September 26, 2012

IQ Air Purifiers Really Can Clear The Air

Ever since a certain novelty retailer stopped airing commercials for its controversial air cleaning device, there hasn’t been a whole lot of talk about room air purifiers, which is actually a shame for those are looking to breathe a little easier. Air purification remains a somewhat confusing topic, especially because so many devices promised results that simply couldn’t be met.

Allergists and other health experts who focus on clean air maintain that the best thing to do is get rid of the problem first and foremost. This means cleaning the cat’s litter box, dealing with mold or other mildew issues and when possible opening the window to let in fresh air. But sometimes those aren’t options and other times they do enough.

Unfortunately many people opt for the easiest solution instead, which is to mask unpleasant odors with a variety of fragrance dispensing devices. The better way to go would be an air purifier, a device that shouldn’t be confused with an air cleaning device. The difference is that those air cleaners that typically worked without a fan or motor instead used electrostatic plates – erroneously called ionic plates – to charge the air and essentially pull dust in. The problem is that to charge the air this required creating ozone, which is actually a toxin and can be a seriously health threat to those with breathing problems such (but not limited to) asthma.

The better option is a product like the newly released – and apparently aptly named – New Edition Series of room air purifiers from IQAir. This new system, which builds on the company’s long line of room air purification devices, truly does the job and then some.

The company promises that the New Edition could provide up to 25 percent more clean air, up to 38% longer filter life and be 32% quieter. As a reviewer, I wasn’t able to determine yet if the filter will last longer but given that most filters last for months to a year or more so far the results aren’t so bad.

In this reviewer’s particular situation the New Edition model was tested in a large basement with a variety of old collectibles and antiques – in other words things that don’t always show up smelling exactly brand new. Most air purifiers that I’ve tested have been able to tackle the smell that comes from the passage of time reasonably well, and I was interested to see how the IQAir’s new model would stack up.

Out of the box was perhaps the first surprise for good and bad. The New Edition model I had the chance to test, the HealthPro Plus, is a behemoth of a unit, made more so once you add the wheels. It stands at nearly three feet tall, so it is something most people will notice in a room.

What you might not notice is the sound, especially as the lower speeds. The new fan is the “first-of-a-kind,” said Frank Hammes, president of IQAir, “It is aerodynamically optimized to generate the highest possible airflow while minimizing sound. These improvements have increased our airflow while maintaining our superior Total System Efficiency. This gives allergy and asthma sufferers enhanced air quality they should immediately notice.”

As to actual results I can say it did the job and then some. The device features six speeds, with the first speed being able to clean about 40 cubic feet a minute, while six speed could tackle a whooping 300cfm. That’s impressive, and while speeds five and six produce noise it has the audible level of a fan in car, and certainly nothing approaching a small aircraft taking off – a problem with many air purification devices.

For my 800 square foot basement test I opted to let the device run at setting two and the results were impressive. There was less dust that settled on flat surfaces but more importantly cleaner air. I won’t incorrectly say that the room smelled fresher because it did not. Fresh air is more correctly the smell of the great outdoors, but clean air has less of smell. In other words, my various old junk couldn’t produce odors faster than the IQAir HealthPro Plus could purify it.

The key is that unlike those electrostatic devices this uses a fan and a HEPA filter to draw out various ultrafine particles, all the way down to 0.003 microns in size. The company guarantees a minimum efficiency of 99.5 percent and while that’s a hard guarantee to challenge the truth is that the air seemed generally cleaner.

The key in this case is that IQAIr is using filters that improve upon even “HyperHEPA” filters, and while it could be easy to dismiss that as marketing jargon, compared to other purifiers that run far louder this one seemed to deliver with less noise. The new filter reportedly offers longer life, with particle retention increased by 20 percent.

The unit is available now, and at $939 it could clean out the wallet just a bit, but unlike those electrostatic devices – which really weren’t that much cheaper – this one actually does something. The great irony is that you won’t see what it does, and you’ll notice it by not noticing foul smells. But for those who suffer from allergies or are just put off by foul smells the proof will be out of the air!

Image Credit: Chromatika / Shutterstock

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Peter Suciu is a freelance writer and has covered consumer electronics, technology, electronic entertainment and the fitness sports industry for more than 15 years. In that time his work has appeared in more than three dozen publications including Newsweek, PC Magazine and Wired. His work has also appeared on,,, and Peter is a regular writer for

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