Do Air Purifiers Work (Ultimate Guide)

Did you know...

According to the EPA...

Indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air.

So, do air purifiers work?


Air purifiers work and will clean you air. 

In this article we'll take a closer look at: 

  • How air purifiers work
  • What air purifiers do
  • How air purifiers benefit you
  • And so much more...

What Do Air Purifiers Do?

Air purifiers are designed to get rid of air pollutants.  It helps to cleanse the air by also getting rid of toxic airborne chemicals.

Air pollutants, like smoke, are temporary and usually dissipate over time. They may worsen asthma-like symptoms and cause allergy symptoms.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers consist of a fan that circulates air and filters. Air filters trap air pollutants.

There are many types of air purifiers, and each works to clean the air. Some use filters, and others use electric ions to remove gaseous toxins in your indoor air.

A high-quality air purifier can improve your indoor air quality by removing pollutants. Some air purifiers are more effective than others.

Purifiers are usually designed to get rid of specified types of air pollutants. A quality air purifier should improve your indoor air quality.

It's VITAL that you shop for an air purifier that can reduce specific air pollutants.

Read More: Best Air Purifier For Vaping

Most air contaminants like dirt and dust sit on soft surfaces like furniture.

This makes it hard for air purifiers to get rid of all indoor pollutants in your home.

Other strategies can complement air purifiers in improving your indoor air quality.

What Do Air Purifiers Remove?

There are tons of indoor pollution sources that release contaminants into your air.

Bad ventilation in your home can increase the levels of indoor air pollution.

Outdoor air can reduce indoor emissions and carry the pollutants out of your home.

High humidity levels and temperatures can also increase the concentration of contaminants.

There are several different ways you can have bad air quality in your house, including:

  • Tobacco products
  • Fuel-burning combustion appliances
  • Excess moisture
  • Household cleaning products
  • Outdoor sources such as pesticides, radon, and outdoor air pollution
  • Building materials and furnishings such as asbestos, furniture, and flooring
  • Central heating and cooling systems


Allergens can cause negative immune responses such as asthma or allergies.

They include substances like pet dander, pollen, and dust mites. Air purifiers can get rid of these allergens, especially those with HEPA filters.

There are many types of air purifiers in the market. You want to go for an air purifier that meets your specific needs. Air purifiers work best when paired with proper filtration and home cleaning measures. If you suffer from asthma attacks, you should definitely get yourself an air purifier. Other signs include dust build-up, pet dander, odors, bacteria, and viruses. It will be worth the investment and will go a long way in improving your quality of life. You can choose either a portable air purifier or a whole-house air purifier. To achieve better results, try to integrate the purifier with other techniques.


Smoke is usually given off by burning tobacco and landscape fires. It can cause cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease.

Read More: Do Air Purifiers Dry Out Your Rooms Air 

It can also cause asthma attacks, lung cancer, and other severe health problems.

Air purifiers with HEPA filters can help remove smoke from your indoor air. They can also get rid of the smell of smoke in your air.

Indoor Toxins

Personal care products and cleaning products usually produce indoor toxins.

Toxins can become harmful to your body. 

Health effects of these toxins include headaches, eye, nose, and throat irritation.

Others include damage to the kidney, liver, and central nervous system.

You can reduce the usage of products that cause these toxins or use an air purifier to get rid of them.

Biological Contaminants

Biological pollutants include viruses, bacteria, pet dander, mildew, mold, and dust mites.

High humidity can boost the growth of these contaminants. This can lead to health problems for you and your family.

Dehumidifiers can help reduce moisture in your indoor air. Pairing it with an air purifier with HEPA filters can get rid of biological contaminants.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas. It's highly toxic when inhaled in high concentrations

According to the CDC, 430 people die of carbon monoxide poisoning accidently a year.  

50,000 are sent to the ER for accidental carbon monoxide poisoning every year too (that's a crazy high number)!

It's usually released when fossil fuels burn. Sources included gas heaters and kerosene lamps. 

Health effects of carbon monoxide include dizziness, headaches, and nausea. It can also cause impaired visions and even death.

Air purifiers reduce the concentration of carbon monoxide in your indoor air.

Types of Air Purifiers

The effectiveness of an air purifier depends on the type of mechanism it uses to sanitize the air.

Air purifier filters get rid of either gasses or particles but not both. Here are the common types of air purifiers.

HEPA air purifiers

High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters remove 99.97% of airborne particles. HEPA filters particles such as bacteria, chemicals, and viruses.

They also filter other particles such as pet dander, dust, and smoke.

HEPA filters consist of a fine fiber-like material folded back and forth.

This creates a large surface for air to flow through the air purifier fan. Air flows through the filters and then released back into your indoor air.

The more times the indoor air flows through the filters per hour, the cleaner it will become. After some time, the filters get clogged by particles and reduces efficiency.

HEPA filters are long-lasting and can last for between two to four years, depending on usage. They also do not generate any harmful byproducts like ozone.

Activated Carbon Technology

Air purifiers that use activated carbon filters can remove airborne chemicals. They also reduce volatile organic compounds and odors.

They are porous and have large surface areas for absorption. Activated carbon filters have many molecular-sized pores with high chemical bonding.

