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We’re all aware that the air quality on busy city streets is not the best for our health. But few of us pay as much attention to the air we breathe inside our homes, despite one study finding that indoor air pollution can be over three times worse than outdoors. This can be created by fresh paint, cleaning products and even that beloved scented candle, while airborne allergens such as dust and pet fur can cause severe problems for some people.
Regular cleaning won’t do the trick either: while thorough dusting is always advisable, it won’t eliminate microscopic particles or prevent the continual release of gases, including VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from some paints, varnishes or furniture made from MDF and plywood. Alongside daily ventilation, air purifiers help clean the air and remove impurities, but they sadly won’t eliminate particles that have already settled on surfaces (so you can’t throw away your duster just yet).
Instead, they trap airborne pollutants in a filter, which needs to be cleaned or replaced regularly. The CADR (clean air delivery rate) indicates how quickly the purifier will remove contaminants from the air. But be aware that some manufacturers, most notably Dyson, believe this rating can be misleading, and testing for it does not represent real living conditions.