Asbestos is a danger to everyone’s health and can be commonly found in many homes around the world. An air purifier is a great investment for removing allergens and odors from your home, but did you know they can also help to remove asbestos? Asbestos particles have a size of .7 to 90 microns, so it is important that whatever air purifier you use is able to scrub the air of particles smaller than that.
We have compiled a list of the best air purifiers for helping eliminate asbestos from your home, all of which remove particles much smaller than .7micron, to give you the cleanest air possible.
Note: Air purifiers are not a good alternative for Asbestos removal. Asbestos is a dangerous substance that can cause cancer, and an air purifier will not remove asbestos from your home. You will need a qualified professional to physically test and remove the asbestos.
Best Air Purifier for Asbestos Comparison
Best Air Purifier for Asbestos Reviews
The LEVOIT LV-H132 air purifier is small and mobile, making it easy to use in any size room.
Its unique design includes a three-stage filtration system:
- The pre-filter removes larger particles such as pet hair from the air
- The H13 True HEPA filter traps smaller particles, like dander, pollen, and bacteria
- An activated carbon filter reduces household odors
This combined filtration system removes up to 99.97% of airborne contaminants, including pet hair and dander, smoke, mold, allergens, and large dust particles. An H13 True Hepa filter is a medical-grade air filter that removes all particles of .21 microns and larger, with 99.95% efficiency. This is unique when compared to other air purifiers as most use an H11.
There is a built-in replacement indicator that alerts you when it is time to replace your filter. Filters last 6-8 months when used continuously, depending on the quality of your air.
There are two light settings, making the Levoit LV-H132 a replacement for a nightlight as well. You can also turn the light off entirely.
The Air Purifier does not have the ability to effectively remove smell and is not powerful enough to clean the air of large rooms. Additionally, it’s impossible to know the quality of the air unless you have an actual air quality indicator because this machine does not have an electronic indicator to guide you.
One problem with this air purifier’s lack of power is that you will need to know exactly where the asbestos is located in your house. You cannot simply place this air purifier in a room and expect it to remove asbestos.
Air Purifier Size: 8.7 x 8.7 x 16.25 inches
Air Purifier Weight: 8.8 pounds
Air Purifier Color: Grey and White
- Uses an H13 True HEPA Filter
- Three fan speeds allow for fast relief
- Intuitive touch controls
- Lightweight and compact
- Will reduce pollen and dust, minimizing season allergies and asthma symptoms
- Filters will need to be replaced every 6-8 months
- Not powerful enough to clean the air in large rooms
- The directions are difficult to follow
- The air purifier does not eliminate odors very well
The LEVOIT LV-H132 was tested in the bedroom of a basement apartment during allergy season. Within a day our sniffing and sneezing were eliminated, as long as we kept the windows and door closed. The bedroom was 120 sq. ft. and after a few hours of running at high speed, the lurking smell of mildew was completely eradicated. We used to be able to see the dust from the furnace dancing in the air, but after one day of use the air was clean and nothing could be seen.
The overnight operation was very quiet, almost unnoticeable, on the lowest setting. The ‘nightlight’ feature offered two brightness settings, which would be useful for those with children or who don’t want to sleep in total darkness.
The 5500-2 offers the best performance for asbestos control because it is very powerful and has 4 stages of filtration. There is no need to place this air purifier right next to the asbestos source, however, that would be ideal.
The Advanced Odor Control washable carbon filter starts by trapping volatile organic compounds and unwanted household odors. The true HEPA filter then removes 99.97% of allergens, such as pollen, pet dander, and mold spores, while the PlasmaWave technology neutralizes bacteria and gases.
It has a washable fine mesh pre-filter that stops the largest particles from entering the air purifier. The washable carbon filter reduces VOCs and household odors commonly associated with cooking, pets, and smoke. The use of an activated carbon filter helps to prolong the life of the True HEPA filter, which is what reduces the smallest of particles, down to .3 microns in size.
This air purifier has a feature none of the others on our list do: It has a real-time air quality indicator with an LED light that changes color based on the air quality. From Blue (good) to orange (fair) to red (poor) you will be able to know, minute by minute, the quality of the air you are breathing in.
Using dual sensors and an auto mode, the Winix 5500-2 is able to adjust the fan speeds in real-time to give you the cleanest air while maximizing its energy efficiency.
When the room is darkened at night, the unit will automatically activate Sleep Mode. This setting ensures quiet, continuous, and energy-efficient air purifying. Once the lights come on, the unit will switch back to Auto Mode.
Best used in rooms up to 360 sq. ft., the Winix 5500-2 offers 5 clean air changes per hour. The filter replacement indicator will let you know when its time to clean and/or install new filters. The carbon filter should be cleaned every 3 months and replaced once per year.
The remote control is intuitive and easy to use, with only Turbo, Auto, and fan speed buttons. Most of the functions are automatic, like Sleep Mode, reducing your need to be interacting with your machine. The 5500-2 is an upgrade from the 5300-2, in that it has a remote control and washable carbon filter.
