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17 Benefits of an Air Purifier (Proven)

Besides dealing with the never-ending indoor pollution, there are many benefits of air purifiers that most people are unaware of. We will go through every single beneficial point of using an air purifier. Some health perks are pretty self-explanatory, while a few might even surprise you. If you spend most of your time indoors and are still pondering getting an air purifier, this post will address it all.
Short answer
Air purifier is good for you.

 

1. Clean Air And Increase Life Expectancy

Clean air is essential to our health and well-being. Air purifiers improve indoor air quality by capturing fine particles in the air before it gets into the lungs and bloodstream. Without the harmful particulates, respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological systems will remain strong and healthy. You will feel a productivity improvement and have a better state of mind. Simply put, you will live longer just by breathing clean air.

2. Relieve Asthma Symptoms

An air purifier alleviates asthma symptoms breathing discomfort, and prevents an asthma attack by removing asthma triggers. Common airborne asthma triggers like dust mites, pet dander, mold, and pollen will be trapped inside the air purifier’s HEPA filter. Leave it on all day to transform your house into an asthma-friendly home.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease where the airways are swollen or inflamed. The inflamed bronchial tubes will aggravate breathing difficulty, wheezing, cough, and other respiratory ailments. Breathing in polluted air will increase the risk of an asthma attack. According to CDC, about 1 in 12 people have asthma, and the numbers are rapidly uprising every year. While a home should be the safest place for an asthmatic person, is this sadly the place where most asthma-related deaths occur.

Remember, an air cleaner is a preventer, but an inhaler is a savior. It is the best thing to save you from a life-threatening asthma attack.

3. Air Purifiers Trap Airborne Dust And Slow Dust Buildup

Air purifiers trap dust in the air before the particles can settle on a surface area. There will be less dust accumulation in the house with fewer airborne dust particles, so less cleaning frequency is needed. Dust allergies like sneezing, red eyes, eczema will also be less likely to be triggered. With the freed-up time and energy, you can now focus on doing the things that matter to you the most. As dust is everywhere no matter how often you clean the house, every home should have an air purifier running 24×7 in keeping the air clean.

Dust is made of dead skin, animal fur, dander, decomposing insects, pollen, food debris, hair, fabric, or fiber. Most people are allergic to dust mites rather than dust itself. Depending on how small the particle is, dust can stay airborne for up to 5 days. On average, a home produces 4 pounds of dust every month (about the weight of a laptop). A vacuum cleaner would do a fine job on ground dust; it can’t deal with anything airborne.

4. Impede Germs Growth And the Spread of Airborne Diseases

Air purifiers with a HEPA filter, UV-light, or antimicrobial can capture and halt the growth of bacteria and viruses in the air. By disinfecting the germs, it can reduce the spread of airborne diseases like the common cold, influenza, whooping cough, chickenpox, mumps, measles. With cleaner air and less exposure, everyone in the household will be safeguarded from catching the viral infection.

Airborne diseases are spread via inhaling, sneezing, and coughing. Studies have shown that most germs/ flu viruses can stay active for up to 24 hours in the air. Some cold viruses can even survive in an indoor environment for up to 7 days. When one family member falls sick, there is a likelihood that the others will catch the virus as it is the same air space infected with germs. Besides cleaning the air, always remember to wash your hands and keep the room well-ventilated.

5. Capture Pollen And Alleviate Seasonal Allergies

Air purifiers help alleviate seasonal allergies by trapping pollen released from trees, grasses, and weeds. It is beneficial during spring or early summer, where pollen is at the peak of its widespread. With fewer allergens invading the indoor breathing space, an air purifier can create a safe environment for anyone suffering from allergic rhinitis (hay fever).

When mother nature works its magic, you need to be prepared. Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen with symptoms similar to a common cold. Symptoms include sneezing, congestion, coughing, sinus pressure, watery eyes, itchiness, and scratchy throat. Most pollen allergies will come and go, but typical viruses like a cold can last 7 to 10 days. Keep all windows/ doors shut to reduce the number of incoming pollen during allergy season.

