An air purifier can do wonders when it comes to improving the indoor air quality at home. There’s nothing better than breathing some fresh, high-quality air that's free of pollutants when spending time indoors.
You may not even realize it, but improving your indoor air quality can have a surprisingly positive impact on your health and quality of life.
And because air purifiers aren’t so commonly used, many people don’t know how to use an air purifier the right way. The most common concern is whether you should run your air purifier 24/7 or only for a few hours a day. That’s what we’re going to shed light on in this article.
Is It Safe to Run an Air Purifier All Day?
Generally speaking, it’s absolutely fine to keep your air purifier running all day. Almost all air purifiers are designed to operate around the clock under optimal conditions.
As a matter of fact, your air purifier won’t do its job effectively unless you keep it running most if not all of the time. The reason is that air contamination doesn’t take a break. If your air purifier eliminates all the pollen, allergens, pet dander, organic compounds, and odor-causing particles when you run it for an hour or two, new pollutants will be introduced to your room within a short period after you turn the device off. Doesn’t sound very effective, does it?
In other words, your indoor air quality will only be at its best for as long as you keep your air purifier working. However, you shouldn't overuse your device just for the sake of it. For example, pollen is more abundant during summertime, so only use your gadget continuously in summer and let it rest during winter.
How Long to Use an Air Purifier Before Changing the Filter?
The filters in air purifiers are designed to be used for 6-12 months based on your usage patterns. After 6 months have passed, make a visual inspection of the filter to see whether it can function for an extended period of time or not.
As for pre-filters, you can just wash them under tap water and use them again. You'll have to replace your pre-filter sooner or later, though.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you suspect that your air purifier’s filter has expired, you should stop using the device until you replace the filter.
What About Electricity Consumption?
One of the main concerns that pop up in the minds of consumers when shopping for an air purifier is energy costs. Fret not, though; despite the fact that air purifiers are intended to be kept on most of the time, the average monthly energy consumption of a modern air purifier is just 18 kWh, which will only increase the electricity costs by around $2/month.
You can check the air purifier’s rated power before buying just to be sure, but it’ll never be that significant, anyway.
Should You Keep Your Air Purifier Running When Not at Home?
Well, it depends. You can extend the device’s lifetime and maybe even save some electricity by turning off the device when leaving for work in the morning or whenever you aren’t home. However, this comes at the price of compromised air quality when you come back home.
Air purifiers don’t produce instant results, meaning that you’ll have to wait at least an hour to notice the air quality in the room getting better.
Some smart air purifiers have a timer that allows you to set the device to turn on or off at specific periods of time. You can set it to start running one hour before you arrive at home. Alternatively, you can just open the windows to let some fresh air in.
And, obviously, if you’re leaving for vacation or something, it wouldn’t make sense for you to leave your air purifier running. This would just be a waste of energy and will cause your device to fail prematurely.
Should You Sleep With an Air Purifier On?
It’s perfectly OK for you to sleep with an air purifier turned on in the room. It’s actually encouraged to keep your air purifier running when sleeping because it can improve the quality of your sleep. However, at night, you don’t need to set the fan speed of your purifier at maximum settings.
How Does an Air Purifier Work?
An air purifier pulls in the air from the room and cleanses it from dirt, allergens, pet dander, dust, and other airborne particles using a HEPA filter.
Many high-quality purifiers use HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, and based on research, these HEPA filters provide the best results when it comes to air purification. If you suffer from asthma or certain allergies, a HEPA air purifier can help you alleviate the symptoms.
Some models use carbon filters, but HEPA filters are usually preferred. Other types of purifiers, like ionic purifiers, use metal rods that capture air particles.
Can Air Purifiers Make You Sick?
Air purifiers are usually safe to use, and they shouldn’t make you sick in normal conditions. However, some low-quality air purifiers may make you feel sick, especially if you don’t regularly take care of their maintenance and replace the filter when needed.
Also, some types of poorly-made air purifiers produce ozone, which can cause bad respiratory conditions. If you own one of these ozone purifiers, we wouldn’t recommend keeping it running round the clock.
On the other hand, a high-quality air purifier that uses heavy-duty HEPA filters would be your best bet when it comes to safety and functionality.
How Long Does It Take for an Air Purifier to Work?
As a general rule of thumb, expect to notice significant results from your air purifier within 1-3 hours of turning it on.
Several factors come into play, like room size, amount of pollution in the room, and the purifier’s power setting, ACH (Air Change Rate Per Hour), and filters.
If you want to make your air purifier work quickly, just set the fan at its maximum speed. It’s not advised to keep it like that all the time, though, as this could damage the device’s electric motor.
Do Air Purifiers Remove Dust?
Yes, almost all air purifiers are equipped with filters that trap large dust particles and prevent them from floating around in your room. For best results, get an air purifier that uses a true HEPA filter.
So, should you run your air purifier 24/7? Most of the time, the answer is yes! At least, if you want to get the most out of it, anyway.
Think about it; an air purifier doesn’t mean that the indoor air pollutants will magically stop getting into your room. It just means that you have a way to filter them out once they’re introduced to the place, which is why turning off your air purifier won't really help.
However, as we’ve mentioned, it might not make much sense to keep the machine running in some cases, so only keep it running if you really need it!