Frequent Questions

What guidelines are available to compare air cleaners?

Excerpted from: Residential Air Cleaners - www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/residair.html

With the exception of the DOD method in Military Standard 282 (see reference 1 below), used only to rate particle reduction by high efficiency filters, the federal government has not published any guidelines or standards for use in determining how well an air cleaner works in removing pollutants from indoor air. However, standards for rating particle removal by induct or portable air cleaners have been published by two private standard-setting trade associations (see reference 2 and 3 below). These estimate the efficiency or effectiveness of an air-cleaning device in removing particles from indoor air, and can be used for comparisons among different devices.

Standards for air cleaners now focus only on particle removal. No guidelines or standards are available for use in assessing the comparative ability of air cleaners to remove gaseous pollutants or radon and its progeny, and research is currently inadequate to draw firm conclusions regarding the relative effectiveness of air-cleaning devices in removing such pollutants.

References:

  1. U.S. DOD. 1956. MILSTD282. Military Standard. Filter units, protective clothing, gasmask components and related products: Performance test methods. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Defense.
  2. ASHRAE. 1976. ASHRAE standard 5276. Method of testing air-cleaning devices used in general ventilation for removing particulate matter. New York, NY: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers Inc.
  3. Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. 1988. American national standard method for measuring performance of portable household electric cord-connected room air cleaners. ANSI/AHAM AC-1-1988. Chicago, IL: Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.

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