Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a real condition that affects millions of Americans. One survey by the American Public Health Association found that 12.6% of their respondents claimed to have an unusual sensitivity to chemicals compared to others.
If you suffer from MCS, you need the best room air purifier to help improve your quality of life. You can’t control every chemical that enters your home, but you can help remove some of the unwanted smells through a sufficient air purifier.
According to the Woodworking Network, “As of Friday, June 1, it is illegal to manufacture or import composite wood products in the U.S. if they contain excessive amounts of formaldehyde.” This is an important step in protecting the air in your home from gaseous indoor air pollutants.
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Activated Carbon Air Filters
Activated carbon filters are one of the few ways to deal with gaseous indoor air pollutants like fumes, smoke and smells. Activated carbon filters specialize in removing volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and formaldehyde from the air. Other ways to manage gaseous pollutant include removing the source or ventilation. The air purifiers we review later in this article feature activated carbon filters.
Finding the Best Room Air Purifier
If you suffer from MCS, you know how unavoidable chemicals can be. Irritants are everywhere, from cigarette smoke to cleaning supplies to perfume.
The best you can hope for is a proper air purifier to find comfort in your home.
There are a few elements you need to consider on your search for the best room air purifier. First and foremost, you’ll want to start with the filter.
Get the Right Filter
These days, most air purifiers come with a HEPA filter. These filters will do wonders for the air quality in your home, and you should never consider a purify without this certification.
If you want a higher degree of air quality certainty, go with a filter certified by the California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resource Board. This organization has a list of filters that will likely fit your air purifying needs.
Unfortunately, not all of these air purifiers remove some of the everyday fumes that bother those with MCS. Fumes aren’t the same as air pollutants, so you need a device with a carbon filter to tackle these irritating smells.
A Powerful Fan
An air purifier is only as powerful as the motor of the fan it uses. If the fan doesn’t suck the fumes and pollutants out of the air, it doesn’t matter how fantastic the filter might be.
Check the specifications on the fan, and buy the best one you can find. The ideal combination would be a powerful fan with a filter that’s high in carbon.
Check the Room Size
One mistake people often make while shopping for an air purifier is forgetting to check the room size. The CADR, or Clean Air Delivery Rate, is an easy way to compare air purifiers between brands. According to AHAM, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the CADR on an air purifier should be two-thirds the area of the room in square feet. An average bedroom is 120 square feet which would need an air purifier with a clean air delivery rate of 80.
You need an air purifier that will tackle the room you’re trying to purify. Take the dimensions of your room (or rooms), then take a look at purifiers that fill the space.
To be safe, always buy a unit that will cover a larger room than the one in which you intend to put the purifier. Companies tend to exaggerate in their claims and don’t always live up to the dimensions they advertise.
The Best Air Purifier for Chemical Sensitivity
After considering all of the above, the most important feature you need in an air purifier to help with a chemical sensitivity is a VOC sensor. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds. They are responsible for causing allergy flare ups in people with chemical sensitivities.
Winix makes the best air purifiers with VOC sensors. The Winix 5300-2 is one of their most affordable options from their product line up. Whirlpool also has several air purifiers with built-in VOC sensors.
The images below are all clickable links that will take you to the product listing on Amazon.com. Once you are there you can explore other product listings as well. These images include all the the air purifiers we review on this page as well as a few others that have active carbon filters.
Compare and Contrast
Take a look at the specifications of a few different models now that you know what to look for in an air purifier. Ideally, you want an air purifier that has a carbon filter, a powerful fan and is large enough to fit your room.
Want some more tips on what to look for in air cleaning products? Check out our blog for everything you need to know!