7 Key Tips To Get The Best Out of Air Purifiers

Josh Mitchell

Written By

Josh Mitchell

Expert Reviewed By

Holly Curell

Last Updated On

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Key Takeaways

  • Air purifiers are effective at cleaning the air if you use them properly and perform regular maintenance.
  • Always keep the air purifier and its filters in pristine condition. Make sure you regularly clean and replace the filters.
  • Take the placement into consideration. Make sure there are no obstructions, HVAC vents, or other devices such as humidifier or dehumidifier close to the air purifier.

Since I’ve worked in some pretty harsh environments, I do all I can to keep my indoor air clean. I want to eliminate pet dander, pollen, smoke, and other allergens from my home so I can breathe fresh air.

Using an air purifier in my house allows me to do this. Air purifiers will rid your home of pollutants so you can breathe easier. Keep reading to learn how and when to use an air purifier effectively.

7 Key Factors To Successfully Using An Air Purifier

Air purifiers are most effective when you use them correctly. I’ve run into countless people who had no idea what to do when they bought their purifier and put it against a wall, ignored the filter, and kept all their windows open.

Those are all honest mistakes that need to be avoided. By paying attention to things like air circulation and filter maintenance, you can ensure your air purifier works in the long run.

1. Don’t Block Air Circulation

Air purifiers are only effective when they can turn over all the air in a room. To do this, they need plenty of space around their vents. Don’t place an air purifier within six inches of a wall, piece of furniture, or anything else that can block its airflow.

While the floor might be the most convenient place to put an air purifier, it won’t work as well there. It’ll work better if it’s elevated. You can and should put your air purifier on a table, especially if you’re running a heater.

Warm air rises and carries pollutants with it. That means your air purifier will catch more pollutants if it’s elevated. Finally, your air purifier should face toward the center or widest portion of the room. This allows for the best air circulation.

2. Keep The Doors And Windows Closed

If you use your air purifier with the window open (like I’ve seen many people do), your air purifier won’t be as effective. The same goes for opening the doors in your home.

Air purifiers come in different sizes, but even larger ones can typically only clean 1500 square feet at a time. Opening a window or door greatly increases the amount of outdoor air pollution the purifier has to try and clean.

So, it’s best to use an air purifier with the door and windows closed. Avoiding the use of spray cleaners and air fresheners can also help with optimum performance.

3. Leave The Purifier On When You’re In

Air purifiers are most effective when you leave them running. So, if you’re home, they should be on. You won’t hurt anything by letting it run 24/7.

Many air purifiers have auto modes that run at a low speed around the clock. Some will even turn off for periods if they sense the air is clean and turn back on if they sense pollutants. This makes them very energy efficient.

If you’re like my wife and the sound of the air purifier bothers you while you’re trying to sleep, try keeping it on its lowest setting so it’s nearly silent.

4. Maintain The Filters Regularly

The filters on your air purifier become less effective at catching pollutants as they fill. So, it’s crucial to clean or change your air filters regularly to ensure proper air purification.

Some purifiers come with washable filters that you can rinse and reuse. Others have replaceable filters you’ll need to purchase.

Your air purifier’s manual will tell you how often to change the filters in most cases or how to wash or replace filters. Many machines also have an indicator light or sensor to let you know when the filter is full.

5. Clean The Dust Sensor Lens

Some air purifiers have a laser dust sensor that counts the dust particles in the air. To get an accurate reading, the sensor lens needs to be clean.

Ideally, you’ll clean the dust sensor lens about once a month. However, there are certain times, like allergy season, when cleaning it twice a month is a good idea.

6. Don’t Get The Air Purifier Wet

I always get asked if air purifiers need water to work. They do not. Air purification with a purifier doesn’t need water to work.

In fact, water is a problem for most air purifiers, and you should avoid putting them in spaces with high humidity. In high humidity, your air purifier’s filter could grow mold, making it ineffective and a possible health hazard.

7. Don’t Put The Air Purifier Near Any Devices

Don’t put your air purifier next to a humidifier or dehumidifier because they’ll compete for the same air. This competition will render both devices less effective. Plus, you run the risk of promoting mold growth on your purifier’s filter.

Many people ask if they can use a fan with an air purifier, presumably to help push air through the purifier. The answer there is also no.

Running an air purifier and a fan simultaneously seems like a good idea, but you risk overwhelming even the best air purifier. Pushing pet dander, pollen, and other pollutants through the air purifier faster won’t make it more effective.

