Air purifiers are among the most convenient home appliances. They remove airborne particles, biological contaminants, and other harmful pollutants from the air. This makes a world of difference for asthma sufferers and patients struggling with other chronic respiratory health conditions.
Moreover, purifiers are easy to operate and don’t require much maintenance. However, as modern models are being produced every day, their operation process can be quite passive to the extent that users can't tell whether the purifier is working or not, even if they use high-speed settings.
In this article, we’ll let you in on some tricks that will help you detect indoor air quality, and thus, find out whether your air purifier is still working or not. Moreover, this guide will help you decide whether there's a technical issue with your unit or you simply need to get some replacement filters.
Is My Air Purifier Still Working?
Because purifiers can significantly decrease indoor pollutants, some signs can be quite alarming. If you can see more dust particles and smoke stains than usual, your asthma attacks are suddenly worsening, or your allergy symptoms are flaring up, you must suspect that the filter systems are down.
1. Check The Collector Compartments
Some purifiers come with dedicated collector compartments in which airborne particles and contaminants accumulate. If these compartments are empty, then your purifier isn't working.
2. Check The Airflow
PCO and HEPA air purifiers blow draw in air, remove airborne contaminants, then blow out fresh air. This air movement causes a breeze that's felt while standing closer to the purifier or if you bring your hands near the fan.
If the airflow is too minimal to be detected, or the fan sound gets louder from time to time, chances are, your purifier isn’t working. This may indicate the need for filter replacements or other technical issues.
3. Check The Filter Indicator Light
The majority of air filters feature an indicator light. As small particles and air contaminants build up, they form larger particles, and the filters become clogged, reducing the quality of air. If the filter indicator light is on, it’s about time to replace them.
4. Do a Manual Check
You can't always rely on filter indicators, especially with a HEPA air purifier. If you have a dirty filter, chances are, your purifier isn’t effective anymore.
Some types of pollutants, more specifically, gaseous pollutants, like paints, cigarette smoke, tobacco smoke, and cleaning products, leave smoke stains that you can easily detect on the surface of carbon filters. Although a clean-looking filter doesn’t necessarily mean your purifier is still working, a dirty filter is, without a doubt, a bad filter.
5. Built-in Air Quality Monitors
Modern air purifiers feature special systems that detect the level of indoor air pollution. The accuracy differs from one manufacturer to another.
However, you can use other air quality tests to know how precise the readings reflected on the monitor are, particularly if you recently developed severe allergies or persistent allergic reactions.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can install separate air quality monitors if yours isn’t reliable enough.
6. Air Quality Detectors
You can use several quality test kits to determine the true air quality, and hence, whether your purifier is effective or not. There are several types of quality gears that you can use including, chemical air quality testing kits, electronic tests, or, as mentioned above, dedicated digital air quality detectors rather than built-in quality testing gears.
The best way to find out if your air purifier is working or not is to turn it off, then use these detectors to determine the baseline air quality with the doors and windows closed.
Turn your purifier back on and wait for a couple of hours before measuring the level of pollutants in the room. Keep in mind that the operating speeds affect the effectiveness of air purifiers, so make sure to turn to the user’s manual to find out the time frame needed to reach maximum purification.
There are several indicators of how effective air purifiers are. However, things are quite different from one manufacturer to the other, let alone the type of purifier you’re using.
This is why you should always check the user’s manual to know more about how frequently you should change the filters and take your unit to maintenance.
You should also follow the instructions in the manual regardless of air quality levels detected by the testing gears; it’s the best way to stay away from any health issues related to airborne particles.