How To Use An Air Purifier Correctly & Effectively

It is hard to tell if an air purifier works when many are not using it properly. When used correctly, air cleaners are helpful devices that circulate clean air by removing airborne dust, allergens, smoke, and odor. It will improve indoor air quality and help you achieve a healthier lifestyle. Whether you are a first-timer or current owner, here are some tips and tricks on how to use an air purifier to get the best out of it.


Choosing The Right Air Purifier

It all begins by using the perfect air purifier for your home. Consider the kinds of pollutants you are dealing with, the room size, environmental factors, placement, and budgets. We only recommend HEPA Air Purifiers as it is the safest and the most efficient in removing airborne pollutants. A mechanical air purifier primarily uses a fiber pleated High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter to capture 99.97% microscopic particles as small as 0.3 microns. The HEPA filter is protected by a pre-filter that traps large particles like dust, dirt, hair, and a carbon filter that remove smoke and odor. Note there are many different types of HEPA air cleaners; choose the one best suited for your needs.

  • Asthma & Allergy Air Purifiers – Explicitly designed to remove airborne allergens for people with severe allergies or asthma, a chronic respiratory disorder affecting approximately 25 million people in the U.S. It is equipped with the best medical-grade HEPA filter, like HyperHEPA from IQAir. You will also find an activated carbon filter that absorbs toxins, smoke, and odors before it exacerbates your allergies.
  • Carbon Air Purifiers – Ideal for a smoker or smelly homes filled with secondhand smoke. The air cleaner keeps your home smelling fresh by eliminating household smoke and odors from cooking, cleaning products, and cigarettes. It protects you from smoking-linked diseases like low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), bronchitis, and pneumonia.
  • Pet Air Purifiers – Perfect for current and future pet owners with indoor cats, dogs, rodents, or even birds. It consists of both HEPA and carbon filters and is mainly used to remove pet dander, odor, and germs. Get this if you constantly have to deal with pet allergies.
  • Chemical Air Purifiers – Uses a high-grade, chemical adsorption activated carbon filter to remove chemical gases like VOCs, formaldehyde, radon, CO, and CO2. It is best suited for places plagued with outdoor pollution like wildfire, haze, and people susceptible to airborne toxins due to compromised immune systems.

Once you have chosen the ideal air cleaner for your home, you will need to ensure it is used correctly and effectively. Here’s how an air purifier should work:

1. Choose The Best Location

It is essential to have the best location for an air purifier for optimal performance. The closer it is to the pollution sources, the quicker it will capture harmful particles in the air. The ideal placement would be near a window or close to a doorway. Avoid placing the air purifier corner of a wall, and leave at least 2-4 feet of space for unobstructed airflow circulation. Ensure there are no objects like clothes blocking the air inlet and outlet. For more comprehensive coverage, you can place an air purifier at the center of the room but be cautious of the wire tripping risk.

On top of that, only place the air purifier on a flat surface e.g. hard floor or table, to prevent it from tipping over. Avoid leaving it next to electronic devices or underneath a window, as it may cause damage to the air cleaner. The same goes with a wet area like a bathroom, where the excess moisture will shorten the filter life.

2. Realign The Air Purifier’s Direction

Very important for a small air purifier with limited purifying coverage. Pointing the clean airflow in the right direction ensures the clean air released flows inside the room, and you benefit from it.

2. Leave It On 24×7

Especially if you are a smoker or have health conditions like asthma. An air purifier is designed to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in air purification. It is energy-efficient and safe to do so. There is no need to turn it off, even when you’re sleeping or away. By leaving it on, it prevents airborne particulates from building up and may take a long time to clean all at once.

Don’t worry too much about power wastage as modern air purifiers are mostly Energy Star Rated. With auto/ sleep mode, the air cleaner would self-regulate by only using a higher fan speed when a high concentration level of air pollutants is detected. If the particular model does not have auto mode, set it at the lowest fan speed, and the air purifier will run efficiently without incurring a high utility bill.

3. Keep Windows And Doors Closed

To use an air purifier effectively, you must ensure all windows and doors are shut tight. While at it, seal any leakage or gaps on drafty windows with a sealing strip. Doing so prevents purified clean air from escaping and outside airborne pollutants from coming in. Otherwise, healthy indoor air can never achieve as the air cleaner will have to run indefinitely.

4. Change/ Maintain The Filters Regularly

For optimal air cleaning performance, air purifier filters require scheduled cleaning or replacement to prevent clogging. For permanent/ washable pre-filter, use a vacuum cleaner attached to a soft brush head and gently vacuum it without applying pressure to the mesh. For stains that are hard to remove, you can use lukewarm water and gently rinse them. Leave it air-dry for a couple of hours before reinstalling the filter. We recommend cleaning the pre-filter every 2 weeks or when there is a dip in the performance.

For other non-cleanable filters like HEPA and carbon filters, replace them according to the interval time or when the filter change indicator light is lit. After replacing the filter, remember to reset the filter indicator so you will know when to make the following change. Do not attempt to clean the filter, as it may permanently damage the dense fibrous materials. Above all else, read and follow the manufacturer’s instructional manual on maintaining the air purifier.

5. Clean The Air Purifier’s Sensor

Air purifiers with built-in air quality sensors need to be cleaned periodically. Doing so allows the sensor to monitor and send accurate data to the device for autonomous purification. You can easily clean the sensor lens with a cotton swab or microfiber cloth. Do this monthly or when the air cleaner inaccurately/ fails to detect the rise of nearby pollutants in the air.

6. Choose The Right Size Or Use Multiple Air Purifiers

Air purifiers come in a variety of sizes, knowing your room size is vital in deciding which air purifier to buy. Choose the ideal model with the capacity to cover an entire room at a minimum of 2 ACH or leverage multiple smaller air purifiers. You can find out if an air cleaner can support a particular room size by looking at its Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). Better yet, use the manufacturer’s recommended room square footage as a benchmark.

The Do's And Don'ts

We established that an air purifier is worthy when used correctly. It can make a big difference in your home's air quality and comfort. Everyone in the household will reap the full benefit of clean, fresh air. To help you get started, here are tips on how you should and should not use an air purifier.

  • Do not use air purifiers outdoors. We cannot emphasize this enough.
  • Turn off and disconnect the plug from the electric outlet before attempting to clean or move the air purifier.
  • Supervise children so that they do not go near the device. Some air purifier comes with a child lock feature that can be activated to prevent children from fiddling with the control settings.
  • Avoid storing or spraying insecticides, fragrances, or flammable items near the air purifier. The toxic substances could damage the unit or cause an explosion.
  • Only use an air cleaner with its local power voltage. Due to fire risk, do not alter the voltage output with a boost converter or transformer.
  • An air purifier should only be used with all the compulsory filters installed.
  • Stop using an air purifier immediately when there is smoke or a burning smell. Do not attempt to disassemble or fix it yourself. Send it to the nearest authorized service center for repair.

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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