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CostHelper > Appliances  > Room Air Cleaner

Room Air Cleaner Cost


How Much Does a Room Air Cleaner Cost?

 
low costLow: Prices Start $20-$100average costMedium: Run $120-$400 for Medium-Sized Roomshigh costHigh: Can Run $500-$2,000 For Large Units
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Also called purifiers, air cleaners 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 EPA[1] , indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks, and a room air cleaner is simply a "portable, electric, cord-connected appliance that removes fine particle matter from room air."

Typical costs:

  • Prices start around $20-$100 for a basic air cleaner for a 10x8- to 10x10-foot area (80-100 square feet; can run $120-$400 for a slightly larger room (10x15 to 20x20 or 150-400 square feet); and can hit $500-$2,000 or more for units that cover a larger area (500-2,500 square feet or more). Key features to look for include noise levels, ease of filter replacement; power consumption; remote control; and a pre-filter to catch larger particulates.
Related articles: Air Cleaner, 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; both the EPA[2] and Consumer Reports[3] warn against ozone generators, because of the amount of ozone produced. The EPA explains how portable air cleaners work[4] .
  • 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 cleaner attached to your home's forced-air heating or cooling system (which must include ductwork). The EPA provides an overview[5] of both room and central (whole house) air cleaners, as well as a glossary[6] of indoor air quality (IAQ) terms.
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 calculator to estimate the annual and life cycle costs for a room air cleaner, depending on your estimated usage and electricity costs.
Shopping for a room air cleaner:
  • 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 Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina provides guidelines for choosing a room air cleaner.
  • Most hardware, home improvement and discount stores sell room air cleaners. Major manufacturers include Bionaire[7] , Holmes[8] , Honeywell[9] , Hunter and IonicPro[10] . You can also search to see which members of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers[11] make room air cleaners.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_product.showProductGroup&pgw_code=RAC
  2.  www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/ozonegen.html
  3.  www.consumerreports.org/cro/air-purifiers/buying-guide.htm?pn=1
  4.  www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/airclean.html#Portable Air Cleaners
  5.  www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/airclean.html
  6.  www.epa.gov/iaq/glossary.html
  7.  www.bionaire.com/Category.aspx?cid=46
  8.  www.holmesproducts.com/Category.aspx?cid=215
  9.  yourhome.honeywell.com/home/Products/Air+Cleaning/Single-Room+Air+Cleaners/SummaryList.htm
  10.  envionproducts.com/
  11.  www.aham.org/consumer/index.php?display=Brands&products=Y&prodcat_id=639
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