Air purifiers are a commonly used household appliance that can improve air quality and prevent allergies. They are also quite efficient, making them one of the most cost-effective ways of improving air quality in your home.
Research has shown that air purifiers are also effective at preventing a wide range of other health conditions. They can reduce the frequency of asthma attacks and help prevent respiratory illnesses (1).
Additionally, air purifiers can reduce exposure to toxic particles that may be responsible for dementia, cardiovascular problems, cancer.
Air purifiers may also be able to boost energy levels and improve mood. Additionally, they have been shown to improve sleep quality by making it easier to breathe as you rest. They can even kill insects and help prevent the spread of diseases such as malaria.
With virtually no side effects or risks from use, air purifiers are considered safe.
1Air purifiers can help prevent asthma attacks. People who suffer from asthma can benefit from the use of an air purifier. Asthma is often triggered by particles in the air, leading to difficulty, a tightened chest, and wheezing. These triggers are common around the home and include dust, pollen, cleaning products, smoke, and mold spores (2).
Air purifiers can remove particles that trigger asthma, reducing the frequency of asthma attacks (3).
These triggers are hard to remove with surface cleaning and reappear quickly when removed. Air purifiers can run continuously, ensuring that air remains fresh.
Smoke can remain in the air, as well as in furniture and clothing. Air purifiers remove smoke and help prevent lung disease.
2Air purifiers remove dangerous asbestos particles from the air. Asbestos exposure is one of the leading causes of mesothelioma. If you live in an older home, there is a higher risk of airborne asbestos particles, which can be dangerous when exposed for long periods of time (4).
Air purifiers can remove asbestos particles from the air, reducing exposure levels, and helping to prevent the development of mesothelioma (5).
Note that only HEPA grade filters will be able to capture asbestos particles. Other filters, such as standard paper or carbon filters, will not help reduce airborne asbestos levels.
3Air purifiers lower the levels of air pollution. Cities have significantly higher levels of airborne pollutants, many of which can find their way into your home. These pollutants can increase the risk of developing a wide range of health conditions, including lung disease, cancer, and cardiovascular problems. Air pollutants can also trigger allergies and asthma.
Air purifiers can help prevent many of these conditions by lowering levels of air pollutants in your home (6).
An air purifier removes airborne pollutants, allergens, and harmful particles that can affect mood and energy levels. Poor air quality can also have an impact on exercise and physical performance. Air purifiers can improve lung health, making it easier to breathe will exercising.
5Air purifiers can help improve sleep quality.
Poor air quality can have a significant effect on sleep. When exposed to high levels of dust, pollen, and chemicals throughout the night, your body gets less sleep, and cannot repair and heal at the level needed for healthy functioning. This leads to lower energy levels throughout the day, and it can also impact mood.
An air purifier keeps a steady stream of fresh air circulating through your bedroom, reducing the number of harmful particles you breathe throughout the night. It also keeps air from getting stale, making it easier to breathe (9).
Air purifiers also create white noise, which research has shown can help people relax before they go to sleep. White noise may also prevent waking throughout the night, so you have fewer disturbances as you sleep.
6Air purifiers may help reduce stress. It’s long been known that getting fresh air can have a significant impact on mood. Research has confirmed that exposure to polluted air can significantly increase stress levels in the body (10).
The body’s stress response is controlled by a molecule called cortisol. When you are anxious, cortisol levels go up, leading to a higher heart rate, muscle tension, and increased blood pressure. For short periods, increased cortisol can be useful. However, high cortisol levels over a prolonged period can have a negative effect on health, leading to weight gain, sleep problems, high blood pressure, and depression.
Air purifiers can help prevent high cortisol levels by reducing the number of pollutants and allergens that you are exposed to. This leads to lower levels of stress, improving mood, sleep quality, and energy levels.
7Air purifiers help prevent respiratory illnesses. Respiratory illnesses are common in cities with high levels of pollution (11).
They can also be caused by a wide variety of viruses and bacteria that are suspended in the air. When you breathe, they enter the lungs and can cause respiratory problems. Air purifiers can remove environmental pollutants that cause respiratory illnesses, as well as harmful viruses and bacteria that find their way to the lungs.
Young children and babies are more likely to suffer from respiratory illnesses, as pollutants tend to sink lower to the ground. Air purifiers can protect young children and babies and reduce the chances of developing chronic respiratory problems.
8Air Purifiers may reduce the risk of developing dementia. Long term exposure to high levels of pollutants may increase the risk of developing various types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. The pollutants affect brain cells, leading to the buildup of toxic particles in the brain. This can affect memory and cognition, and eventually lead to the onset of dementia (12).
Air purifiers significantly reduce the levels of airborne pollutants. If the purifier has a HEPA filter, it can also remove some of the microscopic particles that do the most damage to the body. This can lower the chances of developing dementia.