6. Neutralize Odors Without Creating Harmful Byproducts

Air purifiers with an activated carbon filter neutralize unpleasant smells in your home, keeping the indoor air fresh and clean. The porous form of the carbon filter will effectively absorb odors such as cooking, rotten eggs, sewage without releasing any harmful byproducts. You can safely leave an air cleaner running all day in the background while going on with your daily lives. It is the safer and better option than an air freshener that just masks away the foul smell while releasing more chemicals.

Nobody wants to stay in a smelly home. When something reeks, it is bad for you. Odor can make a person feel sick but it is not the pungent smell that causes it. It is the gaseous chemical compound or bacteria that travels with the odor. An offensive smell can one might experience loss of appetite, nausea, or headache.

7. Neutralize Cigarette Smoke And Smell That Causes Lung Cancer

Air purifiers can remove firsthand/ secondhand cigarette smoke and protect our lungs from developing cancer. Through chemical adsorption, the porous surface of the carbon filter will absorb about 7,000 chemicals emitted from the cigarette. 70 of those are carcinogens capable of causing cancer in living tissue. With fewer chemical gases in the air, air purifiers will also indirectly reduce the amount of thirdhand smoke residual settling in walls, clothes, and upholstery. Children and the elderly would benefit the most in a smoke-free environment due to their weakened immune systems and developing lungs.

Like it or not, smokers are everywhere, and so are the chemicals they bring. Tobacco is notoriously known for its three components: nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar. Nicotine is the popular one that causes addiction, but tar is the dangerous one that causes cancer. Despite the aggressive awareness campaign, there are still 36.5 million smokers in the U.S. alone. More scaringly, at least 16 million people live with a smoking-related disease. Common sicknesses include COPD, pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, dementia, heart disease, and lung cancer. If you are a smoker, quitting smoking is undoubtedly the best option. Otherwise, smoke in an open space area reduces the concentration level of the toxic gas from building up.

8. Eliminate Harmful Chemicals And Reduce The Risk Of Leukemia

HEPA air purifiers with an activated carbon filter eliminate chemical gases like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), phthalates, ammonia, deet, and nitrogen dioxide. By reducing the concentration level of harmful fumes in the air, you will be less likely to develop cancer that causes blood-forming tissues like leukemia and lymphoma.

VOCs are colorless, chemical gases emitted into the air from household products that exist in our daily lives. You can find VOCs in paints, furnishing coatings, air fresheners, aerosol sprays, detergents, toilet bowl cleaners, and insect repellents (pesticide). Common types of VOCs include formaldehyde, benzene, ethylene glycol, methylene chloride, tetrachloroethylene, toluene, xylene, and 1,3-butadiene.

VOCs can reach vapor pressure at normal room temperature and linger in the air for 2-3 hours. It can also react with other gases to form toxic air pollutants. Inhaling to VOCs can lead to nausea, breathing difficulty, watery eyes, decreased productivity, nose and throat irritation. Prolonged exposure can lead to irreversible health issues such as damage central nervous system, cardiovascular, tumor, and cancer.

9. Capture Pet Allergens And Subdue Pet Allergies

An air purifier can subdue pet allergies by capturing pet hair, shed fur, and pet dander in the air. It can also get rid of persistent pet odors and germs from saliva, feces, litter box. Your home will smell as fresh as before with fewer allergens in the air. There are many specialized pet air purifiers in the market dedicated to pet owners with domestic cats or dogs. Choose one with the stronger airflow to cover more grounds at one go.

Allergies can develop at any stage of life. When you inhale dust mites, pet dander, or pet odor, your body will produce Immunoglobulin E (IgE). IgE is a type of antibody that triggers a chain of allergic reactions. It can be excruciating for pet owners. They might have to temporarily move their furry companion outside for something beyond their control. Besides taking allergy shots or medication, an air cleaner can give pet owners a glimmer of hope.

