Anyone living with small children, pets or smokers knows that putting on air fresheners and deodorant only masks the smell and it does not remove the source of the odor. If you try solving your problem that way, you might end up making it even worse by contributing to indoor air pollution with the chemicals found in deodorants.
To finally breathe fresh air, you need to make sure that your whole house is clean and the odors in the air neutralized completely. People usually question whether the air purifiers remove odors or do they just make them less noticeable. You cannot give a simple yes or no answer to that question. Some might do the job of making the air fresh while others will not and you will end up with a very expensive piece of electronics that just uses up space and power. Only those with an activated carbon filter are able to fully get rid of the bad smells since they have such a large surface area. Without that feature, they will not be very effective. Always keep in mind that even if you do live in an area that has clean air, that means nothing when it comes to indoor air which is around 5 times more polluted when compared to outdoor air.
In this article, we are going to give you some pointers when it comes to choosing the best air purifier for odors and we will review some of the ones that are going to give you real value for your money. When you want to solve the problem of bad smells with a purifier, you need to be very careful when choosing the right one.
Best Air Purifiers 2019 Top List
Top air purifiers for getting rid of smells and foul odors
AeraMax 300 Large Room Air Purifier
If getting rid of strong odors is not enough for you, this device is going to get rid of smoke and germs as well with its AeraSafe Antimicrobial Treatment. It also has a sensor that is very good at detecting air quality and it is able to set the operating speed of the device quite well on its own. As we mentioned before, the only effective way to remove odor is with a carbon filter and this one has it. It has a recommended room size of 300 to 600 sq. ft. but some of the reviews state that it works even on much larger room sizes.
It is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America so it can help reduce some of the symptoms. It is also quite good when it comes to removing the smell of smoke from the air. One of the problems with this device is that the light indicator changes too fast from yellow to green without any reason. It may be a possible malfunction. It also produces a high-pitched sound even on a lower setting and that is because of the ionizer in the unit. It can be shut off separately.
- Works well in rooms even bigger than stated in the specifications
- Good for getting rid of germs along with nasty smells
- Certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
- Indicator changes from yellow to green very fast (possible malfunction)
- Ionizer makes a high-pitched sound even on lower settings
OION Technologies B-1000 Permanent Filter Ionic Air Purifier
While cleaning the filter you need to wear gloves and a mask so as not to inhale all the nastiness that it has collected during its operation. That is the only real drawback when getting this device since for its small size it really does its job well and it does not produce a lot of noise. Some reviewers also noted that the new devices stopped working after only a few days, but a warranty should cover it.
- Ultra-low energy consumption and no need to replace filters
- Low long-term costs
- Able to kill off germs
- The filter needs to be washed every week and you need to wear gloves and a mask while washing it
- Some units stop working after only a few days
Winix FresHome Model P450 True HEPA Air Cleaner
That might bother some people that have difficulty sleeping unless it is totally quiet. Filters are quite expensive and they need to be replaced.
- Very good when it comes to getting rid of pet smells
- Helps with allergies and asthma
- 3 stage cleaning system that is designed to take care of more than just the smells
- Makes sounds when it automatically changes speed and it can be a problem during the night
- Changing filters is expensive
Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover HPA300
- Germ – very silent and good when you are watching a movie
- General clean – does not produce much noise and it keeps the air fresh
- Turbo – are much faster levels but they still do not produce as much noise as the other models
The model is well designed so it will not clash with your furniture and it will be a good fit in any home. It is a very efficient model when it works, but there are problems with it when it does not live up to the stated specifications. Sometimes the fan comes loose and then it makes loud noises. There is also a problem with the warranty which is 5 years but only covers a fault in manufacturing, not breakage that happens from regular usage. You also need to pay for shipping to the manufacturer.
- Highly efficient and silent model that is good for getting rid of smells and other things
- 4 modes of operation
- There have been problems with a weird odor coming from the device
- Limited Warranty
Hamilton Beach TrueAir 04532GM Room Odor Eliminator
Among other things, the filter indicator sometimes does not work properly since one customer did not use the device for several months but when she turned it on it became red – indicating that the filter needs to be changed.