9Air purifiers help to kill insects. Mosquitoes and other insects are a major health problem, especially in areas that are warm in humid. Although insect sprays can help kill them, the chemicals in these sprays are often quite harmful and can lead to greater long term damage to the body than the insects themselves.
In addition to removing airborne particles, air purifiers are one of the most effective ways of killing mosquitoes. (13).
This significantly reduces the chances of getting an illness spread by insects.
10Air purifiers lower carbon dioxide levels. High carbon dioxide levels can be harmful to health. If you live in a city, carbon dioxide levels can reach dangerous levels, even in your home.
Carbon dioxide exposure can cause headaches, shortness of breath, confusion, and even death. Long term exposure to elevated levels of carbon dioxide can lead to lung diseases and affect the cardiovascular system (14).
Air purifiers ventilate your home, keeping the air fresh and preventing the buildup of carbon dioxide.
11Air purifiers can capture radon and reduce the risk of lung cancer. Radon is a gas that is naturally produced and can often leak into homes through cracks in the floor. Exposure to radon over long periods can significantly increase the risk of developing lung cancer. In the US alone, there are over 10,000 deaths from lung cancer related to radon exposure (15).
Air purifiers can help lower radon levels in your home. They catch radon particles, removing them from the air and ventilating your home, reducing the chances of developing lung cancer.
12Air purifiers remove pet allergens from the air. Homeowners with pets often suffer through allergies. Pet odors can be circulated in the air, as well as get trapped in furniture and other surfaces. Air purifiers can remove animal allergens and prevent the buildup of pet odor.
This reduces the frequency of allergy attacks, and also makes your home smell fresher.
13Air purifiers lower levels of volatile organic compounds. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a type of particle that can evaporate at room temperature and remain in the air. They can cause significant respiratory problems, as well as watery eyes, nausea, and headaches. Long term exposure to VOCs can increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as leukemia (16).
Air purifiers can capture many VOCs, removing them from the air and preventing them from building up on surfaces throughout the house. Carbon filters are the most effective type for capturing VOCs, whereas other filters, such as HEPA filters, cannot capture most VOCs.
1Air purifiers may create excess ozone. There are some air purifiers that use ionizers to remove harmful particles from the air. This can produce ozone as a byproduct, a molecule that can be harmful at high levels. The amount of ozone produced by ionic air purifiers is fairly low, so there is little risk of serious health complications.
However, it can lead to minor irritation of the skin, as well as difficulty breathing, especially for those with asthma or a respiratory condition. Air purifiers that produce ozone are best avoided if you plan on spending time in the room as the purifiers are running. If you plan on using an air purifier that produces ozone, you should vent the area after running the purifier so that you aren’t exposed to high levels of ozone.
2Air purifiers become ineffective without proper maintenance and care. If the filters are not changed frequently, air purifiers tend to become useless. In rare cases, filters may also be a fire hazard if left unchanged for long periods.
Air purifiers come with different flow rates and maximum volumes. Try to find one that matches the size of the room. If you use one with low capacity in a large room, it will still be useful. However, it won’t be able to purify all of the air, and air won’t circulate properly.
There are different types of air purifier filter, depending on the particles you want to capture. HEPA filters are some of the most effective at trapping microscopic pollutants and allergens. This makes them much better at preventing respiratory illness and allergies than standard filters.
Ideally, you should have the air purifier constantly running, as allergens and other particles will continuously enter your home. However, air purifiers are still useful when running for only a few hours during the day or at night.
Place the air purifier in the room where you plan on spending most of your time. It should be in an area where air can easily circulate. Avoid placing the air purifier behind furniture, as this can obstruct airflow and prevent proper ventilation of the room.
Will air purifiers run up the electric bill? There’s a wide range of air purifiers available, most of them designed with energy efficiency in mind. You can run yours consistently throughout the day without spending too much on electricity. If you want to save some money on your electric bill, many air purifiers give you an eco mode that saves electricity.
Do you need a HEPA filter for air purifiers? Many harmful air pollutants are smaller than the filter size on a standard filter, so you are not protected from particles that can cause respiratory illness and cancer. A HEPA filter can help remove smaller particles than a standard filter.
Although an air purifier without a HEPA filter will still be useful for removing some allergens and pollutants, it won’t do nearly as much as those with HEPA filters. It also won’t be able to remove most microorganisms from the air.
Are air purifiers loud? Most air purifiers are designed to operate at a low noise level. Although you probably will be able to hear it run, an air purifier usually only emits a quiet hum that should not be disruptive. They also tend to be much quieter than most household fans.
If you are bothered by noises while you sleep, many air purifiers have quiet modes that make them nearly inaudible.
