Can An Air Purifier Make You Sick?

Throughout the years, we have received many emails asking if a dirty air purifier may cause them to fall sick. While the short answer is no, there are other factors to consider that may be associated with your air purifying machine. This post will address all the confusion, the reason for the sickness, and what can be done for better health. Let's begin.


Can You Get Sick From An Air Purifier?

Air purifiers cannot make you sick or cause health problems like headaches, sore throat, cough, or nosebleeds. On the contrary, an air purifier is good for your health as it is a simple device designed to clean the air from harmful particulates like dust, mold, pollen, pet dander, germs, bacteria, viruses, chemical fumes, and odor. It is the answer to the ever-increasing global air pollution causing millions of sicknesses every day. With improved air quality, you will breathe better, sleep well, and live healthier. Ideal for those who have asthma or are prone to allergies. 

The only thing you need to worry about is an ozone generator that is often marketed as an air cleaner. It only emits harmful ozone that can aggravate health symptoms, breathing difficulties, and increase the risk of respiratory infections. Ozonator is not approved by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Can Air Purifier Cause Sore Throat?

An air purifier can help relieve sore throat rather than causing it. Sore throat (pharyngitis) is often caused by viral infections such as a cold or flu that spreads airborne. A HEPA air purifier will capture the germ, bacteria, and viruses in the air, thus greatly reducing the exposure risk. To add on, an ionizer will not cause throat irritation, contrary to many beliefs. It will only disperse negative ions into the air that is harmless to our body.

Can Air Purifiers Make You Cough?

Whether it is a dry/ wet cough, croup, or whooping cough, an air purifier will not cause or worsen it. It can help relieve cough by removing airborne triggers via its multi-layer air filtration system. You can learn more about how does an air purifier help with cough here.

Can Air Purifier Cause Nosebleeds?

An air purifier will not cause nosebleeds, but it may aggravate the symptoms under poor conditions. When an air purifier is operating in a humid environment, it will recirculate the damp air in the room and irritate the nose. This can lead to postnasal drip, inflammation, sinusitis, and nosebleeds. To prevent this from happening, you will need a dehumidifier that can help reduce the room humidity level. On the other hand, dry air can also cause nosebleeds, particularly in winter. It has nothing to do with an air purifier as it does not dry out the air. You will need a humidifier to add moisture back into the air at a comfortable 30% to 50% level. For the best of both worlds, consider getting an air purifier humidifier combination model.

How To Use An Air Purifier To Protect You From Falling Sick

A good air purifier can be the difference between constantly falling sick or living healthily. If you are planning to purchase one, below are a few simple steps you can do to get the best out of it.

  • Avoid ozone generators – It will do more harm than good. Go with an air cleaner that uses a HEPA filtration system to purify the air safely without producing any byproducts.
  • Clean or replace the filters on time – All air purifiers that use mechanical filtration require regular maintenance for optimal performance. A clogged filter will not be able to capture inflow particulates and will circulate the allergens back into the air. For filters that can be washed, do it every 2 weeks or when the filter is dirty. For non-washable filters like a HEPA, replace them following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Leave it on 24×7 – Let it run day and night even when you are not home to maintain the room’s air quality. When you switch off the air purifier, the airborne pollutants will slowly build up, thus increasing the risk of triggering allergies. Always start with the highest fan speed for the first couple of hours and revert to a slower speed. For models that come with Auto mode, you can let the air purifier decide the best speed needed to purify a room.
  • Pick the right model – There are many types of air purifiers that use various technologies. Do not waste your money and time over the rest; opt for a mechanical air purifier. Look into the filtration set such as HEPA VS HEPA-type, carbon filter, UV-light, and ionizer. Consider the CADR, filtration type, and recommended room size as well, based on your needs. The higher the ratings, the more efficient is the air purifier.

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.
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