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Air Purifier Filters & Acessories

Air purifiers can only do their magic, ridding your home of harmful dust, pollen, mould, and bacteria, by using a filter. And different kinds do different jobs to help you breathe cleaner air. Air purifier accessories like replacement HEPA filters, sanitizers, and lamps, keep them running in tip-top condition, and the air fresh and clean.

What are the different types of air purifier accessories?

Air purifiers are designed for air quality improvement in the home, helping with dust removal, reducing allergens, and odour elimination. They result in cleaner air to breathe and overall better indoor air quality. To run in optimal condition, they use filters that require periodic replacement. But there are other accessories to consider, too.

Various air purifier types use HEPA filters, which trap pollutants, so they don’t re-enter the room. Activated carbon or charcoal filters, meanwhile, help remove gases and odours. Some air purifiers also contain a pre-filter that can capture large particles. Typically, air filters should be replaced annually.

Sanitizers, meanwhile, use UV light to clean the air of airborne bacteria, viruses, mould, germs, allergens, and spores. Ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, or nurseries, they work in tandem with an air purifier, using the complementary method of ultraviolet wavelengths, which can also provide the benefits of disinfection and sterilization. Some models even deodorize as well. These germicidal lamps use replaceable UV-C bulbs.

How do the different types of filters work?

High-Efficiency Particulate (HEPA) Air filters are typically a series of glass or synthetic fibres put together to form a mat. Considered one of the most effective types of air filters to capture all sizes of particles, they tackle viruses, bacteria, pollen, and more. You’ll find these types of filters in some of the best air purifiers.

There’s also usually a layer with carbon filters, which use activated carbon (charcoal) to help remove gases and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are released from common household products, like aerosol sprays, paint, and cleaning products. These are filtered through and removed from the air.

You’ll also find air purifiers with particle filters, which trap mould spores, bacteria, viruses, fine-smoke particles, and others. Like the others, these filters resist clogging and ensure particles are not released back into the air.

One of the latest types is formaldehyde filters, which remove harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and other organic gasses from the air. These use small carbon pellets with holes the size of molecules as well as cracks and crevices to absorb the harmful gases and trap them inside. The good news? These filters don’t need replacing and are found in conjunction with HEPA and carbon fibre filters.

Which air purifier accessories should you get and why?

If you have an air purifier or air sanitizer, congratulations: you’re on your way to breathing cleaner air at home! Most models send a notification when it’s time for filter maintenance, which includes both cleaning and, if necessary, replacing. This is typically once per year but can vary depending on how often the air purifier runs and how much particulate matter it captures. Each model works with a specifically fitted size and type of filter, some multiple filters. If there’s a mesh pre-filter, this can likely be cleaned monthly. It’s a good idea to have a spare filter on hand to swap as needed so you’re never without air purification while you wait for a new one to arrive.

With a germicidal lamp, keep this running as long as the bulb is working. It’s likely you’ll need to replace the bulb annually, or every 9,000 hours of operation. Keep in mind, however, that after one year, even if the lamp is working, it may only be emitting 80% of its original UV-C output, so you’re best to replace it. As with air purifier filters, keep a spare on hand.

What Is the Best Air Filter? 

Ideally, for a home, you’ll want an air filter that contains both a carbon and a HEPA filter layer. And most do. The HEPA filter grabs those tiny particles that are circulating in the air, while the carbon layer takes care of odours caused by things like smoke or chemicals. 

A carbon-only filter might suffice if you are only looking to rid the air of odours, like in a basement while you’re renovating and/or using heavy-smelling chemicals, or in a home where someone smokes. 

But for the general cleaning of household air, a HEPA filter is ideal; a purifier that contains both layers is the best option. 

How Often Do You Need to Replace an Air Purifier Filter and Why? 

Those tiny particles add up. And over time, like any other type of filter, air filters get dirty as the particles accumulate. So eventually, you’ll have to get a new one. Many air purifier filters only need to be changed annually, or maybe bi-annually if you keep them running 24/7. Others need to be changed more frequently. In those cases, the filters are likely available in multi-packs. 

Some optional pre-filters, meanwhile, can be re-used by simply removing and vacuuming them, or popping them into a washing machine.

Discover other appliances such as cooling, heating & air quality products at Best Buy Canada.

More Resources:

Why you need an air purifier

5 benefits of Air Purifiers

Air Purifier Buying Guide