10. Protect Baby, Children, And Elderly From Respiratory Illnesses

Air purifiers remove hazardous particles in the air so babies, children, and the elderly would not inhale to them. It can prevent the development and aggravation of respiratory illnesses in the long run.

Babies, children, elderly are the higher risk group of respiratory diseases due to the extended amount of time in the indoor and weakened immune system. Children and babies are also more likely to breathe into ground pollutants due to their height and smaller lung capacity.

Our immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs. It will defend our body against bacteria and viruses attacks. As we continue to age, the number of cells reduces; the body will take a longer time to recover from cuts and infection. That is why elderly, postpartum women, chronically ill people are more vulnerable and should be treated with extra care.

11. Improve Sleep Quality And Stop Snoring

An air purifier can help you sleep better by removing allergens in the air like dust mites, mold, bacteria, and fungi. Without the sleep-disrupting irritants, allergy symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, nasal congestion, postnasal drip, sore throat that causes you to wake up middle of the night will not be triggered. You will breathe easier with less snoring, and your sleeping partners would truly appreciate it. Additionally, some air purifiers generate calm, soothing white noise that helps improve sleep quality. Great for those that have trouble falling asleep at night without the sound of a whirring fan.

Clean air correlates to a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, many people live under poor air quality conditions and suffer from insomnia. Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that should not be taken lightly. People with untreated sleep apnea often wake up from a headache, daytime drowsiness, or lack of concentration. Unrefreshed sleep will affect our daily productivity and have detrimental health effects in the long run.

12. Remove Outdoor Air Pollutants That Cause Adverse Health Effects

A HEPA air purifier protects our lungs by trapping PM10 and PM2.5 outdoor air pollutions that flow inside the home. It is beneficial particularly for those staying in an urban area with high vehicular traffic. Common sources of outdoor air pollutants include carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), formaldehyde (CH2O), lead (Pb), sulfur dioxide (SO2), ozone, and other particulate matters derived from fossil fuel, vehicle fumes, and forest burning.

Exposure to outdoor air pollution will have adverse effects on our health. It can exacerbate pre-existing diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). In the long run, it will increase the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, arrhythmia, ischemia, cardiac failure, and stroke. When the outdoor air quality is terrible, closing all windows and doors will help reduce the incoming pollutants.

13. Remove Radon Gas That Causes Lung Cancer

An air purifier with activated carbon filter absorbs radon gas before it starts contaminated the house or school. With reduced radon exposure, an air purifier can prevent the development of lung cancer. It is crucial as most radon poisoning happens without realizing it until it is too late.

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive byproduct of uranium found in soil, rock, water, and building materials. Radon gas often enters a home through cracks on the floor, plaster, wall, pipework, electrical wires, and ceiling. Because radon gas is colorless and odorless, it could take months or years to discover the leakage. According to the EPA, there are around 14,000 to 21,000 deaths annually in the U.S. caused by radon-linked lung cancer.

Besides using an air purifier, Seal any cracks on the floors, walls, plasterwork, and fix damaged ducts before more carcinogenic radon gas are leaked in. Hire a radon mitigation contractor if the radon pollution is beyond remediation.

14. Capture Asbestos Particles And Prevent Asbestosis/ Mesothelioma Development

An air purifier with a True HEPA filter removes airborne asbestos and protects us from breathing in the harmful fibers. It greatly reduces the risk of asbestosis and mesothelioma development.

Asbestosis is a disease that causes inflammation and scarring of the lungs due to asbestos exposure. Symptoms include shortness of breath, cough, wheezing, swelling in the neck or face, loss of appetite, and chest tightness.

Mesothelioma is an incurable, malignant tumor that forms mesothelial tissue in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. It is extremely deadly as most mesothelioma patients will have a lifespan of approximately 12 months after diagnosis. Because asbestos fibers are lightweight and odorless, it is hard to detect their existence until it is too late.

