“How long does it take an air purifier to clean a room?” is an essential question that you must ask yourself before making such a big-ticket investment.
The thing is, this isn’t a short answer kind of question, as it depends on so many factors that you’ll have to think about. Today, we’ll discuss these factors with you so that you know what you’re about and make the most advantaged decision.
In essence, an air purifier should take anywhere between thirty minutes and two hours to fully clear out your space from all pollutants. Nonetheless, this is a rather abstract range as the process of purifying the atmosphere from air pollution inside of a room depends on several variables; some you can control, and some, well, not so much.
Anyway, we’ll touch on these factors and how you can tweak them to your advantage momentarily.
Factors That Affect Cleaning Rate
ACH stands for Air Changes per Hour. In simpler terms, it means the number of times that the air purifier can circulate the same air through it in order to fully clean it or the rate of filtration.
In general, that number should stand between four and five changes for one hour. This means that the same air will pass through the purifier every 12-15 minutes.
So, try to go for the highest ACH level available on the market; because, in reality, it’ll drop a little bit when you turn on the air purifier at home.
That is due to different circumstances, such as the placement of the device and the level of pollution present in the air. Therefore, the higher you go, the better with ACH.
State of the Filters and Their Types
Air purifiers come in all shapes, sizes, and filter types. There are so many technologies nowadays that manufacturers install into their devices to make them more efficient, especially for those suffering from asthma and allergies.
The thing is, each type of filter fibers attacks a particular allergen or particle. For instance, HEPA filters are essential when your problems lie with bacteria and different allergens as they trap the molecules within their maze-like build.
On the other hand, activated charcoal filters are porous. Hence, they’re capable of trapping VOCs, fumes, mold spores, and anything that can create odors around the house.
The list goes on and on, and that’s why you must be diligent when it comes to choosing the types of filters that go into your intended air purifier. One thing that you ought to keep in mind, though, is that most manufacturers do not settle for just one type of filter.
Rather, they install several types so that they achieve the highest level of air purification possible for their unit.
Since we’re still talking about the filters, you must keep in mind that they’re perishable items. Consequently, you have to consistently clean them by the book so that they’re still functioning optimally.
Also, know that at one point down the road, you’ll have to completely revamp your air purifier and exchange the filters for brand new ones. At this point, just cleaning won’t be enough, and their ability to trap particles and molecules will drop significantly. As a result, maintenance is key here.
The power setting will determine the strength with which your air purifier will work. Some people would argue that having your air purifier work at its maximum setting all the time is the best option. However, we disagree with that as this will only overwork your air purifier for prolonged periods.
What you should do is operate the unit at its maximum setting for around two hours, which is the natural time an air purifier takes to clear a room. Then, start to go lower with the settings bit by bit so that you give your device a break but still manage to maintain the same level of air clarity that’ll make you comfortable.
Here are two options that’ll greatly help you with that tricky balance. The first one is the automatic turn-off or automatic sleep mode features available in a plethora of purifiers.
What these options do is that once the device has reached a certain level of clarity, the unit will start to wind down by itself and either go into sleep mode or turn off entirely according to your preference.
Still, how does the air purifier know that the atmosphere around it is clean? Now, this question will lead us to the next option, which is the built-in air quality monitor. This is a small sensor that detects the level of pollution in the air around the device.
It automatically relays this information to the chip or processor present inside the air purifier so that it can decide whether or not the device will continue working at maximum power or start to wind down.
Humid air is much denser and heavier than dry air; hence, it’s much harder to breathe, and that’s where dehumidifiers come into play, but that’s a whole different topic.
So, if you live in a humid climate, the air will be harder to lift and circulate, which is why your air purifier might take a little bit longer to do its job than when compared to colder climates that enjoy dry air.
State of the Room and Level of Contamination
The state of the room depends on your own lifestyle, including smoking, pets, cooking, ventilation, and so many more aspects. If you’re smoking all the time, you’re creating countless VOCs and airborne pollutants that your air purifier would have to deal with.
Also, if you’ve got a pet that’s continuously going in and outside of the house, bringing with it allergens and foreign particles, the purifier will also have to put in the extra work to clear that out. Plus, pets have their own odors that continuously bring indoor air quality down.
If you decide to place your air purifier in the living room and the kitchen has an open concept, then all of the odors from the cooking and the ingredients will find their way into the living room, and the purifier will also have to deal with that.
There are two sides to ventilation that we need to discuss. If you decide to go natural and open your windows to let in the fresh air for a period of time, in theory, that’ll help your air purifier.
But, on the other hand, you’re letting in other particles of dust, mold, mildew, pollen, different spores, bacteria, and anything that’s outside. Still, fresh air is easier to lift, circulate, and clear than stagnant air that’s been sitting in its place for so long.
This is an essential feature that you have to check whenever you are purchasing an air purifier. Its capacity is the volume of air that the unit can clear out in the average time. Nowadays, some units can deal with rooms that are 100 ft.² all the way up to 800 ft.².
So, you need to look for an air purifier that’s complementary to your space; hence, you need to measure out your space and also think of the future if you wish to move the air purifier from one room to another.
This means that you need to think of the larger space, not the smaller one. Otherwise, you’ll just be overworking your device, and you’ll never get the desired result out of it.
There are two points that we’ll touch on in regards to the placement of the purifier and how it’ll affect its performance.
The first point is that you need to place it in the center as much as possible and remove all obstacles from its direct pathway. That way, it can reach all of the corners and nooks and crannies of the room to clear it out. That will remove a massive burden off of the purifier and make the whole process a lot easier.
On the other hand, if you have a particular place or item that’s making a problem for you as it’s the source of a specific odor, then placing the air purifier close to it or next to it would be a wise thing to do. As a result, the unit is continuously working on that area to improve it while still circulating the rest of the air in the room.
In the end, the answer to how long does it take an air purifier to clean a room will remain an average even if you have it printed in the user’s manual or on the box.
Don’t forget that these tests are performed with a certain set of variables so that each one is optimal. Still, the reality is that these circumstances aren’t replicated in your home and everyday life.