Frequently Asked Questions

Getting to know Blueair and indoor air pollution issues

Why should I consider an air purification system?

Indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental risks to public health, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Lung-damaging indoor pollutants may include house dust, pollen and pet dander particles, and tobacco smoke, fumes released by chemical-based cleaners or gases produced by synthetic building materials. While air purification cannot solve all indoor air pollution problems, the technique is an important part of the EPA's recommended strategy for improving indoor air quality.

Contemporary construction methods help seal fumes and particles indoors. According to the EPA, indoor pollution levels may build until they are between two and five times higher than outdoor levels

How efficiently does Blueair technology clean indoor air?

Blueair systems remove even the tiniest (0.1 micron) particles that accumulate in our homes.The Blueair 600 series, designed for larger rooms over 65m2 or 698 sq. ft., is recognized as the world’s most efficient air purifier with an unbeaten clean air delivery rate (CADR) independently verified by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the EPA endorse the CADR standard.

What does CADR mean?

The Clean Air Delivery Rate, or CADR, on a box can tell a consumer how efficient air purifiers are at removing a certain contaminant from the indoors. The three pollutants that are measured are pollen, smoke and dust. These three pollutants are the most common ones found in the home's indoor air. By comparing the CADR numbers of each air cleaner, a consumer is able to determine which unit would be the most effective for the room he or she is concentrating on. The CADR tells how effective the air purifier will be at removing the pollutant from the room. With the help of the AHAM seal, consumers can concentrate on how the air purifiers will perform in a real-life setting inside their home. The consumer does not have to examine and compare which type of technology or filtering system he or she may need but only how effective the air cleaner may be according to the CADR's.

By separating the three contaminants and making three different CADR's for each pollutant, the AHAM has helped consumers to make the decision between home air purifiers. If one air purifier has a high pollen rating, a consumer who may have pollen allergies will be more prone to choosing that purifier for his or her home. A home air cleaner may have a high CADR when it comes to tobacco smoke so a homeowner that lives with residents who smoke cigarettes inside may choose that air purifier for his or her needs.

The room size rating that is calculated by the AHAM and is printed on the seal is also helpful for consumers when choosing home air purifiers. The room size rating that is given to each air purifier is based on the ability for it to remove 80% of smoke particles in a room. The rate assumes that the air moves through the room with one air change per hour and complete mixing inside the room.

Excerpt above by ClearFlite Air Purifiers writer Kelly K.

The test method used to establish CADR values is recognized as an American National Standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in its Air Cleaner Energy Star Program. To ensure test results are accurate and impartial, CADR testing is performed by an independent industry organization, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).

While some manufacturers do not submit their air purification systems for independent AHAM testing, we at Blueair believe that CADR results should be central to your decision-making process. An air purification system is an important investment in your family's health and well-being. We urge you to compare CADR results for the air purification systems that you consider.

How do I make a fair comparison of air purification systems?

When the particle size and filter efficiency of any two air cleaners are the same (as they often are), the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is key to choosing the more effective system.

CADR test results are expressed in cubic feet per minute (CFM), with a number rating for three "yardstick" pollutants: tobacco smoke, dust and pollen. The higher the CADR test numbers, the better the overall ability of the unit to clean your indoor air. CADR results reflect:

• the size of the particle removed
• what percentages of particles are removed
• the volume of air actually moving through the system

Air volume is often described as air exchange (the number of times the total volume of air in the room is processed by the unit within a given period of time). Some manufacturers substitute air exchange rates for CADR results, but they are not equivalent. CADR numbers give a much more precise report of an air purifier's performance.

CADR works the same way, rating not just how much air is cleaned nor just what percentages of particles are removed, but the overall performance of the filtration system when both factors are examined.

