Shopping for an air purifier can be extremely confusing: there are so many numbers and details to keep track of that it can often be hard to see which air purifiers are actually the best.
Molekule is one such company that has touted the results of its air purifiers, despite numerous reviews listing it as less effective than most air purifiers. So we decided to simplify this process by using their own results and compare them against the testing we’ve done.
This comparison has been created based on published test results of aeris and Molekule products, which have been performed by an independent third party laboratory under identical conditions. More specifically, we’re comparing the AHAM AC-1 test results* of our products: the aair lite and aair 3-in-1 Pro to the Molekule Air and Molekule Air Mini.
* You can review aeris test results here. Molekule’s test results were retrieved from their webpage on 21st of May 2020.
Comparing Filtration of Smoke Pollutants (.3 Microns)
Comparing smoke pollutants is the toughest test, as smoke pollutants usually are smaller in diameter – they range from 0.1 micron up to 1 micron (as a comparison: Our hair cross section has a diameter of 20 to 100 microns. aeris products have specifically been engineered to perform address these pollutants.
See our results compared to Molekule below:
Final Concentration of Smoke after 20 minutes:
The aeris aair unit will make sure to remove all pollutants in the 1008ft3 room after 20 minutes, and in fact does so after only 13 minutes. The aair lite unit will still have a residue of 2% of the initial pollution in the room after 20 minutes and to 0% left over after 21.5 minutes.
On the other hand, none of the Molekule devices can reduce the smoke pollution to below 15% of its initial concentration after 20 minutes. Even worse, they only get to remove 31% or 19% of the initial pollutant concentration after 20 minutes.
How long it took for reduction of 50% in initial pollutant concentration
An important data point is the time elapsed for the concentration to drop below 50% of its initial concentration. This matters a lot: every minute that it takes to remove toxic pollutants means another minute that you are exposed to those pollutants. So, the shorter your exposure time to dangerous pollutants the lower the amount of pollution you’ve inhaled.
The aeris aair has been designed to outperform on a rapid removal of pollutants and as you can retrieve from our data, it will remove over 50% of the fine particulate matter pollutants within only 1.5 minutes after being turned on.
With Molekule devices, on the other hand, you would inhale between 5.5 and 8.3 times more pollutants.
Comparing Filtration of Dust Pollutants (1 Micron)
This test has been performed on fine dust with a particle size between 0.5 to 3.0 micron. The test pollutants can be compared to fine particulate matter like house dust.
Final concentration of dust after 20 minutes:
As should be clear, the difference between aeris and Molekule purifiers is stark:
The aair unit will make sure to remove all pollutants in the 100 ft2 room in exactly 20 minutes. And the aair lite unit takes 23 minutes to remove 100% of all pollutants.
However both Molekule devices were not able to reduce the dust pollution concentration to even 10% after 20 minutes.
How long it took for a reduction of 50% in initial pollutant concentration
As with the smoke test, the Molekule devices struggle to reduce the pollutants to below 50% within a short time. In fact, they take up to 3.5 times longer than the aair unit to reduce pollutants.
Comparison Filtration of Pollen Pollutants (3 microns)
This test has been performed on Paper Mulberry Pollen with a particle size between 5 to 11 microns. The test pollutants can be compared to common types of pollen.
Final concentration of pollen after 10 minutes:
As with the dust and smoke test aair devices are able to reduce the pollution significantly after 10 minutes runtime at maximum speed to well below 5% of the initial concentration.
Both Molekule devices don’t manage to reduce pollutants even below 20% after 10 minutes.
Time elapsed after for reduction of 50% in initial pollutant concentration
If you open a window in the spring and pollen had come in through it, an aeris device would be able to remove half of the pollen within 1.5 minutes (for a room of 100ft2) while Molekule would take three times longer.
Again, time here matters quite a bit, because lots of allergy symptoms are triggered after inhaling a certain amount of pollen. You’d be far less likely to hit that time when using an aeris device.
About the AHAM AC-1 Test
The AHAM AC-1 is a widely used and industry approved test set up for air purifiers in North America. A number of laboratories like SGS or Intertek offer these tests and they’re all performed under identical conditions.
For this test setup each air purifier will be placed in a sealed room of 28m3/1008 cft, which is filled with a specific type of pollutant. There’s three types of pollutants on which the products are tested: Smoke, Dust and Pollen. The initial concentration of the pollutant will be measured and then constantly monitored every minute after switching on the air purifier to its top speed. Based on the final concentration of the pollutant at a specified time (e.g. 20 minutes for dust pollutants) a CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) is calculated, which is a performance indicator for the air purifier, like horsepowers are for cars.
Despite AHAM being an American National Standard since 1988, multiple brands avoid testing their devices according to these specifications. We believe that no matter what minor flaws a testing standard may have, excellent products will and have to perform on them. Benchmark testings are still limited in the air purifier industry, but at least the little existing ones should be followed, which is why aeris products went through AHAM AC-1 and indeed showed excellent results.