Selling Your Home? An Air Purifier Can Help
By Becky Dotson
5 min read
Spring. The trees start to bud, the flowers bloom and the ‘For Sale’ signs go up in yards that are starting to turn green. There are so many things to do when you get ready to sell your house. There are repairs to make, paint to touch up, cleaning to be done and furniture to stage. Everything needs to be freshened up. But have you considered ‘freshening up’ the air inside? If you’re a pet owner or a smoker, this is something you may want to consider.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the air inside our homes is five times worse than the air outside. Which is rather surprising, since we consider our homes our safe space. In order to sell your home for what it’s worth, you’ll want to make sure you do everything you can to help a potential buyer envision themselves living there. But pollutants like dust, pet dander and lingering odors from pets or smoking can keep that from happening.
How an Air Purifier Can Help You Sell Your Home
An air purifier is highly effective at clearing those type of pollutants out of the air. They can be a significant investment, but one worth considering – whether you’re the seller or the real estate agent listing the property. There are a few things to know before you spend your money.
- Square Footage. Figure out the area where it would be most effective and know the square footage of that room. Air purifiers are designed to cover a certain amount of square footage, so if your room is bigger than what the purifier covers it won’t work as well as you expect.
- Issue. Determine what you’re trying to get rid of before you buy. Is it dust, pet dander or mold? Not all air purifiers are created equal and what works well for dust may not be the best choice for mold.
- Running an air purifier. When you buy an air purifier, you’ll want to run it on high for at least 48 hours in the beginning. That will help the unit to normalize and give you a great start at cleaning the air in your home.
- Noise. Make sure it’s a quiet unit. The last thing you want to do is leave a loud air purifier running while someone is walking through your home. The noise will draw attention and may make the potential home buyer wonder what you’re trying to hide.
- Timing. Some people say they see benefits immediately from using an air purifier. But it may take a few days to reap its rewards. So, start using it about seven days before you plan to start showing your home.
- Cost. Air purifiers can cost several hundred dollars, so it may be an investment for now and then one to carry on to your new home. Or you may want to consider adding that cost into your listing price and leaving it behind for the new owner. There are also several units that are less than $200 and could be a good short-term option.
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Dust is everywhere. It’s one of the most common household contaminants and it can accumulate quickly. It’s made up of dead skin cells, dust mites, bacteria, soil particles, pollen and so many other microscopic things. In addition to creating allergy issues, it’s something you definitely don’t want to see when you’re looking at buying a home.
If your house is on the market, it’s important that you vacuum, sweep and dust regularly. And you should do your cleaning as close to a showing as possible to give your house the freshly cleaned appeal potential buyers are looking for. But no matter how much you clean, it’s hard to get rid of all the dust. That’s what makes an air purifier such an important tool.
The Blueair Classic 605 Air Purifier is a great unit for getting rid of dust in your home. It will cost you about 500 dollars, but it’s highly effective at purifying the air in rooms up to 775 square feet. It’s a quiet machine that uses electrostatic and HEPA filter technology to pull up to 99 percent of the dust and other airborne pollutants out of your home. It’s also Wi-Fi-enabled so you can turn it on from the app on your smartphone when you are away.
Pet Odors & Pet Dander
We love our four-legged family members, but chances are good you don’t leave them in your home when you’re showing it off to a potential buyer. You shouldn’t leave their hair, odor, and dander behind either. Pets shed – it’s just a natural process for them. And any animal with fur sheds dander. Dander is flakes of dead skin that may contain saliva, urine or sweat. It’s an allergy trigger for at least three in ten Americans.
You don’t want someone who is looking to buy your home to walk inside and start coughing or sneezing, or worse yet – experience an asthma attack or smell a litter box. So, you’ll want to do what you can to rid the home of pet odors and dander. Sweeping, vacuuming and dusting regularly are all a good start. You may even want to consider keeping your pet confined to one area of your home while it’s up for sale to keep the cleaning area to a minimum. But one of the best tools to combat the pet problem is an air purifier.
You may be able to see the pet hair, but dander is generally microscopic and floats in the air for quite some time. When it does land it easily sticks to the furniture and can even be tracked around the home on the bottom of your feet or shoes. Air purifiers are designed to pull impurities out of the air and then send clean air back out. An air purifier with HEPA filter technology can pull 99 percent of the smallest contaminants out of the air – and that includes pet dander.
The other problem you have to worry about with pets is the odor they can leave behind – whether it’s Fluffy’s litter box or Fido’s body odor – you certainly don’t want that on display for potential buyers. You can use scented plug-ins or other air fresheners, but they only mask the smell. If you want to really get rid of it, an air purifier equipped with an activated carbon filter will help. Activated carbon absorbs odors and smoke and rids the air of them.
