able to absorb and adsorb waste components in their interior pores or on their textured surfaces (absorption and adsorption). Manufacturers recommend replacing carbon filters every 3 to 6 months.
Each air purifier is labeled for a specific room size, which is measured in square feet. Multiplying the length and width of a room will give you its square footage. Consider multiplying the square footage of each room by one if you want to buy an air purifier for multiple rooms.
A Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is also indicated on these machines. The value depends on the filter efficiency and the airflow rate in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Clean air is delivered faster when the CADR rating is higher. For smoke and pollen, CADR scores can reach 450, while dust scores max out at 400.
Although CADR is a standard for performance measurements of air purifiers in the U.S., the values can be misleading when applied to purifiers that don’t contain HEPA filters.
There are manufacturers who design air purifiers that circulate a lot of air at a fast pace, filtering only large particles. CO2 and VOCs, which are targeted by carbon filters, are not included in the CADR test.
Keeping track of air changes per hour (ACH) is another important factor. Filtration of a room’s entire air volume occurs approximately how many times per hour. Be sure to read the fine print as the ratings may be based on a room-size different from the product’s “filters up to X square feet” statement.
Programs such as Energy Star are a joint effort of the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Program participants are encouraged to use energy-efficient products and practices to save money and protect the environment.
The Energy Star label means that the unit consumes less energy than standard products. Appliances certified as energy-efficient have lower operating costs and create fewer emissions than standard equipment. You can identify certified products by their Energy Star symbol.
A national air quality index, known as the Air Quality Index (AQI), is used by the EPA for measuring and reporting air quality.
The Clean Air Act regulates five major pollutants that affect AQI: particle pollution, ground-level ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. An air purifier can reduce your AQI inside the house, which is a benefit of using one.
A high AQI indicates greater levels of air pollution. AQI values range from 0 to 500. An air quality index of 0 to 50 indicates good air quality.
When the value is 100, air quality is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups such as people with lung or heart disease, older adults, and children. The AQI value is deemed unhealthy for everyone if it exceeds 151, with the risk of adverse health effects increasing between 300 and 500.
AQIs are especially important for people who live in areas associated with higher levels of air pollution, such as cities or towns with factories, power plants, and chemical facilities.
An infrared beam and sensor usually detect particulates in the air using an air quality indicator on some air purifiers. Air purifiers that are smart are able to respond automatically when air quality levels rise or fall.
When selecting an air purifier, it is important to take into account the level of noise. Typical large air purifiers produce a sound level of 60 decibels (dB), about as loud as a normal conversation.
The quieter air purifiers make the best alternative for bedrooms, living rooms, and home offices. They operate between 40 and 55 decibels, which is a better level for bedrooms, living rooms, and home offices.
A model with 20-30 decibels is suitable for bathrooms, small bedrooms, or even for travel since it emits a very little sound (like a muffled hum).
There are air purifiers designed for travel. A small, portable air purifier can help you sleep better and reduce exposure to airborne pollutants when you are in a new environment.
The machine can be moved with the help of handles and caster wheels. Although they perform the same function as larger devices, these devices are sized for smaller rooms.
To choose an air purifier for travel, you should look for a minimum CADR of 217, which is enough for a hotel room that is approximately 325 square feet in size.
A good air purifier can be improved by providing different comfort and convenience features. Intelligent technology, remote control, various operating modes, and easy filter maintenance are among the most popular features.
Depending on the air quality inside a home, the unit can automatically adjust its output. You can monitor air quality conditions and control the unit while away from home with Bluetooth connectivity, smart device apps, and compatibility with personal digital assistants.
Air purifiers commonly come with remote control, so users can operate them without accessing the control panel. Users can adjust the air purifier virtually anywhere using an app that functions as a remote control.
Some air purifiers feature variable speed settings, so you can adjust filtration power according to changing conditions, such as when there is a fire in the fireplace.
There are also purifiers with sleep mode, which run on a lower, quieter setting, with or without a built-in nightlight. The operating settings of some air purifiers can be programmed to run after specific intervals.
It’s important to replace filters periodically, so it’s helpful to have lights that alert you when it’s time to do so.
In general, filter covers and access points are easier to change if they are located near the top or front of a machine, and are fastened with magnets or sliding latches instead of screws.