Do Air Purifiers Really Work?

Do Air Purifiers Really Work? showing woman sleeping in near an IQair air purifier

Here at AllergyBuyersClub.com we are great advocates for air purifiers because they work, and we put our air purifiers through a rigorous testing program before offering them to consumers. However, there are some common myths about what an air purifier can or cannot do that should be clarified.

Myth 1: Air purifiers will eliminate the need to ever dust again.

White IQair Health Pro Air Purifier
IQAir New Edition HealthPro Air Purifier

The most common misunderstanding is thinking that air purifiers will literally lift the dust off all the surfaces of your furniture so that you will never have to dust again. If that were to be the case, then the fan in an air purifier would be so strong (let alone noisy!) that it would create a dust storm in your home. Exactly the opposite of what an allergy sufferer would want. So you’ll still need a good HEPA vacuum cleaner and microfiber dusting cloth to dust your furniture and floors.

Myth 2: If you have allergies, air purifiers are a silver bullet and you will not have to do anything else.

An air purifier is only part of your allergy control program.  The problem is that some allergens like pollen are heavy, and fall to the floor or furniture before an air purifier has time to catch them. Some remedial actions require clean up and rearranging your home environment to be more allergy friendly; others require the use of allergy relief products, such as a steam cleaner for chemical free cleaning, washing sheets in hot water above 140º or a dehumidifier to lower humidity control mold and dust mite growth.

Myth 3: Air purifiers will take care of all odors in your home so you don’t have to bother with common housekeeping.

QuietPure Home Air Purifier

QuietPure Home Air Purifier

A surprising number of people think that if they have an air purifier, it gives them carte blanche to not empty the cat litter, leave a dirty clothes hamper or rotting food in the kitchen for months on end…while expecting an air purifier to pick up the slack! Air purifiers only work for odors if they have several pounds of high grade carbon in them, but good hygiene and removing the cause of the odor is a better solution.

Myth 4: If an air purifier has a HEPA filter in it, it must do a good job.

Unfortunately, even if an air purifier has a HEPA filter, the filters vary in size and construction quality, which isn’t discernible to the average consumer. Moreover, other design factors in an air purifier may prevent it from doing a truly effective job, meaning the non-purified air can just leak all around the filter and escape back into the room.

Myth 5: If you have dust mite allergies, the first thing you need to do is buy an air purifier.

Actually, this isn’t true! The first thing you should do is buy dust mite covers for your bedding, since dust mites tend to congregate in warm, moist environments. An air purifier will capture dust mite fragments that have become airborne.

Myth 6: If you have allergies, you should never open your windows.

Not true: every house needs a certain amount of fresh air exchange every day. If you don’t have an automatic fresh air exchanger, you should consider opening the windows for an hour each day. Let the air purifier take over after that.

Myth 7: Air purifiers with HEPA filters remove odors.

HEPA filters actually do not remove odors. That is only achieved through an air purifier that contains several pounds of carbon in a separate filter.

Myth 8: It doesn’t matter what speed you run your air purifier — it’ll do a good job at any speed.

This is a really a big misconception. Consumers will often run their air purifier at low speeds in order not to hear fan noise, not realizing that doing this actually reduces the square footage an air purifier will effectively cover. If you don’t choose an air purifier with fans capable of running at high speeds without too much noise, then it’s best to turn your air purifier up to high a couple of hours before you go to bed; then turn it on low for the rest of the night.

AirPura T600 Tobacco Smoke Air Purifier
AirPura T600 Tobacco Smoke Air Purifier

Myth 9: All air purifiers remove tobacco smoke.

What air purifiers actually do is remove the particles floating in the air left behind when people have been smoking. Most air purifiers — except for a select few which have been specially designed remove the odor or toxic gases associated with smoke — are not capable of doing this.

Myth 10: Air purifiers remove viruses and germs.

Often touting the addition of ultra violet for the killing of viruses, some air purifiers are misleading in their advertising claims, which has drawn the ire and attention of the EPA. In most air purifiers, the amount of time that allergens have in front of ultra violet light is not sufficient to kill them. Only a few air purifiers have an enhanced HEPA filter sufficient to capture viruses, or a technology such as a sterilizer which uses heat to kill pathogens.

Black Airfree Onyx 3000 Air Sterilizer
Airfree Onyx 3000 Air Sterilizer

Apart from these common misconceptions, there are a select number of air purifiers that AllergyBuyersClub.com recommends for removing allergens. Only a select few receive our coveted 5 Star designation from a team of expert reviewers! We have some excellent choices for allergy sufferers and those looking to maintain a healthy home environment. Of the ones they recommend, the IQAir HealthPro Plus air purifier garners the most accolades for the best all around air purifier. The Airfree Sterilizer is recommended for virus capture and the Airpura T600 Smoke air purifier is recommended for the removal of smoke and its odors.

