In the air purifier world, there are two popular types of air purifier which potential buyer usually juggling around.
The two types of air purifier which I am referring to is the HEPA air purifier and Ionic Air Purifier (also known as Ionizer).
Both types of air purifiers are very popular in the market and consumers usually have problem deciding which type to go in the beginning.
I have put up an infographic on the high-level comparison of both types of air purifier below.
How HEPA air purifier and Ionizer works?
HEPA air purifier works with a fan in the device pulling surrounding air into the device for purification.
The air will then first undergo a pre-filter that filter large particles like dust and hair.
After the pre-filter, the air will go through the HEPA filter which filters small particles up to the size of 0.3 microns.
Finally, the air will flow past the activated carbon filter to remove odors and VOC and release out fresh air into the surrounding.
You can find out more about how HEPA air purifier works here.
The Ionizer on the other half works by sending electrically charged particles into the surrounding to take down the air contaminants.
The attacked air contaminants will end up on a surface such as a wall, floor, plates, and furniture.
Here is one disadvantage of Ionizer over HEPA where these attacked contaminants may have a chance to bounce back into the air and everything back to square one again.
In conclusion, if I were to pick the winner here, it will go to HEPA air purifier.
Are HEPA air purifier and Ionizer safe to use?
HEPA air purifier is completely safe to use as it doesn’t generate ozone into the environment.
It only helps in terms of health and not causing harm.
As for the Ionizer, there will be ozone generated and that can be harmful to your lungs.
However, the ionic air purifiers will claim that they only generate ozone that is within the safe level for consumers that should not cause much harm to one’s health.
As ‘safe’ as it sounds, research still finds that even safe ozone level may be difficult for lungs to operate.
Therefore, I would conclude that when it comes to safety, HEPA is the clear winner.
What’s the area coverage can HEPA air purifier and Ionizer cover?
For HEPA air purifier, one of the biggest coverage that I can find is the Austin Air HealthMate Plus Air Purifier.
This air purifier is capable of covering up to 1,500 square feet.
It scores 3.4 out of 5.0 stars in Amazon rating and received 66 reviews.
The Ionizer that I am referring to is the Best Choice Products Living Home Office Ionic Air Purifier.
This ionic air purifier is capable of covering up to 3,500 square feet (which is more than twice of the Austin Air Purifier).
It scores 4.1 out of 5.0 stars in Amazon rating and received 884 user reviews.
If the bigger the coverage is the better the air purifier, the winner here clearly Ionizer.
What is the cost of owning and maintaining HEPA air purifier and Ionizer?
HEPA air purifier can cost from as low as $50 and the deal here is not the initial cost.
What HEPA air purifier owner suffers is the maintenance cost where the cost of HEPA filter replacement can be half of the price of the air purifier itself and this needs to be replaced annually according to the maintenance instructions.
This is key disadvantages of HEPA air purifier where the total cost of ownership can be very high.
As for Ionizer, there is no need for filter replacement simply it doesn’t use any filter.
Therefore, the Ionizer does not have any maintenance cost and you can continue to use the Ionizer until it broke.
As a result, I would say that Ionizer is the winner here under the cost of ownership battle.
Final Verdict – Which is Better?
Both HEPA air purifier and Ionizer has its pros and cons and the score is a tie at 2-2 if I were to compare as of above.
However, it is not as tight as it seems if we evaluate the criteria again.
Look at safety category where the weightage is heavier to HEPA air purifier as using an Ionizer can defeat the purpose of using an air purifier for a better health due to the ozone production.
Next, under the area of coverage, it is safe to say that an air purifier can cover up to 500 square feet for room size and 800 square feet for living room or kitchen size.
Therefore, being able to cover up to 3,500 square feet doesn’t provide many benefits to the ordinary home consumer.
As a result, HEPA air purifier doesn’t lose out too much in this battle or even didn’t lose out at all in my opinion.
My final verdict is definitely HEPA air purifier and I have a big concern when it comes to health.
What’s your take?
Let me know in the comments below.