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

Anyone who tells you that an air purifier is very costly to run is either lying or ignorant. Having tested at least 500 models, Air purifiers are energy-efficient, as proven by the formula below used to calculate energy consumption. But how little energy is little? Does the bigger unit consume more energy? Should you run it 24x7? All shall be revealed below.
Short answer
12 hours = $3-8 monthly.


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. Next, convert watts to electricity measurement e.g. 840 watts/ 1000 = 0.840 kilowatts. Continue calculating the monthly usage by multiplying the number of days in a month. E.g. 0.840 kWh x 30 = 25.2 kWh monthly. 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 a spike in your electricity bill.

W x 12 (hours) / 1000 (kilowatts) x 30 (days) x 0.15 (rates) = Cost Per Month

For yearly energy costs, multiply the total monthly bill 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 about $3-5 a month or $36-60 annually. With 24 hours operation, the cost would be $6-10 a month or $72-120 annually. In some states, electricity costs will be cheaper at night (off-peak hours).

The 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, ranging from 20 watts to a maximum of 100 watts (similar to a light bulb). It is energy-efficient to leave the air purifier on all day and all night without shutting down. Even if you leave your air purifier running non-stop, it will have little impact on your electricity bill. 

For comparison, air purifiers’ power consumption is on the lower tier of household appliances. It uses less energy than most wet appliances, air conditioning, and water heater. To put things into perspective, a regular television uses 70 watts of electricity, refrigerators use 200-300 watts, air conditioners use 600 watts, and power hogger washing machines use 2000 watts of electricity per hour.

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

How much electricity does an air purifier use?

How to Choose An Energy Efficient Air Purifier

The first thing is to refer to the air purifier’s power usage in the specification. Depending on the size and performance, we will pick a model with under 80 wattages for general use. Alternatively, look for Energy-Star Rated models certified as 40% more energy-efficient. Features like Auto/ Sleep mode will help manage power consumption but only to a certain extent. Some models even have Eco-mode that will turn off the motor fan when not in use. While a cheap air purifier certainly uses less energy due to the weaker airflow, avoid choosing an air cleaner that is too big or too small. An air purifier that does not fulfill the coverage requirement would take ages to clean the air in a room.

Does Unplugging An Air Purifier Save Electricity?

Yes, if an electronic device sits idle, it continuously drains little electricity in the background. However, there is no need to unplug an air purifier as the standby power is typically less than 1 watt. Air purifiers are designed to run 24x7 efficiently even when you're not at home.

Final Thoughts

The lesser the airflow, the lesser energy it uses. Air cleaners running costs are low, as stated in the above calculation. If you are still hit by a high electric bill every month, get an electricity usage monitor to determine which device is the offender. Otherwise, try cutting down on your electric bill by:

  1. Keep windows shut when the air purifier is in operation.
  2. Turn off high-energy appliances when not in use.
  3. Buy only Energy Star home appliances.
  4. Install a smart thermostat to auto-manage room temperature.
  5. Use only LED light bulbs.
  6. Only do a full load of laundry.
  7. Set the right temperature for your refrigerator.
  8. Switch to a cold shower and reduce the duration.
  9. Consider renewable energy sources such as solar power.
  10. Reduce the dependence on an air conditioner or HVAC system.
  11. Air-dry dishes and clothes over a dryer.
  12. Service and maintain home appliances to ensure tip-top condition.
  13. 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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