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Consumer Reports Shows Which Portable Cleaners Are Best At Clearing The Air

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Smoke, pet hair and dust are just a few things that get into our air, which is why a lot of people buy air cleaners.

Consumer Reports

tested 16 air cleaners ranging in price from $120 to $475. Because air cleaners can be noisy, a tester measured how loud they are on the low, medium and high settings.

Panelists then weighed in on how annoying they found each cleaner's sound. Some were much noisier than others, but one cleaner, the $350 Ionic Breeze Quadra by Sharper Image, was extremely quiet, which was one of the claims the company makes in its infomercial.

Another claim said the Ionic Breeze Quadra "powers through smoke," but

Consumer Reports

standard cleaning test showed otherwise.

Cigarette smoke and other fine particles were pumped into a sealed chamber. A spectrometer then measured how rapidly the cleaners remove particles from the air.

"The Ionic Breeze, on the other hand, when we turned it on, it removed very few particles," tester Rico De Paz said.

The very best room air cleaner was from Friedrich, model C-90A for $475. It has been the top performer over the last 10 years. On its low setting, it does a fine job cleaning without making a lot of annoying noise.

The Friedrich cleaner costs more than the others tested. However, it has a washable filter, so that will save money over time because you will not have to buy expensive replacements.

©2002 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. All rights reserved.

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