Air Purifier Size: 15 x 8.2 x 23.6 inches
Air Purifier Weight: 15.4 pounds
Air Purifier Color: Black
- Four fan speeds allow you to choose your comfort level
- The smart sensor continuously monitors ambient air quality
- AHAM Certified
- Automatic Sleep Mode
- Indicator light for filter cleaning/replacement
- More expensive than other Air Purifiers on our list
- No color options
- No backlight on the remote makes it hard to see at night
- No dedicated switch for night mode
Living in a home with wood floors we usually have a problem with dust and pet hair and after 3 days, there was a significant reduction in the amount of dust on our surfaces.
Designed with a four-stage filtration system that has been certified by the British Allergy Foundation, this Coway air purifier removes up to 99.97% of particles from the air in your home.
When compared to the Winix 5500-2, this one uses a 4-stage filtration system as well.
First, a washable pre-filter captures large particles, including hair, fur, and dust. Next, an odor filter reduces scents and gases, harmful VOCs, pet odor, food smells, and cigarette smoke. Once past that line of defense, the true HEPA filter traps allergens, fine dust, mold, and microbes. The final stage is what sets this air purifier apart from the others on our list: the integrated Vital Ion system. This system neutralizes the air with negative ions and reduces particles.
Covering up to 361 sq. ft, the Coway AP-1512HH is recommended for people with asthma and allergies, pets, and homes with mildew and mold issues. The AP-1512HH continuously monitors indoor pollution and when placed in Auto Mode, will switch between low, medium, and high fan settings for the best energy efficiency. When no indoor air pollution is detected for 30 minutes, this unit will stop to save energy and then start up again when pollution is detected.
This unit has a timer feature that you can program to run at 1, 4, and 8-hour intervals, before automatically shutting off. Using only 77watts of power, this is an energy-efficient air purifier and has a noise level that ranges from 24.4 dB to 53.8 dB, making it great for overnight use when run on the low setting.
The filter replacement indicator alert lets you know when it is time to change the filter, assuring that the air you breathe is always clean.
One issue with this air purifier is the cord. The air purifier cord is shorter when compared to other air purifiers of the same size and power. This causes issues when you want to move it to certain areas of your home. Additionally, the air purifier is not as simple to operate as some of the other purifiers that we have used in the past.
Air Purifier Size: 9.6 x 16.8 x 18.3 inches
Air Purifier Weight: 12.76 pounds
Air Purifier Color: Black
- Purification coverage for rooms up to 360 sq. ft.
- Air quality monitoring system provides real-time feedback and alerts
- While in Auto Mode, the fan will adjust run speed to match the air quality
- Quiet at night when using the Low fan speed
- Quiet operation at low speeds but can get loud at high speeds
- Heavier than the Winix and Levoit
- Does not act as a fan by blowing out, rather it blows air upwards
- The electric cord is not as long as some other air purifier models
Great at removing particles, after a few hours of using the dust we could see in the air was completely gone. Like the other air purifiers on our list, it eliminated our allegories within a few hours and improved the air quality of the room. It was not as efficient at removing odors as we would have liked, most likely due to the thin activated carbon filter. When used on the Low setting, the Coway AP-1512HH was very quiet and could easily be used overnight, though on the High speed it was much louder than any of the other air purifiers we tested. Additionally, as noted above, this air purifier is heavier than most and does not have a long cord. This causes issues with portability.
Why Choose an Air Purifier for Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber that was long used in home construction and manufacturing, due to its natural insulating and fire-retardant properties. Unfortunately, this fiber is also connected with a variety of health problems and has since been phased out of residential use.
HEPA filters are required to capture airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns with 99.97% efficiency. As asbestos particles are typically between 0.7-90 microns in size, they will be filtered completely by an air purifier with HEPA.
What Should I Look for in an Air Purifier for Asbestos?
In order to filter asbestos from your home environment, an air purifier will need to feature a true HEPA filter.
Additionally, you’ll want to choose an air purifier that matches the size of the room you’d like to purify. The specifications for each purifier unit will note the square footage for which it is most appropriate. You might prefer to purchase a smaller, portable air purifier so that you can rotate coverage throughout your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can asbestos get into my home?
Asbestos was a popular product used in the construction of most homes prior to 1973. If you have an older home, asbestos may still linger in your insulation or in ceilings, roofs, and walls. When cut or drilled, tiny asbestos fragments break off easily and are distributed through the air.
How long can asbestos stay in the air?
The tiny asbestos particles are very light and can float on circulating air forever. If there is no air movement, they will typically stop movement within 72 hours. An air purifier will draw in and capture the asbestos particles.
How can I be sure my air purifier is removing asbestos from my home?
Run the air purifier several times in each location to help trap any asbestos particles that might have settled on surfaces. If asbestos is a big problem in your home, you may also wish to invest in an asbestos test kit.
Many people purchase air purifiers to remove odors, pet hair and dander, and allergens from their home environment. An air purifier with a True HEPA filter can also help trap and remove dangerous airborne asbestos particles, as well.
Frank is the chief editor and director at Specialty Air, where he oversees testing, research, and editing for all air quality-related articles. Frank is an expert in the air quality space with extensive experience testing, researching, and reviewing air purifiers, air conditioners, air filters, air fresheners, fans, and more. He also has over 4 years of experience with issues surrounding mold remediation, radon mitigation, moisture management, air duct systems, HVAC, and insulation.