Asbestos is a common building material until the 1980s due to its fireproof, tough durability, chemical, and heat resistance. You will find asbestos in insulation pipe, roofing, drywall, ceiling, cement, and floor tiles. If you stay in an old house or work in a commercial building built before the 80s, you may expose to airborne asbestos fibers that shed due to age.

Asbestos will only become hazardous when they are damaged or cut. Suppose you are planning to renovate an old home; it is highly recommended that you hire a certified abatement expert with all the safety gear to do so.

15. Improve Mood And Reduce Stress Level

An air purifier with an ionizer disperses negative ions that boost your mood when you’re feeling down. It is because negative ions produce biochemical reactions that increase the levels of mood chemical serotonin. Serotonin is a happiness hormone that stabilizes our mood, alleviates depression, and relieves stress. With increased serotonin levels, you will feel happier, sleep better, digest better, and enjoy a boost in daytime energy.

Having a bad cold, cough, or headache will stress you out, especially when you’re trying to get things done. Air purifiers remove hazardous airborne pollutants and reduce your stress level. When you breathe in clean air, your cortisol level, AKA stress hormone, will decrease, which relaxes the body, lowers heart rate and blood pressure. Many studies have shown that a person is less stressed and worried when living in a clean air environment.

There is no doubt clean air would do wonders for your mood and health. A stroll in the park or enjoying some mood-boosting foods could also improve your emotional state. However, if you are constantly experiencing mood swings and easily agitated, consult your doctor to see if you have Bipolar Disorder.

sharp air purifier mosquito

16. Trap Mosquito And Prevent Malaria Infection

There are air purifiers that trap mosquitoes and other tiny insects via a mosquito repellent sheet in its filtration. The strong airflow prevents trapped insecticides from escaping, thus reducing the risk of contracting malaria infection and other diseases. An air purifier is a good alternative to mosquito repellent spray that could add more air pollution to your home. However, it is by no means the perfect mosquito catcher. Instead, treat it as an extra benefit that taps onto the existing air cleaning feature.

Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest creatures on the planet. It accounted for 475,000 deaths every year. This disease-carrying insect often roams in Africa and Southeast Asia, where dengue and malaria fever spread. West Nile virus (LAC), encephalitis, and yellow fever diseases are more commonly transmitted in the U.S. Given its severity, it still baffles us why manufacturers never thought of implementing this feature across their lineup.

17. Extend HVAC Filter Life

Air purifiers capture airborne pollutants and reduce the burden of the HVAC filters. Every household HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) comes with a filter that traps dust and other particulates. With fewer pollutants in the air, there is less clogging on the HVAC filters, and the usage life will be extended.

The Many Types Of Air Purifier

Not every type of air purifier will share the same benefits. Some come with a single filtration or technology, while others combine 2 to 3 filters. To help you differentiate the many types of air purifiers in the market, let's look into how each model works.

