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On average, people spend more than 90% of their time indoors. Studies indicate that the air inside homes and other buildings is often more polluted than the outdoor air. Some groups such as the elderly or chronically ill are more susceptible to the effects of indoor air pollution. Air cleaners and air purifiers can help with creating a healthier environment.
Air cleaners and air purifiers are rated on a variety of factors such as Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR is a measure for how well air has been cleaned) and energy usage. Higher performance air cleaners use HEPA filters. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) has formulated requirements for testing air cleaners in the AHAM AC-1-2013 standard. That standard is used worldwide by independent laboratories to verify air cleaner performance ratings. Test results can be reviewed on the AHAM’s online searchable directory.
This standard prescribes a number of tests with dust, cigarette smoke and pollen to determine the CADR for each. It also lists recommended equipment in Annex A such as the Fluidized Bed Aerosol Generator 3400A for test dust generation, the Air Supply System 3074B, and the Aerodynamic Particle Sizer 3321. Many laboratories use the Laser Aerosol Spectrometer 3340 to measure the decrease of high concentrations of the airborne particles over time. This instrument detects and sizes all particles from 90 nm to 7.5 µm.
Some countries such as China (GB/T 18801-2015) and Canada (NRCC-54013) have established local standards for air cleaner testing that also permit other instruments to be used such as for example the Optical Particle Sizer 3330.
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