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    20 Products to Improve Your Home's Indoor Air Quality

    The carbon monoxide detectors, air purifiers, water filters, and more that can keep you and your family safe

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    FirstAlert OneLink SCO50C, HoneyWell TP70WKN Dehumidifier, ZeroWater Ready-Pour ZD-010RP on a gradient blue background
    Several factors impact your home’s indoor air quality. Among the products to help improve and maintain it are (left to right): FirstAlert OneLink SCO501CN carbon monoxide detector, Honeywell TP70WKN dehumidifier, and ZeroWater Ready-Pour ZD-010RP water filter pitcher.
    Photo: Consumer Reports, HoneyWell, ZeroWater

    Indoor air pollution—from mold, radon, cooking gases, and more—can pose a serious health threat. Experts at Consumer Reports test dozens of products designed to help you measure and control your home’s air quality, running the gamut from dehumidifiers and air purifiers to water filters and carbon monoxide detectors. Below, we highlight top-rated options from each category based on their performance in the unique tests run in our labs. Read on for measures you can take to combat harmful contaminants in your home, and 20 useful products to help.

    Check for Contaminants
    Some hidden home hazards, such as asbestos in your kitchen tiles, can require hiring a professional. Others, including radon gas in your basement or lead in paint, can be detected through simple tests you purchase online or at a hardware store. (CR has not tested those kits, but examples are shown below.) And everyone should have carbon monoxide detectors.

    Clean Your Air
    Air purifiers can capture pollen, pet dander, dust, and even COVID-19 viral particles. Limiting dust is especially important because potentially dangerous volatile organic compounds emitted from furniture and cleaners can adhere to particles in the air. So using a good air purifier can help limit the spread of those compounds in the air. Below are several CR Recommended air purifiers at different prices.

    Make Your Water Safer
    Get a water filter that can remove lead. Below are some that passed CR tests for removing this dangerous heavy metal. Pitchers are easy to use but filter small amounts at a time. Under-sink and countertop models can filter more and are relatively easy to install. Reverse osmosis systems can remove a range of contaminants, but they’re expensive, can be hard to maintain, and create 3 to 5 gallons of wastewater for every gallon filtered.

    Control Mold
    Dehumidifiers can help prevent mold by keeping humidity levels between 30 and 60 percent. Drier air can also help keep dust mites and allergies at bay. The larger and damper the space you want to keep dry, the larger the dehumidifier you need. Below are CR Recommended models in three sizes.

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    Check for Contaminants

    The following products can help detect harmful contaminants in your home, whether it’s harmful carbon monoxide seeping into the air (perhaps the most immediate danger of all these considerations) or lead embedded in the paints coating your walls.

    The First Alert CO615 is one of the few plug-in CO detectors in our tests, and it meets the high standard set by its hardwired and battery-powered brethren, with strong scores in our tests for detecting high and low CO levels quickly, as well as testing above average in our display and voice test, which judges the accuracy of its CO level display. It features a battery backup and peak memory (so you can check to see whether CO levels were high after you’ve been gone for a long time).

    For more options: Best Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

    Paint Lead Test Kit

    D-Lead Paint Test Kit

    If your home was built or renovated before 1978, test the paint for lead, especially if young children are in the home. This D-Lead kit works on wood, drywall, plaster, steel, and iron. It’s always best to hire a pro, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and you’ll definitely need one if you’re testing any other surface than those listed, such as stucco.

    Radon Test

    First Alert Radon Gas Test Kit, RD1

    Everyone should test their home at least once. Tests like First Alert’s Radon RD1 Gas Test Kit, available at hardware stores and online, usually involve putting a detector in your basement or, if you don’t have a basement, on your first floor. You’d normally need to pay extra lab fees to process the results, but this test foots the bill, and you’ll get results via email within 72 hours of First Alert receiving your sample. This kit is recommended for use only within the U.S.