  • HEPA Air Purifier - Uses an internal fan to draw air in and capture 99.97% of microscopic particles as small as 0.3 microns that pass through the HEPA filter. It is the most common type due to its proven efficiency and safety track record. The only downside is the HEPA filter requires replacing and can be costly in the long run. We highly recommend buying an air purifier with a True HEPA filter instead of an uncertified, less efficient HEPA-type filter.
  • Carbon Air Purifier - Draws air in and absorbs smoke particles and odors via chemical absorbent pores. An Air purifier with an activated carbon filter cannot capture non-smoke particles like bacteria and viruses. Unless you have a specific use of the deodorizer like in the bathroom, you're better off with a HEPA air purifier.
  • Air Ionizer - Ionization is a filterless technology that diffuses negative ions to attach with positive ions irritants. The attached particles will fall from the increased weight and adhere to the wall, table, bed, ground. If no cleaning is done, the settled dirty irritants could again stir into the air when disturbed. An air ionizer is also not great against large particles like dust and gaseous pollutants.
  • Electrostatic Precipitators - Release ions and creates an electrostatic field that charges particles in the air causing them to fall. The collector plate will attract the fallen particles rather than letting them scatter all over the place like an ionizer. While there is no filter to replace, the downside with electrostatic precipitators is inefficient against smoke and odors. A very low concentration of ozone byproducts may be produced, but the amount is insignificant to cause an alarm.
  • UV air purifiers - A proven disinfection technology that uses ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses. By damaging the DNA cell, the pathogens will be left dormant without the ability to grow and spread. However, there are a few downsides to UV light technology. First, the light intensity will decline over time, where it takes a multi-shot of rays to destroy germs. Replacing the UV light bulb can also be costly if you use it 24x7. Furthermore, UV is not great in removing large particles, fumes, and odor. Ozone also produces a very low concentration limit of 0.050 parts per million (50 ppb).
  • Ozone Generators - An unsafe device that releases harmful ozone to mask odors instead of cleaning the air. EPA or any government agency does not approve Ozonator. Ozone is an unstable, reactive gas that can do more harm than good. Expose to ozone can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, permanent lung damage, and aggravates respiratory issues. Never purchase an ozone generator.

How To Choose The Right Air Purifier?

If this is your first-ever air purifier purchase, it may seem daunting with many options available in the market. Some models are only meant for close-range purifying, while others are designed for the entire living hall. To reap the maximum benefits of an air purifier, always start by understanding your needs. Do you need it to remove dust, mold, germ, cigarette smoke, pet hair, or odors? Once you have a clear mindset on your requirement, start focusing on the types and features of the air cleaner. Here's what you need to look out for when buying an air purifier.

  • Room size and placement - Air purifiers come in all shapes and sizes. Choose a model that has enough airflow capacity to cover the room size you intended to place the air purifier. To do so, measure the square footage of your room size and see if the model fits the bill. Account for the number of people and ceiling height. Most manufacturers will give you the air cleaner recommended room size that you can refer to.
  • Set a budget (including filter cost) - Avoid spending too much on something that you could not afford. Cheap air purifiers don't mean it is unusable. There are many under 100 air purifiers that will do a fine job purifying the air. For an all-around HEPA air purifier, expect the price between 200-300 dollars.
  • Filter maintenance - Expect to pay around 80 to 160 dollars on filter costs annually depending on the number of filtration, the filter change frequency, and the type of filtration you are replacing. For example, A bigger, all-in-one HEPA filter set will be more costly to replace than a small single HEPA-type filter.
  • Airflow performance - The higher the airflow delivery rate, the faster the indoor air can be cleaned. Most manufacturers will release their airflow delivery rate based on the Air Change Per Hour (ACH) rating. If you are an asthmatic person or has hypersensitive, make sure the airflow output is measured at 4 or 5 air changes per hour.
  • Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) - Another standard metric developed by The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). Measure in cubic feet per minute (CFM). It evaluates how faster an air purifier can remove dust, pollen, and smoke particles in fixed room sizes. Anything above a 200 cfm CADR would be good enough for most homes.
  • Overall features - There are a lot of variations in an air purifier that could affect its usability. You'll have features such as Auto mode, Sleep mode, air quality monitor, timer, filter change indicator, and remote control, just to name a few. Choose what you need as you will be using the air cleaner for many years to come.
  • Energy-efficient - Small air purifiers are less power-hungry, but some models use less energy over the others in the same category. An air purifier that has an Energy Star Rated mark is a good indication of how energy-efficient is the model.
  • Recognition and certification - Go with a reputable brand that is tested by independent agencies and is widely used by people all over the world. Look for keywords such as Asthma and Allergy Friendly certified, UL listed, California Air Resources Board (CARB), AHAM approved. Having all the marks is a good assurance of the product's quality. It protects you from being misled by the manufacturer.
  • Noise level - Anything between whispering 30 decibels to an audible 60 decibels would be fine. A noisy air purifier could disrupt your sleep, and the frustrated users may end up not using it at all. Note that the noise level is highly dependent on the operating speed, and some people do enjoy the white noise generated from the fan.
  • Ozone emission - Some air cleaners do generate ozone byproducts during the air filtration process. There's nothing to worry about as long as it is within the ozone concentration limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A HEPA air purifier would be the safest choice as it produces no ozone.

