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Understanding Air Purifier Comparison Charts

Updated on December 19, 2012
This article is a guide to understanding how the data on our air purifier comparison charts was compiled.
This article is a guide to understanding how the data on our air purifier comparison charts was compiled.

Austin Air - The Best HEPA Air Purifier in the World

Why Air Purifier Comparison Charts?

I spent enough time in the air purification industry to learn that so much of what is advertised is misleading or evasive. Much of what was good in the air purification industry was maligned by companies in competition with each other trying to one-up one another and confusing the consumer in the process. These comparison charts were developed out of a need to provide consumers with a good way to compare technologies and find an air purifier that suited their needs. The comparison charts are designed to allow you to do this quickly, without having to sift through all the misinformation of advertising.

But to develop these charts, we had to make certain assumptions that we applied to all air purifiers, in order to create the common ground necessary for comparison. These are the assumptions that we made.

Energy Consumption

All of our comparison charts are based on the electrical costs being $0.0886 per kwh. In a few cases, despite our best efforts, we were not able to get the watt usage information of certain air purifiers because the company was usually so incompetent that they didn't even know. In these cases, we assumed that these air purifiers would use at least 50 watts of energy and we based the energy calculations on that. In these situations, the information will not be as accurate, but it will give you a rough idea of how the air purifiers compare to each other. In almost all the cases where we had to do this, the air purifiers were low end quality systems and cost enormous amounts over the long term. This means that the lack of energy data ended up having little impact on demonstrating the value or lack of value on those particular air purifiers.


Sometimes it is really hard to compare air purifiers because they have different quality, prices and warranty. To level the playing field a bit, we made these assumptions about the nature of an air purifier's warranty and how often it would need to be replaced.

  • If the warranty was less than a year, expect to replace it yearly.
  • If the warranty was for 1 year, expect to replace it every two years.
  • If the warranty was for 2 or 3 years, expect to replace it every 5 years
  • If the warranty was for 5 or more years, expect that you will not need to replace it over a 10 year span of time (which is the scope of our comparison chart calculations).

Comparing Technology

Understanding the technology differences operating in air purifiers is critical to knowing how to compare them. I would not compare a HEPA air purifier with an active air purifier. I certainly would never compare an ozone generator to a HEPA air purifier or an Active Air Purifier. These types of technologies have different functions and purpose. So when using the comparison charts, compare HEPA air purifiers with HEPA purifiers, Active air purifiers with others like it, and ozone generators with other ozone generators. Understanding the technologies themselves will help you to know which type of air purifier you are looking for. It is in this context that the comparison charts become extremely helpful.

Verify Information

While we try to keep all the data up to date, this industry is always changing and air purification companies come and go all the time. For this reason, use these charts as a helpful guide but always verify information you end up using to make a decision. This will protect your investment decisions.


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