The existence of airborne particles continues to be a significant problem as our quality drops. Especially for those with allergies, an AHAM-certified air purifier with a high CADR rating can take your discomfort and transform it into harmony fast. For those of you at home who are like me (coughing and sneezing throughout the day), this one goes out to you.
To address the coughing and sneezing fits that can affect those with or without allergies, we are going through some of the five best AHAM-certified air purifiers available on the market. We also plan on addressing why they need to be AHAM certified.
Let’s get started.
Breaking Down the AHAM Verification Program
AHAM, otherwise known as the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, holds considerable authority for determining functional appliances. They set air filtration standards with their AHAM-certified program. Since 1967, they’ve set the standards for using labs to test these products.
What is AHAM Certified?
AHAM-certified air purifiers are manufacturers who voluntarily participate in the program for air cleaners. Their certification program involves determining the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR), which determines how efficiently an air clear airborne pollutants.
Those pollutants include the following:
- Smoke (like tobacco smoke) is the tiniest particles
- Dust as the largest particles
- Pollen is medium-sized particles
All of the companies we reference in this product review have high CADR ratings on the AHAM directory, which receives semi-annual publication updates.
AHAM Verification Program
The CADR verification program scope includes ratings from 10 to 450 with CADR rates. These are international rates that are a measure that removes 80 percent of smoke particles over one hour. Participation in the program is entirely voluntary, as all data is not required to release an air purifier in any location.
About the AHAM CADR Ratings and Seal
The AHAM Portable Electric Room Air Cleaner Certification Seal is specific to tobacco smoke, dust, and pollens. You can verify this seal via the AHAM directory. The seal also cannot confirm other measures of indoor air quality.
Participants in the program may also voluntarily include ozone emission information. An ozone emission limit of 50 ppb (parts per billion) is suitable for adequate indoor air quality by the US EPA guidelines.
How to Calculate Room Size from CADR
CADR helps us determine the adequate square feet that the cleaner can handle with these formulas:
- Room Square Feet = CADR * 1.55
- Room Square Meters = CADR * 0.144
This list of certified data will also be made available in AHAM’s directory. You can still place air purifiers in a larger room, but they will not run at peak efficiency.
A general rule-of-thumb that AHAM requests you to do is to follow the 2/3 rule. That means your CADR should be about two-thirds of your room’s area. For example, a space of 100 square feet receives the most support by a CADR of at least 65 sq ft.
The 5 Best AHAM-Certified Air Purifiers in 2023:
|AHAM-Certified Tobacco Smoke CADR
|Latest Price on Amazon
|Blueair Classic 605
|Blueair Blue Pure 211+
|Whirlpool WPPRO2000P Whispure
1. Blueair Classic 605
The Blueair Classic 605 covers a cubic foot level of nearly 700 feet. As an air filter, it is one of the few options that max out the overall CADR ratings, making it the top industry standard.
This air filter is incredibly effective at lower speeds, which is excellent for those who want to keep noise at a minimum. The ideal is to keep your fan speed low, as even the Blueair becomes noisy when turning the fan up to the highest settings.
Depending on how often you use it, you will have to pay quite a bit for replacement filters. However, if you only need to replace them every six months, that isn’t a huge deal. CADR ratings don’t lie; Blueair creates the most effective HEPA air purifier for large spaces.
- Tobacco Smoke CADR: 450
- AHAM-recommended Room Size: 698 sq. ft.
Pros & Cons:
2. Blueair Pure Blue 211+
The Blueair Blue Pure 211+ is for those who are looking for a reasonably-priced air purifier. With a CADR of 350 and an adequate room size of 540 sq ft, it isn’t the most effective air cleaning technology on the market. However, the carbon filter is much more reasonable when it comes to finding lower costs.
This unit is still for larger rooms, and some have reported an unusual oil smell. Sometimes, you do deal with unusual smells for something coming just out of the factory.
This purifier is an excellent option for you for a type of filter from the gold standard of air purifier creators.
- Tobacco Smoke CADR: 350
- AHAM-recommended Room Size: 540 sq. ft.
Pros & Cons:
3. Oransi Mod
As one of the most advanced companies on this list, the Oransi Mod is the only air purifier that also includes a touchscreen interface. The touchscreen option makes this model a bit more expensive. But if you are looking for something that doesn’t dominate the room, the Mod is a great model.
Like most air purifiers for larger households, this thing is a bit noisy. But, you will not notice much of a difference between high fan settings and low fan settings. This product isn’t what you would call a portable air purifier.
Among beautiful designs and high technology, this is an excellent investment into the clean air of your household.
- Tobacco Smoke CADR: 338
- AHAM-recommended Room Size: 523 sq. ft.
Pros & Cons:
4. Whirlpool WPPRO 2000
Whirlpool is not known as a popular air purifier brand. However, they have a moderately priced air purifier that is great for removing harmful particles. It is comparable to the Osani mod despite having that noticeable price gap.