How often should you run an air purifier? If you want to get the best results, you should run your air purifier constantly. This helps prevent a buildup of allergens and keeps your house well ventilated. However, air conditioners are still effective if you run them for shorter periods.
Even if you’re not home, you should still run your air conditioner, at least part of the day. Allergens and pollutants can build up quickly, and it can take a while to purify the air completely.
Where should you place your air purifier? Air purifiers should be placed in the area of the house where you spend most of your time. Ideally, try to keep them in an area where they’ll have clear air flow so that the room can be ventilated. If you obstruct the vents with furniture, air will not circulate properly.
What can a carbon filter be used for? Carbon filters are one of the most effective ways of removing smoke and odors from the air. They can also be used to remove volatile organic compounds and other chemicals. However, carbon filters do not capture microorganisms, which makes them less effective than HEPA filters for preventing the spread of viruses and bacteria.
Carbon filters are most effective when used alongside a HEPA filter, as this gives you a much wider range of protection from airborne particulate matter.
Can you combine different types of filters in air purifiers? Yes. Many air purifiers utilize a variety of filter types to capture a wider range of airborne particles and microorganisms. For example, carbon filters are excellent for removing odors and chemicals but do not capture many viruses and bacteria. That’s why these filters are often used alongside HEPA filters, which are much more effective at capturing microorganisms.
Should you have an air purifier for every room in the house? Some homeowners choose to place an air purifier in most rooms of their house. If you are willing to spend the money to get more units and pay the electric bill, then an air purifier in each room is worthwhile.
However, you should do just fine if you place an air purifier only in the rooms where you spend the bulk of your time. For many people, this ends up being the living room and bedroom. This saves money on the electric bill, while still ensuring that you’re mostly breathing fresh air.
Do air purifiers really work? Most filters on the market are designed to capture particles like dust and pollen but don’t catch gases like VOCs (volatile organic compounds) or radon. That would require an adsorbent, like activated carbon.
Is it safe to use air purifiers? The vast majority of ionic air purifiers produce little to no harmful ozone, making them safe for use in homes. However, it is a good rule of thumb for asthma-sufferers, in particular, to avoid using ionizers in general.
Can air purifiers be harmful? The wrong type can cause health issues. Filter-based air purifiers produce no by-harmful by-products and are good for your health. They remove harmful and allergy-causing particulates from the air, leaving only fresh air behind. Ozone generators are a poor choice and are potentially harmful.
How long does it take for an air purifier to work? Expect 30 minutes to 2 hours for an air purifier to clean a room.
Are ionizers bad? They can be if too much ozone is produced. Inhaling ozone, even in small amounts, can irritate the lungs. Specific effects may include throat irritation, coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath, as well as an increased risk of respiratory infections.
Do air purifiers work on pollution? Ionizing air purifiers will remove particulate pollutants from the air, but have no effect on the chemical gases from car exhaust. As a side effect, they generate ozone, which is itself a lung irritant. The EPA does not recommend using these types of air purifiers, or any air purifiers that generate ozone.
Is air purifier good for babies? Since babies lungs are still developing, it is important to keep the air as clean as possible. If your baby is especially sensitive or has allergies or asthma, providing them with an air purifier would bring not only sighs of relief, but a happier baby. Just make sure the air purifier isn’t producing ozone in a contained space.
Are air purifiers worth it? Portable air purifiers, at best, can improve a room. The best air purifiers use true high-efficiency particulate air (true HEPA) filters, which are proven to trap 99.97 percent of particles of 0.3 microns in size. Air purifiers can be expensive, and require not only regular maintenance in the form of cleaning but also need regular filter replacements to keep working effectively.
Do air purifiers work for pet hair? A HEPA-equipped air purifier may help reduce some of the larger-sized particles like airborne dust, pet dander, and dust mites in your home. If you have strands of pet hair in the air, a HEPA filter can take care of these large particles.
Do air purifiers collect dust? By adding an air purifier to a room, many of these particles will be trapped before they have time to settle, not only making the air more pleasant to breathe but reducing the accumulation of dust on our tabletops, books, and shelves. The most important tool for filtering out dust is a true HEPA filter.
Air purifiers are one of the most effective and efficient ways of improving air quality in your home. They are also affordable, making them a cost-effective way of removing harmful particles from the air.
Air purifiers have been shown to reduce the chances of developing respiratory illnesses, and also help prevent asthma attacks and allergies. They also remove toxic pollutants from the air, many of which can cause cancer, lung disease, dementia, and cardiovascular problems with long term exposure.
There are few side effects or safety risks associated with air purifiers. The one exception is with air purifiers that produce ozone – a harmful molecule that can damage the lungs and irritate the skin. Most household air purifiers do not produce ozone, and there are many effective purifiers that can safely remove harmful airborne particles.