- Uses very little electricity and also a lower Voltage
- Low cost when compared to other models
- Indicator light does not properly show when the filter needs replacement
- Some problems with delivery and replacing the filters
Hathaspace Smart True HEPA Air Purifier
There have not been many complaints about this product except one reviewer that said that it stopped working after a few months and a burning smell started emanating from the device. It was a potential fire hazard. But that same reviewer also said that the customer support was amazing and that the device worked really well while it was working properly.
- Able to take care of even the smallest harmful particles
- Lifetime support and a 1-year warranty
- Good customer service
- On rare occasions it malfunctions and it starts emitting the smell of burning plastic.
Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier
That might not be a problem for you, but you should consider that complaint while you are choosing what to model to purchase. It is designed to get rid of cooking smells and also to get rid of pet odors. If you are using it in the bedroom, you might have a problem with the light. Even though the manual says that it will dim 5 seconds after changing the speed setting, it does not.
- You can get many different color patterns
- Good for the environment since the filters are recyclable
- People say the device is very quiet
- HEPA filters produce an odor that might bother some people
- The indicator does not dim 5 seconds after choosing the setting despite the statement in the booklet
How to chose the right air purifier for smell and odor – Buying guide
What are indoor smells and odors and how are they formed?
There is a big difference between indoor air and outdoor air quality. Indoor air is about 2-5 times more pulled then outdoor air and that makes sense since there are a lot of pollutants inside the house and a lot of them are dragged inside every time you open a door or a window. It is more difficult to then get them out of the house. Because there are so many different substances that can pollute your house, it sometimes may be difficult to pinpoint what exactly is causing that weird nasty smell to permeate inside your home. We will try to go over some of the causes.
If you have air ducts inside your house, they might have gathered enough waste to cause a stink. Who knows, something might even have died there? Pets are also a source of pollution and no matter how much time and effort you spend bathing them, you can never stop them from having that unpleasant smell fully, you can only get used to it. Upholstered furniture and carpets also tend to emit odors if they are not properly cleaned. When you cook meals in the kitchen, the smells tend to linger long after the meal is done. You need to do some intense cleaning to get rid of it, but you cannot fully eliminate the odors. Finally, not cleaning, dusting and vacuuming often enough causes the nasty smells to linger for longer. A hidden source of odor might be rust. If you have metal pipes that are corroded, they might be giving you and your guests that nauseous feeling. A smell can linger if you are not diligent when it comes to taking out the trash every day.
What are the types of odor that can be killed off with air purifiers?
– Cigarette smoke – Tobacco smoke is the most persistent smell around and it can be sensed months and years after the last cigarette has been lit. An air purifier can drastically reduce the amount of odor and the better models can even eliminate it fully
– Pet odor – All your furry and scaly companions do produce a stink and that can be a serious problem if you plan on having guests in the house. It can also be a nightmare if you have allergies. Air filters can get rid of that nasty musk and bring some fresh air into the house
– Food smells – Eating fish is very healthy and experts do advise it, but it does not come without drawbacks. Frying a fish in your kitchen is an odor inducing task and you can smell your meal in your house even days after you have eaten it. It is even worse if you do not contain it in the kitchen and it gets into the upholstery. You need to think proactively and get an air purifier before it becomes a problem
– Garbage smell – If you dump rancid meat or a half-eaten meal in your garbage can, you can be sure that then the smell will be there even if you take out the trash. Using air fresheners is not a solution and if you do not want to constantly go out and take out every bit of trash, you might consider getting an air purifier.
– Diaper smell – Babies are awesome and lovely, but they do produce a stink. It is difficult to keep baby rooms hygienic at times and no matter how much you try, there is an unpleasant odor around. An air purifier might be able to help out in that regard, but you need to be careful and do your research when choosing something that will affect a small child.
Also, if you are a concerned mother and ask “Do i need an air purifier for my baby?” please check out the article
How is the effectiveness of air purifiers measured?
When deciding on getting a new air purifier the 1st thing to look for is the Clean Air Delivery Rate or CADR for short that is used to test the overall effectiveness of the device. It is tested and certified by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). Air purifiers work by cycling air through the room as they operate and they take out all the nasty pollutants that are in the air that you breathe. CADR measures the amount of air that a machine has processed per cubic feet per minute. CADR is an impartial measurement and it is used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Lung Association.