Instead, more pollutants are likely to get past the air purifier’s filter, worsening your indoor air quality.

Common Types Of Air Purifiers

Choosing the right air purifier for your home can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

Several factors should be considered before making a purchase, such as the size of your home and the health and environmental conditions. Let’s take a look at the main types of air purifiers to help you make an informed decision:

HEPA Air Purifiers

HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are engineered to capture microscopic particles in the air. These air purifier filters effectively eliminate up to 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.3 microns. HyperHEPA filters remove fine particles as small as 0.003 microns.

A HEPA air purifier utilizes a densely packed network of fibers designed to trap airborne particles as they pass through the filter. When air flows through the HEPA filter, it carries various contaminants, such as dust, pollen, and pet dander.

Larger particles quickly become trapped in the fibers as the air passes through, while smaller particles continue to flow with the air until they eventually collide with a fiber.

The accordion-style pleats of a HEPA air filter create numerous obstacles for the dirty air to navigate, ensuring that the fibers trap the tiniest particles and you are left with less air pollution.

Smoke And Odor Air Purifiers

Air purifiers with powerful charcoal filters can effectively eliminate harsh smoke and odors from indoor air.

For those who live with a smoker, the constant presence of smoke and its associated odors can be challenging.

However, using an air purifier with a high-efficiency filter to eliminate smoke can help maintain a fresh and purified home environment.

Allergy And Asthma Air Purifiers

Air purifiers with HEPA and/or activated carbon filters are ideal for those who suffer from severe allergies, as they effectively capture airborne pollen, dust, and other allergens. HEPA filters cannot cure allergies or asthma but can offer substantial relief by reducing triggers.

Activated charcoal filters remove microscopic particles through chemical adsorption. When carbon is treated with oxygen, it becomes activated, opening millions of tiny pores between the carbon atoms.

This creates a huge surface area in a small space, making a carbon filter perfect for absorbing microscopic contaminants like dust and pollen.

Medical Gas And Chemical Air Purifiers

Medical-grade air purifiers are essential for individuals with medical conditions, compromised immune systems, and older adults particularly vulnerable to airborne toxins.

These purifiers use advanced filtration technologies, such as activated carbon and UV light, to eliminate harmful gases and chemical pollution, providing clean and healthy indoor air. 

Do Air Purifiers Work With Windows Open?

If you run an air purifier with the window open, you’ll get cleaner air, but it won’t be as effective in producing purified air.

What Happens If You Run An Air Purifier With Open Windows?

Air purifiers can’t function optimally next to an open window. When windows are open, allergens and other contaminants float freely into the room.

So, there’s a constant flow of unfiltered air working against the air purifier, and the purification process will take far longer. You also shouldn’t put it too close to an air conditioning vent.

Can I Put It On A Table Near A Window?

You certainly can put your home air purifier on a table near a window, especially if it’s in the room with the most air pollution. However, you should keep the window closed. If you plan on opening the windows, the air purifier won’t be able to improve the air quality.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How long does it take for an air purifier to clean a room?

How long it takes an air purifier to clean a room depends on the size of the room and the size of the air purifier. In general, a small room takes about thirty minutes. It could take several hours to notice better air quality in larger rooms.

Can I move my air purifier from room to room?

You can move your air purifier from room to room as needed.

What speed should I run my air purifier?

You should run your air purifier on its auto setting. The auto setting will adjust to the best speed given the number of pollutants in the air. If you don’t have an auto setting, run it on high speed initially and turn it to low speed once the air is clean.

Are ionic air cleaners safe?

Ionic air purifiers are typically considered unsafe, especially if you have respiratory issues. Although they can help clean polluted air, they produce ozone, a harmful air pollutant that can exacerbate respiratory issues. Ozone generators should be avoided.


My air purifier has done an amazing job improving my air quality because I know how to use it.

It eliminates everything from pesky pet hair and dander to the unpleasant odors they leave behind. If you follow the tips above, you can enjoy consistently clean, fresh air in your home.

So, don’t wait for your allergies or respiratory issues to flare up before using your air purifier. Make it a part of your daily routine like I have and enjoy the benefits of clean air in your home.

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Josh Mitchell


Josh Mitchell
My name is Josh and I am obsessed with home appliances. From portable AC units to heaters and air purifiers, I enjoy testing, learning and using these devices to improve the air quality inside my family home.

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Midea U Shaped Window Air Conditioner

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