It handles up to 500 sq ft worth of room, which is still great for relatively large home spaces. However, this filter is not as effective at removing pungent odors.
For its moderate price, we can be thankful that it has a HEPA filter that removes allergens at 0.3 microns while remaining ozone-free. However, more efficient models are available, meaning that it remains at number three on this list.
- Tobacco Smoke CADR: 328
- AHAM-recommended Room Size: 508 sq. ft.
Pros & Cons:
5. Honeywell HPA300
For people on a budget, the Honeywell HPA300 is a clear winner. There are other air purifiers at this price range with abysmal CADRs by comparison. It also manages to cover a decent amount of space at the smaller price range.
The biggest problem with Honeywell is that they don’t make friends with third-party filters. That means you are stuck with their brand of filter. There are three filters you need to change out every time. This replacement takes out some guesswork but might kill your wallet a little bit.
Honeywell is not the most efficient filter on this list, but it is well worth the investment for most people.
- Tobacco Smoke CADR: 300
- AHAM-recommended Room Size: 465 sq. ft.
Pros & Cons:
Buyer’s Guide – How to Find the Best AHAM-Certified Air Purifiers
Below, we will go through some of the more common questions about finding a good air purifier.
How Do I Choose an Air Cleaner that Removes Small Particles?
You can find much of this information in the CADR rating, which falls under three categories: smoke, dust, and pollen. Pollen is the largest and most effective at reducing allergy symptoms. Dust and smoke are the two more challenging levels to reach, requiring better filters (like HEPA).
Check the CADR ratings to see their effectiveness in removing these. The closer the number is to 450 (or 400), the more effective it is at removing the particles.
How Do I Choose an Air Purifier That Removes Volatile Organic Compounds?
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are gaseous pollutants that emit from solids or liquids. These pollutants can cause adverse health effects. Air purifiers with an active carbon filter can remove these VOCs from the midair.
Examples of VOCs include the following:
- Building materials
- Paint strippers
- Permanent markers
Do Portable Air Purifiers Have Noise Ratings?
Some air purifiers have noise ratings that give you an idea of how much noise they make. Air purifiers on the low-end produce 30 dB (decibels) or the sound of leaves rustling.
Most of the air purifiers we mention run at about 60 decibels on the highest fan setting. Sixty decibels is about the noise of a normal conversation, meaning you will have to talk over most air cleaners in their highest settings.
What Does the Energy Star Rating Mean for Air Purifiers?
The Energy Star Rating applies to multiple types of appliances. Those who have the Energy Star label are known for their energy efficiency.
Keep in mind that having an energy-efficient device is excellent but does not indicate their ability to clean the air. Do not assume that an energy-star air filter is automatically effective at air cleaning.
Do Air Purifiers Prevent Coronavirus?
With the small size of virus particles, you cannot filter the Coronavirus through an air purifier to eliminate it. Even if the microbes reach through the air purifier, the virus will most likely slip through.
What is a HEPA Filter?
A High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter is a type of filter that theoretically removes 99.97% of pollen, dust, bacteria, and other airborne particles larger than 0.3 microns. The EPA measures HEPA ratings through Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERVs) to test their ability to capture particles effectively.
The EPA tracks MERV ratings from 1 (the worst air purifier) to 16 (being the best air filter). You don’t see many air purifiers use HEPA ratings because it would be redundant. CADR ratings are just as effective in determining the best type of air filter.
How to Clean an Air Purifier
When the filter change indicator is on, or you find your allergies start to flare up again, it might be time to clean your air purifier. Here are some steps you can follow in cleaning the cleaner:
- Wear a face mask and gloves to prevent airborne particles from entering your airways.
- Turn off and unplug your air purifier, relocate it to an outside location (the garage or the front lawn will do).
- Make sure you have replacement filters handy. Sometimes, you can clean your HEPA filter.
- Start by checking the outside of your air purifier. Remove any dust that has been collected on your air purification device using a clean duster.
- If you do not have a disposable air filter, you can typically use a light-duty vacuum to remove any excess dust from the surface. Do not use water to clean HEPA filters.
- If you have disposable filters, throw them in a garbage bag and immediately throw them out. Replace your filters by following the instructions available in your owner’s manual.
Be sure to replace any parts you remove before plugging in the air purifier.
When looking for the best AHAM-certified HEPA air purifier, most of the work found you can find the best through the CADR rating. Through that rating, you can find the adequate room size and its ability to handle your allergies. Everything else falls into place.
That’s why the best air purifier we found is the Blueair Classic 605.
Everything else can be considered a convenience feature. For example, the Oransi Mod includes neat touchscreen features, which make it a unique conversation starter. If you aren’t looking for bells and whistles, your best bet is the Honeywell HPA300.
Regardless, your goal is likely to find something that will help you breathe easily in your own home, so we hope that this article helped you through that. If you liked it, consider clicking any of our affiliate links listed above, they allow us to continue to produce content like this. Thanks for reading!