FAQs About Air Purifiers

"I have a lot of follow-up questions" GIF

Use this handy FAQ for any questions or concerns you may have when deciding on air purifiers.

1. Do air purifiers protect against COVID-19?

According to the EPA, when used properly, some air purifiers can help you protect yourself from COVID-19 and other air-borne diseases too. Not all air purifiers give you equal protection from the virus. You need to check product specifics to assess its efficacy against the deadly virus. 

In any case, an air purifier absolutely cannot be your only line of defense against the virus, if you plan to avoid it.

2. Can air purifiers protect you from wildfire smoke?

Wildfires create hazardous air quality conditions that can negatively affect your health. Effects can range from eye irritation to chronic lung diseases. 

Air purifiers can filter harmful particles and protect you from wildfire smoke, but some are better than others.

Usually, HEPA air purifiers can help cut down smoke particle concentration by 85%. Pick a purifier with HEPA filters if you are concerned about wildfire smoke bringing down your indoor Air Quality Index (AQI).

3. Do air purifiers have any negative effects on your health?

Air purifiers help reduce pollutants and allergens indoors, but sometimes they can add a little something as well. Some air purifiers add ozone to the air. (Our recommendations don’t include any Ozone-based air purifiers because we care about your health.)

Ozone purifies air—that’s incontestable. However, when people inhale ozone, it creates problems. Coughing, difficulty in breathing, and throat irritation are some of the side effects. 

While buying an air purifier, check to make sure it is certified by relevant authorities and has the right health permits. 

If anyone in your household has a specific medical condition, especially one that affects their lungs, you may want to talk to your healthcare provider before investing in an air purifier.

4. What kind of maintenance do air purifiers need?

Most air purifiers come with 2-4 filters. These should be cleaned regularly and changed every 6-8 months. A few air purifiers have permanent filters that don’t need to be changed. If you know you’ll balk at buying new filters, you may want to opt for an air purifier with filters you can clean.

For best results, follow the maintenance guidelines provided in your air purifier manual.

5. How long should air purifiers be run?

Air purifiers can be run continuously to ensure that you have clean and pleasant indoor air at all times.

But, you might want to adjust the cleaning/speed settings to ensure optimal power use. When away from home, lower the settings on your air purifier to cut power consumption.

6. Is it expensive to use air purifiers?

Other than the one-time cost of buying an air purifier, energy consumption also matters while assessing how expensive or otherwise using it is.

A regular HEPA air purifier consumes 50 to 200 watts of energy. To give you some perspective, a regular bulb consumes 60 watts of energy. So generally, using an air purifier won’t greatly affect your electricity bill.

Exposure to air pollution is stealing vital minutes of your life; it cuts down the global life expectancy by 1.8 years.

Your home isn’t safe from air pollution. But you can make it safe.

Take a shortcut to finding the air purifier that fits your needs and budget by following our guide. Pick from our experts’ picks of the best air purifiers and start breathing clean air today.  

A collection of houseplants
Indoor plants can also increase your air quality. Give some lil plant babies a home! It’s a win win.

About the Authors

It takes a village! We are researching, writing and fact checking as a family. Collaboration is the name of the game, whether we’re running from a zombie horde or finding the best way to turn a complex concept into a deliciously digestible set of bullet points.

Katherine Esperanza is a Los Angeles based writer. When she's not conjuring new queer slice-of-life short stories, she's busy watching the newest films, out at queer shows, supporting queer artists, or just checking out the queer community as a whole.

A former international non-profiteer, small business owner, and co-op'er, Katherine is delighted to help introduce more leftist politics into the disaster preparedness/prepper sphere, which is currently far too right-wing.