    Clean Your Air

    Many airborne particles can be virtually invisible, but they’re some of the most dastardly perpetrators responsible for triggering allergic episodes or disrupting your respirational peace. These products can suck them out of the air to minimize their presence in your home.

    The Coway Airmega ProX is the heaviest air purifier of the top models we test—no others come close to topping its 51-pound weight—but it also provides the best performance. On both higher and lower speeds, this relative newcomer to CR’s ratings excels at clearing rooms of dust, pollen, and smoke. And it has the best noise scores on this list. This air purifier accommodates indoor spaces up to 2,126 square feet—that’s 800 square feet more than the comparably sized Alen featured below. However, the ProX’s top-tier performance comes at a hefty price of about $900 upfront and $247 annually, which may be a hard pill to swallow considering it doesn’t have a remote control or an app. The ProX does feature three speeds, a filter indicator, and a dirt sensor, however.

    The Alen BreatheSmart 75i Pure proves to be top-notch at capturing and removing dust and smoke while running at high and low levels, earning the highest marks on both tests. Holding a conversation or getting work done while the unit runs should be easy enough. The model scores well for noise levels at high and low speeds. Another reason this model receives high marks? Its energy and operating costs, including filter replacements, run roughly $140 annually, which is significantly less than the other standout models in our ratings. And it covers up to 1,300 square feet, which doesn’t stretch quite as far as the Coway above, but this model is also much lighter at 27 pounds.

    It earns excellent scores for particle removal at high- and low-speed settings. The Blueair Classic 605 is pretty quiet at low speeds but downright noisy at high speed, though it will clean a room quickly in that setting. Filter replacements and energy use will set you back around $260 per year. The machine weighs a hefty 30 pounds but has casters that make it easy to cart from room to room. Its claimed capacity is a room of 775 square feet.

    The reasonably priced Blueair Blue Pure 211+ is equally adept at high- and low-speed particle removal in CR’s tests. Plus, it has a machine-washable fabric prefilter for capturing larger particles (like pet hair) that can prolong the life of the main filter. It’s designed for floor use in a large room. But there are a couple of caveats. Expect some noise when the unit is running at high speed; it gets a below-average score on that test. You’ll also have to shell out about $200 each year for energy and operating costs.

    For more options: Best and Worst Air Purifiers

    Make Your Water Safer

    Water can contain trace contaminants of lead and other harmful substances it pulls from flowing through taps, and the stuff coming from your local treatment plant may have excess contaminants and chemicals that may be harmful to your health. These water purification devices are almost mandatory if you plan to drink it.

    The Brita Stream Rapids OB55 is well ahead of the pack of CR-tested water filter pitchers. It’ll filter water as you pour, and does so with a best-in-class filter for flow rate that doesn’t easily clog with particles over time. It’s relatively inexpensive to replace those at a replacement cost of about $32 per year, which is double or more compared to some other leading models on this list. Our testers feel the resulting water comes out tasting close enough to ideal water sources that you might not taste much of a difference. This filter is NSF-certified to effectively remove chlorine but not lead or PFAS.

    The ZeroWater Ready-Pour ZD-010RP is perhaps the steadiest filter performer. Among the top five water filter pitchers in our ratings, it’s one of two NSF-certified for both lead and chlorine removal. It does better than most for improving flavor and for odor reduction. This versatile pitcher also scores among the best in our test for clogging, which means it will flow consistently over time. But you’ll pay for that effectiveness, with a pricey filter replacement cost of $78 per year. That’s more than double the replacement cost of the top-ranked Brita, with a pricey filter replacement cost of $78 per year. That’s more than double the replacement cost of the top-ranked Brita.

    For more options: Best Water Filter Pitchers

    The priciest water filter we test is also one of the highest-rated and has the highest capacity, 750 gallons. It boasts superb scores for flavor and odor reduction, clogging, and flow rate, which means it can filter one quart of water quickly. This Multipure Aquaversa MP750 is certified to reduce lead and chlorine too, according to NSF standards. This model is only 9.25 inches deep—the shallowest of the choices here—and is a little squatter than the others, so measure your under-counter space before you buy. It’ll cost you about $90 per year to replace the filter cartridges.