What sorts of filters are the most effective against bad smells?
The activated carbon filter is mostly used when it comes to removing awful odors from the air That filter is basically charcoal and it traps all the pollutants on its surface as it functions. During its lifetime, it gets filled with all the nasty particles and it becomes less effective. At one point it needs to be replaced. Some of them are washable and they do not need to be thrown out.
HEPA filters should clear out 99.97% of the particles in the air and that should by definition get rid of all the irritating vapors. Not all HEPA filters are the same and some will not be able to get rid of the smallest particles which contain those unpleasant smells. That is why manufacturers that combat bad smells usually pair off their HEPA filters with a different filter so they could work in tandem for maximum effect.
Odors can also be removed with static energy. Filters based on that technology are able to collect particles as small as 0.1 microns. The problem with those filters is that they lose charge quite fast and that means that their potency is easily diminished.
What size air purifier do I need?
You need to measure the size of your room and then look up the air purifier in the store page to see if it roughly matches your room size. If you have allergies or asthma you should also consider looking at the air purifier’s air change per hour (ACH) rate. That rate shows you how many times per hour does the air in the room go through the device. Anything that is over 4 times is good for asthma or allergies. If room space is an issue as well, make sure to look how large the device itself is and also look at how much clearance it needs to operate effectively. You usually cannot just pop it in the corner and then just expect it to run with maximum efficiency.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are there any special features that I need to look out for?
A: Depending on the price and quality of the model, you might end up with some useful extra features. These can include caster wheels for easier mobility of the device (handy if it is very large), digital controls, remote controls, various fans speeds, time sensors, and a lot more. There are also Indicators that light up when a filter needs changing on some models, sensors that can detect air quality and set the fan speeds on their own…
Q: What is the best place for an air purifier in the house?
A: If you are only planning to buy one air purifier, it is recommended to place it in the bedroom since you will be spending most of your time there. If you have a portable device, it might be easy enough to move it to the room where it is needed the most. Since this article is focusing mostly on smells, you should consider it placing it near the source – for example, the kitchen.
Q: How much maintenance will an air purifier require?
A: Each model has its own specifications when it comes to maintenance and filter replacement. Filters are the part that will give you the most headache and you will need to keep an eye on them. Some models have an indicator that states how much life the filter has remaining. Some don’t have an indicator and you are expected to change them every few months. Because these purifiers catch pollutants, you will need to clear out all the much that is collected and that will probably be a messy chore.
Q: Are there any extra costs and hidden costs?
A: Air purifiers are designed to have a long operating life (measured in years or decades) and you are not expected to change them very often. Filters, on the other hand, are something that you will need to either clean or replace and depending on the model, they might add up to your bill considerably. As for the power usage, it can use up as much as a lamp to a computer. It should not be a major contributor to your electricity bill.
Q: Are there any side effects of using an air purifier?
A: It is still unclear if using an ozone producing purifier will be a problem, but there is no drawback when using a non-ozone producing ones. There are even health benefits to be gained for keeping one turned on all the time
Q: Can I open a window while the air purifier is working?
A: Letting in outdoor air from time to is good to freshen up your room, but do not leave your windows open all the time since that defeats the purpose of having an air purifier inside the house.
Q: Are air purifiers loud?
A: It all depends on the model and on personal taste. What is loud for some people might not be even registered by others. You should look through the customer reviews if you are not sure if the device you are looking at is right for you.
Q: Can air purifiers be used to mitigate the smell of fireplace smoke?
A: No matter how good your fireplace is, some particles will not go through the chimney and they will linger in your house. To prevent that and get rid of that soot and smell, you will need a HEPA filter purifier.
We realize that talking about air purifiers is not the most exciting thing in the world, but we have tried to make this article as interesting as possible and we tried to give you the most important info on devices that are used to treat foul odors in your home or office. We understand that every person is different and that we cannot provide a perfect solution for you. You might be allergic to something, or you might have a specific smell that you need to target that cannot be neutralized by a regular device. That is why you need to do some research yourself in order to get the best possible air purifier for the smell that suits your needs.