Let's say that both Air Purifier 1 and Air Purifier 2 have a filter efficiency of 99.97% for particles that are 0.1 micron in size. The difference between the two units is the amount of air filtered through the unit (airflow air exchange rate). Air Purifier 1 provides an air exchange rate of 3 per hour, which means that the entire volume of air in the space is filtered through the unit three times per hour. Air Purifier 2 provides an air exchange rate of 5 per hour, filtering the air in the space five times per hour. Air Purifier 2 is better than Air Purifier 1; it has the same filter efficiency but filters the air in the room more frequently. Like CADR, this is based on both filter efficiency and the amount of air filtered.

An air purifier can have lower filter efficiency and higher air exchange rate than another air purifier, yet still deliver a better Clean Air Delivery Rate. That is why using CADR to compare air purifiers is the best way to find the best air purifier for you.

How small is a micron and why does it matter?

One micron is 1/25,000 of an inch. To understand just how small this is, consider that human hairs measure between 30 and 120 microns. Dust mite allergen measures from .1 to .3 micron and staphylococcus bacteria measures .7 micron. The size of a given particle helps to determine the degree of potential threat to human health. Particles ranging from .3 to .9 micron present the greatest health concern.

These irritating mid-range particles include house and textile dust, pollen, pet dander, dust mites and their feces, many bacteria, auto exhaust, mold spores, and particles from laser printers and copiers. Particles in this size range (.3 to .9 micron) are small enough to get past the tiny hairs that line our breathing passages and too large to be easily exhaled.

Because mid-range particles are more likely to become lodged in lung tissue, they are suspect in a wide range of health problems related to indoor air pollution, from headaches and dizziness to cardiovascular disease and cancer. In particular, pollen, pet dander, mold spores and dust mite particles are known to trigger asthma episodes and allergy attacks.

While smaller particles (.1 to .3 micron) can be inhaled and exhaled more easily than mid-range particles, even these minute particles may irritate breathing passages and lungs. Smaller particle filtration is particularly beneficial to people living with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions, or cardiovascular disease.

Can Blueair systems remove indoor gases?

Yes. The Blueair air purification system can remove gases and fumes such as tobacco smoke, auto exhaust, chemical fumes, smoke from forest fires and gases released by synthetic building materials using one of the Blueair Smoke Stop filters.

Can Blueair systems trap airborne bacteria?

The answer is a qualified "yes." Bacteria and viruses are trapped in Blueair filters. No air filtration system is 100% effective at removing 100% of all bacteria and viruses. However, Blueair's combination of mechanical and active electrostatic filtration provides exceptionally high levels of protection.

Does using a Blueair system have any environmental impact?

Blueair air purification systems offer exceptional performance with minimal impact on the environment. We have designed every component to improve both human and environmental health, from the non-toxic filter media to the exterior finish. Our units are energy efficient and are constructed of superior materials for an exceptionally long service life. All components are recyclable.

LONG-LASTING. Blueair systems are designed and manufactured to provide years of service. The Blueair system housing is made of galvanized steel, rather than petroleum-based plastic. Steel is more durable than plastic, so the housing holds up over time.

EARTH-FRIENDLY MATERIALS. Blueair strives to use environmentally friendly materials to manufacture its products so that they can be recycled at the end of their useful service life. When you are ready to replace your Blueair unit, you'll find the entire system designed for quick disassembly to make recycling easy and practical. Should a Blueair unit end up in a landfill instead of being recycled, its steel housing releases no toxins into the environment. Blueair systems also use a special powder coat finish that produces no chemical outgassing.

NO CHEMICAL ADDITIVES. Because polypropylene fibers are waterproof, Blueair systems do not require the use of chemical-based bacteriostats or mold inhibitors. Instead of absorbing the moisture in which bacteria thrive, polypropylene repels water and naturally prevents bacteria, mold and mildew from reproducing inside the filter.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY. Blueair's advanced fan assembly consumes very little energy. In fact, our systems use no more power than a single light bulb: from 5 to 20 watts on low to 10 to 120 watts on high, depending on the unit. Any appliance that can achieve high efficiency with lower power use helps reduce our overall consumption of fossil fuels.

Does Blueair's ionization process produce dangerous levels of ozone?

