How to Know if an Air Purifier Works: What It Can and Cannot Do

Like most people, you probably don’t think about air purifiers very often. But what if you could breathe easier and feel better by using one? An air purifier can help improve the quality of the air in your home, but how do you know if an air purifier works?

If the air in your home feels cleaner and smells fresher, you may be sure that an air purifier is running. Pollutants and allergens are trapped in the filter of an air purifier, preventing them from circulating back into the air.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what an air purifier can do and how to know if it’s working properly.

What Air Purifiers filter?

An air purifier can help to remove a variety of contaminants from the air, including:

  • Pollen: The pollen size is about 10 microns so that purifiers can clean it from the air. Pollen tends to stick, so you must clean the filter regularly to improve air quality.
  • Dust: Dust is like. It is easy to capture, but you must clean the filter regularly for better results.
  • Smog: Smog is a mix of dirt and other particles. Cleaners can get rid of most of them, but it is hard to eliminate small, volatile particles.
  • Smoke: Household smoke like looking cooking smells will be removed easily by a home air purifier, but fumes from burning trees, roads, and wood cannot be cleaned. However, having a HEPA purifier during a wildfire will make a difference in your quality of life.
  • Marijuana and cigarette smoke: Purifiers can be great at getting the smoke out of your breathable air, but the smoke can often stick to your furniture and carpet. The smoke that stuck might come out and not get a chance to be purified. Other than that, the smell from the smoke can’t be filtered from the air.
  • Paint Fumes: Purifiers cannot capture volatile substances because they are easily evaporated and small in size.
  • Virus: Some filters use UV light to capture and filter pathogens. However, we have not tested this yet.
  • Pet Odors: Similar to fumes, these are too small in size and hence not always filtered.
  • Pet hair and Pet Dander: Large particles, like pet hair and pet dander, are easy to remove with a purifier. But they are too large to stay in the air for a long time. So if you vacuum and dust daily, you might not need an air purifier.
  • Mold: Mold is small enough to be filtered.

How do Air purifiers work?

Air purifiers are devices that can filter the air. Some types of air purifiers work better than others. So far, there are four ways to filter the air. Some special brands have their own patented filtration system.

  • A HEPA filter is the first and most important way to filter the air. A HEPA filter can trap all the particles inside the filter and remove them from the air. All airborne allergens are removed, like dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and other particles larger than 0.3 microns.
  • The ionizer is the most affordable way to purify the air in your home. You don’t need to change any filters on this device. However, it doesn’t remove all pollutants from the air. An ionizer works by releasing negative or positive ions into the air. These ions will attach to airborne particles, making them heavy and causing them to drop to the floor. With an ionizer, all airborne particles will be taken care of during floor cleaning and vacuuming.
  • Then there are carbon filters. They don’t filter the air but make it fresh and free of toxins. Such purifiers can remove bad odors, smoke, and other toxins.
  • UV light is a new way to filter the air. It uses ultraviolet light to kill germs, bacteria, and viruses. But we don’t know if it can kill all the bacteria in a room.

Are air purifiers a waste of money?

So, now you know if air purifiers are an effective way of filtering the air. The next question is, are they worth the money?

The answer to this question depends on how much money you are willing to spend and how effective you want the cleaner to be.

The most expensive air purifiers are those that use a HEPA filter. A HEPA filter can almost filter all airborne particles. They are extremely effective against pollutants at home.

Always ensure that a specific air purifier is strong enough for your home. It would help if you looked at the to look at ratings, checked the recommended room size, and saw how the air purifier filters the air. Remember that HEPA filtration is best if you want to eliminate most pollutants in your home’s air.

Does the air purifier cool the room?

You might be wondering if air purifiers can also cool your room. The answer is no; normal air purifiers cannot cool a room. Some air purifiers with fans may help to a limited extent, but most do not have enough of a fan to make much difference.

Suppose you want to cool your room and purify the air simultaneously. In that case, you can get an air conditioner with a built-in air purifier like the AC with a purifier.

Can air purifiers make you sick?

Air purifiers are usually safe to use, but some can be harmful. Ozone and other byproducts can be produced when the purifier cleans the air. If you are exposed to these for a long time, it can be dangerous.

There are two types of dangers:

  • direct dangers
  • and indirect dangers.

Direct dangers are things like the danger of using the cleaner normally. Indirect dangers are things like danger from using the purifier incorrectly.

Depending on your air purifier type, you may be exposed to both direct and indirect dangers. Direct dangers include harmful gases being released into your indoor air or exposure to dangerous light rays. Indirect dangers include people stumbling over your air purifier and getting electrocuted or the air purifier being placed in an active part of your home.

You can do some things to stay safe when using an air purifier.

  • Choose an air purifier that does not produce dangerous byproducts like HEPA and carbon-activated filters.
  • Keep your air purifier out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not operate your air purifier near wet areas in your home.
  • Only use an ozone air purifier when no one is around at home.
  • Follow the instruction and safety manual that comes with the air purification device.

Do air purifiers use a lot of electricity?

Every air purifier needs electricity to run. If an air cleaner is Energy Star rated, it is more efficient than most air cleaners of that size. If you have a purifier with 100 watts and an efficient system, it can clean 1200 to 1300 square feet of home. Your annual energy bill in the USA and Canada should be under $100. This is just an approximate figure to give you a general idea of what to expect for your energy bills. Your energy expense depends on how often you use the machine and the electricity rate.

Most air purifiers that are running all the time spend anywhere from $0.05 and $1.00 per day. That’s about $0.35 to $7.00 per week.

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Final Word

An air purifier can be a great investment for your home. It is important to know how they work and what they can and cannot do so you can decide which one to buy.

Air purifiers are usually safe to use, but there are some dangers to be aware of. Be sure to follow the safety instructions that come with your purifier. An Energy Star-rated purifier will not add much to your monthly energy bill. Choose the right air purifier for your home and enjoy cleaner, healthier air.

HEPA filters are the best type of air purifier for general home use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are air purifiers safe for pets?

Most air purifiers are safe for pets, but some can release harmful byproducts. If you have pets, it’s important to avoid air purifiers that release ozone, a harmful product.

Do air purifiers remove radon?

Air purifiers are ineffective at protecting against radon in indoor spaces because of their natural properties.

Are air purifiers also fans?

All air purifiers do not necessarily have fans. Air purifiers come in different varieties. Some use natural convection to circulate the air, while others have fans. The type of fan an air purifier has will not affect how well it works.

Do air purifiers improve sleep?

A study done in 2019 found that air purifiers help people sleep better. The study showed that particulates in the air could cause allergic symptoms and make sleeping harder. Air purifiers remove these particles from the air, which helps reduce symptoms and makes it easier to sleep.

Can air purifiers help with headaches?

Air purification devices can remove many toxins and contaminants from the air. That can potentially help reduce headaches.

Shahzaib Haider
Gadguy.com is the go-to website by S. Haider for all things consumer electronics. You can find reviews on new releases and trending gadgets. More importantly, you'll get an insider perspective from someone who knows these devices. S Haider, a banker by profession and a tech enthusiast by evening, has been writing about consumer electronics for over five years now which gives him ample knowledge when it comes down to understanding what users need in their lives today; whether they're looking into buying something new or just want some advice.