Our best recommendation for getting rid of pet dander and odor is the Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 Ultra Quiet Air Purifier. It’s a quiet machine and a great unit for larger spaces – since it will clean up to 625 square feet. It uses a pre-filter to trap large particles, an activated carbon filter to absorb odors and smoke and a true HEPA filter to trap up to 99 percent of airborne irritants. It also comes equipped with air quality monitoring so it can detect pollution and odor and automatically adjust the fan speed accordingly. The Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 Ultra Quiet Air Purifier costs around $370.
The smell of cigarette smoke can be a deterrent for potential home buyers. If you or someone you love is a smoker, you may want to stop smoking inside while you’re trying to sell your property. It may be a good time to consider quitting altogether!
From the moment you decide to sell, you should work at ridding your home of the smell of smoke. It can take days or even weeks to get it out of the air. Secondhand smoke can get in your carpets, curtains and on your furniture and walls. So, you’ll want to steam clean the carpets, deep clean the furniture and wash the curtains and walls.
It can also linger for quite a while in the air, so, running an air purifier is one of your best options. The Alen BreatheSmart 75i True HEPA Air Purifier is an effective unit for getting rid of secondhand smoke and the odor it leaves behind. The purifier is whisper quiet and can cover up to 1300 square feet of space. It has five fan speeds and can detect when indoor pollution amounts are higher and adjust accordingly. It runs with a true, medical grade H13 HEPA filter that can pull up to 99.99 percent of the smallest particles out of the air. The powerful air flow works well on pulling smoke out of the air.
It’s rather costly – at around $750 – but you can move it with you to cut down on the the amount of secondhand smoke that gets inside your new home, if you or your loved one continues to smoke.
As unsightly as it may be, mold is just a common fungus we have to fight as homeowners. It grows well when moisture is present. So, as you might expect – bathrooms are a place you’ll find it most often. If you have had any kind of water damage, that will also be an area where mold may be present. There aren’t any federal laws that will keep you from selling your home if you have mold in it. But you will want to check your state laws to see what is required of you. Depending on where you live, you may be responsible for getting rid of mold before you sell or at the very least, you may have to disclose that you have that problem.
Getting rid of a big mold problem may be a lengthy process that requires professional help. Smaller, one-time issues can be taken care of with the right cleaning products. If it’s a recurring problem because of moisture, an air purifier may be your best option.
The Coway AirMega AP-1512HHS is a great purifier for keeping mold spores out of your home. Getting rid of the spores can keep mold from growing. It will accommodate up to 325 square feet – so it may be perfect for a bathroom where you’re having mold trouble. It’s a quiet unit that is equipped with a HEPA filter for particle removal and an activated charcoal filter to get rid of smells and odors. It also comes with a washable pre-filter that traps larger particles floating around. It will cost around $300 and can be controlled from an app on your smartphone.
Cooking & Other Kitchen Odors
The smell of freshly baked cookies may be enticing for potential home buyers, but the fish you cooked last night for dinner is not. Selling your home is difficult, because you are still living in the space while trying to keep it in tip-top shape for home buyers. Whether you realize it or not, the smells from dinner or breakfast can linger long after the meal is over. The dishwasher and the garbage disposal are also sources of smelly odors. So, it’s important to get rid of it as much as possible.
You can try air fresheners but they will generally only mask the smell. And depending on the weather you may not be able to leave your windows open to let fresh air in. The IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier is a great unit for getting rid of kitchen odors. It can cover up to 1125 square feet, so if you have an open floor plan it will help pull particles out of your living room, as well. It’s HyperHEPA filter technology can pull even the smallest viruses out of the air. It’s a quiet unit that is great at getting rid of smoke and odors in your home. It costs around $900.
The garage may be one of the smelliest, messiest places in our home. It’s where we store our cars, lawn care equipment and everything else we don’t want inside. And in addition to all the dirt, dust and grime, the garage can have all types of chemicals and odors that make the air smell foul.
Even though most people expect the garage to be a messy area, you’ll still want to give it a good cleaning before you put your house on the market. And depending on what you store inside it, you may want to consider placing an air purifier in the garage to help clear the air. The same purifier we recommend for kitchen odors is a good choice for the garage.
As mentioned, the IQAir HealthPro Plus can cover up to 1125 square feet. It’s HyperHEPA filter technology is highly effective at pulling odors, chemicals and VOCs out of the air in the garage. It’s very quiet and will cost around $900.