Final Thoughts

Here are some official figures to show you the importance of clean air. According to EPA, Americans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors and 70% at their home sweet home. Despite the staggering numbers, indoor pollution is 2-5 times worse than outdoor pollution yet 87% of American homeowners are not aware of it. To top it off, there are around 50 million Americans suffering from various allergies annually according to ACAAI.

By now, you should have a clear idea of the health benefits an air purifier can bring. Before you go ahead and purchase an air purifier, there are simple methods to improve indoor air quality, such as:

  • Vacuum the floor and carpets daily.
  • Keep windows and doors open to bring in more fresh air. Only do this if the outdoor air quality is good.
  • Grow natural air-filtering indoor plants like Peace Lily, Devil's Ivy, Boston Fern, Spider Plant.
  • Turn on the exhaust fan or range hood in the kitchen during cooking.
  • Smoke outside or better yet quit smoking.
  • Keep your indoor pets clean and limit their activity space.
  • If the indoor humidity level is high (above 50%), use a dehumidifier. If the humidity level is low (under 30%), go with a humidifier.

Remember, clean air is essential to our health. If you need any recommendation on which air purifier to go with, we are always here to help.

The Disadvantages Of Air Purifiers

The Disadvantages Of Air Purifiers (Should You Still Buy One?)

It is a known fact that an air purifier is effective at cleaning the air. It has gotten so popular that an estimated 1 in 4 American households owns an air purifier, with the rise of people suffering from respiratory ailments due to unhealthy air. However, a small chunk of people regretted buying one because they had invested in the wrong model or had not thought it through. Some got overhyped by companies through inaccurate advertisements. When the air purifier fails to deliver what was promised, they feel cheated and will leave the air purifier in the dark.

So don’t let your air purifier turn into another unused electronic device occupying a socket slot. Study the disadvantages of air purifiers below and see if it is still worth getting one.