  • Terroantula

    They sound a bit shit really if they don’t do any of this stuff.

  • Nas

    I honestly, seriously doubt these are commonly held beliefs given that I have not heard, or read of a single one of them since researching air purifiers extensively. Not a single air purifier claims to remove the need to ever dust again or, indeed, to do anything else ever again. All purifiers claim to assist in dust control, which, in turn, assists with allergy control. An article for idiots as, if you think an air purifier is a super machine that will do everything short of bring you coffee and doughnuts in the morning, your education system failed you. Like everything, a purifier is part of an arsenal against allergies. It falls alongside your dehumidifier to keep RH below 50%, dust mite control bedding, washing bedding at 60 or above and vacuuming regularly.

  • so, what are the benefits of air purifier?

  • It is a big question that does air purifier really work? Well my answer to that question would be yes they do. I mean they are the best invention one did to breathe in fresh and clean air with much fuss.
    hrv system nz

  • AnnaPaul Morczki-Salish

    LOL. I wish I could vote this one up more than once.

  • Nas

    Haha. Thank you. 🙂

  • farawayplace

    I live in Asia, and have found that even a car aircon HEPA filter, which costs about $5, attached to a fan, will remove pm2.5 at a good rate. The edges don’t have to seal perfectly — certainly better, if it does, but the air that leaks will eventually go through again. But yes — a faster speed is required to really clean your air.

    You can make your own, inexpensive HEPA filter machine for under $20, using a small fan with a flat front or back, or even a bathroom ceiling fan, and a car aircon HEPA filter from Walmart, etc., for a small room. You may need to buy a switch and a cord, if you use a bathroom fan, but with $5 HEPA refills, it is so cheap! I learned about this from a site by a foreigner in Shanghai, China, where the air is really bad. It works, and my pm2.5 detector proves it!

  • Mangalore Cafe

    Me too! Thats why I voted up your comment too 😛

  • Mangalore Cafe

    Its sad nowadays “bloggers” will write anything. If there is something that proves to lets say save your health they will go and write an article that says exactly the opposite for views that translate into money.
    Who said that we need to dust again. Actually I am researching to buy an air purifier and my idea is to using a blower to clean the dust in my house.
    That is put an air purifier running at full in the center of the house or better still where the dust is collected and then blow the dust with a blower and hope the air purifier catches it
    Yes I think that will eliminate the need to dust ever again. But you will have to keep blowing your dust towards the air purifier.

  • Mark Tucker

    so what about the ones they install in the ac plenum? like duct pure? are they worth the $1000.00 or so?

  • Santana

    Which brand of air purifier do you use?

  • Aditi Bansal

    bought Mi Air Purifier 2 one day ago. Im impressed with the results.

  • Hazra Ftma

    how much u paid for it and from where?

  • Hazra Ftma

    did u install it in an AC room?

  • Rita

    Air purifiers are one solution to this air-quality problem. An alternative would be to keep your windows and doors open to allow for total ventilation – but this is impractical. So in this age of energy-efficient airtight buildings, air purifiers have become an essential accessory for many homes and businesses.
    Air purifiers actually clean the air around us purifying it by removing microns of 0.3 and larger size to render it 99.9 percent dust free.

    Some purifiers are designed keeping in mind people suffering from asthma. Such purifiers can make the air free from all kinds of particles causing allergies and even other impurities so that the patients get to breathe pure air.

    When you are about to buy an air purifier ensure that your appliance is in sync with the Room Air Cleaner Certification Program standards listed. There is a standard set for air purifier appliances. Clean air delivery rate or CADR is a measure that evaluates the percentage of dirt free air in cubic feet.

    Air purifiers can suck up second hand smoke and even eliminate any smell in the air.

    Iconic purifiers are of great aid to people who have health issues as they help in cleaning the tiniest particles in the air.

  • yurieu

    Those are popular in Asia due to high levels of polution. therefore the may work.

  • Impacto Del Sur

    I had a coway test unit in my 1200 sqft office which claims to be effective for 1600sqft. The unit was touted to be able to remove formaldehyde but it was not at all effective. In fact, it increased slightly the level of formaldehyde. I had a detector and tested it for days. So, no, I don’t believe they work.

  • Hi Impacto,
    We’re not sure here, what you mean by a ‘Coway Test.’ Is ‘test’ the model of your Coway air purifier? We are always very selective about which Coways we carry at AllergyBuyersClub.

  • Thanks Edward!