The Performance You Need For Better Indoor Air

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How to Test Indoor Air Quality

Particle counters were developed as a way to measure air quality in a space and to detect the presence of PM2.5, mold or other particulates in a room or building.   A laser particle counter is the preferred tool used by indoor air specialists to measure the air quality.

In recent years particle counters have begun to be used as an air purifier sales tool.

When used at an air purifier a particle counter is a way to show how tight a filter seal is and the general efficiency of a filter. While this test is valid it is only one part of what is needed to provide clean air in a room. You also need to factor in the air flow, size and amount of filter media and noise level.

A better way to factor in the air flow which also includes the filter efficiency is to look at the CADR ratings. This gives an indication of the room size and particle removal ability. This test is done in a controlled test lab and the best way we have currently to compare similar models. It is basically a measurement of the air flow (cfm) times filter efficiency.

While the CADR is an improvement over measuring the air purifier with a particle counter, be sure to read our CADR article (link to What Is CADR article) to better understand what this represents and its limitations. While CADR is the best metric we have currently for performance it does not reflect the performance over time. We’ve built our filters to provide the highest level of performance possible for our customers and this includes working well on the first day and with several months of use. Some other brands have achieved high CADR numbers but their filters are thin with a small amount of filter media so their performance can degrade quickly and you will not see this with our filters.

The most effective way to get a measurement of the air quality in your room is to use a laser particle counter in the room and not at the air purifier. A challenge with this for the average consumer is that laser particle counters are expensive.

To overcome this some manufacturers use low cost sensors to measure air quality. These components are very inexpensive and in our testing are not very accurate. We have not seen low cost technology that gives an accurate reading and in our opinion this type of technology is more for marketing purposes than practical use.


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