The air inside our homes is filled with impurities. There’s smoke, pollen, and dust in every room, mildew, and mold issues for some. With one or more pets in the house, there are always strands of animal dander floating around in the room.
The problem is, such air contaminants can cause severe allergic issues. For a few, it can even trigger respiratory problems, itching, coughing, and cold. A good air purifier takes care of it all. To rephrase it more aptly, an AHAM verified air purifier takes care of it all.
Whether you’ve browsed online for purifiers or asked your local retailer what to buy, you’ve undoubtedly come across a seal of AHAM verification or AHAM certification. Without this badge, you already know your purifier is a no-show. So, what is AHAM verified air purifier?
What Does AHAM Verified Mean?
When an air purifier is AHAM verified or AHAM certified, it means it has been tested and approved by AHAM. The primary measurement used to certify an air purifier is Clean Air Delivery Rate or CADR.
Once any appliance passes through their tests and CADR standards, the appliance will be given a seal of “AHAM verified” badge. The entire process is voluntary, meaning that the manufacture of the device should willingly allow AHAM to test its products.
As the manufacturers choose and submit which product they want to run through AHAM tests, the tests themselves are carried by mediator laboratories for fair results.
For manufactures, retailers, and customers, the AHAM certified badge acts as an indicator of how efficient and dependable the product is. In simpler words, if the air purifier is AHAM verified, you know it works.
Naturally, you may question, what is AHAM, and why should I trust them to approve an air purifier?
What Is AHAM?
AHAM is the abbreviation for Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. It is an official and standardized body formed to test, regulate and observe, several appliances including air purifiers. The members of the association are manufacturers of household appliances themselves.
AHAM regulates the product quality, but it also sets the technical standards that will be expected from the manufactured appliances in terms of features, performance, and longevity.
Considered to be a Standard Development Organization, AHAM and its regulations have been approved by ANSI. If you are not aware already, being ANSI approved means the standards and test procedures are sanctioned by a top-level government agreement.
For more reliability, the association is also officially approved by EPA and DOE, the former being the Environmental Protection Association of the US and the latter is the United States Department of Energy.
All About AHAM’s CADR Ratings
An air purifier that has been AHAM certified is given a CADR rating. In its full form, CADR is Clean Air Delivery Rate and measures the volume of clean air that the purifier can deliver.
Each air purifier has its pollutant removal efficacy displayed through a CARD rating and is primarily dependent on the size of the room.
As per the rules, the official standard for an air purifier’s CADR rating should be, at a minimum, 2/3 of the room’s area in square feet. Suppose you want to shop for an air purifier and want to know the minimum CADR rating of the appliance for effective air cleaning.
If your room measures 20 feet by 20 feet, the area of your room is 400 square feet. By the rules, you’ll need an air purifier with a CADR rating which is 2/3 of 400, which is about 260.
If an AHAM verified air purifier is below 260 CADR, the appliance would not be able to sieve out the pollinates to deliver enough clean air at a time.
Determinants of CADR Ratings
Apart from measuring how much clean air is being produced by the purifiers, Clean Air Delivery Rate is also an indicator of the filtering productivity of the air purifier, given the size of the area it has been placed in. The higher the rating, the better your purifier.
The apposite rating, which is 2/3 of your room area, simply ensures the customers that the sir they are breathing in is at a safe level. This number is located at the back of the air purifier’s packaged box.
Overall, the CDR ratings are divided into 3 different parts relating to the type of contaminant: Smoke, Pollen, and Dust. Smoke has the smallest particle size ranging from 0.09 to 1 mm (micrometers). For Smoke based impurities, the CDR rating is anywhere between 10 and 450, depending on the size of the room.
Likewise, dust particles that can be as tiny as 3 micrometers will have a CADR rating of about 400, while pollen contaminants being the bigger particles have ratings of up to 450 CADR.
If you wish to calculate, you can follow the formula below:
Determinant CADR value = Room Area in Sq ft / 1.55
Testing Procedures of CADR Ratings
Before being approved by official governing bodies like EPA and DOE, the CADR ratings are also subject to testing following the ANSI/AHAM AC-1 procedures.
The testing method is generic for all filtration methods. It applies to any appliance that utilized the airflow function, including all air purifiers. The procedure carried in a 1008 cubic feet room, and the ratings are officially noted as the “ rate of contaminant reduction in the test chamber when the unit is turned on, minus the rate of natural decay when the unit is not running, multiplied by the volume of the test chamber as measured in cubic feet.”
It has been determined through these tests that the maximum CADR rating can be as high as 450 and will be lower for dust. The following formula and numbers apply to the test of household air purifiers:
CADR rate = (Rate when purifier is on – natural decay) x 1008
Particulate size ranges tested for are: Tobacco smoke 0.09 microns to 1.0 microns Dust 0.5 to 3.0 microns Pollen 0.5 microns to 11.0 microns
Why is AHAM Certification Important?
AHAM certification or AHAM verification of an air purifier is important because you buy an air purifier in the first place. With the CADR rating and the AHAM badge of approval, you are ensured that the air you are breathing in is at a safe level as a consumer.
Since modern houses are built so that the heat loss can be trapped and release with changes to the weather, most of the time, our homes are stuffed with entrapped air. This increases the chances of air pollutants inside the house to be few folds more than the outside.
Irritants like pollen and second-hand smoke cause allergic reactions, sore throats, and red eyes due to their small particle size. Besides, dust particles, animal dander, and mold are all part of the contaminants that might be floating around in your room.
Without the certification from AHAM, you’ll never be able to confidently know whether these impurities are being effectively removed. With all the verification from official bodies and laboratory testing, consumers are kept in the light while making a long-term investment.
Now that you’ve learned what is AHAM verified air purifier be sure that An air purifier that is not AHAM verified or AHAM certified is not an effective one. One without the tested badge would mean that the appliance manufacturers are not confident or reliable enough to volunteer their product for a test.
Always check the back of the packaging of your air purifiers to know if it is AHAM approved and whether your room’s capacity is good enough got the CADR rating. Remember, the CADR rating is as important as the product being tested and signed.