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Clean Air Delivery Rate

The clean air delivery rate (CADR) is the volume of filtered air an air-filtration system delivers per minute. The higher the CADR, the more clean air the system is producing. 

What is Clean Air Delivery Rate?

Clean air delivery rate (CADR) is a measurement that indicates how much air an air-filtration system can filter and deliver per minute. The higher the CADR, the more efficient the filtering process and the cleaner the air that it delivers.

The CADR rating is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). A high clean air delivery rate usually means that the air-filtration system is effective at removing pollutants from the air such as dust, pollen, smoke, pet dander, mold spores, and other particles. This makes it an important factor to consider when choosing an air purifier or filter for your home or office.

What is a good CADR?

The type and size of air-filtration system you need will depend on the size of your space, as well as the level and types of impurities in the air. As an estimate, the CADR should be at least 2/3 of a room’s area. So, for example, a room that is 12 ft by 20 ft has an area of 240 square feet. A good CADR for this room would be 2/3 of 240, which is 160 CFM.

It’s important to note that there are many other factors to consider when choosing an air purifier, such as filter type, noise level, energy efficiency, and cost. Ultimately, your needs will determine which air-filtration system is best for you. 

Air filters

Recognized industry-wide by retailers, manufacturers, the EPA, and more, the CADR of an air filter can tell you just how hard it’s working.

The most common air filter, the 1 inch throwaway that’s found in 85% of homes, has a CADR of 10. In contrast, the Trane CleanEffects® Whole Home Air Cleaner has a CADR of 1200. For example, that means the Trane CleanEffects® Whole Home Air Cleaner is filtering all the air in a 12′ x 10′ x 10′ sized room every minute. Using the 2/3 rule, this means it’s suitable for areas of up to 1,800 square feet. 

The next closest air filter is a whole-house electronic air filter, which has a CADR of 660, producing half as much clean air every minute as the Trane CleanEffects® Whole Home Air Cleaner.

For more information on indoor air quality, check out our Trane Topics Air Quality articles.

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