Do Air Purifiers Actually Purify the Air?


This device promises to be rather enticing: the air purifier is designed to remove smells, smoke, dust, and even pet dander from the air in your house; an air purifier is a must-have device. When it comes to pollutant concentrations, indoor air may be up to five times more polluted than outside air. The best HEPA air purifiers may reduce some of the harmful effects of pollution and indoor activities. The truth is, not every air purifier lives up to the marketing hoopla. Filters and a fan are the most common components of an air purifier, and they work together to remove contaminants from the air. Pollutants and other impurities are removed from the air as it passes through the filter, allowing only fresh, clean air to return to the room. Filters are often constructed of paper, fiber (commonly fiberglass), or mesh and need regularly replacing to preserve their efficiency.

What’s the deal with air purifiers?

Larger airborne particles, like dust mites and pollen, may typically be removed using reusable filters. Biological contaminants like mold and bacteria may be destroyed using UV (ultraviolet) filters, which are available for purchase but frequently need higher wattage and longer exposure times (not to mention some bacteria are UV-resistant).

Air purifiers include running and filter replacement expenses and the initial purchase price. The cost of operating an air purifier might easily reach $50 per year since you must operate it almost continuously to get the advantages. The total monthly cost of replacing the filter might be as high as $100.

Negative ions bind to dust and allergens and cause them to settle out of the air, which is why some air purifiers utilize ionizers. To avoid aggravating asthma symptoms further, avoid air cleaners that employ ionizers if you have asthma since ionizers may create harmful quantities of ozone (a gas made up of three oxygen atoms typically advertised as helping to break down contaminants). The air purifiers that use ozone are likely to include that information in their packaging or marketing materials. Once more testing and industry standards have been established, it is suggested that users using plasma/ionization-equipped devices utilize them with those functionalities disabled. As a result of these factors, there is a lack of confidence in the results.

Air purifiers are designed to remove what pollutants?

VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and radon may collect from adhesives, paints, and cleaning agents, although most filters on the market help absorb particles like dust, smoke, and pollen. An absorbent, such as activated carbon would be necessary for this. Even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises that an air purifier’s ability to remove gases is limited and must be replaced every three or four months for best performance. Purifiers cannot remove allergens entrenched in surfaces such as carpeting or furniture.


If you’re looking for the best HEPA air purifiers that promise to be 99 percent effective in a lab, you will have a hard time finding one in the real world. Location, installation, flow rate, and run time will all be affected by the environment, as will the overall duration. In addition, your home’s airflow (open or closed windows) and the ongoing emergence of new particles may affect the effectiveness; thus, the air may not be as thoroughly filtered as the promises may have you think. Disinfectant cleaners and powerful vacuums are required to eliminate allergies, germs, and viruses on surfaces.