No. The most stringent government standards for indoor ozone are those of the Food and Drug Administration for indoor medical devices, which specify that ozone output be no more than .05 ppm. In a closed test room with the Blueair 501 in operation, probes measured ozone levels at .003 ppm-a tiny fraction of the amount deemed hazardous to human health. Our design safeguards against excessive ozone production, and then removes ambient ozone particles from the air.

Specifically, the Blueair 501 system was subjected to the Ozone Test outlined in section 37 of the Electrostatic Air Cleaner Standard, UL 867. The unit was positioned in the center of a closed 100 square foot room. The unit's ozone output was tested continuously throughout 24 hours of normal operation.

How can I get the most from my Blueair system?

The Blueair system is easy to use. Start by choosing the right size unit for your room, and replace the filter at the recommended intervals. Remember that just as air conditioners and heaters have limits to the volume of air they can cool or heat, every air purification system has limits to the volume of air it can clean. Follow these common-sense guidelines:

Close your windows. You wouldn't throw open your windows on a hot summer day and expect your air conditioner to work efficiently, because you can feel the hot air coming in and the cool air going out. Even though you can't see the contaminated air coming in and the clean air going out, the same logic applies to your air purifier.

Close your doors, too. Just as you might seal off part of your house on a cold winter night to keep your heater working more efficiently, seal off the room in which your system is working for best results. This is especially important for people using a Blueair system to ease nighttime asthma or allergy attacks. Run your system 24 hours a day. Blueair systems are designed for phenomenally low power usage, so you can run the system 24/7 without a jump in electricity consumption. In fact, it costs about the same to power one of our air purification units as it does to power a single light bulb: between 5 and 120 watts, depending on the unit and the operating speed.

Vacuum or wipe clean. If visible "fluff" builds up on the outside of the air intake grids, as it can in dustier parts of the world, simply vacuum it away or wipe clean with a damp cloth. The air intake grid is designed in part to intercept very large particles before they enter the system, thereby prolonging the life of the filter. The 402 units may also be vacuumed on the inside, if necessary, while the side panels are open for filter replacement.

How often should I change the filter in my Blueair unit?

In order to maintain the high performance level you expect from Blueair, we recommend filter replacement at a six or 12-month interval, depending on the model.

How do you reset your Blueair filter replacement indicator?

To keep your air purifier working in top condition, you should change the filters every six months (or 188 days). Your Blueair filter change indicator will help you remember when to replace your filters.

For the magnetic timer:
-To temporarily stop the flashing LED light for five days, press the "SNOOZE" button.
-To reset the indicator light, press and hold the “RESET” button for 10 seconds to reset the counter to 188 days after replacing the filter.

For ‘E’ series units:
- Press and hold the “Timer” button for 5 seconds.

My ‘E’ series unit is constantly running on high while on auto. How can I fix this?

This is usually caused by the sensor being clogged. To fix the problem you will need to use a can of compressed air and give the sensor area a couple of 3 second blasts. ON a 200 series, the sensors are on the Left side of the unit in a small rectangular grate. On the 400 series, the sensors are in a small grate right above the large grate where the air comes out. On the 500/600 series units, the sensors are located in a small grate just to the right of the digital display.

My unit has suddenly turned off and won’t start again. Is there something I can do to fix it?

The first thing to try is the plug on the bottom of the unit. Most units have a detachable plug that can slip out slightly when the unit is moved or if you hit the cord while cleaning. Place the unit on its side and give the plug a good push back into the socket on the bottom of the unit. If that doesn’t work, give us a call and we’ll discuss options for repairing or replacing your unit.

Will my unit work overseas?

Our units sold in North America are made specifically for the North American power grid which means that they are set to 110v. If you need a unit that will run on 220v, you should visit http://www.blueair.com/Global/en/where_to_buy/ to find a dealer in the country where you will be using the unit.

Can I turn off the blue LED next to the logo?

You can’t, but we can send you a magnet to place over the light that will keep with the design of the unit and block the blue light. Just as give us a call and ask for a “Night Cap”.