They also have a high absorbent ability.

Air purifiers with activated Carbon are very effective in trapping pollutants. They do not decontaminate your air since the contaminants are not released back into the air.

If you suffer from allergy attacks this type of air purifier for you. They get rid of VOCs such as ozone, smog, cooking fumes, and tobacco smoke.

UV Air Purifiers

Ultraviolet light air purifiers can destroy microorganisms and pathogens. They reduce airborne bacterial and viruses. 


destroy microorganisms' DNA as they pass by UV rays radiated from the lamp.

UV air purifiers have special light bulbs that emit UV rays. The rays destroy harmful air particulates.

UV air purifiers effectiveness depends on the lamp's wattage and the time of exposure to the light. The bulbs are replaced depending on the usage or manufacturer's recommendations. 

UV light air purifiers are used with a filter system such as HEPA filters. This will increase how good it works in getting rid of all air particles.

UV purifiers create ozone as a byproduct which is harmful in increased concentration. You can reduce the production of ozone by using specific safe wavelengths.

Ionic purifiers

Ionic purifiers emit negative ions to clean the air. They produce negative ions, which attract particles in the air(like a magnet).

The resulting particle is too heavy to remain suspended in the air. It then drops to the surface in your home, such as walls or windows, where you can wipe them down.

Ionic purifiers don't use a motor and are quiet. They also have low upkeep costs since they do not need filter replacements. 

Ionic purifiers are usually considered less effective than HEPA purifiers. 

This is because they do not completely remove air pollutants. Instead, they remain suspended on surfaces. These particles can re-contaminate your indoor air.

Benefits of Air Purifiers

Air purifiers  remove airborne particles from your indoor air environment.

This will have several short-term and long-term health benefits. Here are some of the benefits of air purifiers.

Relieves Asthma Symptoms

Research shows that one in every twelve people suffers from asthma attacks. Asthma leads to inflamed bronchial tubes, making it difficult to breathe.

Asthma attacks are usually triggered by air particulates such as pet dander and dust. Other triggers include biological contaminants such as mold.

Weal ventilation can increase humidity levels in your indoor space. This encourages the growth of biological pollutants. 

Air purifiers with HEPA filters help capture all these pollutants. This improves your indoor air quality and health

Elimination Of Harmful Chemicals

Different sources produce harmful chemicals pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.

If you are exposed to these gasses for too long they can increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Household cleaning products have toxic chemicals that can lead to health problems too.

Using air purifiers with carbon filters can get rid of these contaminants. This protects you from the risk of several health problems such as cancer.

Other health risks include tumors, neurological and cardiovascular disorders. Carbon filters get rid of chemicals by recycling fresh air in your living space.

Get Rid Of Odors

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) release odors when they break down at room temperature.

They include benzene, gasoline, and formaldehyde. VOCs are usually found in aerosol sprays, paints, air fresheners, or upholstered furniture.

The odor from VOCs can cause breathlessness, nausea and lower your cognitive functions.

According to the NIH, low levels of VOCs in your indoor air can increase your performance.

Read More: Do Air Purifiers Cool Your Room

This can also increase your productivity. Air purifiers with HEPA filters can get rid of these odors, leaving your home fresh.

Improves Sleep

Who can sleep when they are constantly sneezing at night (not me)!

Lack of enough sleep can affect your productivity due to daytime drowsiness.

Air purifiers with HEPA filters can filter allergens for improved sleep. This can also increase your life expectancy(who doesn't want to live longer!).

What to Look Out for When Buying an Air Purifier

There are a ton of different factors that you should look for when buying an air purifier.

You don't want to throw money down the drain and you want to enjoy the most benefits and improve your indoor air quality. Here are some of the factors you should consider.


It's crucial that you check for size compatibility when buying air purifiers. The size of the room determines the effectiveness of an air purifier.

When the purifier is compatible with the room size, it will be more effective and save energy bills.

Noise level

A noisy air purifier can disrupt your sleep patterns leading to discomfort. Air purifiers can produce noise between 35 to 70 decibels.

The amount of noise depends on the operational settings. It is crucial you choose a purifier that produces less noise and effective at lower settings.

Clean-Air Delivery Rate (CADR)

CADR is the speed at which an air purifier can filter air pollutants in a particular size room.

It is usually measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). An air purifier with high CADR means it can purify the air faster.

Air Change Per Hour (ACH) Rating

The higher the ACH rating, the more efficient the air purifier is. People who suffer from allergies should go for purifiers with a high ACH rate.


The maintenance cost will depend on the type of filters, brand, and the largest room size it can filter.

The maintenance cost also depends on how often you replace the filters. It also depends on the effect of the purifier on your energy bill.

HEPA filters need frequent replacement, while UV lights need more energy to function.

You should factor in the maintenance cost before buying an air purifier.

You can read my guide on how to clean your air purifier so you can save yourself some money by clicking here!

The Bottom Line

Air purifiers do work and are essential in improving your indoor air quality and comfort.

Are air purifiers worth it?


they will help you, especially if you suffer from allergies and asthma attacks.

It will be worth the investment and will go a long way in improving your quality of life.

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