How Much Does It Cost to Run An Air Purifier? (Electricity Bill Calculation)

If anyone tells you that an air purifier is very costly to run, they are lying or ignorant. An air purifier uses very little electricity, and we can show you the exact formula used to calculate the energy consumption with a few prime examples. Having tested at least 500 models here, it is more energy-saving than a refrigerator or air conditioner without a shadow of a doubt. But how little energy is little? Does the bigger unit consume more energy? All shall be revealed below. At the end of it all, doubters will be proven wrong, and you can confidently run an air purifier 24 hours a day.
Short answer
A mid-range air purifier with 12 hours daily use will cost you $3-8 dollars a month.


How to Calculate an Air Purifier Energy Cost

It’s easy as 1 2 3. First, calculate the total wattage consumption per day e.g. 70 watts X 12 hours = 840 watts. Then you convert watts to electricity measurement e.g. 840 watts/ 1000 = 0.840 kilowatts. Continue calculating the monthly usage by multiplying accordingly. E.g. 0.840 kWh x 30 = 25.2 kWh per month. Finally, use your local electricity rates, multiply the figures, and voilà, there is your answer. E.g. 25.2 kWh x 0.15 = $3.78 per month. Using that as a baseline, you should be paying between $3-8 dollars monthly with 12 hours of daily operation. Hardly any spike in your electricity bill.

To recap, here is the formula we used for the above example.

W x 12 (hours) / 1000 (kilowatts) x 30 (days) x 0.15 (rates) = Cost per month

For yearly energy cost, just multiple the months by 12.

Cost per month x 12 = Cost per year

How Much Electricity Does an Air Purifier Use?

Depending on the airflow speed, Most HEPA air purifiers consume around 50-100 watts per hour. With 12 hours of daily operation, the electricity will be around $3-5 a month or $36-60 annually. With 24 hours operation, you just need to multiply the numbers by 2, so the cost would be $6-10 a month or $72-120 annually. Electricity might also be cheaper at night (off-peak hours) so keep that in mind.

The above and below figures are calculated with the baseline rate at $0.15 per kilowatt-hour.

Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave
Winix 5500-2

Coway Mighty
Airmega 300
Airmega 300

Levoit LV-PUR131
12 Hours24 Hours12 Hours24 Hours12 Hours24 Hours12 Hours24 Hours
Power Consumption (Max)90 watts78 watts57 watts40 watts
Daily Cost$0.16$0.32$0.14$0.28$0.10$0.20$0.07$0.14
Monthy Cost$4.80$9.60$4.20$8.40$3$6$2.10$4.20
Yearly Cost$57.60$115.20$50.40$100.80$36$72$25.20$50.40
Energy Star rated

Does Air Purifier Use A Lot Of Electricity?

No, it does not. Air purifiers use very little electricity, with the wattage starting from 20 watts to a max of 100 watts (bigger unit). It is energy-efficient to leave the air purifier on all day, all night without shutting down. It will have little impact on your electricity bill. Some air purifier energy usage is the same wattage as a light bulb at low speed.

Air purifier power consumption is on the lower tier of household appliances, below wet appliances, air conditioning, water heating, and consumer appliances. To put things into perspective, a regular television uses 70 watts of electricity per hour. Cold appliances like refrigerators use 200-300 watts, and air conditioners use 600 watts of electricity. Wet appliances like washing machines and dishwashers are the most significant power hogger that uses 2000 watts of electricity.

In the U.S. electricity cost for residential varies from states to states. Based on May 2019 EIA report, Washington cost the least at 9.81 Cents per Kilowatt-hour while Hawaii cost the most at 33.43 Cents per Kilowatt-hour. That’s a huge 23.62 Cents gap in between. The elecitricity cost on average is at 13.32 Cents.

How much electricity does an air purifier use?

How to Choose An Energy Efficient Air Purifier

Looking for models that are Energy-Star Rated is a good way to start. Then refer to the air purifier’s power usage in the specification. Features like Auto/ Sleep mode will help manage power consumption. Some models even have Eco-mode that will turn off the motor fan when not in use. Choose the right air purifier that would cover the exact room size. An air purifier that does not fulfill the coverage would take ages and higher speed to cover an entire room.

Another bonus tip is to keep your windows shut when the air purifier is in operation. This will block out external pollutants from coming in. Also, replace the filters when are worn out to maximize the filtration efficiency. Remember, a even a cheap and good air purifier does not need to operate at MAX speed all the time. The lesser the airflow, the lesser energy it uses.

Does Unplugging The Air Purifier Save Electricity?

Yes, unplugging the air purifier does save electricity, but there is no need to do so. Air purifiers are designed to run 24x7 efficiently even when you're not at home. Your high electric bill comes from other home appliances that you leave plugged in even when you're not using them. Even if the electronic device is sitting idle, it will continuously drain electricity in the background. According to The United States Department of Energy (DOE), you will save between $100 to $200 annually by unplugging the devices that are not in use.

Do I Need An Air Purifier If I Have an Air conditioner To Save Energy?

​You will still need an air purifier even though you have an air conditioner in the room because both have different functionality. Air purifiers clean the air by removing pollutants. Air conditioners cool the room by regulating indoor temperature. You can switch off the AC when there is no one in the room to save energy. However, you can leave the air purifier running as it consumes very little power.

Final Thoughts

Air purifiers are energy efficient, as we have clearly stated above with the calculation. There are far worst offenders, particularly home appliances that involve water and heating. If you are still hit by a high electric bill every month, get an electricity usage monitor to determine which device is using too much electricity. Just plug the electricity usage monitor into an outlet to see how much energy is drawn in kWh. You can save energy and cut down on your electric bill by:

  1. Unplug and turn off standby appliances.
  2. Buy only Energy Star appliances.
  3. Install a smart thermostat to auto manage room temperature.
  4. Use only LED light bulbs.
  5. Only do a full load of laundry.
  6. Set the right temperature for your refrigerator.
  7. Reduce shower time and shower with a cold shower.
  8. Consider renewable energy sources such as solar power.
  9. Reduce the dependence on an air conditioner or HVAC system.
  10. Air-dry dishes and clothes over a dryer.
  11. Service and maintain home appliances to ensure tip-top condition.
  12. Cut down on air leaks in your home.

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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