    This 12-inch-deep Brondell Coral UC300 Three Stage filters up to 600 gallons of water via three cartridges. The end-of-life indicator will alert you when it’s time to replace the cartridge. It rates among the best in our tests for improving flavor, reducing odor, and clogging, and gets close to our highest standard for flow rate. Though it takes slightly longer to filter than a few others in our tests, it’s certified to the NSF standard for removing lead, chlorine, and PFAS chemicals. Replacement cartridges will run you about $100 per year.

    For more options: Best Under-Sink Water Filters

    If your annual water-quality report shows you have a wide range of contaminants or bacteria in your water, a reverse osmosis water filter like the high-rated GE GXRM10RBL is your best bet. These filters force water through a semipermeable membrane to wall off synthetic chemicals like PFAS (Polyfluoroalkyl substances or “forever chemicals”), which have been linked to cancer, high cholesterol, and learning delays in children.

    Control Mold

    Mold needs a wet habitat to set in, and that’s exactly what a dehumidifier counteracts. By drawing moisture from the air, you can better control the spread of mold while simultaneously battling the exacerbated heat invited by warmer climates and seasons.

    One of our top-scoring small-capacity dehumidifiers, the Midea MAD20S1QWT earns top marks for water removal, noise, convenience, and humidistat accuracy in CR’s lab tests. It’s also energy-efficient, comes with a drain hose, and has some nice bells and whistles, such as a pump, a timer, and an auto-restart feature that turns the machine back on to its prior settings after a power outage.

    The hOmeLabs HME020030N has stupendous water removal and humidistat accuracy. It’ll be a little rougher on your energy bill than the other models featured here, but our tests reveal nothing troubling that’ll send your usage soaring. It will reliably remove up to 22 pints of moisture from your home’s air in a day. The 7-pint tank size may require frequent changing, however, and there’s no integrated pump. You do get an alert that’ll tell you when the filter needs cleaning, however, plus a timer and an auto restart feature.

    The Frigidaire FFAD2233W1 can remove 22 pints of water from the air per day, and the tank holds 12 pints, almost twice the amount of most models we test in this category. It gets the job done, but the humidistat isn’t as accurate as others in this category. (If you need accurate humidity readings, you can purchase a hygrometer for less than $10.) This is a basic model and does not have an auto-restart feature or a clean-filter alert.

    The Midea MAD35S1QWT is one of the very best dehumidifiers in all of our ratings. This top performer, which can remove 35 pints of moisture from the air per day (the 36.5-pint tank should be able to hold it all), aces our water removal, energy efficiency, and convenience tests. It also does exceptionally well in our tests for noise and stands apart as one of the quietest in this category. This model is equipped with a digital display, a built-in water pump, and a timer with auto restart.

    The Honeywell TP70WKN is among the highest-scoring of all dehumidifiers we test and can remove 50 pints of moisture from the air per day. The tank, however, is smaller than most in its category and holds just 13 pints of water. That means you’ll have to empty it more often. But like all the models we test, this one allows you to connect a hose that diverts water to a drain. A nice touch: The hose is provided.

    The Midea MAD50C1ZWS checks all the key boxes for keeping your basement dry. Water removal: top-grade. Humidistat accuracy: nails it. Noise and energy efficiency: well above average. Indeed, its only drawback is a relatively small 15-pint tank, contributing to its mediocre convenience score. To remove the 50 pints it’s designed to handle daily, you’ll have to empty it several times a day, or buy and attach a hose to divert the water to a drain. As a brand, Midea received top marks for predicted reliability in CR member surveys.

    For more options: Best Dehumidifiers

    Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article also appeared in the November 2022 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.