Do Air Purifiers Really Work?


IQAir HealthPro Series Air Purifiers
IQAir HealthPro Series Air Purifiers is a great advocate of air purifiers and puts them 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.

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.

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 discernable to the average consumer. Moreover, other design factors in an air purifier may prevent it from doing a truly effective job, meaning the unpurified 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.

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.

Apart from these common misconceptions, there are a select number of air purifiers that 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 associated odors.