Are Air Purifiers A Waste Of Money?

I am sure you have seen the persuasive but slightly misleading advertisements on what an air purifier can do. Don't get me wrong, an air purifier is a wonderful air purifying device that most household would need. However, is it worth spending hundreds of dollars on it? Can you clean the air without relying on one? Let's end the debate whether an air purifier is a waste of money now as we have the data and facts ready.
Short answer
Air purifier is NOT a waste of money.

Types Of Air Purifier

As there are many different types of air purifiers in the market. From HEPA air purifier, odor eliminator, UVGI, PCO Cleaner, Ionizer to Electrostatic precipitation. Each type of air cleaner is designed to handle a specific kind of pollutants. Choosing the wrong type can bring very little benefit to you and your family members. So it is very important to pick the right air purifier to avoid wasting money on something you don’t need.

The safest and best option is a HEPA air purifier and this is how it works. The internal fan will pull in surrounding airborne contaminants into its filtration. The contaminants will then be trapped by a series of filters stage by stage leaving only purified air circulated back into the room. With a pre-filter and HEPA filter, an air purifier can remove all kinds of household irritants as small as 0.3 microns. This includes dust, dust mite, hair, pet fur, pet dander, pollen, mold, bacteria, and viruses. With an activated carbon filter, it can remove smoke, odor coming from cooking, cigarette, pet, and even diaper.

Getting The Best Out Of Your Air Purifier

An air purifier is designed to improve your indoor air gradually. However, choosing the wrong air purifier can seriously damper the progress and make you feel like it is not doing anything at all. To ensure you are getting the best bang for the buck from it, here are some quick tips in buying the right air purifier.

  • Understanding your needs – As mentioned earlier, different types of air purifiers will serve different purposes. If you want you to reduce dust, mold, and pollen in your home, a HEPA filter is needed. You want to get rid of smoke and odors, make sure the air purifier comes with an activated carbon filter. If you are an asthmatic person, you will need a more powerful air purifier with stronger airflow distribution.
  • Get the Right Size – A very important measurement that many neglected. You may not see any positive results as the air purifier could not cope with the large space. If you need to purify the air in a room space of 300 sq. ft., go for a model with that capacity. Vice versa, if you only need to purify a small area with only 100 sq. ft. of space, go with a smaller model that is much cheaper and portable.
  • What specific features you are looking for – Auto mode, Sleep mode, Wi-Fi, remote control, timer just to name a few. Most of these features are more towards convenience and usability rather than performance. Nevertheless, having it can really help you appreciate the air purifier more.
  • Look at the CADR RatingsCADR stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate. It is an official benchmark of how much volume the air it can clean. With the numbers, you can also measure the space an air purifier can cover. We recommend air purifiers with at least 200 cfm but take note that not every manufacturer will participate in this test.
  • Position your air purifier close to the source of the pollution – Most air purifier has limited coverage to purify the surrounding air. If you want to get rid of pollutants in your bedroom, place it in there. Remember to leave some gaps between the wall and furniture to avoid airflow disruption.
  • Energy-efficient unit – If you are worried about an air purifier draining a lot of electricity, look for an Energy Star certified model.

An air purifier is not a waste of money. In fact, it is worth every penny you paid with the right model. The right air purifier can trap nearby airborne irritants and provide you with clean air. Without breathing in the harmful contaminants, your allergies will also disappear. But how do you determine which is the "right" air purifier? Below are a few simple guidelines to help you understand what is your need. Once you have gone through the list, do some research and compare which air purifiers would suit you best.

Improve Air Quality In Your Home

The main reason for having an air purifier is it can greatly improve indoor air quality by capturing airborne contaminants in the air. Sure some people would argue that vacuuming, mopping the floor, cleaning windows, drape, and upholstery would have the same impact, but in reality, it doesn't. An air purifier will catch dust in the air while housekeeping only focuses on dust on the ground. The less airborne contaminants in the air, the less chance of you actually inhaling to the harmful particles.

Air pollution is one of the major health risks that unfortunately many take lightly off. To make matters worst, Indoor air pollution is up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. Living with bad air will trigger symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, wheezing, shortness of breath, red eyes, itchy throat, and asthma attack. The poor air quality will also impact our daily life by affecting our mood, causing headaches, poor memory, dizziness, and fatigue. Prolong exposure can lead to irreversible health effects such as cardiovascular disease, COPD, lung diseases, and cancer.

Now you know the importance of clean air, start identifying what is the contaminants you are facing and what kind of symptoms you are enduring. With that in mind, you can start focusing on the right type of air purifier to tackle the issue.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

What An Air Purifier Cannot Do (Waste Of Money)

When the air purifier does not live up to the expectation, you will feel being cheated or let down by it. This is because of the misconceptions about air purifiers circulating on the internet. Let's address the common myths why some people would think an air purifier is a waste of money.

  • With an air purifier, there is no longer the need to dust - No, an air purifier can only handle airborne dust particles. You will still need to clean and vacuum the house to remove settled dust.
  • My home will be 100% germ-free - An air purifier can only capture germs and bacteria in the air. It will not prevent germs that are spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing or talking.
  • I can smoke indoors with an air purifier next to me - An air purifier can only remove secondhand smoke, NOT thirdhand smoke. It can trap odors coming straight from cigarettes but it will not remove stains that have lingered on the wall, shirt, and floor.
  • Air purifiers can make all my allergies go away - Not all allergies are caused by airborne particles. Food and unhealthy living lifestyle are also one of the main triggers for allergy.
  • HEPA filter can trap all kinds of allergens - HEPA filter can only trap non-smoke particles (non-odor). Also, not all HEPA filters are created equal. True HEPA filter can trap allergens as small as 0.3 microns while HEPA-type filter can trap down to 2 microns.
  • You can set an air purifier at any speed - The higher the fan speed, the faster and more allergens an air purifier can remove. An asthmatic person would require an air purifier running at a higher speed.

Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.