  1. You Will Need To Close The Windows - If you enjoy the cool, breeze of air coming in from the windows, I have bad news for you. An air purifier works best in enclosed spaces with closed windows, similar to an air conditioner. It prevents outdoor pollution like CO, CO2, dust, and pollen from entering the room and clean air from leaking out. The air purifier will be forced to continuously exchange dirty air from outside and cycle clean air with windows open. Doing so will also increase the electricity cost and shorter filter usage life. As pointed out by the EPA, indoor air is five times more polluted than outdoor air. However, you should only open windows when an air purifier is not present. Room temperature and relative humidity levels will drop with improved ventilation, so you no longer feel hot and stuffy. Do account for outdoor pollution at its peaks from morning/ evening traffic, haze, and other seasonal changes. The best time to open windows is during the morning, 4:00 to 6:00, the afternoon, 12:00 to 16:00, and the night 22:00 to 1:00, when air pollution is at its lowest point.
  2. Air Purifiers Require Maintenance - Proper care and maintenance will boost the longevity of the product. Air purifiers continuously draw particulates into the filtration via a motor fan, thus the need to wash or replace the filters periodically. For models that come with a permanent pre-filter, you will have to wash it every 2-4 weeks, depending on how dirty the filter is. For a disposable HEPA filter that captures microscopic particles, including mold, pollen, dust mite, pet dander, and germs, you will have to replace it typically every 6-12 months, according to the manufacturer's suggested interval. The same goes for an activated carbon filter. It is non-washable, so you will have to replace it every 3-12 months or when necessary. The worse the indoor air quality, the higher frequency filter care is needed. Using old, worn-out filters clogged with particles can worsen air quality as it helps circulate contaminants back into the air. While the extra effort is worth it in exchange for clean air, it can be a hassle and time-consuming. The exterior of an air purifier requires cleaning and maintenance to prevent dust buildup. You will need to vacuum the air inlet and outlet every month to remove dust and adhere to the ventilation. The built-in sensor also requires cleaning that would otherwise deter it from functioning correctly. Alternatively, there are filterless air purifiers that require less care but usually at the cost of the performance. Someone has to give you a hand when you have too many things ongoing on simultaneously.
  3. Purchase Costs - The initial purchasing price of an air purifier varies depending on the type and size of the device. A home air purifier can cost as low as 50 dollars to 1000 dollars upwards. Expect to pay around 300 dollars for a mid-range HEPA air cleaner suitable for daily use. Most households require at least 1-2 air purifiers in their home to truly gain the benefit of clean air. You will have to fork up more if you want better filtration and a more powerful air purifier to cover a bigger room size. Premium features such as autonomous mode, built-in UV light, Wi-Fi enabled, and remote control will also increase the selling price.
  4. Running Costs - There is also a recurring filter replacement cost that can range from a low 50 dollars to a high 600 dollars depending on the number of filters. A large medical-grade HEPA filter would be more costly to replace than a lower-grade HEPA-type filter. Likewise, the higher the MERV ratings, the better the filter quality and the pricier to replace. On top of that, unhealthy indoor air quality will shorten the filter usage life. You will have to incur the filter replacement cost earlier than anticipated. Ultimately, it is yet another electronic appliance with running costs that you must bear monthly. The air purifier's power wattage varies between 20-100 watts depending on the power and running fan speed. The average U.S. electricity cost is around 13 cents depending on the state you are located in. The electrical cost will range from a low 3 dollars to a high 12 dollars monthly with 12 hours of daily runtime. Double the charges if you intend to run an air purifier 24 hours a day. Multiply by 12 to calculate the annual expenses bundled with the air cleaner.
  5. The Risk of Ozone Emissions And Other Harmful Byproducts - Some air purifiers use ionization or UV light technology to produce a low concentration level of ozone byproducts during air purification. While the ozone emissions are typically within the NIOSH recommended ozone exposure limit of 0.1 ppm (0.2 mg/m), children, elderly, smokers, and sick people with preexisting illnesses will be more susceptible to ozone, especially in a confined room. When exposed, ozone can cause chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, shortness of breath, asthma, lung disorders, and other respiratory diseases. The good news is that ionizer and UV light functions are optional on a filter-based air purifier. You can turn it off if you are not comfortable using it. Never buy an ozone generator; it is a device that diffuses millions of toxic ozone into the air. It is dangerous, ineffective, and harmful to your health. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), CARB, or any government agency does not recommend the use of ozone generators.
  6. Under Performance (Especially Against Odor) - Contrary to many manufacturers' claims, air purifiers will not remove 100% of airborne impurities, with new particles constantly emerging, especially microorganisms. It will fair worse against smoke, chemicals, and odors due to its gaseous nature. An air purifier will have a more challenging time containing it from spreading. Having the best H13 HEPA filter and activated carbon filter will boost the filtration effectiveness but keep in mind that the filters wear out over time. You will need to replace it promptly before it gets overly clogged by trapped particles. When given a choice, it is better to rectify what is causing the unhealthy air quality in your home.
  7. Air purifiers Are Far From Quiet - A minor but potentially hampering issue is that some air purifiers can be noisy when running at max speed. It will output over 60 dB of noise, clearly audible in a room. Depending on your tolerance level, you might be annoyed or distracted by the excess noise from your daily work, chill, and sleep routine. Fortunately, there is no need to keep the air purifier at max speed unless indoor air quality is in an unhealthy state. You can leave it in low speed, sleep mode, or an auto mode that will generate no more than 30 dB, similar to a whispering noise. Get a quiet air purifier or a dedicated bedroom air purifier if you want peace of mind during sleep.
  8. Air Purifiers Occupy Space - The larger the air purifier, the more interior area it will take out. It can be a problem for a smaller home, shared room, dorm, or even limited studio with minimal space. You will also need to leave 2-4 feet of gap between walls and furniture to ensure sufficient space for air circulation. Placing it by the corner will impede the air purifier's ventilation from functioning correctly. We recommend putting it near a doorway with the highest air movement to assist airflow distribution. Alternatively, get a smaller desktop air purifier and place it on a nightstand or table.

