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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Electrical, HVAC & Energy Efficiency > Room Air Purifier

Room Air Purifier Cost


How Much Does a Room Air Purifier Cost?

 
low costLow: Prices Start $20-$100average costMedium: Run $120-$400 for Medium-Sized Roomshigh costHigh: Can Run $500-$2,000 For Large Units

Also called cleaners, air purifiers are intended to remove pollutants -- such as dust, smoke, pollen, animal dander, tobacco smoke or unwanted odors -- from indoor air to ease asthma or allergy symptoms. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the most effective way to remove pollutants is to ventilate a home. But when that isn't possible, air purifiers can be a useful supplement.

Typical costs:

  • Most room air purifiers cost $100-$300, depending on how large of a room it can clean and what extra features it has, though some larger models can run $800-$1,000. Note: during the wildfires of 2020, some air purifiers were out-of-stock, or were listed at higher prices.
  • On the more compact end, the 3M Filtrete FAP-CO2WA-G2 retails for around $130 and advertises it can clean rooms up to 170 square feet. Its filter should be replaced every 6 months and costs around $37 for a pack of two filters. The Levoit Core 300 retails for around $100 and advertises it can clean rooms up to 219 square feet. Its filter should be replaced every 6-8 months and costs around $28.
  • For larger rooms, the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty retails for $180-$250, and lists cleaning rooms up to 361 square feet. A set containing 2 carbon pre-filters and one HEPA filter, which should last a year, retails for around $25. The BlueAir 211+ retails for around $310 with a capacity to clean rooms up to 650 square feet. The replacement HEPA filter, which they recommend replacing "about every six months" costs $60. The cloth pre-filter on the BlueAir 211+ is washable.
  • The Medical-Grade Austin Air HealthMate HM400 advertises it can remove viruses and odors as small as .1 microns in size and retails for around $600. It's larger than most systems and weighs 47 lbs. While the filter lasts 5 years, it costs $240 to replace. The BlueAir Classic 605 can clean air in a room 775 sq. ft. and runs $830. Filters, which should be replaced after 6 months of continuous use, cost $80-$150 depending on which replacement filter is purchased.
  • When selecting a room air purifier, considerations include the noise level (how important is it that the purifier needs to be quiet), the dimensions (some purifiers are roughly the shape of a box fan with filters, others are square, cubical or cylindrical), and decor (most room air purifiers come in multiple colors).
Related articles: Whole House Central Air Purifier, Room Air Conditioner

What should be included:
  • An air cleaner may use: mechanical filters to capture unwanted particles in the air; an electrical field to attract and trap particles; gas-phase (activated carbon) air filters to remove gases and odors; a hybrid with both filters and an electrical field; or ultraviolet light to destroy pollutants in the air. Some air cleaners/purifiers are ozone generators, which use ultraviolet light or electrical discharge; the EPA warns against ozone generators, and states there is a lack of proof that ozone-generating air purifiers are effective[1] .
  • Room air cleaners are portable and can easily be set up most anywhere. An average room air cleaner weighs about 10-20 pounds and can stand on the floor or on a table. The Association of Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) does voluntary certification of room air cleaners, listing three clean air delivery (CADR) numbers (for tobacco smoke, pollen and dust). The higher the number, the faster the unit filters the air of that pollutant.
  • Room air cleaners are usually more effective when they include a fan, but that also makes them somewhat noisy. Another option is a central air purifier attached to your home's forced-air heating or cooling system (which must include ductwork). The EPA provides a Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home[2] .
Additional costs:
  • The filters in most air cleaners should be replaced annually (or more frequently depending on the manufacturer's recommendations), and can cost anywhere from $20-$200 or more. Be sure to ask the frequency and cost for replacing the filter(s) before purchasing a specific model.
Discounts:
  • Some air cleaners are more efficient and cost less to operate; the EPA provides a list of energy-star certified room air purifiers[3] .
Shopping for a room air purifier:
  • Some air cleaners don't clean as large a room as claimed by their manufacturer; it's best to buy a unit with a slightly larger capacity than you think you need. If your ceilings are more than 8 feet high, buy a machine rated for a larger room. And many experts say that, unlike most household products, price is not necessarily the best indicator of an air cleaner's effectiveness -- be sure to compare CADR ratings. The California Air Resources Board provides tips for choosing an indoor air cleaner for effective indoor smoke removal[4] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/ozone-generators-are-sold-air-cleaners
  2.  www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-07/documents/guide_to_air_cleaners_in_the_...
  3.  www.energystar.gov/productfinder/product/certified-room-air-cleaners/results
  4.  ww2.arb.ca.gov/news/tips-choosing-indoor-air-cleaner-effective-indoor-smoke-remova...
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