The Advantages Of An Air Purifier

It is not all doom and gloom here. Air cleaners are proven to be effective in cleanning the air by trapping impurities that pass through the filters. So naturally, there are more pros than you can reap over the cons. From health-related productivity to mood boosters, let’s explore the advantages of owning an air purifier below.

  • Breathe better with cleaner air free from airborne contaminants. It will alleviate pre-existing allergies and asthma attacks.
  • Improve sleep quality and reduce snoring. You will wake up completely refreshed the next day.
  • Healthier skin with less itchiness. Save money on expensive skincare and lotion.
  • Stop bacteria and viruses from growing and spreading, especially during allergy season.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of other home appliances and cut down on utility bills. Extend the HVAC usage life, so less replacement is needed.
  • Create an odor-free and smoke-free home without the need for air refreshers. No more living in a stinky home with cigarettes, trash, a kitchen, diapers, and dirty clothes.
  • Remove cancer-causing agents such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), radon, formaldehyde, and asbestos.
  • Create a pet-friendly home. You can cuddle your pups/ kitten as much as you like without worrying about germs and pet dander.
  • Protect babies, children, and the elderly with weakened/ underdeveloped immune systems.
  • Increase dopamine production; you feel less stressed and happier throughout the day.
  • Contain outdoor air pollutants e.g. wildfire, haze, CO, CO2 from invading your home. You will be forever grateful when an air purifier is here when you need it the most.

Should I Get An Air Purifier?

To determine if you really need an air purifier, you should consider if there is a need and are willing to put up with one. The below flowchart will help you with the air purifier purchasing decision.

Final Thoughts

While the downsides of an air purifier might seem long on our list, most of it is neglectable or avoidable, that you can find ways to get past them. The biggest disadvantage is probably the financial aspect, where an air purifier is a long-term investment. So before you take the plunge into an air purifier, pick wisely and look for the following criteria:

  • Always go with a mechanical air purifier with a True HEPA filter, NOT a HEPA-type filter. Skip ionizers, electrostatic precipitators, UVGI. Never buy an ozone generator.
  • Pick the right size air purifier based on the room size needed for air cleaning. You can learn more about AHAM Verifide and room size calculation here.
  • Place an air purifier in every room for maximum efficiency. There’s nothing wrong with having more than an air purifier.
  • Don’t bite more than you can chew. Make sure you can afford to replace the air purifier’s filter annually. An air purifier is as good as useless when stuck with an old, worn-out filter.

The below actions will also improve air quality with or without an air purifier. Every little step can make a difference in helping you breathe better and live healthier:

  • Use hypoallergenic pillows, mattresses, and blankets. Wash bedding preferably with hot water to kill off germs and dust mites.
  • Keep domestic pets out of the bedroom.
  • Closed windows during the pollen season.
  • Regularly maintain the HVAC system and ensure there is no leakage on the duct. Change the air filter periodically.
  • Avoid smoking indoors or hanging around with smokers. Secondhand smoke kills.
  • Maintain home relative humidity levels between 30%-50% to discourage the growth of mold, mildew, and other pathogens. Address
  • leaky pipes and condensation issues.
  • Vacuum daily to stop hair, lint, fiber, and dust bunnies from building up.
  • Air-filtering houseplants e.g. Devil Ivy, Feston Rose, Spider/ Snake Plant, Dendrobium, African Violet, Lilyturf, Boston/ Kimberly Queen Fern.

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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